Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Sunday, March 13, 2016
Me, My Heart, and I :: Adapting to a new rhythm

It has taken me over a month to get used to not working for someone else. The shift for me was to make my writing a priority and for it to become my new "job." Adjusting my daily routine was quite simple, but I had to create a new rhythm for myself. All these years I worked as a freelancer prepared me in understanding how best to organize my time and my priorities.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016
Me, My Heart, and I :: What I learned as an expat benefits my writing life

Living overseas as an expat for most of my adult life has definitely shaped me. Not only has it affected who I am as a person and how I see the world, but it has also taught me many life lessons that I apply to everything I do. As I embark on this new chapter in my life, navigating my life as a full-time writer, I am fortunate that my experience as an expat will be helping me tremendously. While living abroad, I have learned to follow my heart, listen to my intuition, have faith that everything will work out in perfect timing, and be confident that I can handle whatever comes my way.

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Monday, February 29, 2016
Me, My Heart, and I :: A new chapter in my life

This blog entry marks the end of my previous blog “My Heart in Two Places” in which I wrote about my life as a double expat and the beginning of my new blog “Me, My Heart, and I” where I will be writing about this new chapter in my life. I have always been a true believer in the expression “Quando si chiude una porta, si apre un portone. (When one door closes, another one opens.)” I have been through a lot of deaths and rebirths in my life and even if I feel some trepidation today, I am extremely excited about this new door that has opened up to me.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Me, My Heart, and I :: Paris: from sorrow to hope

When I went to my company's office just outside Paris on Monday, everybody brought up Friday’s tragic events. One colleague recounted anecdotes of friends who were at the Bataclan and miraculously escaped while another colleague told us that he often ate at one of the restaurants that was targeted. I suddenly felt as if the world was incredibly small. Almost too small for my comfort. I don’t personally know anyone who was affected, but in the end we were all affected no matter where we were. The attacks hurt us all. Some people were physically hurt, but the rest of us were emotionally and psychologically hurt.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015
Me, My Heart, and I :: Paris: City of Light, City of Peace

Along with millions all over the world, I looked at the photos from Friday night’s horrific attacks in Paris and was stunned. In my mind, it was inconceivable to have such a thing happen in a city that I not only live in, but also know and love. Because I had been away from Paris for two months, I made plans with my beau to enjoy a day in Paris. I never imagined that it might not happen. When I was on the plane just a few days ago, I had visions of me traipsing all over town and going to all my favorite spots. Unfortunately, Friday night’s events in Paris shook us to our core and our plans to visit Paris didn’t sound reasonable.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015
Me, My Heart, and I :: An expat is both a foreigner and a local

I’ve been an expat for over 20 years. The word “expat” is not a word I use to describe myself; it’s a word I use to succinctly explain my life in Florence and Paris. Being an expat for some people means living overseas and returning “home” every year. For me, being an expat means being a foreigner and a local all at once in a place that is your “home.” Living overseas is a big part of my life and is at the heart of who I am. It explains so much about me: not just how I live my life, but also how I interact with others and how I see the world around me.

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Friday, June 26, 2015
Me, My Heart, and I :: Achieving balance in Florence

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 wasn’t until recently that I realized that my life was out of balance and I needed to do something to get it back into balance.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015
Me, My Heart, and I :: Diving back into my local life

When I arrived in Florence, I dropped my bag off in my apartment and rushed outside to embrace my beloved city. I walked briskly along the Arno with no destination in mind. I headed toward the Ponte Vecchio and let my inspiration guide me to where to go next. People were strolling along the narrow lungarno in both directions. It was impossible to stay on the sidewalk so I stepped onto the street when I heard that there weren’t any cars coming.

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Friday, February 27, 2015
Me, My Heart, and I :: Savoring the moment

One thing I love about living in both Florence and Paris is that I have the luxury of time. Whether I plan an excursion around town or if I happen to be out to meet a friend or to run an errand, I get to take a moment or two to enjoy my cities. I often take a detour just so I can admire one of my favorite churches, admire the view of the Arno from different angles, or stroll along backstreets. I do my best to breathe in my cities and enjoy them whenever I get a chance.

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