Catch hold of that lifeline when it’s thrown to you, and don’t let go. I think I can identify four lifelines in my life, though no doubt there were uncountable more.

The first would be my faith. I was drowning when I grabbed hold of that rope. It didn’t turn my life around immediately, but it kept me afloat. It still does, nearly twenty-five years on.

The second, my beloved, three years later. I know I am so blessed to have been granted a woman like her, forever at my side whatever life threw at us, through unemployment, health issues and my unending lethargic blues.

The third would be an insightful teacher and guide, both learned in the deen and the bleeding edge of scientific research, as comfortable drawing profound meaning from the Quran as integrating machine learning into mRNA research.

The forth, a former manager, who took me under his wing a decade ago to mentor me and eek me out of my shell. Though our personalities were completely different, he saw my potential and pushed me to produce some of my best work.

I’m so grateful for each of these lifelines. Without them, who knows where I would be today? I come from a good family, and privilege, but I’ve had serious struggles. I thank God for throwing me a rope whenever I was at my lowest.

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