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!


Everyone is a Leader

I have heard people say- "I am not a leader."

Maybe that is you who has said that statement.

Maybe you have a friend that has said that statement.

IT IS NOT TRUE.

We are all leaders.

How?

Because we all lead our lives. YES! We are leaders of our lives. If we do not see ourselves as leaders, then we are not in control of our life.

It does not matter if you are extroverted or introverted. Loud or quiet. Leaders make decisions. You make decisions for your life. Thus you are a leader.

How can we be a good leader?

There are thousands of proverbs, essays, and books about how to be a great leader. We cannot cover the whole topic, but I was intrigued by a short film I saw on Youtube.

The short film is called, "DICKS: Do you need to be one to be a successful leader?"

A film director, Max Joseph went to many thinkers and other directors to figure out if you have to be a jerk (another word for dick) to be a successful leader. It was fascinating to hear people's perspective on the topic and learn what Max Joseph learned via this journey of discovery.

Here is my take on it all.

You kind of have to be a jerk to be a successful leader.

MATT! HOW COULD YOU SAY SUCH A THING. IF YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS, HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT? JESUS SAID TO LOVE EVERYONE!

Easy tiger.

You are right, Jesus said to love your neighbor and to love God. 

When I mean by jerk- I mean, you have to be forceful. You cannot be a successful leader if you are a pushover. As a leader, you have to be decisive and firm.

Last week I talked about boundaries and the power of saying the word no. To be an active leader of your life, you need to be firm with your path. You have to make decisions for yourself. You cannot let people run your life- YOU RUN YOUR LIFE (RULE 121)!

Let's take Jesus as an example.

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[e] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’[f]”
— Matthew 21:12-13 (NIV)

He OVERTURNED the tables. Jesus was not messing around- he was flipping tables. Jesus did love everyone, but he also was realistic and firm with those around him. Jesus was a great leader because he found a balance. Jesus ate with the sinners but was not willing to change his convictions for people to love him. 

We do need to be the kind of jerk who is rude just to be rude. We need to be firm with our path of life. We make decisions. We are leaders. If we want to be great leaders of our lives, we need to be secure with what we want in our lives.

What do you want in your life?

Do your actions demand that very thing you want in life or do you allow other things or people to get in the way of the very thing you want in life? 

It is okay to not know the answer right this second- but it is not okay to not be searching for that answer at all. Do not be afraid. Push yourself to find who you want to be in life.

What is your take on being a leader? If you watched the short film, what are your thoughts? I am always trying to learn. Let me know in the comments below!