Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I talk to myself.

It is hard to admit sometimes.  Even to myself.

I remember when I was younger, my parents would catch me.  It was always questioned, in such a harsh way. "What are you, talking to yourself!?"  It was so embarrassing for me.  Admitting to them that I was talking to myself left me ashamed.  As I got older, the conversations that I had with myself increased, and weren't just limited to the self-ranting, after being reprimanded.  My siblings caught me, my friends caught me, random people on the street caught me...

I probably looked like a crazy person to them [or to everyone].

Truth be told, I still talk to myself.  Maybe it has become an obsession.  I suppose it is my go to option.  I don't have to dial a number, use minutes, look at anyone, feel awkward admitting something to someone, or worry that they won't pick up/care about what I have to say/even want to hear from me.  It's not that I don't have people to talk to...it's just easier.

With deeper, more intellectual thoughts [or topics], I can call on a family member, or a trusty friend.  But when it is a more personal, abstract thought, I prefer consulting Matt.  He knows me better than I know myself, and is never afraid to send an honest rebuttal my way.  As crazy as all that sounds, I decided to Google it, to see what the public says.

After searching for "Is talking to yourself a bad thing?", I came to the conclusion that it is not.  Many of the posts [and studies] show that it is good for someone to talk to themselves, in order to pick the brain, and order/organize thoughts appropriately.  Don't believe me?  Check it out for yourself.  The results are not necessarily enlightening, but definitely much of a relief.

Relief as it is, I couldn't simply stop there.

I have noticed recently, around people I don't know, my inability to hold relative focus and attention in a common conversation.  No, I am not going to blame some attention disorder for this.  Rather, I am going to blame myself, and associate it with my gravitation towards self consultation.  Talking to myself doesn't require face-to-face conversation, confrontation, or any sort of visual stimulation (as a matter of fact, I highly dislike talking in the mirror).  Before I continue, I must note that I am not socially inept, nor unable to have a conversation.  I just believe that I have become more susceptible to losing interest in communicating with someone face-to-face.  Actually, I would admit that relative communication has become a poor suit for me lately.  I don't have much interest in making time to direct my attention towards someone for large amounts of time.  Alright, now do I sound crazy?

Yes, in fact, I think it is healthy.  I am on Mission Matt 2012.  As the year is coming to a close, it is only natural for me to reflect on what has been going on in my life, including a more recent update on day to day Matt.

I guess it is time for me to admit that I looked up symptoms of anxiety.  Among the 100 or so list of symptoms, one stood out to me.  It read, at the bottom of the page [as the last symptom], being alone.  Maybe my inclination to talk to myself is a result of being alone.  And maybe, just maybe, I am anxious because of it?

I prefer the term angst.  It has a strange ring to it.  And as I repeat it to myself [out loud, mind you], I am reminded of how perfectly strange talking to myself fits in with my life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Neale Walsch

I never liked this time of year.  The snow birds have migrated south.  Students are home from college, forming reunions.  Holiday decorations are starting to litter the homes in the neighborhood.  Fellow co-workers planning their holiday vacations.  Planned arrangements.  Holiday cheer floods the faces of people walking the streets.  Did I mention how much I dislike this time of year!?

I really don't know what it is.  It's not that I dislike seeing people happy.  It's not that I dislike seeing old friends.  Maybe I have just outgrown the holiday spirit.  Is that even possible!?  When I was a child, I remember when October came.  It was great!  Planning for what my Halloween costume would be, became an annual tradition.  Once Halloween passed, and the decorations were being taken down, talks of how Thanksgiving would go, immediately followed.   Once all of the leftover turkey sandwiches had been digested, the planned night to pick a Christmas tree was always quickly upon  us.  We'd venture out into the night, after a long day of school [and after school activities], to a lot filled with trees.  People would be walking around, looking for the perfect tree, with a big smile on their faces (frequently, even with a Santa hat on).  Within the next week or so, the tree would be decorated, plans for Christmas would have been set, and holiday shopping had begun!  As an aside, I will always recommend that this time of one's life is desired, absorbed, and cherished (although, as I grew up, everything I did was supposed to be "cherished" [am I now that old man, attempting to speak advice?]).  Christmas barely passed, before the new year was upon us, and then it was the countdown to my January 22nd birthday.  Not to mention, amid all of this, there was a cool crisp feel in the air (no, I am not going to get scientific "global warming" in this post).

I guess it is safe to say that I may have outgrown the tradition that we used to have.  My brother went away to college.  I eventually followed him.  And now, he is still away, and I have moved away as well, for work.  Everyone is getting older, and going their separate ways.  I think it is more than that though.  I know that we are all only a travel away (me a short drive, and my brother - a short flight), but I think that there is more to it.  The feeling of the holidays, the holiday spirit, and the celebration of the holidays is still possible regardless of a new location.  As people get older, and move away, they make their own holiday traditions.  They may not always agree with Mom's classic holiday tradition, but they are filled with their own holiday cheer.

I learned that this past week.

I suppose the culture of my new job has had its affect on me.  I was given a couple days off from work (the Friday after Thanksgiving and this past Monday as well).  Upon receiving the news of a couple days off, I immediately saw an opportunity of rest and relaxation.  Instead, the complete opposite occurred.  Going into last week, I had only made concrete plans with my friend that came in town, Austin (who I met when I was at FSU).  I had planned to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal at his house [with his family], and entertained the idea of seeing him when he was free (which is always entertained when he is down, but has a tendency to never occur).  This time was different, however.

