“Would you like a car or would you like to get to the American University?”
“I would like a car, please. A VW Polo 2000, Blue”
That was what my Dad questioned me after I finished high school with top marks; I had studied hard and cheated hard as well to get that Polo.
After a few days, I thought “If I study at the American University, one of the Middle East’s top universities at the time, I could buy myself a Polo as I would get hired right away after graduation and make lots of money. This way I’d shoot two birds with one stone but it would take 5 years or so to accomplish.”
“I would like to get to AUC, American University in Cairo”
One of the main factors that shaped my decision was seeing the AUC sticker on the back of cars when I’d think “That must be really cool”
18 Years Later
8:00 am on a rainy Seattle morning, with natural light coming through the curtains, I sit and write about how my life and thoughts are shaped right these days.
While fixing myself a cheap cup of instant Nescafe coffee, I flick through instagram and one of the pictures that contributed to me writing this post is of a girl I met two years ago.
She was so naturally beautiful, stunningly attractive and she knew how utterly feminine she was.
Her face, her hard to tan body, her eyes and her smile were naturally beautiful.
Most of the time we’d be relaxing at the beach, having a drink, chit chatting about nothing important and I’d just listen and admire her natural unforced beauty.
She had no make up, no “look at me” outfits. Just a Hawaiian colored bikini twirled around her beauty.
Today, she posted a picture; a picture that shows how sad it is our society has arrived at, when it comes to thinking and living what a good life should be like.
The First Few Days at Uni
Girls had a walk, I never saw before. I found out that they’d go to Dubai, Paris and Italy during the holidays to shop for clothes.
Guys were dressed in Diesel Jeans and RayBan sunglasses.
I was dressed in clothes I picked off my closet.
I was struck with a culture shock. Who are these people? This place feels like a cat walk, a studio showcasing who’s the best dressed guy and girl in campus today. Who drove the most expensive car?
With Marlboro Red packs lying everywhere on the tables at the campus ground; I simply couldn’t get a long with the AUC scene.
I decided to finish the next 5 years as quick as humanly possible.
I opened a bank account, deposited whatever was left of the 10 pounds at the end of the day into the ATM machine, and would run to the metro each day to get home quick in an attempt to escape the monstrous fashionably scary AUC culture.
How Emirates shaped my life
After graduation, I worked at Emirates Airline and served chicken and fish to many passengers for 6 years.
No AUC graduate would do such job, simply because an AUCian should be working in a big corporation, working their way up to a manager by age 30.
I managed to control the AUCian ego that was instilled inside of me until it became feeling natural being myself and doing what I like for a living aside from what others would think.
When I took the tough decision to leave a lifestyle of traveling, lots of money, free apartment, no utility bills, cheap airline tickets, many friends, free gyms and many other perks; the world was against me.
2 months after I left the Emirati Dirham currency jumped 2 folds against the Egyptian pound, 3 years later it jumped 5 folds.
If I had been working at Emirates until this very day, I would have been a multi-millionaire by now.
From 2012 until late 2017, I lived my life searching for something, something that could add smiles to my days and peace to my heart.
Every one around me seemed to have figured it all out; car, house, wife, kids, title, money.
I always felt like I am lost with no future, a scary outlook of the world would haunt me wherever I go.
I felt completely lonely even when I was among my family.
Life seemed so cruel and evil; she’d just not care about anything I was doing to win her heart.
It felt like,
Life has decided to let me go
How Life Embraced me
At the start of 2017, January 1st to be exact; I decided to follow some advice from people like Ariana Huffington, James Altucher, Larry David, Jim Belushi and Roger Federer.
If you never heard about any of these, you’re welcome.
I decided to live every day; I’d master my day, I’d take micro steps, achieve something, become better than the day before, and not worry about tomorrow or the future.
I’d chase what I love doing and do little of it every day. I’d stopped listening to people I that would in anyway feed me any negative inputs.
I incorporated “today is a good day” into my line of thought, into my actions, into my decisions.
A friend recently told me that “If you go to sleep at night, with a roof above your head, appetite-ly fulfilled, knowing that your loved ones are safe and sound, then you’ve got the whole world in your hands”
Where does my Money go?
Two things; learning through experiences and traveling.
I’d spend the least amount of money possible on food, clothes and other necessities and save every penny for exploring our world.
How I got over the influence of advertisements onto my lifestyle?
Tv, Radio and the Internet shape how we live. Like it or not, but this is how everyone on this planet is shaped.
There’s no way you can avoid such mediums but there’s a way to control what they try and force on to you.
If I see a negative or an un beneficial post on my newsfeed, I simply unfollow. I stopped watching TV, simply because it’s too big and I can’t fit it in my suitcase.
I don’t allow myself to wander around in malls looking for the latest fashionable trends or waste my time catching up with what everyone else is anticipating, whether it’s a new Nike Sneakers or a state of the art computer.
What I do for fun?
I jump in the pacific ocean, I chat to strangers at a breakfast diner, I read, I write, I maintain a website, I film my days on camera, I check on my family and friends, I go running, I explore new places, I review restaurants, I walk around, and I always say “YES”
Saying Yes has gotten me to a world of uncertainty filled with surprises. Some are good and some are amazing.
I carry no regrets, I carry no hate, I carry sorrows.
I collect memories because I know today is a good day.
No matte how bad you think your day maybe, tomorrow you will back and wish yesterday would come again.
Live your days, as when you do, you will live more.
My name is Sherif, I am a dayenjoyer.