Second Year in Austin

What a whirlwind of a few weeks it has been.

Literally.

A Hurricane hit Texas.

In the midst of it all, I officially started my second season at Ballet Austin on August 21, 2017, as a member of the second company. I am thrilled to be back for another season. On top of performing, I will be teaching at Tarrytown Dance, and I am excited to be pushed in many areas as an artist.

On August 29, 2016, I moved to Austin ready to finally live my dreams.

Today marks my one year anniversary in this amazing city of Austin.

What a year it has been! I had no idea what kind of adventure I would embark on when I first moved to Austin. I did not know anyone. 

This year has been filled with incredible people, experiences, performances, and victories. This year has also been filled with hurt, disappointment, depression, and loneliness. That is the reality of life. We have the ups and the downs. I have grown so much in just 365 days. I am a completely changed man compared to the kid who moved to Austin. I have accomplished so much this past year.

I am proud of me.

I came in with a lot of baggage and hurt, and now standing before you, is a guy who has hope in the future, owns a car, and is currently in the most exciting year of his professional career. BIG things have happened, and BIG things will happen.

None of this would be here if it were not for you.

Yes- YOU!

I would not be here if it were not for the many folks who hit me up when I was going through depression.

I would not be here if it were not for those who encouraged me to keep dancing when dancing got tough.

I would not be here if it were not for those who were there for me as I took risks and went out of my comfort zone.

I would not be here if it were not for you all doing big things in your life and inspiring me and giving me hope in my own life.

This second year will be an outstanding year full of ambition. I have one year left as an apprentice at Ballet Austin and either I get hired into the main company, or I have to perform somewhere else. On top of that, I am taking more responsibility as a teacher that could lead to new places in my career.

Am I nervous?

Yeah. I would be lying if I said I was not.

Am I ready?

YES.

I know that I am ready because this past year in Austin has been one of the most formative years ever and has prepared me for the experiences to come. 

Career aside, I want to enjoy me. I want to enjoy making videos and photos. I want to enjoy performing. I want to enjoy teaching. I learned that these opportunities are incredibly unique that I do not want to miss out on my chance because I am busy stressing out. No stress- just fun.

Cheers to another year in Austin.

I AM SO HAPPY

I AM SO HAPPY

Yes- I said it!

I AM HAPPY!

That is kind of a big deal because seven months ago, I felt lost and confused. I felt hopeless. 

What has changed? 

Help! I got help. I went after counseling and now I have been pursuing meditation and understanding sabbath. I have learned to be in the moment. I have spent hours learning about my thought structure and reconstructing that very structure. I have taken time to get away from my usual life. I am different.

I am continuing my research and aid as we speak, but I have had some huge victories. I am in a place that I feel happy. I feel in tune with myself again. I am at peace. 

My friend said that I seem so happy- that is the greatest compliment and statement someone could say to me. There is a clear difference from the outside of who I am on the inside. I believe that I am shining brightly again.

On top of all the awesome counseling and meditation, I have been teaching at Tarrytown Dance which has been an incredible experience sharing my experience on life in the studio with a younger generation of students. I have been making lots of videos and taking pictures of friends. I learned how to drive AND bought a car. Yes! I bought a car. Matthew is growing up finally. I did a food detox that changed how I eat and view food. I started a podcast on Anchor about mental health. I have read a ton of books.

This summer is shaping up to be pretty amazing! I have not traveled at all- I have stayed in the same city. I think that has been good because I needed to stop. pause. and listen to what I need in my life. I am so grateful for all of you that have shown me support.

I have found a lot that has helped me and I want to share with you! I write which is great but I have been getting into podcasts, so I decided to make my own on ANCHOR which is an app that reinvents how radio is done. You will be able to call in and interact with my radio show. My episodes will then be uploaded to Itunes and you can listen to them on your Podcasts. They are short and simple.

Thank you for all your love and support! I leave you with this video!


Need someone to talk to about life? Feel free to reach out me!

The Problem with Social Media

I love social media.

I am always on the app store looking for the latest trends. I love Twitter- I love posting and reading people's tweets. I love Instagram and learning how people create amazing visuals or make amazing food recipes. Social media has allowed me to keep in contact with my friends from all over the world. Social media has grown this website. I am all about networking and meeting new people. I am not afraid to direct message people to hear their story and learn more from people I look up to in life. Social media can be a great tool for good.

BUT

Social media can be a tool for evil as well.

We can create a mask or a facade about where our life is versus the reality of our life. When I started to write about depression, that nearly broke the internet because so many people saw me as happy and that I had my life together. Not that I am a hot mess, but sometimes with forced positivity, we do not see the reality of people's lives away from the screen. I have tried to be as transparent as possible by writing about my struggles, the facts of my life, and the lessons that I am learning. 

I bring this topic up because the other day I was talking to my friend and the person said, "You are dancing in Austin, right?" My response was, "Yes! I am in Austin, living the dream." My friend's response was, "it most certainly looks that way--your life out there seems incredible! Glad you get to live your dream!"

I stopped and thought for a long time. 

I am in no way saying that this response was rude or wrong. But read this reply one more time. 

"it most certainly looks that way--your life out there seems incredible! Glad you get to live your dream!"