I called Austin on Wednesday, to confirm the time for Thursday.  When we spoke, he mentioned that his father's boss had invited him on his boat [and told him that he could bring a friend].  Austin's other friend was busy on Friday, and couldn't go on the boat.  So I was the one he invited to go fishing.  Mind you, I have always been susceptible to motion sickness.  When I was a child, I used to get sick on a boat in the inter coastal!!  I used to also get sick on long car rides (as short of a distance as an hour).  I also never liked to be spun [as most kids do] because my dizziness would make me sick.  Regardless of my past experiences, I committed to going fishing on Friday.  He notified me that we would have to be on the boat at 7:15 am...AM!!!  So, I reluctantly took him up on his offer, packed a bag, and spent the night on Thursday.  Why do I state that it was reluctantly?  Well, this would note the first time I have ever slept at a friend's house [in my conscious memory].  I know that it sounds weird, but I never liked the idea of a sleepover (it always gave me a weird image and feeling).

I took one Dramamine in the morning, with breakfast, and we were off.  On the way out to the ocean, riding the waves, I got nervous.  My mind flowed back and forth on the possibility of getting sick.  I had thought I chased the thoughts away, until we were out in the middle of the ocean [off the coast of Palm Beach].  The minute we slowed down enough to cast our lines, we hooked four dolphin (even though we only got two in the boat).  The action of reeling in a fish was fine, even with the rocking of the boat, but the sound of a fellow crew member throwing up brought back horrible memories.  I had to turn away, bringing my attention to the trusty horizon (that is always told to look at, to avoid getting sick).  The cool breeze coming out of the south, rushed the boat, and my thoughts went away with it.  Unfortunately, we didn't catch anything significant after that (we had to cut both lines), and returned home.  On the way back, I realized what I had just done, and I felt a sigh of relief come over me.  I decided to label the day as an adventure, and stepping out of the box.

But wait, there's more!

Once we got back to Austin's house, I had received a text from my friend Dom.  He said that he was going to be hanging out with some of our mutual friends, and that I should come over when I can.  This is an odd occurrence as well.  You see, Dom and I became close friends over the summer, but more recently, he has gotten me angry.  On multiple occasions, he has broken plans that he had with me, to spend time with his girlfriend.  This is not a first time offense, so I cut him off for a month (didn't pick up his calls, respond to his texts, etc.).  It was odd to hear from him, but since the day had been going the way it was, I decided to roll with it.  I got to his house, and was told that I had to shower, because we were going to go to a party later that night.  So, I showered, and debated the idea of going to a party of a bunch of people from Fort Lauderdale, and then, having to drive all the way back home to Miami Beach, only to come back to Fort Lauderdale to work in the morning.  Dom told me that I was thinking illogically, and that I should just sleep over.  Again, I hesitantly agreed, borrowed some of his clothes, and made myself at home.  We eventually left his house, and proceeded to go to a couple of our friend's places, ending up at the house party that we were told to go to.  While we were there, I felt like I was trapped.  I didn't know many people there, and I was probably the only one not drinking or smoking (as my personal preference).  I eventually branched out, talked to some people, and had a great time.  Which reminded me of the old me.  I don't mean to get all nostalgic, but being there brought back great memories from years past.  Not that I would change who I am today, but it was good to have that momentary feeling again.

I woke up on Saturday morning, and went to work.  While I was at work, the lightly addressed idea of a group of friends meeting up to watch the UF-FSU rivalry football game was being put to action.  So, I got off work, and found myself meeting Austin at my mother's house, and riding over to Bokamper's (a local sports bar).  When we arrived, Adam was already there getting a table.  Soon after being seated, Mark showed up.  Marvel joined us later, and the crew was formed.  It was a good time.  After the memories, and the nostalgic wishes subsided, we were cheering, booing, and talking trash to each other.  While I was there, I got a call from Dom.  No, I wasn't going to stay out for a third night in a row, but I was asked to go to the Miami Dolphins game on Sunday (I had only been to one before, and I didn't have such a good time when I went).  I warily accepted his offer.

Sunday morning, soon after breakfast, I was off to Fort Lauderdale again.  Back at Dom's house, he got in the car, and we left to the game (I am unsure how he pulled it off, nor do I want to know, but Dom got mid field row 8 seats with a free parking pass).  The game was exciting, as we were practically on the field!!  While we were there, I met Dom's "Aunt".  This is only significant because I made the networking connection, and we set something up for her to help with Best Buddies.  I guess saying that everything happens for a reason fits well in this circumstance.

When I got back home late Sunday night (because I was coaxed yet again on Sunday evening, and went to dinner with Dom and his family), I was kind of stunned.  I felt like I had lived through a real-life experienced Hangover movie, minus any injuries, marriages or pregnancies.

The whole idea that I made it through those couple of days, without a set eating schedule, a set workout schedule, and a set sleeping routine, was...enlightening.  It sounds lame, but I learned a lot about myself during that time period, and I realized something important about life.

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." -Neale Walsch

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's Interesting

...how things work out.

