by Melinda Gallo

At the beginning again

My new blog marks the beginning of my new life. I had written in my “Living in Florence” blog that I felt as if I ended an entire book, not just a chapter of my life. So it is no surprise that I am now writing in a new blog as well. I carefully chose the day that I would start my new blog as well as the days of my first two entries. My dad’s birthday was the day I chose to begin my new blog. My mother’s birthday was the date I chose to publish my first entry on Paris because she loved Paris so much, and for my entry on Florence I chose Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici’s birthday. Anna Maria Luisa was the last of the Medici family who donated her family’s art collection to the city of Florence.

For the launch of my new blog, I took a short trip to the south of France. I am generally a little melancholy from August 8 to 10 because of the birthdays of my parents and my grandmother whose birthday is the 9th. This year, I made a concerted effort to create positive and happy memories for myself. I did my best to enjoy each day to its fullest in good company and tried to remember my parents with more joy.

One of the biggest and most unexpected changes is the presence of a new love in my life. I didn’t swear off men, but I thought I would wait a long time before plunging into another relationship. But when life delivers you the man of your dreams, you just don’t refuse. My new beau has made all the difficulties I endured this year worth it. I feel as if I have been rewarded ten times over.

I’m also very happy about how much I am traveling these days. Whereas before I preferred to stay home in Florence, I now enjoy jaunts here and there. I used to think that I needed a lot of time to adjust to my life in Florence, but my year and a half of going back and forth to Paris has taught me to settle down and make myself at home very quickly.

Looking at where my life was at the beginning of this year and now in August, I’m almost in disbelief. All the shifts, changes, and adjustments I’ve made are overwhelming to me now. I am extremely happy about adding Paris as my other home. It’s a luxury and a gift for me to live in two places where I feel comfortable, yet still challenged.

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