I grew up living in a shell. This was an inner-shell and a mental-shell. This shell was blocking my freedom since I was a boy. I am still working my way out to this day. I used to be unaware of being inside of this shell, but subconsciously; I was looking for a way into a better situation. This shell started to grow when the free spirit inside of me was being blocked by norms, rules, manners, orders, bullying, strict culture, pressures of society, and due to me desensitizing daily to appear tough to the outside world.


I grew up in a tough mind. As the years went by, what started as rules, turned into my reality. What started as an opinion in someone’s mind, became a limitation in my own, without me knowing. These opinions are dangerous. We are taught to trust our elders. We should be taught to trust those that have achieved what we desire to achieve. “If you buy someone’s opinion you buy their lifestyle.” I broke my mind buying opinions. I had allowed everyone but myself to paint my reality, decide how I should act, and limit my freedom. I thought I was being intelligent the whole time, boy was I wrong lol.


The storms were on their way, but this shell was not strong enough to protect me. Even when I followed every rule and piece of advice the outside world offered me, I was not happy inside. I did not understand why life was so hard. I was doing everything right, but my life was all-wrong. I was digging myself into a hole because I believed there was treasure at the end.


A day later came where I realized I was living a lie. I had completely stopped living in my inner-world; everything I chased were things people told me would make me happy. It was time to realize, this shell was blocking my connection to the way I feel. I became emotionally disconnected from life. I became a human turned robot. I became those opinions, and I was unaware of how much mental real-estate they owned. I gave them everything. The shell had locked the boy inside away from me for so long, I had forgotten about him.


With all that being said, I never fully let go of the boy with the free spirit inside of me. I always kept a grip. That boy inside helped me see there was never a shell to begin with. It was a figment of my imagination, and it became real due to repetition. Do not allow bad habits to trap you in a shell, examine your thoughts and attitude, and break free. Now that boy inside will one day pass this story along to his children, and they will grow wings instead of a shell. Always remember that what you focus on grows, and a lot of what you should be focused on you overlook. Life is supposed to be simple and fun, if it isn’t, the problem is in the mind. When we overcomplicate life, we miss how simple it all could be. Limitations disguise themselves as truth; limitations will form a shell you will be unaware of. Do not allow the hunt for a better situation in life to stop you from appreciating what you have right now. Do not allow someone’s opinion to become a fact. The choice is ours.


Thank you for reading!

Ayman Elgadi


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