With the variety of things that have occurred in my life, over the course of this entire year, I suppose that I should have anticipated a blog post of this nature.  The irony of occurrences, being deemed a manner of coincidence, has become a common theme for me.

Allow me to explain.  I believe everything that occurs, happens for its own [intended] purpose. 

And here I sit, at a desk, a year after I had thought about it.  When I was about to go into my senior year of college, the topic of a career after school seemed unavoidable.  Coming at me from all angles, like lasers in a competitive game of laser tag, I couldn't seem to shake the family members, classmates, friends, etc.  There wasn't really an opportunity for me anywhere, at that point.  I was just mulling over the angle I could take, to cover up the questions.  People seemed to quickly forget that I actually had an ENTIRE year left of school.  Nonetheless, I entertained the voice in my head, and proceeded to assume that Best Buddies would provide as a great opportunity, and a way for me to connect with people.  As the year progressed, I became more involved with school, my part time job, and various endeavours (both great, and horrible).  The idea of my "career" faded into the darkness.

As 2012 began, a lot of distractions became present in my life.  This led me far away from the idea that Best Buddies would work, and that I should instead pursue a career in the corporate world.  I have to confess that I had been very intimidated by the corporate world.  It seemed like some George Lucas esque place, in a land far, far away.  Regardless of my feelings, I went along for the ride, on a journey of what-ifs.  Applying to random jobs, in random cities would be a common theme for me, in the next couple of months.  Then, it was followed by a lot of hand sitting (because I was unsure if the corporate world even made sense for someone like me).  As the summer of 2012 ended (which I must say, wasn't a great summer to remember), I went to California with my father, for a Best Buddies ride event (which was not a set up either; I was simply along for the ride [no pun intended]).  While I was there, I was surrounded by this great organization, that I had been part of, for the entirety of my life.  Upon reflection of my time at the event, I was compelled to email the chairman of Best Buddies (who is a family friend), as well as some of the other main workers for the event, to tell them how great of an event I thought it was.  I got a great response back.  Low and behold, I became a topic of conversation, to be a future employee.  I was offered, in the meantime, to travel and volunteer for the Washington, D.C. event, in October.  That turned out to be a long, but great weekend.  I was now involved in the discussions, as a full time rides coach, for the event that they were planning on bringing to Miami in the future.  Along with that, the playful Best Buddies Challenge ride team honored me with the new nickname of "Pledge" (as though Best Buddies was a fraternal organization).  I embraced it all, and began to work towards starting at Best Buddies.  After about a month of time, I am here, in the Best Buddies International Headquarters Office, in Miami.  The Irony of it all, the pushing of myself away from the great opportunity that was thought up, only to fall back into the welcoming [and overly joyous] hands of this organization.  I was shown a couple of things along the way.  It has now become evident that I shouldn't allow myself to run away from things.  It is also now known to me, that life isn't as complicated as we make it.  When our minds run astray, and on to the imaginary [large] thoughts and ideas, it can be destructive. 

...and in the end, I find myself at the beginning of it all.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Perhaps, A Realization

I am found sitting on the balcony, sipping lemon ginger tea (you should really try it at the end of the day...I swear by it!!).  I feel the cool ocean breeze blow through South Florida, as I take in the panoramic view of the horizon.  The thought arises in my head of where I am, how I have gotten here, and all that has come along with it.

Sunday, May 13th: Mother's Day.  After dinner, and our Mother's Day celebration, I gathered my clothes and various other important items, and packed up every bag that I had.  Before I left the house, I took a last glance at my room, analyzing it.  I wanted to make sure that I didn't forget anything, of course, but that wasn't only it.  I have been in that room since 1993 (a time before I can recall my first memory).  It was time to move on.

Wednesday, May 9th: I came home from work, showered, ate, and was relaxing before I went to the gym.  I was in the guest room, having a conversation with my mother about her day.  The tone of the conversation swiftly shifted, as she read an email from her brothers.  It was in regards to dealing with my grandmother's things, following her death.  Due to previous tiffs that she has had with them, I sensed an issue was on its way.  She turned to me and laid out her frustrations on me.  I heard her out, and tried to remain objective, as I encouraged her to see the issues from all sides of the coin, taking her brothers' opinions into consideration as well.  I was later blamed for the involvement of taking sides, and agreeing with her brothers, while going against her opinions.

Friday, May 4th: After work, I showered and drove quickly to my grandparents' (my father's parents) apartment.  Upon my arrival, I was offered the usual snacks before we went to dinner.  I politely declined, and suggested we make our way to dinner.  It was the last dinner we had together before they left to go back to New Jersey for the summer.  During dinner, which felt like a literal last supper, we talked a lot about the coming week, them leaving, etc.  By the time dinner had concluded, it was official, I was going to be making a move in my life sooner rather than later.

Saturday, April 28th:  I made my way to their apartment to have dinner with my grandparents.  This time, I got there a little earlier, and decided it appropriate to dine on their pre-dinner snacks.  After a quick "nosh", we left to the restaurant.  Over dinner, I updated them on the happenings in my life, and they strongly suggested that I take an opportunity that they had previously presented.  Questions ran through my mind.  How could I do it?  How could it be pulled off?  What would end up happening?  School?  Work?

