Before, thanks to my almost uncontainable excitement for the next step of my journey, I always managed to subdue the melancholy of a “goodbye.”
But these past few life transitions these past couple of years have left me red-eyed and profoundly touched.
I had to say goodbye to some truly remarkable people during my last hours in Cancun. Each, in their own unique and special way, left me sobbing with humility as they whispered into my ear during a powerful embrace how much the loved me, how much they’ll miss me, how much I’ve affected their lives.
“You know, invariably when you ask about someone, about who they are as a person you get varied responses,” one of my friends began. “‘Oh he’s amazing!’ one says. Or, ‘I don’t know him well’ says another. Perhaps ‘Oh he’s not so great.’ Or even, ‘Oh he’s NOT a good person.'”
“So how is it Laura,” my friend continued, “that with you I always get the same response? Everybody loves you. Do you see that? We ALL love you Laura.”
He continued to share and told me that he feels I’m here for something more, some sort of crucial mission. He didn’t elaborate but he insisted that that is why I’m here.
Then, another came forward. A young man, a beautiful and awakening soul who is only just starting to see that life is more than booze and girls. Thus, his words surprised me: “Remember Laura, you are a warrior. You are a WARRIOR. Don’t forget that. NEVER forget that. Someone places a wall before you and you DRIVE IT TO THE GROUND. You bust through it showing that NOTHING can stop you. YOU show everyone else that ANYTHING can be accomplished. Don’t ever forget that you have that power and what your example means to the rest of us. I love you Laurita.”
Upon hearing about my new found Prince Charming, a young woman I’ve known casually, thanked me for giving her inspiration and faith that the “fairytale kind of love” DOES exist. She then shared that she was just recently divorced. I had gone out with her on several occasions but had no idea, no idea what she had been going through.
At one point during our gathering, a stranger to me, yet a friend to one of my beloved girlfriends here began to unleash a stream of negativity and assumption: “L.A. is just an illusion. Broken dreams. Don’t expect much. People like me eat people like you there.” The “no’s,” “not’ss” and negativity continued to stream from his mouth.
“Stop!” I countered forcefully. “You’re full of negativity and quite honestly, I want nothing to do with it. That’s certainly not what I need right now, just hours before I leave.”
Yet he insisted and the negativity continued to spew. “Don’t expect much from your ol’ boy there.”
For a moment my ego tried to win out and I bitterly laughed as I scoffed, “Me! She who has traveled to 22 countries alone. Countries like Cambodia and Vietnam and dangerous places like Chihuahua, MX… you think I will have a problem returning to my own country? That my own country will eat me when I have found but only friends in the foreign lands that I have tread?! No I will have none of it!”
Yet his insistence continued. He began to speak over me. Then, my beloved girlfriend tried to defend him. This hurt the most. Not because of him, but because of her. She was listening to the negativity, accepting it. I loved her dearly, and this “dark thought” was something I knew she still battled with… so much. ‘This is NOT how I want to spend my final moments,’ I thought to myself. ‘I’ll go… get some good rest.’ I reasoned. My recoiling reaction startled many from the group.
“But we’re all here for YOU,” they argued, hurt.
I compromised with the decision to “take a walk” but come back. I was hoping during my walk they would realize the right thing to do… Biologist Benny, an absolute sweetheart with a spirit of gold, came with me. He let me rant and calmed my tension. When we returned the “negative energy” had simply… vanished.
More hugs, more tears, more joy and more bittersweet goodbyes…