Quietly, On My Own Terms

Bree Blatchford


It’s a Saturday morning and I’ve got my much needed iced coffee (unsweetened with soy) in the front cup holder. I’m playing a new Cloves track on repeat and I’m driving with the windows down. My hair is just long enough grown out of it’s pixie haircut that it whips me in the face as I speed (sorry mom) down the 210 through La Tuna Canyon. 


Just a couple of months prior, this pass had been completely decimated by a series of uncontrollable wildfires. The fires burned for days, hungrily eating everything in its path and leaving charred earth in its wake.

Luckily, this area isn't populated with many homes, just acres and acres of mountainous terrain, unbothered by the wiles of humankind. 


In the spring, the hills would be flowered with poppies and lavender, and in the winter it would turn bare for miles. It’s an area I’ve always enjoyed driving through, the mountains seem to cling to the road, enveloping the passing cars as they make their narrow escape . It’s almost as if that area teeters on the edge of natural wildness, the only sign of civilization being the freeway cutting crudely through it. 


On this particular Saturday drive, from Pasadena to Valencia, I noticed that the spring was starting to greedily burst through patches of earth in the area, watercoloring the whole canyon in pastel oranges and purples. 


It had suddenly come alive again, thriving with the life I once thought it had forever lost. Quietly, on its own terms, it had become renewed with a vibrance and clarity that was unlike anything I’d seen before.


In this exact moment, with my hair whipping my face, my new favorite song blasting while cruising through one of my favorite spots, I realized that it is possible to rebuild. It is possible to regrow on the earth you thought would always be barren of life. Something that was so damaged that no one probably had hope or faith in its revival any more. 


Heartbreak feels like that.

Especially with the toxic mix of Depression and Anxiety. Not to mention that if it wasn't just any heart break, if it was THE heartbreak. The kind that stays with you. The kind that leaves you wondering, guessing, and second guessing for the rest of your life. It may have been cordial, but damn, that doesn't make the after effects any easier.


How the fuck is one supposed to move forward after that? Some days I am surprised that I still breathe, that my skin and bones haven't dramatically melted off of my body like the dudes in Raiders of the Lost Ark (you know which scene I’m talking about). 


How am I still standing? I am so goddamn fragile, how can I possibly getting through this?


In many ways, I saw myself as that mountainous pass after the fires. I was raw, charred from what had happened, in an incredible amount of pain. In many ways, I still am. Like I said, this isn't the sort of thing that leaves you.


But still.




I get up every morning, set my two feet lightly on the floor, and walk steadily into my day. I smile, sometimes so much my cheeks hurt, and I laugh. I laugh a lot. My cheeks heat with embarrassment when I make a bad joke and my teeth catch my lip when I see something I want (probably donuts). 


I am thankful and surprised at the range of emotions I am able to feel, even now. I thought it would take me forever to get here. To get to a place where I felt these things again, where I wanted to feel these things again. 


I realize that I, too, have the possibility of flowering once more. That I, too, have the possibility of undisputed peace once more. That I will get there, one day.


And that, my dear, gives me so much hope. 


That, my dear, is how you get through it.


Find beauty, inspiration, hope, love, in what’s around you. Let it fill you with fresh breath and remind you that those pockets of happiness are really a path to consistent health, mentally and emotionally. 


Let those moments guide you to a time after THE heartbreak. Into what life holds for you next.


Keep Your Heads Up, My Loves.



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  • Bree, very inspirational for sure. I would have left at the curse words but you know that’s just me! Lol You’re doing great girl! Hugs

    Dawn Rudisel

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