by Melinda Gallo

Leaving a day or two early

Before I left for Paris today, I felt a bit out of my own body for the past day or two as if a part of me had already begun the journey to Paris. I realize that going to Paris for two weeks sounds exciting and it is in some sense; however, it can also be stressful fitting my entire life (books, notebooks, pens, running gear, computer, work clothes, play clothes, and all my necessities) into one suitcase. I also am quite sad before I go because I know I will be apart from my beloved city.

I found another apartment to rent near the Eiffel Tower. I love this area because I get to run along the Seine, around the Eiffel Tower itself, and the Invalides where I ran the last time I was in Paris. Running is the only way I know to get me back into my body and feel grounded again after leaving Florence.

Iím always sad to leave behind my marito (husband), my suoceri (in-laws), my friends and, of course, my beloved city. This morning, I went for a run along the Arno and I almost couldnít look at it for too long. My eyes swelled with tears when I crossed over the Ponte alla Carraia, looking down toward the Ponte Vecchio.

Florence is beautiful to look at and Iím so fortunate that we have a delightful view from our apartment that I revel in while I work at my desk. The view, however, isnít what I will miss the most. Itís the way I feel when I am in my beloved city. I have all of my photos of Florence on my computer and bring with me a few keepsakes, but the separation from my beloved city is great. As if I have a hole in my heart that canít be filled with anything else.

A part of me leaves a day or two before I physically leave to prepare me for my stay in Paris. I feel as if it allows me to not feel too lonely, disoriented, and sad while I am transitioning to a new place Iíll be staying in while Iím away from my beloved city. Itís almost as if I get unplugged and canít really plug in anywhere else. I enjoy my time in Paris, but nothing can replace the feelings that bubble up inside of me when I am in Florence.

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