At this moment exactly 14 years ago I stepped off the flight of Emirates at Auckland International arrivals. Started my new life in many ways. Far away from my family. My sisters, my children, and those who knew me. What a ride it was. I had so many ups but also many downs. I have tears in my eyes thinking back. Tears thinking of those I thought I’d never see again maybe. Tears of a life gone by and the fears of the unknown awaiting me here in my new homeland. Everything was so new and strange. How was I going to fit in? How was I going to manage? Will this new land of Aotearoa- New Zealand accept me? Will I feel welcome? Many questions were driving me nuts. I managed it a day at a time and time taught me that whatever lies ahead I’ll be okay. Today reflecting back on the 14 years I see all the things that happened and what I have achieved. The many Kiwi friends and whanau I made have made me feel at home and welcomed. Above all, it taught me about humility and compassion, and love. Oka, I failed in keeping my marriage together and I missed my family so much and nearly became a suicide stats in NZ, but there was a hand reaching out that led me into the future. Many hands helped me put one foot in front of the other. The many hugs that told me I’ll be okay no matter what. In this new land, I found purpose but I also found who I truly am. I shed the old me and I shed the past and I learned and embraced the new me and my new life. I arrived as a male married, got divorced, and presumed happy but today I am a female, and no matter who says what, At last, I’m really happy and I have peace in myself and peace knowing I live my life to the fullest. I do what I enjoy most but most of all I am happy that I walk with God on my side every step of the way. The worries of 03/06/2008 are no more on 03/06/2022. The fears of the unknown were replaced by great memories of the past 14 years and before. No uncertainties and no doubts. No regrets whatsoever for getting on that Emirates plane at O R Tambo on 31/05/2008.
I am at peace at last knowing I am in a wonderful peaceful country, my home, and my happy place. Thank you Aotearoa New Zealand for opening your doors to me and thank you for welcoming me with open arms on 03/06/2008. Thank you for allowing me to make this country my home away from home. Thank you for all the wonderful help to find the real me, the real identity hidden in a closet for so long. Thank you for the help in the destruction of the old walls of who everyone else presumed me to be, I will always treasure and appreciate that opportunity given to me. This is the old and the new me. This is me, I am who I am!! I am Catherine Anne Vos and I am female!! (She, her, hers)