Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! I love this holiday because I get to hear the stories of my friends and family, detailing all that they’re thankful for. It is inspiring to see how God is working through my loved ones and providing for them.

I have so much to be thankful for. I have the greatest family anyone could ever ask for. I have an amazing community of friends around me that I do life with. I love and appreciate you all more than you will ever know. I have always had everything that I need, even during times in my childhood where my family wasn’t exactly rolling in the dough. I am blessed beyond anything I deserve.

For all this, I give God the glory. I want to share the slightly-abridged version of “my story” to commemorate this day.

A few years back, I had nothing. No money. My material possessions were taken away from me. I literally had a $100 balance in my bank account, a mortgage, a car payment and a house that had only a couch in it. Thankfully, I worked a 9 to 5 that allowed me to catch up on my financial woes. But for a long while I didn’t write or perform music. My instruments were gone, as was my music collection and my little hobby recording studio. I had never even considered producing/recording as a career.

In fact, I always wanted to be a rock star! Awhile back I wrote a song called 24 as a response to the fact that I had not yet accomplished my goals as a musician. I was not a famous musician, playing for thousands of adoring, screaming fans. And a week before my 24th birthday I had a mini-freakout. Hence, the song 24 was born. It took me until fairly recently to realize that I hadn’t accomplished any of my goals because they were not God’s goals. They were not what He had in store for me. He had a different plan altogether, one that I had never considered.

At this period in my life, all my brain wanted was to reacquire my instruments and other gear ASAP so that I could get back on stage. However, I started having dreams and visions of myself in a recording studio in front of a mixing board. I had these intense urges daily, 24/7. I went to Guitar Center and they were offering a 12-months-no-interest-no-payments plan. I prayed about it for quite some time and I knew that I HAD to get a recording studio again. So for the first time in my life, I put a large purchase (other than a car or house) on credit. I spent about $6,000. And I was freaking out a bit.

Within a week (mind you, I had not told anyone that I had a recording studio or that I was looking for artists) I had 5 clients. Most of these clients I had never even met before. This blew my mind. I thought, “Huzzah! With this amount of work, I can charge a small fee and easily pay off the studio within a year.” Needless to say, I was excited. The following week, the company that I worked for at the time was bought out. There were stock options that I didn’t even know that I had. They paid out after the acquisition – a total of $6,100. They paid off my entire studio. Just like that.

It was at that point that I KNEW I needed to pursue music full-time, as a producer. I only had a single prerequisite to quitting my job and doing the producing thing full-time: I had to sell my house. In this economy. Blargh. A friend’s mom helped me stage the house and I put it up on the market. The next day I had a showing. One showing. They offered me asking price. In this market. Unheard of!

I was ready to go. I knew I was called to leave my job and pursue a music production career. I had begun jokingly telling people that “if I closed on the sale of my house on a Monday at 9am, I would quit my job at 10am”. Lo and behold, I was finally given a closing date – May 14th, 2012. A Monday! The time? 9am. Sure enough, after signing the closing papers I headed back to my job and I got there at 9:53am. I sat there grinning like an idiot for 7 minutes and quit at 10am on the dot!

I have been working as a full-time musician since May 28th, 2012 and I have been profitable every month. I’m not rich my any stretch, but I’m able to pay my bills. I get to work with killer musicians and artists from throughout Texas (hopefully I’ll get some national artists in the studio by 2013!). I get to hear their stories and make new friends. It’s a dream come true – and yet, it’s a path that I never even considered.

I thank God for bringing me to where I am today, for surrounding me with amazing people, for providing for me, for allowing me to pursue music as a full-time career. I thank Him for giving me an amazing family that loves me and others. I thank Him for my amazing community of friends, all of which are encouraging, supportive and loving in an incredible way. I thank Him for always putting food on the table and a roof over my head. I thank Him for fun. For music.

I also thank everyone that chooses to allow me a little space in their lives. From the bottom of my heart, I love and appreciate you.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Matt
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