Matt’s Blog

Over the past few months my thoughts, ideas, and emotions have been documented through my journaling. This blog will allow me to share some of my thoughts and lessons learned along the way. Please enjoy the ride!

World Peace Plan

New world, new man, new life

The view from one of the rooms that a group of UD students were at in Augsburg

What does it mean to be new? First you have to accept what made you old in the first place; Then you must move forward and understand the ways in which you plan to change- For me one thing I know I need to change is using words as a weapon, they are easy to come off the tongue, but they cut like knives and their bruises never heal. I have verbally abused, have been verbally abused, and also have seen verbal abuse in our everyday media; neither makes the other right. Practice ever lasting love; hate & anger is temporary, so when you are faced with anger, return it with love and you will overcome the hatred you are faced with. This will allow you to spread the word of love to all that you surround yourself with.

Catch ya on da flip

When a coin is flipped to make a decision via heads or tails, the desired outcome instantly made in the moment the coin is flipped… So why even listen to the outcome? Well, you don’t have to because it is just a guideline for assisting in your decision making process- Just like other guidelines in life, they are merely bumpers in which to keep you in your lane, but never to decide on your direct path. You control your destiny

Change

How will you change yourself?

Everyday you are given 1000’s of opportunities to make choices. A few months ago I started making great choices everyday. That all changed about a month ago when I went to Germany, I began to ignore the one fact that shadowed over me like a big dark cloud; I was still on anti-depressants and whether I wanted to acknowledge that fact or not it was still a fact. Since my entire environment changed I thought it was okay to ignore this fact since I did not see the instant change that this would cause to my everyday life. This led me down the wrong/ a dark path of continuous poor choices. Ultimately what led me back here, but that also is my driving change. I plan on changing the way I treat my body, like not giving it the sleep it so desperately, but also choosing to live my life in moderation; Just like my Dad would have wanted me to!

The Silver Lining

At first, God damn was I angry. I was back in the last place in the world I wanted to be; Columbus, Ohio. I was supposed to be in Europe, but instead I was at home checking into an impatient facility in Columbus, Ohio. But it isn’t that simple, my life was saved by those who love me when they brought me back from my trip and helped me receive treatment for my manic state that I was in, little did I know how much my medicine was negatively effecting me, but that was mostly my fault due to my lack of care given to my mental & physical health. Instead this trip home allowed me to grow into a flower full of various fruit; unlike any flower ever seen before. This flower is beautiful, because it was allowed to prosper and cultivate into what it is today. At first when I tried to rush out of the care that was being given to me, I got nothing in return. Now I have a field of flowers, which I can pick and choose from as I wish; What a gift!

The most important thing in my life

At first many things come to mind, but they all seem to step back to one giant answer, my mental health, because I have seen the real consequences that come from neglecting my mental health or even seeing what happened when my father neglected the help he so crucially needed, or even those all around me who unfortunately are to scared to seek help; But when this “thing” is given priority it allows all other aspects to prosper; like my girlfriend Clare, my family, my responsibilities, etc. At the start of this month I stopped treating my mental health with respect; which directly led to my downfall, but like a phoenix I have risen from the ashes, stronger than ever before, and ready to take on the world!

Criticizing the butterfly

At times I feel like a butterfly, going from place, person, or thing and interacting with it/them. Mostly I love people’ I love connecting with people on various levels which can lead to fruitful relationships down the road. One way I would challenge this positive quality is to give more respect to my perspective flower that I plan on landing on. Some like to keep to themselves and although it is always great to break people or things out of their shells (Think pistachios!), it is also their choice, just like it is my choice, and a great choice to eat PB & J’s with no crust!

Dear Matt, Thank you!

You have earned this thank you, yes from yourself, for trusting the process, keeping your head up, and relinquishing the toxic anger that was filling up my body the past few days. Instead of ignoring those closest to me I took their advice and listened to every word, because those were words of love. Their love is the only reason why they cared at all, all that love came right at me in a big old ball of love, at first it knocked me off my feet but once I got up and realized the overwhelming support around me, how could I not be grateful!

Why discuss Mental health?

