Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Achieving balance in Florence

Friday, June 26, 2015

When I began this blog, I initially imagined that I would write about what I love in my two cities and share the magic of each one. I had been happily going back and forth between Florence and Paris for a year and a half before I claimed Paris as my second home almost three years ago. The decision to make Paris my home was precipitated by my divorce and my decision to move in with my beau. It wasnít until recently that I realized that my life was out of balance and I needed to do something to get it back into balance.Me, My Heart, and I :: Achieving balance in Florence

Paris has always been my first love. It was the city where I first became an expat in my early twenties. I initially identified myself for years as a Parisian and then I found myself in Florence a few years later. I now know that Florence is my true love even though when I arrived I had no idea it would become that.

Ever since Florence has been my home, I have been extremely happy with my life here. I never thought that I would ever return to Paris and call it home again. But, Paris called and I answered. For over four years, I have been splitting my time between Florence and Paris. I thought somewhat seamlessly because everything has been going rather well. In May, however, I felt as if I had hit a wall. I hadnít felt that low in years and probably the only other time was when my mother passed away. I felt lost and confused. It was almost as if I didnít know if the day-to-day life I had was really making me happy any more.

When I returned to Florence a few weeks ago, I was at my lowest. The following morning I woke up at sunrise and I knew what I had to do: stay longer in Florence. I just couldnít imagine getting on a plane that very next week to return to Paris. Something inside of me just couldnít let that happen.

While I love Paris and all that it gives me. Florence is the only place where I am truly nurtured. Florence holds me it in its embrace and reminds me that I have to listen to my heart. It reminds me that joy is found in lifeís details: a smile, a sunset, the voice of a loved one, or a gentle breeze against my face.

It has taken me a couple of weeks to fully realize that I was completely out of balance. My heart has been urging me to work on and complete my writing projects. Itís not that the publishing of these books will bring me happiness, but that the act of expressing myself will. While I have been home in Florence, my focus has shifted to three things: my heart, my happiness, and my writing. Who knows what will become of my life and of my writing projects, but all I know is that my happiness is based on my heart, how wide it opens up, how much I use it, and how much it is filled up with joy.

Me, My Heart, and I :: Achieving balance in FlorenceI do miss Paris, but I know that I will be back soon enough to tap into its productive energy that pushes me even more to complete my writing projects and push myself out there even further. I know that I am extremely fortunate to have these two amazing cities as my homes. It has been a challenge to juggle them well enough to achieve balance in my life and especially in my heart.

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