Matthew Lettini

I’m a digital product designer in NYC. Lately I enjoy doing this at Harvest. Here I talk about life, music, and the rest.

Matthew Lettini

Own your words – Matt Gemmell

What advice would you give your high school self now?

I’m a big fan of Humans of New York. I follow it regularly, and some days it’s the only reason I open Tumblr. The stories, the people, the thought-provoking questions, Brandon’s got it down.

Earlier this week as I was chatting with a friend it just popped into my head to ask them this question: If you could, what advice would you give your high school self? I blame HONY. My friend gave me a pretty interesting answer considering their personality, at least interesting to me who knows them.

I had fun with that, so I asked another friend. Then another friend. Then another… I started to see a trend, not in the answers (which were all different and wonderful in their own right) but in the way I compared some answers to another. While I knew the personality of my friends somewhat, I didn’t know them back in high school. But from the answers you could gather what bothered them then, or what they learned to value by now.

I find it a fascinating experiment. Below are all the answers I’ve gotten so far, with no attribution since it’s not needed. The question was asked out of the blue, so I didn’t give them a long time to think about it. I’m sure many of the answers would be changed if they could sit for a day, but I wanted to focus on what first came to mind. My answer is mixed in there somewhere as well.

Hmmm. I think it would be to have more confidence in myself and that it’s OK to be who you feel inside. That how shitty you feel won’t last. And college me? I dunno. I learned a lot in college, came more into my own. Probably that there are healthier ways to deal other than getting fucked up alllll the time.

Um, I don’t know. I think I had more fun not being an engineer, probably. I mean miracuously I turned out ok. Oh yeah, I’d be like “invest in apple!”, and move to the city sooner, and eat an apple a day.

Oh my god, I would tell young me to shut the fuck up and get out of your own way. And to relax, and to shut the fuck up, but also that I loved you and you were hilarious. And YOLO… obviously YOLO. But I more mean shut the fuck up because I was such a worrier and complainer. Basically, I wish younger me enjoyed more and had more fun.

Hmmmm. Chill out, paint more, be yourself and open up to others more.

Mostly YOLO. Don’t let things get to you, they really don’t matter. Don’t stop taking drum lessons. Cut your hair and care a bit about something. Try everything once, speak your mind, and that you’re really not doing a bad job, so keep it up.

Probably to explore my interests more, to invest in things I like, and to have asked my parents to support my interests more (they absolutely would have if I had expressed something). Make friends with my teachers, go to office hours. DEF go to office hours. It seems kinda silly and academic for that to be something I do regret, but I think school would have been different for me if I had went. Maybe even changed the way I think about things for the better. Join more clubs and after school activities.

Get a job at age 25 that lets you retire in 20 years with a pension. Other than that, I think everything turned out as good as can be expected…

To be honest. I’m glad I never aspired to be one of the cool kids which served me well. I would have allowed myself to probably take more risks in general. Going to random shows and stuff on whim doesn’t count. I think I would tell myself to fight for the things I wanted more, tell my crushes that they were the best thing since sliced bread, and to stop being such an introvert and fucking share what I was thinking. Also to stop letting people walk all over me which ties into fighting for what I want.

I’m leaving this one open if you’d like to answer as well!


The Start

Our February theme for the Harvest Writing Club is “The Start.” The theme grew intentionally out of it being the first theme, and left open to interpretation. Naturally for me I gravitated to how I got started in something I love, music.

Playing Drums

Playing an instrument in my family leaves me as somewhat of an oddity. None of my cousins, aunts, uncles, or other family play music in a way that would have influenced me as a child (as far as I can remember or my parents have mentioned). But when I first had the opportunity to join a music program, I couldn’t help myself.

The year was 1994, I was just starting 3rd grade, and I was 8.

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The Harvest Writing Club

It’s been awhile since my last post, a month. It was a relaxing few weeks, but I need to get back on the horse, even though I probably won’t keep up the same quantity of updates as last year.

Many of my colleagues at Harvest currently do, or used to, write and keep a blog too. They, like myself, have also expressed a desire to post more than they actually do, and want to improve their writing. It can be difficult to sit down and reflect when life pulls you to get up and go (or sit and watch television).

So my manager came up with a terrific idea, The Harvest Writing Club. The idea is this: every month we’ll declare a theme, and each of us will write a personal story relating to the given theme.

It’s not about critiquing or responding to these pieces. It’s about the personal act of writing, editing and publishing. It’s about getting used to that flow. By doing it together, we’ll build momentum and keep each other accountable.

Ultimately, I hope this exercise will not only make us more ready writers, but we’ll all learn a little more about each other along the way.

I’m looking forward to it.

– ML

2013 Monthly Resolution Recap: Part 1

This past year I experimented with the idea of taking New Year’s resolutions seriously. Rather than make a list of resolutions I wanted to accomplish throughout the year, I boiled things down to one a month. If I focus on one at a time, perhaps it’ll help me create new habits, or gain some insight I didn’t have before.

I’m proud to say that I kept the monthly resolutions up for the entirety of the year, and officially completed most of them (though not all were successes). Each month provided a new learning experience, and I’m really happy with the experiment overall. The year flew by faster too. I’d like to use this time to reflect on each month, and think about what I can take with me into 2014 and beyond.

This is going to be long, so I’m splitting it up into multiple posts.

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Week 52 – Didn’t have time to post this last week as I was in Atlantic City for Christmas with the family. Anyway, here’s the final week of my year-long photo per week! Resolution recaps are coming shortly.

Week 52 – Didn’t have time to post this last week as I was in Atlantic City for Christmas with the family. Anyway, here’s the final week of my year-long photo per week! Resolution recaps are coming shortly.

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