Where We Go From Here

Hi y'all, Matt here. I've got some things to say. Let's start with two truths:

2016 was probably the best year of my life,

and

Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States of America.

These two seemingly incongruous facts have consumed nearly every waking thought I've had in the past few weeks. 2016 was good to me, and yet here we are.

It's occurred to me recently that since launching School of Home, Harper and I may not have done the best job of truly explaining what School of Home is. What's with the bus? What's this "learning through living" mantra? What is all of this?

Over the next few weeks Harper and I will roll out a series of essays that will attempt to explain what exactly it is we're doing. If you are in any way like our parents you will have been waiting for this moment.

We will elaborate on what "learning through living" means to us. We will detail what we plan to do with the bus, and how the transition to a tiny home will effect us, and we will continue to share our love of food, travel, and life with you.

But let me revisit those two truths, and tell you how School of Home ties into them.

2016 was a very good year for me. I was so fortunate to cement a relationship with the man who is undeniably, unarguably my soulmate. The man who understands me in and out, and who is just crazy enough (or is it the other way around?) to embark on these journeys with me. 2016 has brought me new friends, new experiences, and new revelations, and there is literally nothing in the world that could make me turn back time (sorry Cher).

But that other truth. Where we are as a nation. WHO we are as a nation. 2016 has ended in gut-wrenching, infuriating, mind-boggling despair. All of the progress we've made has been suddenly tossed out onto the thinnest of ice. It seems at any moment it will crack and everything that we've fought for will go under. I am scared for our future, I am scared for what this means for the rest of the world, and to be perfectly honest I am scared for the day-to-day safety of Harper and myself.

My brother, a pilot in the US Navy, texted me the day after the election and encouraged us to buy a gun for our own safety, or at the very least start carrying Mace and knives. It was the first time in my life I actually considered the possibility that I may need to arm myself for protection.

So these are my two truths. I wouldn't trade 2016 for anything, and yet I am terrified of where we are headed in 2017. 

And THAT is what School of Home is about.

We will cook, and we will find the joy, comfort from fear, and fellowship that comes with sharing a meal.

We will travel, we will learn from those whose experiences are anathema to ours, and we will be forever grateful for the privilege that allows us to truly be global citizens.

We will finish the bus, a project that isn't just a renovation but a means to a new way of living, to a freedom from convention, from financial slavery, and from the bounds of a set address that will hopefully allow us to experience our country from a whole new angle.

And we will fight. We will fight for ourselves and for our families and friends and neighbors and fellow citizens, be they domestic or global. We will fight for those who voices are not heard or valued or even allowed. We will stand up to bigotry and demagoguery. We will unapologetically declare that Black Lives Matter and that racism is real and that no man who brags about sexually assaulting women deserves the respect that comes with the highest office in this land.

We will demand that we, proud gay men, have access to every single right and opportunity afforded any other tax-paying citizen of the United States of America.

Lastly, we will continue to learn through what we live, and you can be damn sure that will live our truths, with neither excuses nor apologies. We will cook, we will travel, we will write, we will read, and we will employ the voices and platforms we've been graced with to share our experiences.

So, two truths. One great, one awful. I wake up some days in one truth only to end in the other. 

All I can say is that I'm ready to kick 2017 in the ass, and I hope you're willing to come along on the journey.