by Melinda Gallo

Eager for this year to begin

What a difference a year makes. I read the post I wrote last year when I was in Florence. When the year began, I had no idea what changes were in store for me. Looking back now, itís as if my entire life changed in the blink of an eye even though it felt strenuous at times. This year I stayed in with my beau after having spent a few days in Saint-Malo (Brittany). I loved seeing the water, running along the beach, enjoying the local delicacies, taking in the fresh air, and recharging my batteries before 2013 began.

For the first time since I have moved back to Europe in 2004, my sister and her family came to Paris for the holidays. We made Christmas Eve dinner at our apartment, which was a first for me. It was nice for me to have a part of my family here with me because I can sometimes feel a little separate from my family and friends back in the US. Iíve spent so many of the holidays without them that it was extra special to have them with me this year.

I have been eager for this year to begin because I felt that 2012 was all about endings and beginnings. I now want to adjust to all the changes, accept each one, and set forth on my path again. I set aside a few of my projects because my head just couldnít wrap around them, so I am hoping that the new year will help me to move forward as soon as possible.

This is the first time that I have not been in Florence, my beloved city, for Christmas and I do miss it. Iím so happy, however, that I did enjoy my time in Florence because I donít feel sad about not being there. I have fond memories that I can dip into that immediately put a smile on my face.

At the beginning of this year all I can think about is creating balance. While living between France and Italy, my goal is to achieve balance between the two cultures, two languages, and two worlds. I found it easy to find my balance in one city, Florence, but now that I am living in two cities I have to create balance once again. It was easier when one was my main home, but now that they both are, itís more difficult. I was so used to the culture and language in Florence that when I came to France, I adapted to it, but didnít invest myself into it. Now that Iím creating homes in both, I find that itís more challenging than I once thought.

I hope the major upheaval in my life is complete so that I can dust myself off and head down my path again. I look forward to picking up the pieces to reassess what is really important to me, what Iíll be holding onto and what Iíll be leaving behind. I have no idea (although I doubt one ever does) how this year will end, but I know that no matter what has occurred, my life is always improving. I am overjoyed to be continually evolving into the person I was born to become.

May we each open our hearts even more and live the lives we were born to live. Wishing you all a happy and joyful 2013!

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