by Melinda Gallo

Living in hope

Itís been two months since Iíve made an important decision in my life. One that Iíve been wanting to write about on my blog for at least a month, but have been dreading it a little bit. Alessandro and I have decided to get a divorce. The fact that Iíve kept it in for so long has only made it more difficult for me to write anything else for my blog. Iíve had so much to say, but felt blocked by keeping this piece of my life a secret. At first, I wanted to make sure all my close friends and family knew, but that hasnít been possible because many of my friends are either busy or out of town.

Iím sure many people will probably be surprised (even some of my friends) because I am extremely private about my relationships. I donít like to talk about any issues I might have in my couple and out of respect, I keep all of that to myself. I am, however, extremely open when it comes to my own life. I make no excuses, have no regrets, and am not ashamed of anything Iíve done.

I have often fallen in love with someone else, which precipitates my ending a relationship; however, this time there is no one in the wings waiting for me. I didnít fall in love with anyone else. I decided to choose myself over my marriage. I have been feeling a pull for the last two years to be alone. As a writer, being alone is vital for me. I need more time to be with my thoughts, to feel things deeply, and to express myself as I see fit. I donít like looking over my shoulder to make sure that Iím not overstepping a line.

I have been married for the last eleven years with two different men, and I think I finally realized that no matter how much I may love someone, marriage is a bit too restrictive for me especially for how I changed to keep it together. I try my hardest to make things work in my marriage(s). Unfortunately, in doing so, I set aside parts of myself that have now returned with a vengeance. I thought I was not OK to be who I truly am so I could fit into my relationships better, but now I see that I have to be fully myself and be with someone who can appreciate me as much as I now appreciate myself. I thought that it was necessary to hide the ďnegativeĒ (or rather less desired by the other person) aspects of myself to keep my marriage alive, but now I have learned that any relationship that asks me to be less than who I am or alter any aspect of myself is not good for me.

I have also decided to now live in hope instead of despair. I prefer to be free of all ties (even though itís scary and lonely) and hope for a new relationship with another man than worry that I canít get my relationship to become what Iíd like.

I will be staying in my apartment above the Arno and, of course, will not move out of my beloved city. Florence is a great force that has nudged me to fully embrace who I am and to see who I can become. It reminds me every day to drop down into the silence and listen to my heart speak to me. My heart wants to be free to give and receive love, to express myself, and to fulfill my purpose in life.

Life is definitely an adventure that one must go on with an open heart. I am fortunate to have friends with whom I can open up to and talk with honestly. A few helped me out in my darkest hour when I thought there was no hope in sight. They reminded me that even behind the darkest clouds, the sun is always shining.

Now that I have finally written this post, I feel as if a great weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I am an extremely open person and hate hiding anything. I am happy to feel so liberated that Iím able to express myself once again honestly and fully in my writing.

My priorities have shifted greatly these last few months. My desire now is to adjust myself to this big change, recreate the life I desire, focus on my writing projects, write with an open heart, and appreciate all the people and events that enter my life. I am very appreciative to all my blog buddies who constantly remind me that kindness can be found everywhere. I am honored for your presence in my life. Just knowing that there are people out there who appreciate what I write and capture in my photos brings me great joy.

On this beautiful and sunny morning in Paris, I feel that life has begun anew for me. Hope is buzzing in the air and joy is within reach. May your day also be filled with as much hope, joy, and love that you can imagine and desire.

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