This year has been an intense one for me. I didnít realize the intensity of it until I went to California at the end of July. All of a sudden, everything came to a halt when I fell ill. For three weeks, I was tired and feverish. I tried to get better, but my body just needed a break. The only thing that made me feel better was doing absolutely nothing. All the plans I had made for my trip were cancelled and I even missed my friendís wedding, which was one of the main reasons of my going to California.
I now believe that what I had was probably just pure exhaustion, both mentally and physically. My body had obviously had enough of all this busyness and the only way it could get my attention was to stop me in my tracks. It might have been all the traveling back and forth every two weeks for the last four and half years or the constant adjusting and adapting to another culture, language, and way of life. The life I was living took its toll on me and my body had obviously had enough.
I donít remember ever being that sick before in my life. I usually always want to feel better quickly and canít stay in bed doing nothing. But, this time it was different: I was able to sit on the couch and look out the window for hours at a time. The worst was that I didnít feel like myself at all. It was as if the fire inside of me had gone out. I didnít want to do anything, eat anything, or talk with anyone.
I returned to Paris at the end of August still fighting a fever, but so happy to be back in Europe. That first weekend back, I walked around Paris and took a few pictures to cheer myself up, but it wasnít enough. Ten days later, I flew back home to Florence. September is my favorite time of the year because it always feels like a new beginning after the summer break. A few days after returning I decided not to leave Florence for a while. Something inside of me insisted that I just stay put for now.
It has been six weeks since Iíve come home to Florence and I am feeling much better. Not just physically, but also psychologically and emotionally. Iím not out of the woods yet, but I am feeling a million times better. My spark has come back and Iím tending to my inner fire as best as I can. I have definitely learned to be more patient and to have more faith than ever before.
Itís not just Florenceís beauty that has been healing me, but rather its constant reminder to be in the moment, to enjoy lifeís simple pleasures, and to appreciate each day that I am fortunate to wake up to.
This morning, I was thinking about all the photos of sunsets and sunrises that Iíve been taking this year. I hadnít realized it sooner, but they were moments for me to get back in touch with daily life. Not just my life, but life in general. I thought I just loved the beauty of the sunrises and sunsets, but really they were teaching me to accept more the days that come and go and to make the most of each one. I noticed that each sunrise filled me with hope and each sunset filled me with appreciation.
For now my plan is to stay longer in Florence and go to Paris for shorter periods of time. Florence is still supporting me by nudging me to get back in my heart so that I can listen to its desires even more and be ready to walk boldly down my path once again.
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