Single, Divorced, but Plenty Tall Enough to Ride: A Blogger Profile

There are 47 million blogs at WordPress.com and every single one has a unique story to tell. Today, we’re proud to introduce you to WordPress.com blogger Matt, the man behind Must Be This Tall To Ride, a hilarious and often poignant chronicle of his life as a single divorced father. Matt took some time out to talk to us about where he gets his ideas, how he came up with the witty name for his site, and what blogging has meant to him.

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How did you get started blogging?

Last April 1, my wife packed a suitcase and moved away forever. April Fools’ Day. Fitting. Her new boyfriend was a big shot. Tall. Successful. Rich. And I was just…me. Dumped. A nobody. And not just any nobody. An emotionally wrecked nobody who cried. What woman is going to ever date a dude who cries?

I felt really small. I tried online dating a month after she left. Because I make bad decisions. I’m 5’9”. I’m 34. I’m graying. I’m a dad. Basically all of the things women AREN’T looking for. Woot.

All the online-dating profiles — no matter how short in stature the women were — wanted tall guys. She was 5’2”. But she’d only date men taller than six feet. One time, I wrote one of these Match girls with the subject line: “Must Be This Tall To Ride.”

I smirked. A metaphor for my entire life. Not good enough. Not tall enough. Not smart enough. Not rich enough. Not funny enough. Two weeks later, I launched the blog, charting a new course. A single, divorced guy who made a bunch of bad decisions to get here. And spends every day exploring all the ways I can metaphorically be tall enough. A few people get it. And we’re all walking the path together. Trying to be better today than we were yesterday.

You’ve gone through some serious stuff in your life. Has blogging helped you cope through turmoil? How?

Divorce has defined my life from age four through this very moment. Trying to keep two parents happy 500 miles apart. And now, my own divorce. Feeling like a failure. Like a crappy father every time my young son vocalizes his desire for mommy and daddy to live together again. He deserves better than this.

Blogging has helped immensely. This is my therapy. This is my couch. And the readers listen. They’re amazing. Providing feedback. Providing concern. Providing support.

Blogging helps in the same ways as talking to my friends. Only I’m even more honest with readers than I am with people I speak with.

I embarrass easily, and even though I occasionally scare myself with the things I type, I tend to be much more forthcoming at the keyboard than I am face-to-face. It’s good to be honest. To unload some of that baggage. You tell stories people identify with. Then you find out dozens, hundreds, thousands of people feel just like you.

When I couldn’t breathe. When everything just felt…wrong. The thing that helped most was the realization that someone else knows the same pain. Sure, your married friends all feel bad for you. But they don’t get it. They don’t. But others? With the same pain? With the same scars?

That’s priceless.

What is the best thing that has happened to you as the result of writing your blog?

The human connections have been amazing. Emotionally? Spiritually? These people saved my life. But selfishly speaking? Writing has given me purpose again.

When it all breaks? When there’s no more family? That purpose follows them out the door, too. Bye purpose! Sorry I wasn’t good enough for you either!

This blog has given me something to do. It filled a void. It gave me something to love once I didn’t have a partner. And it gave me something to distract me from just how loud all the silence in my home had become.

Where do you get your ideas?

The thing that makes me pee my pants a little is my fear of running out of ideas. I often write during my lunch hour at work. I can get a little panicky when noon’s approaching and I have no idea what I’m going to post about that day. I usually luck out somehow and think of something last-minute.

But mostly I keep a running list of post ideas. It’s always shorter than I want it to be. I’ve only had a week’s worth of post ideas one time in seven months of doing this. It’s my biggest weakness as a blogger.

I like telling stories from my past. I like telling stories about what’s happening in my life right now. I like encouraging people struggling in marriage and life. And sometimes, I just like to goof off.

I don’t always succeed, but my goal is for the stories to always have a very human element. To have heart. To make people feel something.

What’s your advice to bloggers who are just getting started?

I don’t know that I’m in any position to be offering blogging advice. I don’t know if what I’m doing has merit. That’s for others to decide. And I also don’t know that I believe there’s a right or wrong way to do this.

But what would I tell a new blogger?

Make sure your soul lives in the words. Because I want to know you. As my favorite writer James Altucher would say: Always be as honest as you can without hurting other people. And if you’re not a little scared to hit that blue Publish button, you’re probably not trying hard enough.

You said you want to know these bloggers through their writing. What about you? Who are you?

I’m nobody.

A guy who does a lousy job keeping up with bills and cleaning the house.

A guy who failed at marriage. Who has trouble getting dates. Who often lacks the courage to talk to women. Who is afraid of being a lousy father. Who is afraid of people he knows in real life finding out just how weak and scared and flawed he is.

But that’s really the entire point of this. There are billions of us. Nobodies. We all want the same things. We’re all afraid of the same things. We just want to be happy.

That looks and feels different for each one of us.

And I want to tell stories that make people think and feel. I want to remind them they’re not alone. I want to encourage them to be hopeful in their individual pursuits of happiness.

Tomorrow is another opportunity to choose ourselves. To grow.

Because at the end of all this, I really want to be tall enough to ride.

Thanks, Matt!


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123 Comments

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  1. mom2hjk

    I’m a single mom of 3 and your raw honesty and vocalization of your FEELINGS brought me to tears. One of the best blogs I’ve read, by far. I commend you, good sir.

