Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Embracing Florence and Paris

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

One of the most common questions Iím asked after I explain where I live is, ďArenít you going to eventually just pick one place?Ē The oddest part is that Iím never prepared for the question and rarely have a good answer. Iím usually surprised because I didnít know that I was supposed to pick just one place. I usually try to explain that I didnít plan my life to be split between two cities, but I do enjoy it.

Each places gives me something that I like and possibly need. Florence gives me more quality time alone, creative inspiration, and a soft spot for my heart to expand. Paris, on the other hand, gives me structure, anonymity, and more drive to accomplish my goals. I know that I need both right now in my life. I have my full-time job and am juggling a few writing projects that each pull me in a different direction.

This morning, I realized that Iíve been commuting between the Florence and Paris for almost four years and that I made Paris my half-time home for the last two. It wasnít a conscious decision, but I do feel that itís whatís right for me at this time.

At times, I feel as if Iím living two completely different lives, but they are slowly beginning to resemble one other. I have been working independently for almost all of my professional life. So, what has been the most difficult for me these past years has been going to the office every day. At first, it was fun and different, but then it became tedious and draining. I didnít know how much it was affecting me until I started working from home in the mornings (when in Paris) and commuting to the office during my lunch break. I feel as if I have an entirely new life that better resembles my life in Florence where I have much more flexibility and freedom.

I am incredibly fortunate to be living in two cities and embracing each one. As an expat, I love that I get to enjoy two different cultures, speak Italian and French, and reap the benefits that each one offers me.

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