Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Florence and Paris: being and doing

Saturday, January 18, 2014

When I woke up this morning, I felt as if my life finally made sense. Iíve been trying to balance my two cities and to live fully in both for the past year and a half. It hasnít been simple because I thought I had to choose one over the other, but I love them both for different reasons. Each city has its dominant energy: Florenceís is feminine and Parisís is masculine. For me, these two polar opposites translate into two states: passive and active. Being and doing.

I have always felt slightly different in each city, but now that I can finally define each one more concretely, it all makes sense to me now. I wondered why at times my writing voice seemed so quiet when I was in Paris and yet in Florence it felt like the only voice I had.

I have heard about people who have two homes in two different locations and always wondered how they did it. I never thought I would one day do it since my heart is in Florence. I thought I had to choose one ďmainĒ home and then I could have my ďtemporaryĒ home. But now I realize that that solution isnít for me. What works for me is being home in both. Walking through my apartment door, unpacking a small suitcase, setting up my computer, and just being home.

Since my trips back home to Florence are only about a third of the month, I started feeling as if my home was slowly shifting to Paris. At the end of the summer last year, I decided that I had to balance my life out more and invest in Florence. Iím currently searching to buy an apartment in Florence so that I can finally establish my home here. I feel as if my roots are growing nicely in France with my beau and now itís time to cultivate my roots again in Florence.

I find my inspiration to write much easier in Florence because itís as if Iím basking in that creative energy all the time. The beauty of the city constantly inspires and uplifts me. In the outskirts of Paris, I have to work a little hard at being inspired. It comes, but not quite as easily.

Now that I know that my two cities represent yin and yang, I can better balance myself. Florence puts me in the mood to just be, enjoy life, and appreciate everything and everyone around me. Paris, on the other hand, motivates me to focus on my goals and succeed.

Itís not like I have to be one way or the other depending on the city, but itís helpful for me to know which energy dominates in each city. My goal now is to try to soak up the Florentine energy that supports and encourages me to follow my heart and to embrace the Parisian energy that drives me to accomplish what I desire.

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