Meet the Humans of the Keys

Meet the Humans of the Keys

Friday, November 6, 2015

Laura Maupin, Key Largo/Tavernier

I have lived in the Keys for 20 years. I came for a summer with my mom. We rented a place and when October rolled around everyone said, “You can’t leave now, seasons coming.” So I went back to southern California, got all my stuff and came back here full time. I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, but my Dad was in California and my mom was here so I was a bi-coastal kid. But, Ft. Lauderdale was just so busy, and I told my mom that I didn’t want to live there. We had always loved the Keys, so we decided to move down here.
When I decided to live here, I asked the realtor what was the best restaurant in town and she said, “You have to go to Old Tavernier Restaurant. These 2 Greek guys own it and they love on everybody that comes through the door.” I actually got hired there right away. I worked there for a while, then took a break and worked at the Sheraton for a few years and Pierre’s for a few years, but in 2011 I went back to Old Tav. It was like going back home. It’s like a family.
One of the owners and I had a really close relationship and almost got married back in the beginning of 2000. But, it didn’t work out. Then in 2012, he passed away. And then another dear friend passed from pancreatic cancer. That was when I got on my knees and asked God to please show me another way of life.
Because, you know, I came here in my early 20’s and just fell into the whole Keys disease lifestyle; we were at the bars every night, and it was just life. But that was a wakeup call. So in 2012, I literally got down on my knees and prayed, and within 48 hours an old friend from Pompano called and told me about Nerium. I went to the website and immediately signed myself up. I just felt like it was a calling.
Once I got involved with Nerium, in the first year they started, I learned about personal development. I had no idea that you were in charge of your own life by the choices you make.
They call it the Slight Edge: small daily choices that will compound over time and will get you where you want to go. I became a junkie of personal development! I did build my business slowly but surely, went to all the conferences, and plugged into their “real life library” which is a plethora of positive psychology material. Nerium says they are a personal development company with a skin care product attached. I know a lot of network marketing companies are that way, but the owner and founder of this company had this passion his whole life. His philosophy is to empower people to build themselves up before they are broken at the bottom of the hill. He has actually partnered with all these psychologists from different conferences and colleges; he has spoken to the UN about happiness being a precursor to success; and started a magazine called “Live Happy.” It’s all about sharing the information that the world is negative; you have to search out the positive and find ways to filter out the negative.
I had always thought that “self-help” was kind of dorky stuff. But once I got started, I was hooked. That was 2012, and here it is 3 years later and I’ve met so many people, I found Island Community Church which I love, I joined Curves and lost 30 pounds. It took losing those two dear friends to make me realize that I wanted more from life. It’s really been miraculous. And, I’ve recently fallen in love! It’s actually someone I’ve known for 20 years, but we just started dating a few months ago and it is wonderful. I’ve had relationships before that seemed to drag me down, but now it’s like, “So this is how it’s supposed to be! Who knew?!”
But, I do love personal development. I love the little daily devotional books. You’ve probably seen where I post them on Facebook. It helps me, and I have people tell me that it’s helped them, or they just like seeing them. I’m into all the motivational stuff, Zig Ziegler, Tony Robbins... I listen to them all. That’s my past time, instead of watching TV. I just love it. Especially Zig Zeigler. He does some Christian stuff and I like that too. I like to say I’m spiritual, more than religious, because I’m not set on any one religion. I think it’s all kind of open to interpretation. But, you never go anywhere alone if you have faith, if you have hope. I know it sounds cliché, but it really works. I like Island Community Church; I call it a personal development church. I’ve tried a lot of churches, but I really like it there.
I’m currently the President Elect for the Upper Keys Business & Professional Women. That’s quite an honor. When I first went to one of their functions, I just thought it was a good way to share Nerium. After being a bartender for years down here, at first I thought that I didn’t belong there. That first year, they were looking for somebody to be the secretary, and I remember thinking I could never do that. But a year later, I started helping out a little more. I’ve gone to every event. Then Gina, the current president, said she needed a break and was ready to step down and offered me the position. I’m excited to have the opportunity to help other women who might be in the same place I was in the beginning. The BPW reminds me of the “uplifter society” from the old George & Gracie show. Everyone is so positive and encouraging; it’s a great group.
I think my happiest moments are still to come. It’s all just going up from here. I’m big on the Slight Edge…Simple daily disciplines practiced over time will compound. So many people get discouraged when things don’t happen right away, but this teaches you to be constantly working towards your goal, and not expect change to happen overnight. Even with my weight loss, it just took making small daily changes and sticking with it.
No matter where your life is right now, just start where you are and you can make it better. Whether you are an alcoholic, a drug addict, or whatever sickness or sadness is in your soul, you can turn it around. Reach out to someone who is where you want to be, and ask for help from above. Anything is possible if you want it and work for it, little by little, every day.

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