Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What I have found interesting about speaking a foreign language is how sensitive I have become to everything around the words that a person says. A person can say something to me and I find myself processing the conversation on multiple levels: the actual words, the personís tone of voice, his/her facial expressions and my own emotional reaction to the conversation. I think this sensitivity came about when I initially didnít understand the words in a foreign language: I had to expand my ability to understand a conversation while I caught up with learning the language.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When I was coming to France for work and living full-time in Florence, I could easily accept the darker days and gloomier weather because it was like having more variety in my life. Now that Iím settling into my life a little more in France while maintaining my life in Florence, I notice the differences even more. During the winter months, the sun rises late in the morning after Iíve already woken up. The skies have lately been a dark grey that lightens up by 9 am. I find that I try not to focus too much on the lack of light and focus on what I do like.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What a difference a year makes. I read the post I wrote last year when I was in Florence. When the year began, I had no idea what changes were in store for me. Looking back now, itís as if my entire life changed in the blink of an eye even though it felt strenuous at times. This year I stayed in with my beau after having spent a few days in Saint-Malo (Brittany). I loved seeing the water, running along the beach, enjoying the local delicacies, taking in the fresh air, and recharging my batteries before 2013 began.

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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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