There are three particular memories that stand out quite strongly in my life.

The first one was when I was around six years old living with my parents in Tehran, Iran. This would have been around 1987. This was the final year of the Iran Iraq War when the cities were being bombed every night. Bombs were dropped usually after midnight before dawn around 2 am. We kept the radio on during the night, and every time the aircraft entered the city, they broadcasted an alarm on the radio to warn everyone to move down to the basement of the house. My parents would pick me up from my bed and run down to the basement of the house. I could hear anti-aircraft missiles bursting in the air, followed by bombs exploding on the ground just kilometers away. These were times where there was little to do other than hope that one of these bombs just don’t fall on our house. These memories trigger an appreciation and gratitude for times of peace. But also it helps one recognise that there are times that you simply have to accept and surrender to what is happening and trust that everything unfolds as it should.

The second memory would have been when we first migrated to New Zealand. I was 10 years old. I felt extremely lonely and isolated as we didn’t have friends and family and the city of Auckland back in 1991 was very quiet. I felt quite depressed for the first few weeks. When I entered school I found it difficult to make friends due to not being able to speak English. It took a while to make friends but shortly after my parents migrated again to Australia where the whole process had to begin again.

I again experienced moving to a foreign country when I was 26 years old when I moved to Japan for work. Again I had no friends and crippled Japanese language proficiency. It took a while before I could make good friends and have a social life. These two memories make me be grateful for friends and family and human connection.

These experiences have taught me to welcome uncertainty and trust that all will unfold as it should.