Juan Blea Bio
I think in English, but I feel in Spanish. Where the two meet is the source of who I am.
I was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico on October 28th, 1971. Spanish was my first language; it was the language of home. English was the language of the outside world. Though by the time I entered elementary school I also spoke English, it was clear to me that I had to survive in two realities and language was the mechanism by which they both operated. It was a good lesson to learn. My life and my career have always been a balancing act between seemingly disparate realities: Language has always been my survival tool.
I hold a Master’s in Education, am a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (NM #0128871), and licensed Continuing Education Provider (NM #0139471). I have made it my life’s mission to teach others how to heal.
When I was twelve, I discovered that writing provided a means by which I could utilize language to merge my thoughts and feelings in the most expressive manner. I fell in love with literature in High School. Soon, I wrote and self-published my first novella, Under the Same Sky.
Five years later, my first novel, Butterfly Warrior (Western Edge Press, 2006), was released. Since then, my work has appeared in a number of journals, most notably in Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul.
In November of 2013, I released my own story of overcoming Depression: Journey to Aztlan.
Too often, people either forget or never knew the power of their own respective stories. I believe with all that I am that people need to learn to step back and look at their strength in simply surviving. My hope for my work is that we all learn to see that our own lives are the source of the strength needed to rise up against the waves of oppression we tend to cause for ourselves. I call this source “Aztlan,” after the mythical homeland of the Chicano people.
In my opinion, people want healthy lives, they just sometimes don’t know how to achieve that health, especially if they suffer from Depression, Anxiety, and/or Addiction. I believe that it is my mission to teach people that they can have a healthy life.