Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Making room for change

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

As I settle into 2015, I have finally made room for some changes to occur in my life. After being an expat for so many years, I have realized that I canít force change to happen, but I can make room for it to occur. I canít keep pushing against the current; I have to just let go and allow the current to take me. For my first experience as an expat, I had to separate from my family and friends, my daily routine, my lifestyle, and my way of being in the world. It was challenging at first because I didnít know who I was without all that had defined me up to that point. Eventually, after letting go of just about everything and feeling as if I were lost, things suddenly got easier.

It was this clean slate that made me understand that I had all the power in the world to create a new life for myself. Since Iíve been an expat, I have not just done it once or twice, but continuously throughout my life. It took my becoming an expat for me to learn that I had to be as flexible and as open as possible if I wanted to evolve into the person I was born to become.

Each place where I have lived (France, England, and Italy) has had an effect on me. Over the years, I have become more fluid with my emotions, intuitive, sincere, creative, and passionate. When I look back at myself when I first arrived in Paris and myself now living between Paris and Florence, itís as if I am a completely different person.

When I arrived in Paris at age 22, I had no idea what it meant to be an expat or even what affect it would have on me. I just thought I was going to live my life in a different location, speaking a different language, and eating different food. Little did I know what was in store for me. There were challenging moments when I was unable to let go and less challenging moments when I finally did.

As this year begins, I have realized that itís time once again to let go of all that I hold onto (especially that which I hold onto too tightly) so that I can be open to allowing what is positive and beneficial for me. With each breath, I keep telling myself that all that is positive for me will come forward and all that has no purpose will float away. There is no pushing or pulling, just allowing.

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