26th of January is a day that has had some sort of significance for me my whole life. It’s the birthday of one of my best friends. It’s Auckland Anniversary Day, which means growing up we was always had a day off. More recently in Melbourne we maintained our day off with Australia Day, and of course along with that, Triple J’s Hottest 100 rounds out a year of great music (even more interesting this year!).
Most importantly, it’s my parents’ anniversary.
Today, my mum and dad have been married for 30 years. They were married in Fiji (where my mum grew up) and started racking up amazing adventures and stories from there. They were dive instructors dealing with insanely stupid tourists. They weathered a cyclone with palm trees blowing down around them. They almost ended up in Kazakhstan in the middle of the Gulf War where my sister would’ve been born, but instead moved to England. They braved a completely foreign culture and language to live in Morocco for 3 years with two young children. And they moved to the most beautiful country on the planet to provide a stable education for my sister and I.
My parents have always been amazing teachers, friends and guardians to me. They showed me more of the world by the time I was 8 than many people get to see in their entire lifetimes. They taught me to respect and understand the differences in other people. They fostered and encouraged my curiosity, and shaped me into the man I am today.
They continue to inspire me with their passion for life. Mum discovered her calling as an early childhood educator and studied part-time while juggling a household, two kids and a job. The fulfillment she gets by doing what she loves is something that I aspire to every day. Dad is too clever for his own good, and despite flirting briefly with retirement, is combining consulting work as an engineer with a project to build their retirement home (and guest house of course) on land in Fiji.
We don’t get to choose our parents, but I wouldn’t pick any differently anyway. They gave me all the love I’ve ever needed, and have given me the strength to chase my dreams and see the world.
Love you Mum and Dad.