    Like

  2. angelajardine

    Ever thought it might be them and not you, Matt? Taking responsibility for your life is a great trait … just don’t overdo it. Remember, not everything is down to you.

    And (allowing the bitch in me free rein here) your ex has obviously never realised how incongruous she must look with her new bloke, what with her being 5’2” and him being 6’. It must look sort of like he has a toy dolly or maybe one of those tiny pet dogs people carry about.

    Like

  3. Zohan

    Very well written dude. Don’t worry about the marriage. Its not meant for everyone. ( the gays keep fighting to get it and yet dont know if that will work)
    You seem like an honest guy, so you will find love sooner or later. Keep writing. You inspired a lot of “somebody”(ies) here.

    Like

  4. odinoncehumble

    Matt, I’ve dealt, dealing with a lot of the same issues. Wife left, kids talk about mom, and the boyfriend… it sucks, and I hate it, but it gets better… balance comes… I hope this is helping you… it’s allowing me to get my alter ego out in a way that still lets me be centered and focus on being Dad, and finding myself again after 17 years of marriage failed.

    Like

  5. Ranjit K Sharma

    Hey Matt! Cheer up… All of us—nobodies—are with you man! Somehow, I think your blog will bring to you, in addition to a lot of name and fame, a like-minded life partner too. You have already taught me something today—it pays to be honest in whatever you do! Carry on with your good work bro.

    Like

  6. silver4200

    You know I’d swear this was a practical joke if it weren’t for the tell tale signs of it being true. Your story and mine are very similar my friend (difference being that my poor wife keeps putting up with me after all this time). Even the same name no less! I’ll be keenly following you and maybe interjecting some ”learned wisdom” and questions along the way.

    Like

  7. Stéphane Kapitaniuk

    Thanks Matt for this interview. I loved the way you put it in your final question. Its good to know we’re nothing. Its good to know what we want deep down: true happiness!
    PS. I’ll be following you!

    Like

  8. INSPIRE and RISE

    Simply Awesome, Matt !!!

    A 5 ft. 7″ tall Fan of “Tall enough to ride” here 🙂

    Like

  9. Diane Shonblom Gunvaldson

    Hi! 🙂 A friend of mine sent me your site to read, (he wants me to start my own blog). I so loved reading what you shared, AND we have so much in common…I’m grateful that you’re really the first blogger that I have read…I will FOLLOW you! Bless YOU and keep writing and sharing, I’m like the others are listening……………diane

    Like

  10. rougedmount

    You never need fear of running out of writing material as life provides us with enough humor, joy, and heartache to last our lifetime though the living of that life, can get in the way of truly experiencing it, which can be a vastly different thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. teetlebug67

    Match.com didn’t work, but this blog will. LOL Divorce sucks. Been there. Lesson learned and there is always someone out there for you. The crappy parent feeling part, well it never goes away. But, your kiddo will survive. Just don’t walk away and watch out for women who ask you to choose between her and your kiddo. They are out there.

    Like

  12. Fran Tunno

    I couldn’t agree more. I also worry about what I’ll say and who I may offend; my daughter shudders with every post. But you give me hope that they might understand… or not. What the hell, no one ever got anywhere by playing it safe.

    Loved your story about your Grandma and Liam. Very funny stuff, but dammit, I wanted him.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. thedoodandthedoodles

    What you say is true. If what you write is not scary enough for you to publish, then you’re doing it wrong.

    Like

  14. D. Rembert

    I appreciate your honesty. I have not publised anything yet but I know I have a whole lot to share. This does help me get some more courage to post. I guess my struggle is where to begin. Thanks again Matt keep blogging!

    Like

  15. Pavan Meshram

    Fantastic piece! Matt your style is kickass! I loved reading your views on different questions. They are simple, witty and more importantly, relatable. You derive humor even from your misery! Hats off Matt! Great job! Keep going:-) Cheers!

    Like

  16. lizawithdaz

    Would love to have a nobody in my life, I wish I could tell ya to hang in there but I feel I am way to cynical on life and relationships myself from many turns of negatives

    Like

  17. lovefrmauritius

    So my friend did you find the person who doesn’t care whether you are tall or not? If you have not yet, don’t despair I’m sure she’s on her way. Been through a divorce and can relate

    Like

  18. trainerkay

    Excellent! I was just thinking yesterday that so many women discuss relationships, getting fit, being a mom, balancing work and home but I have yet to find a DAD who does it all or one who is “tall enough” to actually publish his journey. Bravo!

    Like

  19. ktfritzke

    It’s refreshing to read someone’s words that are honest and lacking in annoying self-glorification.
    This lack just makes me like your writing more!
    Keep up the hilarity.

    Like

  20. nowman2013

    I enjoyed reading this blog and it has made me realise the standard that I am striving to achieve. A pleasant lesson in blogging. Steven Collins.

    Like

  21. beccawaller

    I spend so much time trying to prove how different and unique I am, when really I should take these words to heart. I am part of the mass that wants to be happy. My fears and feelings are pretty common, that definitely makes them seem more manageable!

    Like

  22. biscuitswithjam

    Uggh for online dating! I laugh about the two words “must be….” You are so right! Must be tall. Must be a good dancer. Must be fluent in French. Must be a runner | Olympic swimmer | triathlete | wine expert | supermodel. Sort of like online shopping! But not as pleasant.

    I’ll enjoy your blog.

    Like

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