If there was a disease or virus which had the same devastating effects on people as mental health does, it would be much bigger news than Donald Trump’s newest tweet! Instead we treat the discussion of mental health the same as we did communism during the heart of the cold War; some type of pseudo-McCarthyism in which we reside under the presumption that if we even merely discuss the devastating illness which is mental health, than we too will be infected! Well I challenge you to take a step back and look at all the ways in which lack of discussion, awareness, and research have had an impact on you, your family, and your community; then join me in saying “I will not remain silent”, let us stand for all those who are unable & fight against this horrible “disease” that is mental illness!

Happy Birthday To me!

My fresh birthday outfit, of which my mother certainly did not approve!

My guy, you are twenty years old and have successfully acquired hair on the majority of your body, impressive! A little late to the party, but it is usually better that way anyhow, let’s say, fashionably late to the whole physical maturation thing; Fuck it! Two decades, or 7,301 days, getting through one day can seem like the biggest challenge in the world at times, so congrats on that! It is impressive just to survive, but to live is a whole extra treat that some never even take the chance to bite into, well I’ll be the first to tell you; take a bite! Let’s party like it’s July 27th 1999!!!!

Banjo Bickering’s

Well, yesterday I bought my first musical instrument, a banjo! This was inspired after I was given the chance by a man in Augsburg named Andy to play his banjo which was his “baby”, of course this was only after I sang a song for him while he played a tune on his banjo with my friends and I laughing the whole time. As he reminded us of his name and his state of being “tipsy” over and over again, he reminded me of the ways in which music brings people together, no matter the culture. So yesterday when I made my first purchase and my brother Nick bought a set of harmonica’s I accepted the challenge; not one of mastering the banjo, or always being tipsy, but of bringing people together no matter their culture or situation, by expressing ourselves through music whether it is played live or on a phone… so as I struggle to get a chord going, don’t worry about me, I’m just Matty B, but I ain’t Tipsy, I’m Happy (:

Patience as a virtue

Wow! Discharge day; what a great day to be alive! At first you would crush yourself, by convincing yourself that you were discharging the next day. Well each morning, sadness ensued when you realized that the only one expecting or planning on discharging that day was you! It wasn’t until my Persian friend asked me, “What’s one more day?” I took that question to heart, and answered nothing, but this nothing was not easily achieved. If you would have asked me on my first day at the impatient facility I would have said that one more day was everything in the world since I felt so lonely there at first, but in reality the only thing that my world revolves around is surviving, and once I realized that, one more day became, well, one more day. This comfortableness was achieved through slowly making peace with myself then making peace with the workers and patients I was spending my time in the facility with. This allowed me to create a support network in one of my darkest places I have ever been, because if you can light a match in a cold dark cave, well you can light one anywhere, even flying down the highway with the windows down! So I decided to take a step back and go with the flow, of which the pace was set by those professionals around me; four days later and here we are, I feel amazing, I feel like a new man!

Will he/she/me ever get better or back to normal again?

First and foremost I am no professional on mental health let alone anything at all; I am a viscous advocate though for the research development & discussion of mental health as a disease and illness that plagues our society, where I am working towards destigmatizing the word which currently diminishes the crushing blow that it currently serves to families all over the world daily. So when you ask that question that almost anyone who has come across any type of illness asks’ If they will ever be okay again; I say from my experience that without professional help it is like taking multiple jigsaw puzzles, mixing them together and assuming that it will just create a giant puzzle when you put them together, but that is not possible without the help of a professional. So reach out, get help (1-800-273-8255 Suicide Prevention hotline, you are not alone); my hope is that through the things I learn everyday, I am never the same as when I woke up that day, but always the same me! So help yourself or your loved ones in getting help, not so they are “normal” again, but are able to grow each day again like the beautiful flower they once were, but always the flower they always will be!

“A” Side or “B” side

When you first meet someone, you usually get their “A” side; of course I am referencing the dual sides of a LP record album (While listening to my new John Denver album in the background as I write). Most times, this record situation works in people’s favor since their more enjoyable qualities are played out right away; what happens when they only play their “A” side? There is no depth! So, don’t be afraid to play your B side; for it allows you to show your true self- once you get through the first side, flip that bitch & play the rest!

Hello? Hello!

