by Melinda Gallo

Making my way in my new life

These past few weeks I have spent trying to readjust to my new life. I am especially enjoying all the time I spend with my girlfriends who are so present in my life now. When I was married, I seemed to have separated myself from them all gradually. At one point I remember becoming very sad because I had no "real" girlfriends that I could talk to. And, I realize now that I was the one who distanced myself, not them.

The decision to get a divorce has now precipitated me to want to make a few other changes in my life. I have been feeling a little disconnected with Florence. My working hours are so different from everyone else's because I collaborate with people in California. My mornings are free for me to work out, write, and work a little bit. Unfortunately, I have to be in front of my computer from 5PM to midnight for work. My schedule is so opposite my friends that I found myself feeling quite isolated.

I work alone all the time and sometimes it can get rather lonely. I put music on or sometimes even the TV just to feel like there is something else going on in the world besides my fingers tapping on the keyboard.

When Dave was here, we both worked at home so we had each other. But now in my oversized apartment, I'm feeling lonely. I already stopped working in my office because it feels too secluded and depressing for me. I was going to move into Dave's office, but I somehow now don't want to. So now, I work at the kitchen table near the living room. Because I'm the only one here, I don't have to worry about moving things or eating at the table any more.

I'm happy that the holidays are now over and I can finally find some true normalcy in my life. My plans for searching for another apartment were put on hold because so many people took the ponte (long weekend).

I'm also thinking that I want to work in Florence a little bit more and a little less for my clients in the US. I'd just like to have a regular working schedule so that I too can go out with my friends at night once in a while.

Now that I feel that I am back on my feet after having bounced back and forth through the extremes of grief, I feel a little disoriented. Everything I did in my previous life as a married woman seem to not fit for me any more, like the long working hours, the staying home most of the day, and the planned meals. As a couple, it worked, but now as a single woman, it just doesn't.

I used to cook lunch and dinner every day, and felt quite excited about it. But now that I have to cook for myself, I'm rather bored with it. I think I liked the aspect of giving and nurturing that cooking allowed me to feel. It's not that I don't want to nurture myself, but cooking doesn't do that for myself, only for someone else.

I am very fortunate in that there are two things in my life that are my saving graces: running and writing.

I now go to the palestra (gym) every day. Running helps me clear out my head and helps me process things that have occurred in my life. I play music and let myself run for as long as my body will endure it. My mind wanders and visions of how I want my life to be appear. I am trying to figure out what my next step is, but all I seem to be doing right now is shedding my old life. I have a lot of space now for new things, new people, and a new life, but I'm not sure what these will all be.

Writing in my diary is the most important part of my life, as it always has been. Putting pen to paper to air out all of my feelings, fears, worries, and dreams has been so beneficial to me that I know that I would never have survived these past few weeks if I didn't have that.

I'm very happy that the holidays are now over as I'm hoping to nestle into my new life a little more by making a few more adjustments, by appreciating my solitude so I can listen to my heart with more clarity, by following a few more dreams that I have tucked away for too long, by enjoying the company of my friends, and by embracing life for all that it is.

The one constant in my life is that I truly love being in Florence and I do not see myself anywhere else at this point in my life. It is as if my heart beats with this city and by being here I am allowed to bask in its embrace.

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