My life is incredible, I will not argue with that but the words "seems" and "looks" really hit me. 

What is truly my life versus what my life seems from other people's perspectives? 

I try to share a message of hope that anything is possible. Hope towards a greater life and life filled with joy and happiness. I am a pretty positive guy, even when I was depressed, I believed I could overcome my pain. The reality is, living your dream is hard! Is it rewarding? Yes. Living your dream does not mean it is a life of fantasy and leisure. 

It is so easy to be on social media and compare ourselves. We see people's best, and we compare it to our mediocre, our everyday life, and our real life. Maybe we get discouraged because we aren't where we want to be, but that other person seems like he/she has it all figured out. But that is a bunch of garbage because we all have real lives with real struggles and real demons. Even the people with lots of money and fame and millions of followers deal with the same existential questions. Those big names also have demons they are fighting. My writing about depression is a testament to that statement because I was in the middle of my first year as a professional ballet dancer- my dream -and I was hit with some of the darkest times of my life. Was I still living my dream? Yes- but it was a difficult period for me. 

My life may SEEM incredible from what I post- but I have struggled. I can feel lonely. I can question my faith in God. I can wonder where my future will go and what will be the next step in my career. I say all this because I am living my dream, but there are realities to the dream that may not be shared all the time. I want to be authentic and genuine with where I am at in my life- hence I write here on this blog. I am no different than anybody else. I am just a 21 year old trying to navigate life and pursue my passions.

My fear is that people look at social media and see people living their dreams and see the fun and the happiness without seeing the hardships. The reason why that makes me afraid is that people may not pursue a dream because it does not feel the way they imagined it by what it SEEMS to look like on social media. Do not let social media take you down. Allow it to inspire you to see where you can go in your life and what you might want to do in the future. 

Thanks for the love and continual support! Currently, I am in a great space in life. I feel spiritually restored, happy, excited for the future. If this changes, I will let you know because I want to bring you along my full journey as I live my dream. 


I know I just ranted about social media but let's connect! I want to hear from you!

3 Years on an Incredible Journey

On June 6, 2014, I graduated from The Roxbury Latin School.

On June 29, 2014, I started this website under the original URL: Theodysseychasingthedream.com

On July 5th, 2014, I had a one-way ticket, moved out of my house, and went across the country to train in Seattle in hopes to stay there during the year.

Today is July 6th, 2017- THREE YEARS later, and I am living in Austin, Texas dancing for Ballet Austin and teaching for Tarrytown Dance after residing in Seattle for two years. My website has expanded to more than just a blog about a kid figuring out life- it has everything from photography and videos to other people's stories to my own story.

Three years ago, I had no idea that I was going to deal with depression. I did not know I was going to write about some of the darkest parts of my life and that people would care to read and listen. I had no idea I was going to be pursuing visual art and health the way that I am now here on this site and in my life. I did not know that I was going to have the opportunities to dance and perform the way that I have had these past few years.

Insanity. 

Absolute Insanity.

When I left Boston, I did not have a plan- I had hope.

Hopeful of getting the professional division position at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Hopeful of getting a professional dance contract.

Hopeful of living my dreams.

How my life has shaped is honestly beyond me. The life that I have lived has been better than whatever I imagined three years ago.

Has it been hard?

HECK YES! Read all about my depression. Read all about my search for my job. I have been shaken to my core many times. I have been hurt by people and by the pursuit of my dreams. I have experienced pain that I did not anticipate. I have questioned my identity. I have questioned who I am and who I want to be. There were times when I lost my hope in my dreams. I did not believe they could come to fruition.

But I stand before you three years later feeling grateful.

grateful.

humbled.

empowered.

loved.

excited.

I believe that I am just getting started. I am excited for some big things to come. I have ideas of where I want my life to go and what I want to do. Will they go the way I want them? Probably not. But that is the beauty of the Odyssey.

The Odyssey- chasing the dream.

Never stop dreaming. 

Never stop chasing.

Keep moving forward.

Thank you for the support. I will try my hardest to give back to you, day in and day out on this platform. 

Photos by Elier Rodriguez


What the Heck is Matt Doing??

It has been a little over a month now since I have finished the season with Ballet Austin. Although I have been not been on my same dancing schedule and getting ready for performances, I have kept very busy. Today, I just needed to sleep because I think the hustle caught up to me. I have been doing a lot of creating.

I have been taking photos for myself and for other companies. I have been vlogging my adventures. I have been writing a book. I have been reading new books. I started a food detox. I started a health journal. I started a project which gives people a chance to write about their lives. I am learning how to drive. I am teaching dance. I am still dancing on my own. I am hanging with friends and meeting new people.

Life has stayed really busy- but a good busy. The lifestyle is different than what I am used to, but I am trying to embrace the freedom that I have to grow in myself. This summer has been no short of amazing. I am excited for the next two months to keep creating and growing. I am excited to see what I learn and what I will accomplish. 

My personal blog has been about life and being a leader of your life. It has been incredible to write and I plan to continue to write. I really just want to keep you updated on what the heck I am doing and mostly say thank you. I get messages all the time about my website and the content that is on here. Seriously- I am so thankful! Make sure to watch the vlog to konw what I am doing on the day-to-day. 

Peace and Love y'all!