Happy New Year, friends.
January marked two years of living in Australia. Two years since we willingly pressed a giant reset button on our lives.
For all the beauty and joy we've experienced during this period, uprooting our lives, yet again, and with young kids in tow for the first time, has felt like being thrown into a new-to-us washing machine — a gleaming new experience with new settings to learn and put into practice. Unknowingly, what went into the machine needed cleansing, and part of the job was figuring out which settings were most appropriate for the wash and dry cycles at hand.
Everything is put into a new wash-and-dry cycle when you move: the home you live in, the work you do, the people you spend time with, even the clothes you wear or the shampoo brand you buy, depending on where you move. I've gone through it with three major relocations, and the process is the same and different each time. I'm the same and different each time.
Moving out of comfort zones forces personal settings to go through the wringer: familiar default buttons don't give the expected results, new features and functions must be learned, and the supporting materials (i.e., detergents and water quality, for the sake of the example) need some getting used to.
It can be frustrating to be in a "figuring out the settings" phase of life, but there's comfort in knowing that when it's all said and done and the default settings have been updated and worked to their purpose, what comes out is meant to be.
The first year and a half in our new washing machine rocked my world in boulders breaking off a cliffside way. My foundation shook, crumbled, and had to be reset. My internal sense of self was thrown for a loop. I felt ungrounded and unfocused and battled in every moment to feel the opposite.
The second year, still shaky but with better footing, was a crash course in self-love. A personal rock bottom finally opened up the space and awareness to give TLC to what has needed love and attention for far too long.
2024 feels like a welcomed relief — a better understanding of our washing machine. I've learned more settings and features and can better anticipate what to expect on laundry day: fewer frustrations and more ease.
I wrote the below two years ago in this post:
"Joe and I have moved internationally twice before, so the considerations and logistics involved were simply a series of checklists (though some weren't as simple as we would have hoped). Our approach is pragmatic, and we trust our track record of taking on new adventures that take us out of our comfort zones, knowing that we'll come out alright, if not better than before."
Two years later, I can assure you that everything that goes into a new adventure, or wash and dry cycle, comes out looking familiar yet different. And for the better. It can feel abrasive, intense, and like everything is spinning out of control, but in the end, we come out as metaphorically cleaner versions of ourselves.
To keep the laundry analogies going, we can always trust that our freshly washed and dried jeans, which fit too snugly at first, find their sweet spot.
I hope this new year brings the best out of whatever cycle you may be going through and that the settings are quick to learn <3