Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

From stone to cement

Saturday, September 7, 2013

After spending almost two weeks in Florence, it wasnít easy for me to leave my beloved city behind. Even though many of my friends were away and many of the negozi (shops) I go to were closed, I enjoyed spending time in my beloved city. It seems that no matter where I am, I miss something or someone. When Iím in Florence, I miss my beau and when I am in France, I miss my beloved city. The transition back to France is not easy even though I navigate between the two cities all the time. I go from stone to cement, and then back to stone.

I donít put Florence out of my mind when I am in France, but rather in that dreamy part where I love and long. I enjoy living in France as well: my beau is here and my work is here. There are some similarities between France and Italy, but France seems to have headed in the direction of the US. It has become more ďindustrialĒ where itís becoming more and more difficult to find fresh food in places, like boulangeries (bakeries) and p‚tisseries (pastry shops).

When I thought before that my life was almost split down the middle between the two countries, I feel now that Italy pulls me more. It definitely pulls my heart the most. I enjoy living in both countries because itís as if I get to live two completely different lives simultaneously.

My heart is in charge when I am in Italy while my head takes over when Iím in France. It might be for that reason that I find it a little more difficult for me to write. I feel less inspired at times.

I certainly love the two cultures for different reasons. Living in Italy is gentle and sweet while living in France can be decadent and romantic. I am so fortunate to have such enjoyable experiences. My only difficulties are in my transitioning between the two. It takes me at least a week for me to adjust to my French life while my Italian one takes me literally a few hours at most. Switching to my life in Italy is like sinking into a warm bath, thereís no getting used to it. I just enjoy it.

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