Do I need a reason to write?

I haven’t written in 2 months, it’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting on my bed in Mexico without any sheets because I’ve decided the holidays are a good time for laundry. I just spent the last hour writing about how I haven’t written lately only to accidentally delete the whole thing when it was near completion. Do you see the irony in that? Oops. So, I’ll start fresh instead of trying to rewrite the past.

In the last 5 years I’ve spent the holidays in Minnesota, Thailand, Oregon and Mexico. I’ve spent all Christmas’ except one scuba diving, and every New Years Day in the water.

But I have today off, due to the port being closed and tomorrow off because all the captains in Mexico refuse to work Christmas, which is good for them. I kind of forgot that Mexico is a Catholic country, I got used to walking amongst the Buddhists.

When I talk about Thailand I still use the word, “we” as if I’m still there, as if I’m still connected to it and identify with it, as if it’s mine somehow. I guess it is, it’ll always have my heart.

Mexico hasn’t been a smooth transition due to some unfortunate events, but I do like it here and I haven’t written because I’ve been trying to immerse myself- in the people, in the culture, in the moment, in my diving.

A customer said to me yesterday that the reason he dives is because in that moment it never matters what happened earlier that day or what you’re going to do an hour from now, all that matters is what’s right in front of you. He’s right about that, diving is the ultimate lesson in mindfulness. I’ve been spending almost 4 hours average below sea level a day since I started work a few weeks ago. I love the steady stream of bubbles, the way it sounds and feels, the weightlessness, the way the light comes through and the way the rain drops look hitting the surface as I’m coming up from a dive.

Most of all I love sharing it with people. I’m happiest here, doing this.

I’m sitting here on Christmas Eve feeling like time has stopped for the first time in 2 months. It’s a wave of emotions every time; my Taurus/Gemini cusp of energy allows me to move freely between different spheres, from diving instructor to small town girl to super Yachtie, and everywhere in between. I’m adaptable, easily swept into new things, and wherever I am I’m 100% in. It can be a bad thing or a good thing because I’m prone to burning the candle at both ends if I don’t balance properly.

So it’s almost 2016 and instead of all that “new year, new me” bullshit, I’m looking back on the previous year, 2 years, 7 years and realizing that I don’t have any massive plans for this year. I’m really happy with where I am right now and I’m feeling a maturity and trust in the universe that I haven’t felt before, not to this extent.

I’m blessed to live the life I live and be sitting where I’m sitting, even if it is Christmas Eve, my family is far away, and I’m currently sitting on a sheetless bed in an empty house in Mexico. It might sound unappreciative but I feel the most like me right now.

I can feel that 2016 is going to give me the most important relationships of my life because my heart is open to them. My intuition has shown me the importance of a daily continuous practice. I’ve finally found my groove here, a schedule again: a new appreciation for ashtanga yoga, reconnecting with my meditation practice, a love of pedaling mi bicicleta everywhere along the beach, being back under the sea…

I wrote in my journal last year 5 goals for 2015:

  • quit smoking (that didn’t last long)
  • IDC Staff Instructor (boom)
  • silent meditation retreat (boom)
  • getting off birth control and reconnecting with my body (boom)
  • AIDA freediving course (do something that scares you- boom)

For 2016 I’ve decided there’s no checklist. I’m on the ‘no plan’ plan. I don’t want to focus on the future. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a plan or that insight and goals aren’t important, I’m just saying that I’ve planted enough seeds and grown my own garden the past few years and I’m feeling a kind of internal guidance when I think about the future.

By focusing on the present moment I have every confidence that I will always end up exactly where I need to be.

So Merry Christmas to all of you! Thank you for supporting me, loving me, encouraging me and believing in me. Thank you for taking the time to read my words and thank you for the feedback I’ve received. Thank you to everyone that I don’t know that’s reached out- your words have melted my heart. Thank you to acquaintances that have turned into friends via conversation and a mutual respect.

Most of all, thank you to my family and friends. You truly are who you surround yourself with, and I’m blessed to close out 2015 surrounded by inspiring and supportive souls who spark the fire in my heart every day. YOU have made me ME.

THANK YOU. NAMASTE.

From my empty mattress in Mexico- Happiest of Holidays,
Lauryn

full stop.

