A film school grad, Matt came to California, like many, wanting to work in movies and while reality can be a cruel bitch, he survives at a day job while working with his buddies on various projects here and there. When times are rough he thinks about heading to Virginia to be with his family, but then again, he doesn’t want to give up on his dreams. It’s the daily struggle for many, and we talked about that and what he really misses about his mom, dad and other family back east.
Kendra: When you first moved out you were heading off to college. Was it hard to move out then, or were you just excited to get out there and see what life had to offer?
Matt: I’ve always been very close with my family, so when I first moved away from them I was not far distance wise, so it wasn’t that hard for me to move. They were only a 15 minute drive away. It’s always exciting to be on your own at first. No parents, no rules! But there will always be moments where you miss Mom and Dad.
Kendra: You were pretty close in proximity during that time, but then packed up and headed even further for film school. Now you’re out in California and they’re in Virginia. Has it gotten any easier being away from them now that you’re older and more used to it?
Matt: I think the older I get, the harder it gets to be away from my family. Being across the country from them is very hard, it’s actually the hardest part about adult life for me. I’m a momma’s boy at heart and I would love to be able to see my parents all the time instead of just once or twice a year.
Matt: It’s strange. When I’m in California working towards my own personal goals I feel homesick often. When times get tough it’s easy to remember the best parts of living at home; the comfort of your parents, less responsibilities, the (free) food, your favorite couch. Then when I was forced to leave California and go live with them all I wanted was to get back out here and continue what I started. It was amazing to have them be there for me. My parents are the best and would do anything to help me but I think that it’s a grass is always greener situation. As an adult you yearn for the comfort of home, but it’s hard to be content when you aren’t working towards your own goals, whatever they may be.
Kendra: One of the things a lot of people hate about living away from their family is missing those little things. What’s one of those for you that you wish you could be a part of more often?
Matt: Getting to hang out with my nephew and see him grow up. He’s a great kid and it’s like yesterday he was a baby and now he’s beating me in basketball; time flies so fast.
Matt: I think anyone who lives far from their family has those fantasies. I’m sure there are plenty of people in Los Angeles who are thinking, “I could just get a job teaching film or working in an office in (Insert Hometown).” It’s hard to have faith when facing adversity and I’m not ashamed to admit that the thought crosses my mind. I just could never give up on my dreams. My dream when I was a kid stuck at home in Ohio was to come out to Los Angeles and be a part of movies in any way I could. Working a 9-5 job is hard enough in Los Angeles, but I think it would be impossible for me in Virginia.
Kendra: Do you think you’ll ever live in near them them again?
Matt: I hope that someday soon I will be able to see them whenever I want. Will I ever actually live near them, or they live near me? I’m not sure, but I do hope/dream that I’ll be able to be there for them more than I am now and see them whenever I want.
Kendra: What’s the biggest high about living across the country from your family?
Matt: Knowing that they’re proud of me and what I’m trying to do.
Kendra: With that, what’s the biggest low of the miles separating you guys?
Matt: Just not being able to see them, or talk to them as much. During the holidays especially, or when there is a family emergency it’s so hard to be away from them.