Happiness here and anywhere

Since Iíve been back in Florence, Iíve been wondering what role the city plays in my happiness. Some people tell me that I must be happy because I live in such a magnificent, charming, and rich city while others Iíve met blame the city for their not being happy. I have finally realized that itís not the cityís job (nor anyone elseís job for that matter) to make me happy. Happiness comes from the inside. Everything external to me (my city, family, friends, job, writing, etc.) can affect me, but they do not dictate my happiness.

Each city has its own personality and its unique set of qualities and quirks. I certainly believe that there are places where I am more comfortable staying, just like there are people I appreciate more than others. The choice to live in Florence for me isnít because it continually makes me happy; itís because I feel it embraces me no matter what is going on in my life.

I love Florence. There is no doubt in my heart and mind about that. Not because of its charming exterior or artistic heritage, but because it is always true to itself. It doesnít pretend to be something it is not. It has been the birthplace of much change and prospering. Iíd love to be more like Florence. Not caring what others think or say, and basking in who I truly am. Florence nudges me to follow my heart, to speak my truth, and to honor myself and others. And that is what makes me happy.

I continue to see my beloved city as an unwavering symbol of strength, sincerity, love, and internal beauty. I am honored to live here. Florence doesnít make me happy, but it does make me a better person so that I can find my own happiness.

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