Old friends, old relationships, favorite songs, looking back at what used to be is almost universally frowned upon. Digging up the past is viewed as something you do when you long for what used to be, what can never be again. Or you’re ruminating on past failures and regrets.
But it also shows you how far you’ve come, how much you’ve grown. You can’t really move forward without pausing to think about the progress you’ve made. Your past is a blessing and a curse. Being unable to sleep at 3 AM because you’re obsessing about an awkward moment in high school sucks, but you’ll never make that mistake again. Your past is quite literally who you are.
But it can also be like quicksand. The longer you try to stay in it, the harder it is to get out. You risk repeating the same mistakes that you swore you’d never make again or lose ambition because “it’ll never be as good as it once was”. It’s why “Make America Great Again” resonates with so many people, they’re stuck in the past. Instead of focusing on bettering themselves, they obsess over recreating a lost time when their lives were much easier. I guess what I’m trying to say is, moderation is key.
What does this have to do with Maui? I went with my ex-girlfriend. Not “a” ex-girlfriend but “the” ex-girlfriend. You know, the one that broke your heart during your formative years, the girl who was your ‘best friend’ before you dated, who shaped a lot of your current views on relationships, I would say “the one that got away” but that’s inaccurate. It was my first serious relationship gone awry. Revisiting something like that is tricky. There’s a lot of animosity hidden just below the surface, and if you’re not careful things can turn ugly fast.
Even though we’re friends now, and have been since we were 10, our checkered past didn’t give me confidence that going on vacation together was the best idea. But I’m impulsive so I said ‘fuck it’.
Luckily, we were visiting two of the most gregarious, gracious, and generous people I know who just moved to Maui. If anybody could be a buffer between us and our past demons, it was them. Also having a free place to stay is pretty sweet.
Kihei there Friends
We hit the beach right when we landed to watch the sunset then headed to the bustling nightlife in downtown Kihei. With my expectations set lower than the Marianas Trench, I was pleasantly surprised at the local bar we went to. The drinks were…confusing. We ordered Mai Tais and got something that resembled a milkshake with foam on top. But the live music was incredible.
That’s the best cover of the Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post” that I’ve ever heard. In a random bar in Maui. I wish I would’ve got more video of the guy playing the Cajon. It’s a wooden box and this guy made it sound like a 12 piece drum set, cymbals and all. I have no idea why he spent so much time practicing to be the best cajon player on Earth but I’m damn sure glad I was there to witness it. I hate drum solos but this guy almost turned me around, with a wooden box.
We got DRUNK, all of us. We stumbled to another bar where we barged in on their trivia night, answered 2 questions, then promptly GTFO. God bless the 1 Uber driver in Kihei who was working late that night.
The next morning we woke up with awful hangovers and hiked Mount Haleakala.
The rest of the day was mostly uneventful. Breakfast, some beach time, really relaxing but not worth describing in detail. Around 3 PM we met back up with Tim and Diana and headed to their friends’ house for a small get together.
I was not prepared for what followed.
An Avalanche of Dicks
The “Small Get Together” turned out to be an impromptu bachelorette party for D. Wall to wall dicks, Jell-O shots, massive bottles of tequila, and a group of local Maui women ready to drink themselves into a coma. Not my usual crowd but it was a really fun time. The house was GORGEOUS, worth at least $2.5M, plenty of room, infinity pool, hot tub, food, a terrifying dog that was a complete sweetheart, and a group of welcoming people who wanted to share their existence with us.
Drunk doesn’t even begin to describe us. The gracious hosts who had to be in their 60s kept bringing trays of tequila shots around among other things. I got through about 4 before I was on the precipice of complete blackness. The only evidence I have is from my Instagram story, which paints an appropriately sloppy picture.
We go home. Pass out. Wake up and head to Kapalua to jump off some cliff, snorkel, and see some wildlife. Typical Hawaii day.
Kapalua Cliff House
It’s a tiny little enclave amongst 5-star resorts and vacation rentals that has snorkeling, cliff jumping, squid catching, everything for a perfect Hawaiian afternoon.
Our last stop was Honolua Bay AKA what the Little Mermaid would look like in real life. Even the cloudy, uncharacteristically cold weather didn’t matter. It made the coral less colorful but it was still gorgeous. I’ve been snorkeling all over Hawaii, and this was my favorite spot by far. Somebody stole my GoPro a few months back otherwise I’d have some really cool shit to show you. Fuck that guy.
What my picture would have looked like
Following that, we spent the rest of our remaining weekend exploring Lahaina. Shopping at the local boutiques, even though I had no money to spend at the time it was still incredibly fun.
Trying to blend in
The dynamic, which gave me horrible anxiety at first, mostly due to my own mental health issues blowing everything out of proportion, was a non-issue. Ex-girlfriend, friends who are still friends with a different ex-girlfriend, it didn’t matter. From the minute we landed, everybody embraced the time we spent together.
Also, we had an incredible meal at Down the Hatch. It’s not worth describing in detail, but I highly recommend it. It was on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, so you know it’s good. And you also know Guy Fieri came in his pants while eating it.
A Blast from the Past Propels Me Forward
This vacation was more than a relaxing party weekend with some old friends. It was an affirmation that I’m moving in the right direction with the right people. And while a glimpse into my past relationship was fun for a brief moment, it cemented the fact that I’ve truly moved on. I’ve grown into a much better, stronger person who can deal with my issues and don’t need to cling to a life raft from the past to keep me afloat. I’m glad she’s doing well, but I genuinely have no desire to try and recreate what one was.
It’s not about correcting the mistakes of the past, it’s about avoiding making them again. Having closure is great, but it’s rare, and never makes you feel as good as you think it will, and never happens in the way you want it to. Plus the past is part of who you are. The more you can embrace it, face it, conquer it, and grow from it, the farther you progress. So my brief glance at what once was energized me to keep moving forward in my new direction.