It is always with a heavy heart that I leave Florence, Lucca and all of my loved ones. Many years ago, I found myself here. I learned about the woman I wanted to become. I learned about independence, and communication. I learned how to take trains, and how to carry myself with respect while in another culture. I learned to be inspired by the brilliance of the past and to carry that with me when searching for a new idea. I learned about friendship, and love. And the beauty one can find in a Botticelli, and another kind of beauty one can find in a bottle of wine. I learned how to open my mind, my heart and my soul to the world and embrace what and who are different from me as I walked through these cities and created bonds that would last a lifetime. I learned so much. I became who I am because of all of that.

And again, this time, Florence helped me to find myself. I remembered to exhale. I remembered to open my mind and my heart and my soul to the incredible, imperfect, breath taking everything that is here. And I slowed down, and I let it all in. Into my heart, my soul, my cells almost as a way to take as much as I could with me when I would have to go.

And, the magical, beautiful, proud, flawed, wonderful Florence helped me to find me, – this time, when I did not even realize that I was lost. So, with a heart full of love, and a touch of sadness, I once again take all of this with me as I move on to the next thing. This time, I think I may have left yet another piece of my heart behind, but I know it won’t be long until I see all of it again. ❤️

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