Ever notice how when you are walking towards someone, both you and the other person look up, down, or even at your phone? Usually your interaction is based on your mood, personality, and also your relationship- At first, saying hi may seem scary, but it is the same as with fish, most times they are more scared of you then you are of them; With humans they are usually just as scared if not more than you are; Better yet, they might just need to hear it; imagine how many people you pass a day, now you may be friendly to a certain amount of people per day based on how your days going. Now imagine one person everyday needs to hear a “Hi, how are you doing today?” from a friendly person more than anything else in the world, but the issue is you don’t know who it is going to be. So, I challenge you to treat everyone like that “one,” because we are all humans and we all need some love!

Taking off

Me getting a 15 min massage before my flight(:

When we go somewhere by plane there’s usually a few things that go into getting there. Starting with buying tickets, hotel, and any other amenities can be stressful, but the real stress starts the 24 hours beforehand and until you are home in your bed again(let’s be real). The stress can cause angst and worry about wether your kids are going to misplace their passports or tickets, the weather may delay your flight, or that damn close connection that you thought was a great idea when booking because you saved $1 on your flight moving it closer together. Well my first bit of advice is to take a deep breath, no one can control the uncontrollable, so don’t try to or you’ll drive yourself crazy. Second take precautions, but once again if for some reason your kid loses their ticket, it’s not the end of the world, and by god do not take your stress out on them, all that teaches them is that it’s okay to be reckless less with your anger & stress. Be that shining star while traveling, let someone go in front of you that is in a rush(you’re all taking the same plane anyway), hold the door, or offer to help someone out who needs it. When others are happy while traveling then you’re happier, it’s the true solution to stress free traveling. So as I take off for NYC, mom I’m supposed to tell you that an old woman says thank you for raising a child who doesn’t act like chivalry is dead since I let her go in front of me. But chivalry is dead it’s time for humanity to take over and all of us to start treating each other like we are- HUMANS!

Opportunity is in the air; Seize it!

These past few days I was lucky enough to spend in NYC, learning all about HBO’s brand, marketing, and also Riddle & Bloom (the marketing agency that is contracted by HBO). Aside from delays and missed flights both ways, of which I managed to make the most out of. I was able to immerse my self in one of the most progressive media companies in the US. I was able to learn about how to market to and attract customers in different cultures or how to use satire as an advantage while marketing! All of these were because my conversation I had with my brothers roommate Ricky, after he told me about his brand ambassador positions for Amazon and many other brands. So I applied for the Amazon one and waited, until one day I got my interview! It went great, but I never ended up hearing back. I moved on from it and keep my head up, but then without expecting it, they reached out with the opportunity for an interview with the HBO program. I was elated, so I told them that I was +6 hours ahead in Germany, but I’d love to find a time that works. Well the interview was mostly spent talking about studying abroad due to the interviewer also having spent time abroad, but by the end I was moved forward in the hiring process. So, you may be asking yourself, why is this kid sitting here bragging about his success, I’m not; I’m trying to explain that if you just keep your mind set on your goals and you attack them promptly and consistently you will not only achieve them, but you will then thrive in the new life you’ve created for yourself. I can say, as of right now; I’m thriving baby!

When feelings turn to memories; self-help not self harm

There are days, when things like happiness, joy, and even pain seem like distant memories; almost like all you are is a blunted blob floating through the day. A few months ago I felt like that blob. Days would go by without my feelings coming and going with them. I was in a state of gray, let me tell you it was terrible. I didn’t really know what was going on then as I was very uneducated about the warning signs of depression. As time went on things got worse, until one day I was going to brush my teeth and noticed the pinch of my travel tooth brush plastic; the first feeling I had in a long time. That feeling was pain, my instant reaction was fear, of myself. I had always wondered why someone would ever self-harm, at that moment I understood, but I also understood that’s when I needed help the most. I turned to my friends, psychiatrist and even ended up becoming certified in mental health first aid. Damn it feels good, to feel good. Now I still am on my journey, every day is a new battle, but that doesn’t stop me, just as it shouldn’t stop you, keep fighting!

-Matt Best

Is it ever going to be okay again?

