Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This morning as my beau drove us into work, the sun was coming up. It turned the sky a deep magenta with an orange glow. Normally at 8 am, it is still dark, but today I watched as the colors streaked across the horizon and lightened up the dark blue to a lighter blue. As we drove down the narrow streets of a Parisian suburb, I thought about how different my life is when I am in France. In Florence, I am more in touch with the city. I walk its streets, breathe in its scent, and feel its energy. In France, I am often in a car when I need to travel. Sometimes I take the train, which allows me to walk one kilometer to the gare (train station) and one kilometer from the gare to the office.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Last Saturday morning the sky was blue and the air was cool when I left Florence for Paris. I peered out the window of the airplane as it soared above Italy and France. As we hovered the airport, the airplane pierced a thick blanket of clouds, leaving the sun behind. When I arrived at the airport, the skies were grey and the temperatures were low. Even though I left behind my beloved city, I arrived in Paris where my beau greeted me with open arms. Before, I wouldíve felt a great sense of loss upon leaving Florence, but now I am able to take my beloved city with me.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

This morning when I woke up, the sky was grey. I felt a strong sense of joy inside of me, but a veil of melancholy was definitely present too. At times, however, I find great comfort in sad songs and grey skies. I like the duality of my emotions. I am fine with feeling love and joy pulsate through me while a sense of sadness washes over me. I know that the sadness is not permanent, but I know that I have to let it run its course and not fight it off.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

For the past few days, Iíve been picking back up my daily abitudini (habits) that I have when Iím here in Florence. I go to Vivoli or Giacosa for colazione (breakfast), shop for food in via dei Neri, and visit my friends who work in centro (downtown) when Iím out walking around. One of the nicest feelings is when Iím walking down the street and someone I know calls out to me, ďCiao bella!Ē I love that in Florence, people I know take notice and have even become closer to me now that they see me less habitually.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This morning when I went to the rosticceria (rotisserie) to buy something for lunch, one of the guys struck up a conversation about my being in France so much. I told him that I was only away for two weeks, but that for my next trip I might be staying away even longer because of the holidays. He said that it must have something to do with the Frenchman I came in with last October. As soon as I smiled, he winked and said that he was happy for me.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

After my brief stay in Florence at the beginning of the month, Iím now back for two weeks. While I was in Paris the last couple of weeks, I felt a bit unsettled. I didnít do anything special for my eight-year anniversary of when I moved back to Florence. I also didnít do celebrate Thanksgiving although my beau treated me to foie gras for dinner. It wasnít until I was in Paris that I realized just how much my life has changed this year. Itís almost as if the basket containing everything in my life was emptied and left for me to sort out. Iím still letting things exit my life and allowing new things to arrive. And even though everything is amazingly wonderful, I feel a sense of loss. Itís as if nothing yet has settled and Iím unable to move forward.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

After working in Paris for two weeks, a trip to the US, and a weekend stay in Paris, I finally returned to Florence on Monday. When I got off the plane, I took in a deep breath of air. The sweet scent of the Tuscan countryside tickled my nose. The air was warmer than it was in Paris and I felt my body relax. I was finally home after being away almost an entire month. It was the first time that I had been away this long from my beloved city since I moved here in 2004. I missed Florence, but fortunately I didnít long much for it.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I have been in California for the last two weeks. I came here for a conference that my company organized and am now just enjoying my time before heading back to Paris. I love coming to California because I get to spend time with my family and friends. One of the most special gifts is when I get to reconnect with friends that I havenít seen in years. Itís interesting to see how our paths went off in different directions and then cross again years later.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

One of the biggest changes for me when I am in Paris is my daily routine. My work life in Florence is flexible; however, in Paris, I have to follow my officeís work hours. I arrive around 9 am, work a few hours, take a lunch break with my colleagues, and work until 6 or 7 pm. My mornings in Paris are timed almost to the minute so that I can keep my usual routine of writing every morning and running three or four times a week and still managing to get to work on time by taking the mťtro to where my office is located.

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