I thank all of you who have put your trust into me as your lawyer in the past 7 years. With my concentration in international family law, you have allowed me to learn a lot about life in different cultures and countries. This has been a great experience. I am especially proud of all the cases in which we together managed to perform separations in a way that least affected your children and after which you and your ex-partner still managed to be on speaking terms and continue to work together as parents. I will also never forget the cases in which I was able to successfully return your children to your homes after they had been abducted to other countries.
And finally, working in family law has reaffirmed my decision to never get married or start a family myself. :-)
My decision to leave work for a while has certainly been accelerated by the events in Iran in June 2009:
I had traveled to Iran to witness the historic situation in the aftermath of the rigged election. Not only was I beaten by Iranian police several times at one demonstration, but I was also arrested for meeting with an Iranian human rights lawyer. I was imprisoned and interrogated by Iranian Interior Intelligence Service. I spent 6 days at Evin prison in Tehran, with nobody outside knowing of my whereabouts or my situation. No information was given to me, either. I was in solitary confinement, had to sleep on the floor, and was blindfolded each time I left my cell. At times, I had gotten used to the thought of spending a few years in that prison.
My release was only due to an incredible amount of luck.
After this experience, my priorities have shifted quite a bit.
Some of the problems that I have had to deal with as a lawyer suddenly seem rather petty and unimportant to me.
Now that I appreciate every single day in freedom, I want to concentrate more on my own personal development and pursue my interests in literature, history, politics, philosophy, travelling. There are just too many things I still have on my life’s “to do list” for me to wait until regular retirement age in another 30 years.