Hopes and Dreams

Broke Kids



I’m broke as shit.

The nature of my job is inconsistent at best. I freelance, so sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it’s bad.
I haven’t made a dime in nearly two months.
It can be a real struggle in times like these. I’ve been out of town dealing with family issues when my phone has rung for any job I obviously couldn’t take. Call it bad timing, bad luck... or whatever, the point is I haven’t made a dime in months.

And I’m starting a company.

I’ve mentioned it here before, but mostly what I do for a living is dealing with the marketing departments of companies to come up with content for advertising. Of products I may or may not like. Hell, for companies I may or may not like. Regardless, it’s not at all what I want to do.

Last year some close friends and I even had an idea to start a little creative firm. We “tried”, but it obviously didn’t work out. I wanted to do it, we just had creative differences that made it seem hopeless and depressing while we were trying to make things, and then even more so once we stopped. That kind of fucked me up.

No, it did.
I was in a huge rut after that.

Ever since then I’ve had ideas, concepts, goals, and aspirations that I haven’t accomplished or even worked towards. Sometimes I would talk about certain ideas or potential projects, maybe even make half assed plans at the bar with a friend, but I never got around to actually making or working towards anything. I would just float by thinking, “Maybe next month?”.

Well, I decided to bin all that non-sense and start my own company to use as a platform for every idea I’ve ever had. I’m here, now, I don’t see the point in wasting any more time. Broke or not, I have a sense of urgency and drive that I’ve never experienced before in my entire life.

And I’m not doing it alone. In fact, I realized there are loads of talented creators with unlimited imagination and no platform to create. It’s a god damn tragedy if you ask me.

The Yin to my Yang, Kirsti Schroder, who I love to death, is my partner in this. She’s a positive-creative force to be reckoned with, who has a unique ability to control the chaotic nature of my ideas and aspirations. We have been friends for years, and I value her, her friendship and her ideas above most people on this planet. I would not have even made the first step in starting this new venture without her. We are going to do great things together.

The third piece to the initial team is Jordan Francis Perry. Jordan and I went to college together where we did not know each other. This is probably a common thing, as most students at universities don’t know every other student, but we went to a tiny fucking school in an even smaller town. I met Jordan at a Seahawks bar in Hollywood. I recognized his roommate, James. “Oh, I think we had some class or something together”. All that shit. We all exchanged numbers and said we’d hang out, but never really did outside of the bar. But guess what? Jordan and I are both of fans of alcohol and the Seahawks. It was inevitable we would become such close friends. Also, Jordan and James were making ridiculously funny shorts on Instagram, which is how I was introduced to Jordan’s talents. Fun-fact about Jordan: He may be one of the most self- deprecating people I’ve ever known, but his insight into the world around him and at large is unique, refreshing, honest, and beautiful. We are going to do great things together.

So what’s the plan? What is this company? What are my ideas? I’ve noticed some people have a difficult time explaining it.

In short:
It’s a creative-firm and boutique media company.

Yeah, it sounds sort of douchey to me too unless I explain it further.

The first step has been recruiting anyone like us. Anyone who feels like their soul is being sucked away by doing dog shit for a living while a fire in their gut is telling them to create something of substance.

What ideas do they have? How can we help make that happen? What can they do?

We’re using every resource and talent we have to accomplish other people’s goals in order to develop a solid collective. Someone wants to make a fashion film that fits within our world? Let’s make it. Someone needs to a platform to launch their passion project? We’ll give them that.

The idea is to make things. Original things. New things. Things that deserve to be made.

We’re working with clients, bands, small businesses, clothing companies and whoever else to make quality content that fits within our “world”. We make dope shit for people who like the things we create. The ability to say “No” to someone or something I don’t think fits within the creative dimension, direction or aesthetic is key. My soul will be in tact by the work I create. There’s no #blessed around these parts.

As of right now, we’re making a billion different things. I’ve never been busier in my life, and I’m currently not making a dime. The initial costs of birthing multiple new ventures under the umbrella of this one company have been and will be great. Which is exactly how the name was developed; Broke Kids.

Ideally the name will eventually become an ironic reminder of the present.

Or an unfortunate, but accurate reason for why I become homeless.

Either way, I’m going to make dope shit.

-Matthew Bleeds

Die Happy


My neighbor across the hall is an elderly Hispanic woman who speaks very little English. I speak very little Spanish. We can hardly have a meaningful conversation, yet we have a funny relationship. She is very old and has trouble walking without a walker. Every time I see her walking to and from the building’s entrance I lend her my arm (to her delight, as the six stairs can be particularly tricky for her). Her smile (which is always present) and gratitude makes me smile. She seems like a very happy person. We attempt to communicate, mostly about superficial things, usually about the weather. It’s hard to talk about anything else when we don’t share the words. Somehow we both end up laughing. She once insisted I was rich because I own a car. I laughed hard. Perspective is everything.