Since I have moved away from home, I have noticed quite a bit about myself.  I would say that I am not the person that I used to be, but that is way too cliche for how I feel about it.  I just have a different feel about what I do, and how I act.  I can easily deduce that this is due to a new found independence.  When I first moved, I was a little bit distraught.  The location of my new place is farther away from work and my friends, than was my parents' house.  Therefore, when I leave in the morning, I have to be sure that I am prepared for the whole day (food, changes of clothes, etc.).  I must admit, the routine is down pat now.  I no longer have restless nights, wondering what I am going to bring with me, come morning time.  And, well, I am getting better at finally being on time for things (although, I am sure it looks like Fast and Furious is being filmed on the highway sometimes when I am driving).  Aside from the newly adopted preparations, I have added other things to my list: food shopping and maintaining a clean environment.  As I said above, the routine is finally on point!! 

I also have noticed a change in myself emotionally, mentally, and most definitely spiritually.  I see a "calmer" me.  Learning to balance school, work, and my own place, has left me to be more quiet and reserved (I suppose it is called "maturing").  Following calmer emotions, it is easy to assume that I have been more level headed and aware of things, mentally.  I believe this holds true for me because, when on my own, I feel it is better for me to be more observant and aware (part of the independence deal).  Due to the change in location, emotions, and mentality, I have grown stronger spiritually.  This year has dealt some interesting things in my life.  I would have to admit that 2012 has not been the best year up to this point, but that's okay.  I have learned to live with different things in my life (whether difficult or not), by building my trust in Jesus.

On another note, people have been very negatively vocal about it:
"That drive is so far"
"That sucks"
"Do you even see anyone anymore"
"Why did you move"

...why did I move? 

The realization hit me, as I felt the warm tea touch my tongue.

So I could the Sun rise every morning
So I could see the planes landing and taking off, everyday, right over my car
So I could gain necessary independence
So I could become more mature
So I could grow in my faith
So I could learn
So I could be responsible

...so I could be me

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Speak up!

I have come to learn why I do not keep a journal. My hand would grow tired by thought number two. However, I am proud to be back on here to express myself.  I may not be documenting my entire life, but it makes me feel better to share what I feel and believe about certain issues, whether they are being read [or heard], or not. I have come to recognize the true reward of self expression and communication. 

I went to my friend's house to watch the Miami Heat - Indiana Pacers game 6, last Thursday.  I sat down to eat dinner with my friend's uncle, minutes before the opening tip-off.  Before taking a bite, he looked around the room, and became welled up in frustration.  As he turned his attention to me, he blurted, "isn't it unbelievable!?"  Seeing that I was about to fall victim to an older gentleman's pointless, frustrated banter, I played dumb: "huh?"  "You know, what is a tweet anyway!?", he exclaimed.  "Well it is expressing yourself through this social network, Twitter," I replied.  "Well who cares about what I'm doing, that I have to tell everyone!?", came blasting out of his lips, as he gathered some food onto his fork.  "Uh I don't know," I responded, playing dumb (and attempting to eyeball the food from the fork to his mouth, to shut him up).  "I just learned what a Facebook was, and now this whole Twitter thing comes along!?  Man, I gotta get up on the times," he said, as the food was entering his mouth.  This time, I responded by shrugging my shoulders, and diverted his attention to the TV.  As I shifted my own attention, I glanced around the room.  Everyone in the room was on their cell phone.

Just a day later, I got into a similar conversation.  I had gotten off work, and was hanging around my boss' house, chatting for a little bit.  Then his wife and I started to get into a conversation about relationships.  We soon shifted to the topic of communication.  She said that she "has no idea how people even know each other anymore.  All they do is text, tweet and facebook each other."  It's scary, but she has a point.  It was estimated in 2009, that 2.5 billion text messages were sent per day in the United States.  And that was only 2009!!  I can see where texting can be useful.  And I must say that I can see how social media is useful, as well.  Short spurts of conversation (reminders and simple notifications) seem to be the best reason to communicate via text or social media.  Unfortunately, having conversations using these outlets, has become the norm.  What makes it difficult to communicate this way?  The truth is evident...it is emotionless.  Aside from punctuation marks, there is no way to decipher what a person is truly trying to express, emotion wise, via text (it is hard to read into some jokes and sarcasm, for the majority of time).  I suppose many would defend it by stating how they recently downloaded the new emoji app, but even that doesn't suffice.  The expressed emotions provided through this app, are usually used in a humorous manner anyway.  

I'm straying too far off topic. 

What is the excuse for people to not simply call each other to communicate (the 'old?' norm)!?  Not enough minutes?  Don't want to talk that much!?  Can't talk?  Oh, and my favorite: "I don't have time to talk!"  Although all the excuses may be valid, the fact that there is time to go on Twitter, Facebook, and type out a 20 page text to send, means that there is enough time to call someone to tell them what is necessary to be told.  No, this isn't being written to single out an individual with horrible communication skills...I am writing this for EVERYONE with poor communication skills.  We have become so accustomed to the vrrt vrrt (the sound of a phone vibrating), that verbal communication is lacking.  How does this even matter in life?  Even if we forget about the relationship aspect of communication, mentioned above, there is still reason for concern.  

