A little more than 18 months ago, my family and I packed up and moved from the U.S. to Australia. Prior to this move, I had lived in the same town for almost all of my life. This journey has not always been an easy, but it has been incredibly rewarding. Along the way, I have found friendship, inspiration, creativity, and joy. I have had amazing opportunities to travel and see more of the world. I’ve also had to face some fears and deal with a lot of uncertainty. I am still a little shocked sometimes to find myself here. I am living in Australia; my children go to Australian schools. I love listening to the kookaburras and watching the flying foxes come out at dusk. My youngest child said he might try out for the school cricket team (??). This is not a life I ever imagined.
Relocating to another country shook up our lives in all sorts of ways. But one thing I have learned, and that I hope my children are learning, is that there are many different ways our lives can look. I think sometimes in the routine of our daily lives, we forget how big the world actually is. The variety of experiences available to us are vast, perhaps even infinite. I think we forget that sometimes. I know I did.
Happiness writer Gretchen Rubin suggests that when faced with a decision, we choose the bigger life. There’s a lot of comfort in routine. There’s a lot of comfort in sameness, day after day. But sometimes the smaller choices, the safer choices, are not the ones that make us happier in the long run. It can be so tempting to go with the default. To stick with what you know. Believe me, I’ve been there.
As I get older, I try to think of my life as though it has already been lived. I imagine myself at the end of my life looking back. And you know what? I want some big memories. I want a big heart, big love, and big adventures. I want to savor the small moments, but also know that I had the courage to take some risks.
I want to be brave enough to choose the bigger life.