7 Days Until Barcelona

Time truly flies. It seemed like just yesterday I was being carried in a stretcher to a hospital in Bangkok after tearing my ACL. I had to cancel my travel plans to Krabi the next morning, re-schedule my CELTA program for February, and wouldn’t see my favorite DJ Aly and Fila in Manchester for FSOE 450. It would be an extremely long time of healing I was dreading, but its allowed me an opportunity to grow the most I feel I have my entire life.

I totaled my car last year and got a DUI, so I’ve had to have my mom drive me to physical therapy 3 days/week, to doctors appointments, to and from both surgeries, and have had to uber the majority of the time if I wanted to see friends. I’ve had an inordinate amount of free time for the last 5 months which has forced me to work on the relationship with my-self and manifest  the best version of my Pharaoh I can.

A common theme in my blogs as well as in Murakami’s books are that you need to be careful while treading through the forest, or you’ll never find your way out. In Murakami’s book Kafka On The Shore we see two parallel journey’s of Hoshino and Kafka. The book says parallel journey’s of Nakata and Kafka, but I think that Hoshino’s journey is far more important than Nakata’s. Hoshino never learns to operate in a realm of fiction and can’t be in-light-end from Nakata. He feels joy from Nakata’s presence and wishes he could live the tranquil cat-like life of Nakata. Like the disciples of many prophets, he never can do so because he doesn’t disassociate with his black and white thinking and is completely devoid of imagination. Kafka digs deeper into books, digs deeper into his metaphysical forest and is able to finally forgive his mom for abandoning him as well as forgive himself for all the anger he allowed her to caused him.

The more books I read the more I chiseled away at the layers of my ego. I stopped thinking about Manami, about my failed poker career that I invested so many years on, and how irresponsible I was outside of poker. I saw myself as the boy named crow who really just wanted to connect with other crows. To be loved and appreciated by others I needed to learn to enjoy my solitude just like Kafka did. Kafka worked out day in and day out in nature, cleansed his ego by diving into the imaginations of other authors, and peacefully appreciated the external forest with some music. Exploring his own internal forest is what allowed him to suppress his heart of darkness.

I feel that the last 6 months has been a similar experience. I had to really take a good look at all the demons, anacondas, and gorillas of my past swinging and hissing in my forest and accept them with love. I often return to the forest, but I feel that the Pharaoh allows me to fly above the canopy towards the sun opposed to sinking down deeper.


Would like to thank the authors of these books for sharing their insight and light with me. I didn’t prefer Hemingway, but I still loved the yoga of bullfighting he describes, and how the matador and the bull are one. The retired or fearful bullfighters are there because they need money, not because they view it as an art or a life-long practice.

Truly blessed for all the time I’ve had to read and do push-ups, crunches, and squats all day. October 20th was my first surgery and I weighed in at 190 pounds, I now weigh 155 pounds and am starting to re-form abs, and have dwindled my man boobs to regular pecs. I’m by no means buff or have a 6 pack, but I’m making improvements and am starting to view my external form as a temple that deserves constant improvement each day. I also have been much more mindful of what I eat, which makes me truly appreciate when I have pizza or a burger every now and then when I cheat on my diet 🙂

I started this blog about a month ago. Initially, I had no idea what I wanted to write about, but knew writing had provided me a means of catharsis. I just kept talking about this healing experience, and hadn’t gotten any likes or comments. I also didn’t bother to start checking out other blogs. I realized that I was solely focused on my-self instead of treating this like an amazing supportive and networking experience that I’ve come to see that it is. I now barely want to read books, and would rather write poetry on here or read about your stories. I’ve found a lot of extremely gifted writers that inspire me to continue writing so would really like to thank you all for sharing your beliefs, poems, recipes, allegories, music, and art with me.

I have seven days until I get back out there in the real world, and am somewhat nervous. When I do see my friends I feel so unable to find the right words at times, but know that I just need to KISS more and think less. In the beginning I usually am tense, but the more I talk to my fellow Pharaohs the more I’m able to loosen out of my pistachio.

I  have 5 days in Barcelona prior to my CELTA starting which will be an opportunity to mingle and organically meet people again. Although I still have my torn ACL, motion is the lotion, and mindfulness of whether I need to find the nearest coffee shop or restaurant to get a bag of ice is what will keep me safe. I’m not going to let my knee prevent me from exploring such an incredible city. This will be my 2nd time in Barcelona, the first ironically was when I was the boy named crow like Kafka at age 15 haha.

I real-eyes my fears are silly because I know that while traveling its hard to not be totally conscious. I try to view all the new streets, restaurants,  and people through the inquisitive lens of a child as well as never stop approaching. I met so many interesting people this summer while I was in Seoul and Bangkok, and had no fear in approaching and vibing with people. I have no idea who I’ll meet, but can patiently wait and enjoy the next 7 days in the Pharaoh cave, outside of the cave with friends, and inevitably spread my wings like Kafka and fly over the pond to Barcelona! Its a thrill when you finally emerge out of your forest and peer down below at the canopy that was once an enclosure.

Thanks for reading,

-Pharaoh Maktuk

The Magical Slice of Pizza

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