I believe that we are slowly slipping in the wrong direction.  Life has become too easily accessible.  We are constantly striving for the easy way out of things, or the easy way to solve something (or get through something).  It is innately ingrained in human beings to be most efficient in what we do.  Therefore, making life easier, makes the tasks at hand easier to perform.  Now, in relation to communication, texting is a human beings wildest dream. Social media is like the icing on the cake.  What is incredible to me, is how far we have strayed from the traditional way of life.  We have lost sight of the important, simple things that life has to offer.  Continuously engulfing ourselves in the madness of life, we have no time for anything else, let alone lay our heads in peace at night.  So, it is correct, we do not have time to call each other anymore.  And verbal communication?  It better be important, because "I only have 3 minutes before I have to keep moving (and when I pick up, I apologize for the noise, I am driving to work)."  No, I am not perfect, nor am I striving to call every single person I know, and talk to them, each and every single day.  That would be outrageous, and wildly uncalled for.  I am just slightly disappointed, and I do not look forward to what is to come in the future.  

“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
Acts 14:22b


I was at work the other day, and I found myself questioning my strength. Following a long day of labor, in which I spent 8 or so hours in the Florida sun, I proceeded to eat, shower, change, and go to the gym. I bumped into someone I know, upon my arrival, and was questioned about my day. I explained the job that we worked on, and skimmed through our list of required tasks. Through his twisted brow, I could sense his mind was in great wonder. He then asked me how I "even have the strength to be in here". I responded with a blank stare; attempting to conjure up some witty response, like how I have some sort of supernatural ability (which, for curiosity purposes, I do NOT have). Needless to say, I made it through the workout with ease, and with a high level of strength.

But I was left with something other than a good workout. I was left with a complex thought and perception of myself. The topic? Strength.

When I think about the word strength, several types of strength come to mind; mental, spiritual, and of course physical strength. [Yes, for some reason, many thoughts of mine tend to come in threes. Which I have deemed as unintentional, yet there may be a psychological meaning behind it (lucky number 3?).] As with most of my complex thoughts, I allow myself the time to think about, and analyze them. As a result, I have come up with interesting conclusions and discoveries; which relate to my life, but strength as a whole, as well.

Mental strength

I would define mental strength as the capacity that ones brain can be functioning at its highest rate, reaching its greatest capability. Well that's a mouthful! And it sounds like a Webster's definition. No, I did not look up the definition (if a documented definition even exists). What I have defined mental strength as, is actually very simple and easy to understand. I believe that everyone has different mental capabilities. Everyone's brain varies, giving people different abilities. The abilities are usually measured in some sort of intellect or intelligence. That being said, I do not believe that mental strength can solely be measured by intellect and intelligence. Yes, I believe that they play a great part in ones mental strength and capacity, but I do not believe that they are the sole variables in the measurement of strength. Questions arise: What about sanity? What about the fluctuation of emotions? What about being able to suppress feelings, in order to complete different tasks in life? What about the actual ability to be able to complete the said task? And wait a minute, how does this relate to me again? I measure my mental strength by three different things: 1. My emotions 2. My intelligence 3. My ability to survive. Emotions are mental. They develop in the brain, and influence the nervous system of the body (which begins in the brain anyway). Intelligence in developed in the brain as well. Different parts of the brain work together, with the result being some sort of intelligence. My ability to survive, I would give the title as 'natural instincts'. These may be genetic, developmental, influential, or a combination of the three. Either way, it is in my brain, which these 'instincts' come from, enabling me with survival. With the perfection of these three variables, working to their greatest ability, my mental strength is at its greatest capability.

Spiritual strength

I would define spiritual strength as the greatest relationship one has with God. That being said, it is not an easy task to define spiritual strength. Over the past couple of years, I have been in a great focus on my spirituality. I have come a long way to have the ability to EVEN define spiritual strength! Although I may be able to give a definition of spiritual strength today, I know that I would not have been able to, even as recently as a year ago. With that, measuring spiritual strength is an even harder task. I believe that everyone's faith has a variability to it. In other words, everyone's relationship with God is different (yes, choosing not to believe in God is still a relationship with God...just ignoring Him. Catch my drift?). I live my life with a Christian faith and Christian beliefs. Therefore, I believe that my spiritual strength is measured by my relationship with God, and mainly with Jesus. How have I grown to learn this? It has become more and more evident, as I dig into my spirituality, that a relationship with Christ is the most important thing in life. How can I back up this statement? In the old testament of the bible, it is centrally focused on having a relationship with God. As the new testament is written, the focus shifts. The focus does not go away from God, but it gives us a new focus, making it easier to reach God (Jesus). Having a relationship with Him is of utmost importance in order to strive to be spiritually in line, with the one whom spirituality came from. How do I perfect this strength? Or how do I become stronger in this relationship? Well, the bible talks about having to live by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). I think that the faith and the belief in God, through Christ, is how we reach the greatest spiritual strength. Several things can assist in the achievement of this greater relationship in spiritual strength: prayer, reading His word (the bible), and living as Jesus did (although a very general statement, I believe there are certain things that we should and should not be doing that coordinate with how Jesus lived His life). If these three are done to their greatest ability, then the greatest spiritual strength can and will be reached.