How to deal with life changing grief or drastic life events with the idea that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Only the present moment contains life”
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh

That morning, 11/1/2018. My life changed for ever, for better or worse I have no idea. To this day I still could not tell you, because on one side, I would do anything to have my father back, but also I would never go back to being the person I was before I lost him. Additionally I have noticed that recently I have a connection with him spiritually that I had not had for a very long time. For me that was not achieved through going to speak to people, praying for signs, or even trying a god damn Ouija board. It was after my best friend/girlfriend Clare gifted me a book called, Peace Is Every Step, by Ticht Nhat Hanh. This book allowed me to stop spilling my energy outward, but instead focusing on self reflection. This self reflection led to me finally being able to find myself in the mist of this massive storm. When I found myself though, it was like finding a flower that had some how, someway, continued to grow under terrible growing conditions. Turns out, flowers can still bloom while you’re away, but you’ll never notice that, if you never go back to find them. Well I was able to find my flower, I can tell you that there were times and there still are times that joy and happiness seemed like precious medals in my family. At times we never knew if we would find happiness again. Well I can tell you I’ve created what I call my happiness wheel. I call it a wheel, not for a specific reason, but because if I turn it or spin it, it lands on something I love. It consists of people, music/art, and animals; the over arching value above these though is adventure. This allows me to adventure with people and relationships, adventure through music like going and buying a ton of $1 records and sitting through the ones that look funny and good with my brother, then testing them out, and adventuring with dogs like how I walked and dog sat over 20 different dogs this summer. Consider me Indiana Jones, Matt Best edition, because I will never stop adventure; you shouldn’t either!

What’s your pot of gold?

For me the idea that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is similar to the saying that it’s not the destination, but the journey which matters. The journey to that pot of gold is what really matters! Today my mom challenged me, she said find your fun, wherever that may be, go out and find it! So, I did, I biked around, walked with my brother and took him to some of my favorite shops, we thrifted, went to a hobby store, and even went to Flag Lady USA the famous flag shop right at the end of our street! Then there after that I enjoyed the company of my brother Jake and cousin Mikey, which led to me enjoying Mitchell’s ice cream! It’s so much better than graters it’s not even close. Then I took a nap! After my siesta I went to my grandmothers as I bought her a fake silver spoon (she thought it was beautiful) in Innsbruck to match it with her current collection. When we were there we sang her favorite songs, I danced, and we laughed. Challenge accepted, but also challenge completed. By the end my mom and I were gifted with a beautiful rainbow on our way home, shes going to kill me for posting this picture, but I think she looks beautiful in it so I’m going to anyway!

Johnny Appleseed

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, but raised in Ohio. I kind of like to think of myself as similar to the airplane; because when people ask me where I’m from I never know where to answer. Well fast forward twenty years and I’ve been able to live in DC, Cleveland, Columbus, Germany, New Jersey(I don’t like to talk about it, and obviously Dayton! As I continue to travel and leave old places behind, I think not that I am uprooting myself when I leave, but instead planting my own little apple trees. These trees are usually made up of the community I’ve left behind with the relationships I’ve made intertwined within them. Just like Bay Village for example, I leave, but then when I come back it’s like my apple tree has always been there and continues to grow. This is due to the care people put into taking care of the apple tree. This care is the way that they continue to interact with each other with love and respect, but also the way they welcome me back with endless love each time. This also happens in places I haven’t lived in for long. When I was walking down the street yesterday one of my friends I made while charging lime scooters was a panhandler who does nothing but spread love all day on High street, right next to buckeye donuts. I’d say you should’ve seen his face when he saw me, but really you should’ve seen mine. It was like thinking something would’ve been just left to die, but here he was smiling as big as the Earth so happy to see me! He asked where I’d been and I said Germany, at that moment he got so excited! He had been previously stationed in Frankfurt while serving our country in the military, we then spent some time talking about Germany. It wasn’t until I kept walking that I had noticed what assumptions I made previously based on my own ignorance. I had talked to and passed this man more times than I could count, but never did I ever think he traveled outside of the country or even serve in the US military. Why? Why, do we make these assumptions, well in a simple sense; because we don’t know! Then we allow these ideas to manifest a reality in our head, growing assumptions based off of this original thought, which was wrong! So quickly you can see how this turns your apples sour… don’t allow your apples to sour, even Granny Smith apples are made with love, but instead allow your apple trees to grow big and tall!