9 days ago everything i know came crashing down. put on the back burner on hold. i guess that sounds a bit dramatic but the severity of this temporary situation is starting to sink in now. i was driving my motorbike with my friend on the back when we turned the corner very slowly into the taxi stand so he could catch one back to his hotel. as we turned the corner my back tire went flat causing the bike to jump forward, and all of Eddy’s weight came down on me along with the bike at the same time. my knee completely twisted under the weight and upon trying to stand up my knee buckled and i knew. i’ve watched my brother go through 2 knee surgeries, and i just knew… that’s what he must’ve felt. 

it didn’t even really hurt when it happened. but when i tried to stand up and walk i felt a popping sound and my knee just giving way. it wasn’t stable and i couldn’t stand on it at all. i decided to go into the hospital right away. the doctor’s in Patong are idiots… they x rayed my knee and told me nothing was broken. then after wrapping it up they sent me on my way and told me to come back in 2 days. i couldn’t walk and had to beg them for crutches, they gave me one. one crutch? what do you do with one crutch? 

the next morning i went into Bangkok Phuket International Hospital to get the low down on what was really going on. the doctor was friendly and honest and told me i needed an MRI. great i thought, but i already kinda knew the results. i used my Thai insurance and it took 4 days for it to go through so I hung out at home for a week before I actually went in and got my MRI. this was 2 days ago. 

my friend Ian was nice enough to drive me to the hospital, and after our break for lunch he took me back to hear the results. as he dropped me off he said, “it’s judgement day” and i laughed but he couldn’t have been more right. the results were a fully torn ACL and a fully torn lateral meniscus along with a bone contusion or “fracture” on my knee. i was starting to be able to bear weight on it the day before but he told me because of the bone fracture i would have to stay off it or accept a cast. in this weather, i think the cast would be the most uncomfortable thing in the world so i whole heartedly promised to be a good girl and stop jumping around my house on one leg like Tiger on speed. i promised i would use my crutches. then out the door i went accepting my new fate.

with a 6 month recovery time post surgery and unable to drive my motorbike one legged, i accepted that the best place for me to go and recover would be home with my family. i was advised not to fly for a few more weeks and my visa happens to run out on the 20th. so i’m booking my flight back to Minnesota for the day. it has only started to sink in what i’m about to endure, and i have so much of my life to pack up and sort out before i leave. and i’m obviously not in the best condition to be taking care of all of this. 

my heart feels heavy and i’m beginning to feel like i’m constantly on the verge of tears. i’m going to miss my diving and Thailand. i know i’ll come back in October but that’s a ways away, and i have a lot of growing and healing to do before i make it back here. it’s only 6-8 months of my life, but it’s going to test my character, challenge me, and teach me to slow down. 

i was throwing around the idea of taking a low season off and heading back to Minnesota to live up north with my family for the summer. i haven’t lived there since I moved out just after turning 18. now i guess i have the opportunity to do just that. connect with myself and my roots again, gain a bit of strength and insight before moving on in the world, celebrate my 26th birthday living at home, like i did 8 years ago. maybe i need to go home, hug my parents and be humbled. they always bring me back to Earth.  

this has always been a travel blog really, but now it will switch to a recovery blog. i’ll keep everyone updated on my journey from beginning to end: the pre physio, surgery, recovery, first steps afterwards and all the milestones i cross in between. writing will help keep me sane and help me find strength in the words. 

if anyone is reading this, i want to thank all of you for the text messages, calls, facebook messages and emails i’ve received in the past 9 days. so many of my friends here have came by daily with food, cigarettes, water and beer or just simply to visit. i appreciate all of you so much. i didn’t realize i had so many friends that cared and i’m feeling like one BLESSED human right now. 

anyways, onward and upward. let the journey begin! 

Loy Krathong 2013

Loy Krathong is a holiday in Thailand celebrated annually in November. This year it was held on the 17th which was a Sunday. It is a celebration to the water gods asking for safe passage for another year. It involves buying or making a “float” from various vendors. Usually they are decorated with various flowers and incents and candles in the middle. You then add some of your hair and nail clippings and typically the thais add 9 baht because 9 is considered lucky for them. I added 19 to mine, because that’s my lucky number! 

I have to say, it was such a beautiful holiday! Watching everyone light of Chinese Fire Lanterns out into the sky, and the candles burning as the waves took the Krathongs out to sea. 

The down side of this holiday was all of the trash the next morning. Although they’re supposed to be made of natural materials, this isn’t always the case. None the less, I thanked the water Gods for a year of safety and hoped for another safe year for divers and water lovers alike.