Physical strength

This one everyone should know. It's too easy right? Let me take a stab at it. Physical strength can be defined as the ability to perform tasks to their greatest physical capability. And how would physical strength be measured? People have different ways of measuring physical strength. Most would ask someone who goes to the gym, "how much do you bench?". I find it sickening that people can use one task, and base a measurement of strength on how that ONE task is performed. This applies to all aspects of physical strength, not just for the gym rats. I think physical strength is also measured by stamina. We have a certain level that we can perform at our greatest physical exertion. It is then, that one has reached their  greatest physical stamina. Is that the only barometer for measuring physical strength? No. I believe that the ability to move things plays into physical strength as well. To measure that, ones muscularity would have to be measured. But muscle structure does not define strength. Muscle is built as a result of recovering from tearing the muscle in the first place. The obvious seems true, that the larger muscle mass, the stronger the person. That may be true in certain aspects, but what ever happened to the expression, "it's not the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog"!? So how would I define the measurement of my physical strength? I would define it as the greatest ability to continuously perform the task at hand (very similar to my original definition). I believe that it isn't just the ability to lift or move things, it is also the ability to move or lift those things necessary to complete a task, over the given period it takes to carry it out (no pun intended).

Although I have been able to associate a definition, and a broad way of measuring [or not measuring] three different strengths, I have come to a grave conclusion. The greatest strength cannot be measured...at all! I believe that strength in certain things can be measured, but I find it impossible to clearly define how great ones strength truly is. Why? Well, what do we have to measure against ones strength? Yes, we can use specific tests and intricate devices, but what is it measuring strength to...a formulated mean or average? That doesn't help in measuring strength, because simply measuring apples to apples doesn't show ones will, drive, or resolve. There is another aspect that is immeasurable. The "it" factor, I suppose they call it. Allow me to translate it into layman's terms. We are all given different genes. With the genes, we have different abilities. Different strengths in different aspects. All which is immeasurable because we are forever developing and learning. With development comes an alteration in traits. With the alteration in traits, comes a change in strength(s). I assume the goal is to grow to develop the greatest all around strength in all aspects, which today, I deem as impossible to achieve within ones lifetime.

But hey, you tell me...


the last post about me being done and all.  I have too much to write to keep it in.  Welcome back to me.

In the meantime, I created another blog. It's more of a poetry type blog, to express momentary snippets of thought.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In The Moment

My final blog post:
I have deleted the things I have written, two times now.  Every time I sit down to continue the writing, I read what I have written, and become a little bit disappointed in myself.  I can't express my feelings correctly.  Maybe I need to go find some more friends.  Maybe I need to pick up another hobby or two.  Or maybe I just need to go to God more.  I go to Him, daily.  I go to Him, whenever I have a chance.  Maybe that's the problem.  I should probably be allowing Him every moment of time in my life, and putting everything else to "chance".  I have learned that I can't trust anyone, fully anymore.  My life seems to be somewhat of a train wreck.  When things seem to be going right...when God is SO prevalent in my life...when I am FINALLY heading in the right direction...something happens.  This time, I happened to lose someone.  I promised myself, that I wouldn't make a stink about it...that I wouldn't make my feelings public.  Some things cannot be helped, I suppose.  I have lost a girlfriend, a friend...a best friend.  My go to person is gone.  No, not to some horrible death, or move...but I suppose a moving of sorts anyway.  I have come to the conclusion that there is only one true relationship that anyone can get anything out of.  That is the relationship between a person, and God.  Every other relationship falls down from there.  It's a trickle down effect, you can say.  Perhaps, the best way to describe it, is by making a list of priorities.  If you are true to yourself, it becomes clear that the list is WAY out of order.  God should ALWAYS be at the top.  From there, everyone/everything else falls in line.  If not for a relationship with God, none of the other relationships can be successful.  This is not a declaration/suggestion to run from being involved with anyone or in any relationship.  This is simply saying that all things should be built, with God as the foundation of all.  Relationships are necessary, I believe, to satisfy one's physiological need of intimacy/connectedness.  I also believe that relationships are made to help encourage growth.  Growth in ourselves, and most importantly, with God.  I have grown a lot in the past year, and I am proud to say that I had someone very special to me, providing help.  I can also say that I don't feel like I am better on my own.  I KNOW I have God.  I will ALWAYS have Him.  But when someone helps you to come to know Him better, daily, it is just a crush to lose them.  Authentic love is non conditional.  Inauthentic love is clearly conditional.  I am learning how to achieve agape.  Not for someone else, but for the only relationship that ACTUALLY counts.  God isn't going to walk out on me.  God isn't going to give up on me.  God isn't going to say that I/our relationship is unfixable.  God is authentic, and everything/everyone else trickles on down from there.

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

Your love never fails
it never gives up
it never runs out on me

On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death and in life
I'm confident and covered by the power of your great love
My debt is paid
There's nothing that can separate my heart from your great love

Thanks for reading

Monday, January 16, 2012


From the day that I met you
I knew this was it;
we were meant to be
you and me
you knew who I was
you followed me 
you stalked me
you scared me
we went out all the time
even held hands in public
merrily we strolled
you and me
you watched me as I walked
you always gave me strange looks
you judged me the harshest
you scared me
one day we were hanging out
when I became sick
you weren't there to help me
you scare me
From the day that I met you
I knew this was it;
we were meant to be
you and me
you know who I am
you follow me 
you stalk me
you scare me

we go out all the time
even hold hands in public
merrily we stroll
you and me
you watch me as I walk
you always give me strange looks
you judge me the harshest
you scare me
everyday we hang out 
I never grow sick
you are always there to help me
you and me
you never give up
you nip at my heels
I will not give in
you scare me
you saved me from what I was
broken down and forgotten
you made me a better person
showing me the light in the darkness
eternal life is what you promised
but you could never come through
my soul is what you wanted
but I will never sell it to you
you promise me good things
and satisfy my soul
I have been granted eternal life
my past has been wiped clean
you can't hold me down

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Letter From Birmingham Jail

This was printed on the cover of the church's bulletin this morning:

There was a time when the church was very powerful -- in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators." But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey Gad rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.

