by Melinda Gallo

Choosing a city to call home

After my brief stay in Florence at the beginning of the month, Iím now back for two weeks. While I was in Paris the last couple of weeks, I felt a bit unsettled. I didnít do anything special for my eight-year anniversary of when I moved back to Florence. I also didnít do celebrate Thanksgiving although my beau treated me to foie gras for dinner. It wasnít until I was in Paris that I realized just how much my life has changed this year. Itís almost as if the basket containing everything in my life was emptied and left for me to sort out. Iím still letting things exit my life and allowing new things to arrive. And even though everything is amazingly wonderful, I feel a sense of loss. Itís as if nothing yet has settled and Iím unable to move forward.

All the traveling Iíve done this year especially between Paris and Florence definitely took a toll on me. I felt as if I was never in any one place long enough to settle down. Itís as if I could never unpack my bag and was always ready to take off.

Added to the constant movement were also the deep shifts that took place in my life. I thought about how much my life has changed this year. Where I was when this year began and where I am now still surprises me. If I were to choose a title for this year in my life, it would be ďNecessary endings and joyful beginnings.Ē I felt the need to let go of a lot and was greatly rewarded by a multitude of gifts.

I wasnít able to accomplish as much as I planned on this year. I had hoped to finish two of my writing projects, but Iíll be lucky if I complete a first draft of one of them before this year ends. Not being settled in any one place affects my ability to concentrate on a long project.

During my last trip to Paris, I wasnít able to visit the city much but I enjoyed my time there. I made a few small steps to planting roots in France by opening a bank account and signing up for a French mobile phone. My life is still split between Florence and Paris and probably will continue like this for a while. I will, of course, have to choose my ďhomeĒ because teetering between the two isnít easy for me.

One place has to take precedence or else I will never feel settled. With my beau and my job being in Paris, I might be shifting my ďhomeĒ life to France even though I will continue coming to Florence and living here too. I just need one city to be my main place of residence that I can call home.

I am ecstatic to be back in Florence for a couple of weeks. I missed my beloved city and felt the need to reconnect with her. The energy of the city softly washed over me after arriving tonight while the taxi drove me through the city. I felt the city give me a gentle embrace that made me feel that my heart is home in Florence. I doubt I could ever leave Florence completely, but important aspects of my life are pulling me back to France.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!