Slappy Cakes. While on vacation, I frequented this pancake specialty breakfast restaurant 3 or 4 times. My plan was to only go there once, but the coconut and chocolate chip pancakes with coconut syrup with a fresh fruit cup and mimosa were just too much to pass up.
By the second time I came in and sat at the bar, the staff knew who I was and greeted me with a smile. They told me about their lives in Maui, which mostly consisted of working in the morning and surfing in the afternoon. I told them about my solo adventure, how much I loved my Airbnb I was staying at, the writer’s conference I was attending, and my big hopes of writing a book some day. I didn’t tell them I had come to the conclusion I had some type of past life connection to Hawaii and the Pacific Islander culture. But, many times during my time in Maui I had people who lived there full time asking me if I was from there, which only strengthened my comfortability there.
After saying bye to the Slappy Cakes crew, I ventured to the local Barnes and Noble. While on vacation a dear friend of mine added me to a Facebook book club. I had tried to stay out of the bookstore (I have a slight obsession) but this was the perfect excuse to go to one of my favorite places. I picked up the first book that was suggested in the book club, exhibiting a great deal of self-control and only buying that book.
Finally, I headed to Mid-Pacific Tattoo in Lahaina to see if I could get a special tattoo while there. I spoke with another girl named Ashley who set me up with tattoo artist Matt – both transplants to the island from the mainland. Matt was a tattoo artist in Boston, and we easily were comfortable talking about home. I chose to get “yama” and “niyama” in Sanskrit on my hands as a reminder of how to treat myself and others with compassion. Kind of a yogic reminder of the progress I have made, and the will to continue on this beautiful journey.
While Matt was prepping everything, my adrenaline kicked in. My hands started sweating, I was fidgeting and kept trying to get comfortable in the chair, and my eyes darted around at the people who came into the shop. Matt called me over, and it was time. I was afraid this tattoo would hurt as the ones on the inside of my fingers hurt the most out of all the ones I’ve ever had, but it actually wasn’t unbearable. And before I knew it, it was over.
I took a walk down Front Street to the famous banyan tree park. The sun was hot and shining bright, the air was thick (seems to be a theme while in Maui!), and the sidewalks packed with shoppers. The cars were bumper to bumper all the way down the street and when I was walking I avoided getting close to them as they were over heating. I spoke to my boyfriend on the phone, talking fast with a continual smile – still going off the high of a new tattoo.
To fully enjoy the moment, we got off the phone. I walked under the long-reaching branches of the banyan tree, happy to find some shade. There were kids running around, lots of benches, and a man playing the harmonica. I realized how far the branches reached, all colliding at the center of the park into a thick trunk. I looked up in awe at this beautiful natural creation, the blue sky just past the branches. I sat for a while on a bench closest to the trunk and soaked in the calmness of being under the tree despite a number of people around me.
The director of the program I work at has been to Maui many times, and before I left she suggested many places to visit and restaurants to go to. She is a beer enthusiast and suggested Maui Brewing Co. I am not super into beer but tend to love the food at these types of restaurants. I decided to head to Maui Brewing Co. for lunch before the first night of my writer’s conference.
I sat at the bar and enjoyed reading all the clever beer names they had come up with, deciding to order the Pineapple Mana Wheat. I ordered some food, making small talk with a young man who had just started bussing tables there. We shared some of our food and talked about the importance of staying positive and smiling. I smile after he leaves to go to work because I think I have found my people – friendly, polite, positive, and can have a deeper conversation than talking about the weather.
My heart races and I feel butterflies in my stomach when I realize I have a few hours and need to head over to the Westin to start the writer’s conference. The Fall before, I was in Philadelphia with my Grandmother at a Hay House event, just forming the idea of attending a writer’s conference. I was quickly shot down when I realized how expensive it was, thinking I’d never make it to one. A few months later I got an email from Hay House stating they were doing a rare
A few months later I got an email from Hay House stating they were running a rare offer to those who purchased the online version of the writer’s workshop. Not only would they let you pay in payments over a 10 month period, they would include a FREE ticket to the actual conference, and you could pick from Florida, Las Vegas, and Maui. I, of course, picked Maui and just decided to make it work. Now, I was finally walking into the Westin to start the two and a half day conference to learn how to write a book and get it published.
I was intimidated – I had never been around so many people with similar interests and ideas and definitely not with the same dream in mind. Would I be the worst writer there? Would I get along with anyone? How far behind other people would I be in writing my book and creating the oh so famous “platform?” The compulsion to compare was overwhelming.
Taking my seat, I sat next to a beautiful blonde woman who looked very well put together. We made small talk and expressed how excited we were to finally be there! It all felt like a dream. And even more so when Reid Tracy came on stage and I heard his slow drawl in person. He was tall and had a stunning smile. Next came James Van Praagh, short with intense eyes and a lot of energy. Doreen Virtue came on stage to introduce James Van Praagh and it was like being in the presence of angel like I’ve heard it was – she literally was glowing. Positive people and the energetic vibes in the room were inspiring.
This dissipated quickly. After hearing about the process of book proposals and creating a pitch to help your book stand out and the importance of catchy title, and… and… and… I felt in over my head. My eyes glazed over, my note taking slowed, and I second guessed everything I had dreamed of.
I said goodbye to the woman I was sitting next to and ventured through the lobby of the Westin. The Westin’s entrance was directly off the beach with outdoor restaurants and outlet stores. From the beach towards the lobby, there were pools and restaurants, art tables set up, and a beautiful, tropical waterfall. Coy fish swam in the water and flamingos stood on one of their legs with their head tucked into their body. The conference room was right off the lobby, and the lobby transitioned into the tropical outdoor area with no walls. I stopped to admire the flamingos and take a deep breath before I headed back to my Airbnb.
I went to bed feeling confused, and not so sure I had what it would take to get a book published, especially in the “self-help” and “new age” genre. I questioned why I had even ventured to Maui. I wondered what the next day would bring.