I have no idea how she gets down those six stairs when I’m not there. Even with my assistance, it takes her a fucking year.

This week she has been rushed to the ER twice. I have heard members of her family crying, bellowing, and wallowing in sadness on multiple occasions. The first time, I thought she was dead. My landlord has had to open the door to check on her while her daughter is freaking out at the lack of response from her mother inside. Whenever I hear commotion, I press my ear to my door and hear everything as if I were outside. I worry, so I listen.

For the past 6 months her daughter (who once told me that her mother refers to me as her boyfriend) has slowly been coming over more and more to check in on her. She yells “Mama! Mama!” repeatedly to wake her up nearly every day now. The frequency of the daughters visits, the ambulances... It appears my neighbor isn't doing so hot. I would bet money that she needs a caretaker but cannot afford it. I haven’t seen her, but I would wager my life that she’s smiling when she can.

One day, her daughter’s calls will not be answered, she will start panicking again, call my landlord, who will unlock the door and they will find my sweet neighbor across the hall dead. And I will probably have my ear pressed to my door. Listening. Probably crying.

I will have to remind myself, “Everyone dies.” And I will hope she was happy.

Sometimes, I think, people would consider my outlook on life lacking in optimism. Throughout my life I have been accused of being pessimistic to the nth degree -the term “grim” has even been thrown around before. My brothers, my sister, my mother and my father will all attest that I have never been the bubbliest person. I often refer to myself as a “moody cunt”, and I think that is an accurate description.

But I’m not pessimistic. Really, I’m not.

I admit to being a moody cunt, I’m working on it, but I am nowhere near a pessimist. I reject that label whole heartedly. I would argue that I am a pragmatist with a healthy level of optimistic influence. I want things to work out, I work on things so that I can better control the likelihood that things will work out, but I would not bury my head in the sand to maintain a belief that things will. Damn things are sometimes out of my control. Such is life.

I do not believe there is a benevolent creator or fate and thinking of an after-life seems like a foolish waste of time to me. When I die, that’s it. My consciousness, what made me, Me... my thoughts, my feelings, my experiences, my memories, my life... will simply end.

I will cease to exist. “That’s it.”

I’ve been told this is a particularly sad and pessimistic thought. Do you feel sad by that?

If you are religious, and you care for me, you may feel sad I won’t be joining you in your version of an afterlife. I get it, I do, but I don’t want nor need the sentimentality. That is an extremely selfish desire, and one that I wish people would stop bringing up in conversation. I am repulsed by that notion and I’m growing so tired of having to be so fucking considering of everyone’s precious/ridiculous beliefs.

Everyone dies. I have my suspicions that many people don’t actually think about their own death. It is, of course, absurd and unnecessary to constantly think about one’s own demise, but truly understanding its inevitability can alter one’s life for the better.
It can change
your life.
Death will trivialize the bullshit that we think matters, and it will bring things that genuinely do into sharper focus.
You are going to die.
What do you really want to be doing with your time here?
Before you cease to exist, what do you want to be doing most? Working at that unfulfilling job you hate? Being in a horrible relationship? Do you really enjoy your life? Are you really happy? Am I really happy?

I want to die happy.
That is all I want, and all I want for those I love.

By that I don’t mean I want to die with a smile on my face and having my brain flooded with hormones producing happiness, though that would certainly be ideal. I mean I want to shed my ego enough to fully come to terms with death, and have a life chock full of memories to reflect on.

I want my experience here to be full of the things that I hold dear. I want to learn as much as I possibly can, I want to find the truth in every situation, I want to love madly, I want to see beauty, I want to create things from my imagination, I want to help people, teach people, laugh in the face of tragedy and triumph alike, build things that no one else has, add benefit to others, and in the very end, whenever that may be, I want to die happy... and full.

I am not a pessimist, No! I understand we all die and I want to make the journey towards death as slow and as amazing as possible. Just as I hope you all will. I truly think that if everyone embraced their own mortality on a realistic level it would make for a better society. We would definitely treat each other better, we would start practicing the “I don’t give a fuck” Zen-mentality when it comes to minor bullshit, and we would have happier, fuller lives. Because why the fuck wouldn’t you? This is it, baby. Once it’s done, it’s done!

You’re going to die. Make the ride into the abyss a great one.

Die Happy.

-Matthew Dies