by Melinda Gallo

Enjoying both cities

Since the beginning of the year, many things in my life have changed. I might be an odd duck, but I embrace change. Florence fosters change and doesn't allow me to be stagnant even if I tried. I have learned to welcome change because no matter how painful it might have been to change, so many gifts arrived. Fortunately, my private life (my husband, my family, and friends) is the part that is calmer right now.

I had hoped that 2011 would be the year I would finally focus on my fiction writing. For a long time, I had wanted it to place it front and center, but my many writing projects remained on the back burner. I have no one to blame but myself; I let work and other responsibilities be my main focus.

Little did I know that my wish would come true, and so quickly. My web development job suddenly lessened and made way for a new job in technical writing, which is what I did for many years when I lived in Paris. It certainly isn't fiction writing, but I love working with words all day: writing and editing.

I didn't want to stop doing web development (and I haven't because I do enjoy it), a wonderful technical writing project fell on my lap. This project involves me coming to Paris as often as I can. At the moment, I'm working two weeks in Paris and two weeks back home in Florence. This job not only sustains me well, but also provides me with the chance to soak up the city, its language, and culture.

I am so grateful for my life in Florence, but now I get to enjoy my other favorite city: Paris. Itís like my life expanded in one fell swoop. Not only do I get to come to Paris more often, but I also have more time to focus on my own writing.

I never thought I would ever have the opportunity to return to Paris to live part-time. I always assumed that when I left Paris, I had to kiss it goodbye. Instead now I am able to enjoy it along with Florence. A gift I never thought I would receive, and one that I am so grateful for.

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