There I was, frantically looking for my passport. Typical, I leave my packing till the night before. I looked everywhere. It was nowhere to be found. My flight was in a few hours at 5 am…
My brother bought me a flight to LA for my birthday. It has become an annual thing (pre-Covid) for the last few years. We used to go to LA as a family every year, so this is a place that we hold dear to our hearts. The energy there reminds me of our family, our dad.
I was in complete disbelief. I’ve never missed a flight (or lost my passport) ever before. And there it was, 1 hour before my flight and my passport was gone. I was pissed. All the meditations I’ve done to this point seemed null. I couldn’t understand why. I was so angry at myself. How could I have lost it? Why is this happening?
My brother was already in LA waiting for me, so I had to go. I expedited a new passport and booked another flight, which was not cheap. The soonest I could go was the next evening.
What was the good from all this? I got to spend my birthday with my lovely girlfriend. She knew how upset I was so she booked us a day at Thermea, a beautiful spa. She really helped me be present in the moment.
Through this whole time, I could barely move my neck. Injured from working out. But I know it was a multitude of things; Stress, pressure, anger, sadness of my father passing.
I landed in LA. I finally made it! I tried to make the most of the short time I had there. Even though I was only there for 2 days, it was worth it. I spent my time there with my brother and my 33rd birthday was amazing.
On my way home, I was sitting in the terminal of LAX airport. I had a lacrosse ball that I was rolling my neck and back against a wall. My neck was fucked. I could barely move it, like batman. As I was rolling, this beautiful girl walked by. I made a second glance and thought, “Wow, she is beautiful.” This thought passed by and left just as she did.
Walking onto the flight, looking for my seat scanning the isles. I stopped and found my seat. Who happened to be sitting next to me? That girl. The guy in me was trying to act cool. I put my bag into the above compartment. We caught eyes for a second, I smiled, she smiled back and then I sat down.
My usual ritual when I fly: Journal. I wrote about my experience of my trip. As I journaled, I noticed she kept glancing over but didn’t think much of it. Whenever the plane takes off, I always get anxious, so I meditate. The sound of the plane taking off is quite soothing, for my mind and stomach. As we were in the air, I noticed a Tony Robbins podcast playing on her phone.
For whatever reason I felt I needed to talk to her (and no, not because she was beautiful). I pointed at her phone, she slowly took one headphone out. And I said, “He changed my life.” She took out the other headphone and said, ‘”Mine too.”
We both opened up and had such an amazing conversation, one that I normally never have with a stranger. We quickly had a deep connection. She asked me why I was there. I explained that I was there for my birthday and that our annual trips to LA reminded me of my father who recently passed. We both started to get emotional and tear up. She was silent for a few moments. She looked at me and said “my sister commited suicide.”
Right then and there, I knew that I was meant to talk to her. I knew that everything that happened thus far led me here. She told me the entire story. I felt so sad for her. It also made me reflect on my father passing.
I had such a hard time dealing with his death. The fact that it felt so abrupt. Everything seemed fine and then all of a sudden, boom, he had 4 weeks to live. When he passed I couldn’t help but beat myself up on how I treated him. How I always wished to have a better relationship with him.
I’ll never forget the next thing she said to me. “You had time to say goodbye, I wish I had that with my sister.” That put everything into perspective. She was right, I had time with him.
Even though my father was gone, I had time with him to tell him everything I wanted to tell him. And all of a sudden everything; the pain, the passport, none of that mattered. I felt lighter. I felt more at peace. I knew it was all worth it.
What did I learn from all of this?
Things, people, situations come into our lives, even if just for a moment, to teach us lessons. To help us. Often times it is very hard to see, especially when it’s ‘bad’, but it’s happening for a reason. It’s happening exactly as it should.
To that girl I met for just a moment. Thank you. I am truly grateful for you.
Stephen Alberto Ramos