Connecting The Dots
"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.' Steve Jobs
I wrote a book. I didn't know I was writing a book, but as it turned out, I was. A curious thing this 'life' business.
My life had wound its way through many and varied twists and turns, before arriving at a series of troughs and troughs. Depression. More depression. Divorce. Not the best years of my life it's fair to say.
Or is it? Because maybe, just maybe, as the final credits roll on my time on this mortal coil, it will be these years that most shaped what I am to become.
As December 2015 began I had already become the two things that I had most wanted to be: a husband and a father. And twice I'd had to fight to become something that had hitherto only been taken for granted - healthy - after overcoming a pair of crippling bouts of depression.
But it was only when clambering through the debris of my broken marriage that I became the thing that has defined the last two years of my life, the thing that I would never have imagined becoming: a writer.
As I put fingers to keyboard (it doesn't have quite the same ring as 'put pen to paper' does it?) for the first time, I became a blogger. Basically, something anybody could do with a bit of time on their hands and a blogging app. Over the months that followed I became a better blogger: updating to a better app; making better use of images, adding a soundtrack to each post to capture its essence.
And, at some point, I felt comfortable with the idea that I was a 'writer', confident in my ability to articulate myself on the page, to capture complex feelings and emotions in a way that both helped me to bring form to the abstract wanderings of my mind, and bring comfort to readers across the world via numerous websites.
Still, I never expected to be an author. Like so many things in my (any?) life, a series of random encounters and chance conversations helped to pave the path to my publication.
A chance conversation with a former colleague at a work leaving meal that acted as the catalyst for drawing my writing together into a book.
Discovering that a connection on Twitter was an author who was able to offer some great advice.
Being approached to write a previous post for Men Tell Health through the wonders of the internet, and discovering that of all the places in this big, wide world, the founder lived in the same town as me.
This ultimately led to attending their fantastic SpeakEasy groups, where men that experience mental health difficulties can get together and talk, and where one of the guys in attendance, Dan, put me in touch with a designer that would be able to create a front cover for me.
Finding out that the designer, who did such a fantastic job of turning my brother's artwork into a book cover, wasn't 'just' a graphic designer but was in fact co-owner of an independent book publisher.
And voila, I'm a published author, and I am now in the privileged position of having my words shine a little bit of light into the dark times of others.
It's funny how the dots join themselves together. And you just never know when you will happen to find yourself in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, for your dots to connect.
Has life took you on a journey you never expected? What happened? Do you believe the universe offers up these opportunities or is it all just a coincedence? Let us know in the comments below.
You can also buy Matt's book 'Something Changed: Stumbling Through Divorce, Dating & Depression', by clicking the link just over there -->