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Shells or Castles?

By Eric Noel Roman

Here comes the meltdown. Winter is over, time to come out of the caverns that we enjoy calling home. It is springtime. No more snow. Trees will have leaves again. Animals emerge from hibernation. Wait a second, this is Florida. There is no reason to stay indoors during winter months. We have nothing but sunshine and palm trees. Yet so many hermits lurking in our sands. Hello, I am king hermit. My shell is not the biggest one but it is the most isolated one. Even if I live a “social lifestyle” as a DJ and amatuer athlete, I keep to myself. The winter months led me down a path of isolation and depression, and finally reflection.

As the new year approached I began looking for change. Little by little, the shell I put around my life began to crumble. I then noticed a beach filled with other shells, many open and welcoming to guests. I began to walk away from the solitude I noticed that this beach was filled with exquisite wildlife. At first, I found this beach to be overwhelming. Each new connection was awkward. My personality was brash, and unrefined. Communication with other species on this beach was frustrating. These other animals judged me and pushed me away. At least it is what I perceived. I was not off on my conclusion, but it was also my fears that made me unrelatable. However, I needed to face fears of change. I needed to embrace that maybe by opening up and getting close to other wildlife I would become a better crab.

Over the span of a few months I took the time to look at my progress. I realized that instead of having a shell, I built a castle. One built with confidence in knowing that as long as I trust my abilities I could reach my goals. Some of my goals are easy to reach others are ever evolving works of art. Combined, these goals add layers to a resilient structure that I enjoy letting others see. In addition to new accolades, I noticed that I was not alone. I had friends that I shared moments with. Times of sadness, failure, celebration, and success. I am not looking to flaunt a lifestyle of flashing lights and shiny shells and a large entourage of animals. Instead, I promote a life where interaction should be honest, genuine, but most important, comfortable. One should always reach past a comfort zone and explore the outside world. However, it should not be done alone and can be more rewarding when those life lessons are shared with others with which you are connected.

Get out of your shells and see what the world holds for you.

Eric Noel Roman DJ, obstacle racer, motivational writer from North Miami Beach, living life one day at a time, and making a difference one person at a time.