This is an excerpt from a letter that Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, while he was serving time in a Birmingham, Alabama jail.  It is dated April 16, 1963.  

The entirety of the letter is here:


I firmly believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't targeted because he was a black man, with the intent to free his people from racist oppression.  I believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. was sought out to be stopped because he was an individual attempting to start a movement.  His words are Christ centered. He simply was crying out for support and help.  God doesn't say we can do it alone.  We need God's strength to band together, as brothers...as one unit, to help free ourselves.  God made us all free.  It is our own self, that causes us to be enslaved, with the sin of this world.  I challenge you to read this letter, and just like Martin Luther King, Jr. did, fight for your freedom...under God.  

Be free

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What Does It Mean? Pt. 2

I sit in The Blue Note Jazz Club.  Music fills my ears, as thoughts flood my mind.  I take a long blink, as though I have just woken up.  Much to my surprise, when I open my eyes, I am still there.  It feels like a dream to me.  To be in New York City, all the way from Florida.  Thoughts run wild.  It's incredible how advanced technology is.  It's great how I can just hop in a plane and be a thousand miles away, in a couple of hours.

I had decided to talk to her parents about it.  I was nervous at the time.  I doubted they would ever say yes, although there was a slight possibility that they would.  I relied heavily on the fact that I was asking about four months in advance.  So, I sent an email.

Four months later, we were boarding a plane (my girlfriend and I).  We were headed to New York City for the new year.  It was her first time seeing the city, and my first time during the winter season.  

Chris Botti spoke into the microphone, "Does everybody have champagne?"  After a resounding response of, YES, he continued,  "raise your glasses in the air, as we count down to the new year..."

You know, I never could quite understand the idea behind celebrating a new year.  Was it used as an excuse to party and celebrate.  What about the new year do we celebrate?  Is it the cliche saying, 'new year, new me'?  And what does champagne have to do with it?  Who invented that bubbly stuff anyway!?  

"HAPPY NEW YEAR!!"  Another year gone by, another year here, I thought to myself.  All I wanted was to hear the music anyway.  You know, I don't mean to be so cynical.  I suppose I have some things that I could look back on and be happy about.  But I don't get why people write down a list of this that they need to improve.  What are these things, resolutions?  Intentions to better yourself somehow?  Maybe in a way that was lacking from the past year?  I have never made one of these lists, you know.  I would always fake it when I was younger, in an attempt to merely please my parent's request.  Lost in thought, I hear the finale, and the show is over.  I have to muster up some good speech to deliver, about the new year, and the resolutions that entail, once we reach the hotel. 

To my surprise, the subject was only grazed over.  Working out to my benefit, I thought.  

I lie in bed, with my head facing the ceiling.  My girlfriend is fast asleep, nestled into my body.  I hear her heavy breathing, as I attempt to rid my mind of these twisted thoughts.  I can't understand why I am trying to write my wrongs for the year in my head, laying in a hotel bed.  For crying out loud!!  Maybe the weight of them has just become too heavy.  Maybe I need to tell someone what I am feeling.  But wait, if I do that, then I am immediately vulnerable.  I will look weak, and in dire need of help.  Eh, maybe I'll just blog about it.

You know, there were a few things going through my mind that night, none of which has been previously discussed  with anyone, until now.  I suppose the thoughts, and my attempt to correct them, have become my 'resolutions'.  I should probably start with my most embarrassing, risque thought, then work backwards.

I have had a problem.  I couldn't help myself really.  I feel like it was almost uncontrollable.  I felt helpless.  Even though I was able to recognize the problem, and the issue, I wasn't able to fully conquer it.  I would go days, weeks (which is much improvement) without it.  I had an addiction.  To what, you might ask?  Masterbating.  This is touchy enough of a subject for all of us.  Whether open about it, or joking about it, there is always an odd vibe after a conversation where this is the topic.  It became a problem for me from the get go.  It then turned into a habit.  Following that, it became more.  I became addicted to other things.  Pornography and seeking other ways to further please myself.  Just this past year, I made a goal.  Rather, I made a point to stop my habit.  I decided the best way would be to eliminate the things that led to the actual act itself.  I took away the porn and I took away being creative.  Now it was up to me to just control myself, with myself, and stop.  I can't even begin to tell you how hard it is (no pun intended..ugh) to hold something back, when it had such a huge impact on your life.  But when I thought about it, it was simple.  It HAD to stop!!  I sit here writing this blog, confidently telling you that I have conquered this.  Do I still have thoughts, and urges?  Yes, I am a human being.  But what I know, is that I am done.  Although, I know that I did not do this alone.  Which is a perfect segue into my next thought [or resolution].

I made it a goal to love on God more.  To reach a point where I come to the fork in the road, and always choose God.  But wait, Matt, I thought you were already a Christian?  Indeed, I am a Christian.  But I challenge those to define what a Christian is.  I have done this here in my blogs before.  Here, I just want to be more than the church goer.  I want to be more than the typical tither.  I want to be the guy that is following Jesus so closely, that I am riding bumper to bumper.  [I'm tired of chasing His shadow].  I want to change the world (don't get that twisted...I do NOT want to rule the world).  I want people to look at me, and see something different.  I was at my church's study on Wednesday night.  They call it, 'huddle time'.  It is a time where the high school students are invited to gather at church.  There is usually a message, and some fellowship.  The basic message that gets repeated over and over again is simple: show that you are different.  To add to that, the students are told to be more like Jesus (which, if you break it down, is exactly being different than everybody else).  The questions then arise; What does it mean to be like Jesus?  What does being a Christian look like?  It was this past Wednesday, when one of the high schoolers put it into simple terms, and into a great perspective: Jesus shines.  At first glance to any Christian, this is a no brainer.  But to a believer; one who truly believes in God, and what He did/does for us; this is HUGE!!  I have heard Bible verses on it before.  The light...Jesus...be like Him; but it never sunk in like it did the other night.  In my struggle to show how I am trying daily to be like Jesus, two words that a 15 year old girl said hit home.  

Jesus shines.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What Does It Mean? Pt. 1

Firstly, I would like to apologize for my lack of entries, as of late.  It has been a rigorous and busy past six weeks [or so] for me!  I had to turn in my leased car and get a new one.  Then a week later, wrap up the school semester.  Followed by winter break, which included Christmas (and all of its associated events), Breakthru, and a vacation for New Years.  Although everything is true, those are roughly the WORST excuses.  I know that I had time to write an entry in there.  Instead, I decided to take notes in my phone, of things on my mind that I would like to share.  I apologize ahead of time for the choppiness of this entry so far.  I am a bit rusty, I suppose.  Bare with me.

Buy a Christmas tree, put it in the stand, decorate it, and stare at it.  Feel the frenzy as Christmas Day approaches; anticipation, causing frantic anxiety.  Purchase gifts, wrap them, place them under the tree, and wait.  Christmas Day arrives.  Open the much anticipated presents, eat, lounge around all day, and then it's all over.  What is Christmas about?  Is it the items we receive?  Is it the food we eat?  Is it the people we spend time with?  Is it the shopping?  Is it the Christmas Eve church service?  Or is it actually about Christ?  Yes, Jesus Christ.  You know, the baby in a manger?  Yeah, well, when we get all caught up in the gift giving, the eating, and our loved ones that we cherish during that time of year, we forget the most important thing.  It's interesting...people have gone so far as to look it up, and disprove that Jesus was even born on Christmas Day.  Then, now back to the crux of the issue, what is the purpose of celebrating the day?  Well, Christmas is divided into "Christ's Mass".  Therefore, meaning the celebration (mass) of Christ.

So, there I was, in traffic.  It was December 22nd, for goodness sake!!  I knew that was going to happen.  I should have done my shopping earlier.  I do the usual, traditional 'beat myself up about it' rendition, as I found myself stuck at yet another red light.  That's when it hit me.  Why are we buying gifts for each other!?  Has tradition grasped such a hold on us, that we can't help but continue to follow in it?  Am I suggesting that we stop the giving of gifts?  NO!  I am merely suggesting that we stop the absolute craze!  What bothers me, is the great intent to please so many people around ourselves.  The desire to give to those who have got.  Am I making any sense?  Maybe if we look at the numbers:


Now how ridiculous does it sound?  The pastor at my church showed that during his sermon, two weeks before Christmas.  It made me want to do something.  It made me want to give my time.  It made me want to take action for those in need.  Sacrifice what I have, to give to others.  Isn't that the ENTIRE meaning of the Gospel!?!?  Isn't that EXACTLY what God did!?  Does the name Jesus Christ ring a bell??  Isn't that why we celebrate anyway!?  Where is the Christ in Christmas these days!?!?  Maybe I am a few weeks late on this, or maybe I'm right on time.  I was told, not too long ago, that it is never too late to act.  I firmly believe this.  I firmly believe that we are capable of many things.  It is just that we don't have the thought...rather, the desire to take the steps to do what is right!!

And guess what?  Santa Claus...yeah, He's real!  Think about it.  "You better watch out, you better not cry.  Better not pout, I'm telling you why.  Santa Claus is coming to town.  He's making a list, and checking it twice.  Gonna find out who's naughty and nice.  Santa Claus is coming to town.  He sees you when you're sleeping, He knows when you're awake.  He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!  O!  You better watch out!  You better not cry!  Better not pout, I'm telling you why.  Santa Claus is coming to town.  Santa Claus is coming to town."  Do you know who Mr. Claus is made out to be?  Do you know what He represents?  It's God.  I had this revelation while singing this song a few weeks back.  Think about it.  He sees you when you're sleeping.  He knows when you're awake.  He knows if you've been bad or good.  Why, that sounds like Santa knows all!!  The very symbol of what Christmas is; the face of the holiday is a portly man, dressed in an outrageous, and vibrantly red, suit...played as a figurehead for God.  Do you see the commonality!?

The holiday has long passed, but there is still time to act!!  Don't get caught watching the hustle and bustle.  Be the person who changes CHRISTmas!!