Strong Girl: Bryony

Meet Bryony. Bryony Owen.

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Trauma Bond.

Two words that hold great power on their own. Put them together and the dynamics instantly change.

It’s rare that I hear a person say that they want to experience something tragic or jarring. Those events are usually the things that we humans try to avoid… right?

But when they occur, we cling to those we trust. The most trustworthy person is usually someone who has experienced that trauma with you, or something very similar.

Bryony and I have known each other for nearly 10 years. We belonged to the same clan of friends in high school, traveled to Italy together in 2007 and even with the 1,500 miles that separated us during college, we got together over Christmas break every year.

When we first met, there was no question – we were friends. Eight years into our friendship, it became evident that our friendship had another dimension we never would have predicted.

Pain. Physical pain.

Without giving too much away, Bryony and I are heart friends with a special trauma bond. After knee surgeries around the same time last year, we have been able to vent, hobble and raise glasses to toast victories like walking up the stairs.

Bryony is more than my friend. She’s my knee twin. I couldn’t imagine going through this with anyone else. She is a strong girl moving in big ways – even if some of those steps are filled with pain. Here’s part of her story:

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How does the word “movement” fit into your life, especially any changes that have happened over the last few months?

Movement has so many different meanings for me. For a long time movement was my family and I moving halfway across the world, leaving everything that had been so comfortable to start a new adventure here in Portland. Now though, movement is more about the lack of movement I’m experiencing as a result of problems stemming from my most recent knee surgery. While I’m working on getting it back to full strength and recovering, it’s frustrating not being able to participate in certain activities I want to be doing. Once it’s better though, there will be no stopping me!

What are you currently doing and what brought you there?

I’m currently enrolled in culinary school, which is a whole new amazing, wonderful adventure. I’ve always loved cooking and baking and the Friday Night Dinners my friends and I have been having for the past two years. A couple of people suggested checking out local culinary schools so I did and I haven’t looked back since! I recently finished my first term and I loved it – I’m so excited about what the future holds.


What is one goal you have this year?

My goal for this year is to solve my knee problems. It probably sounds really trivial, but I’d really like to be pain-free and able to run around like a crazy person and go dancing. Along with my doctor, I’m going to do everything I can to get back to 100%.

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Bryony is a FANTASTIC baker. She made my birthday cake when I turned 23. One of the best cakes I’ve ever tasted.

Currently, who/what do you draw inspiration from? When you wake up in the morning, what pops into your head and gets you saying, “Today is my day!”?

I draw inspiration from the people around me. My friends and family and such strong, intelligent, brave, hard working people that it’s hard not to be inspired. I can’t imagine having a better support group, and while this sounds cliché, I’m so lucky to have such amazing people in my life. Never underestimate the impact of a smile, hug, or friendly text – little things like that can make such a difference in someone’s day.

What is one thing you know to be true? What is your statement of faith that drives you to keep doing what you’re doing?

There are two quotes that I just love.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart” – Helen Keller

and

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible’” – Audrey Hepburn

Both keep pushing me to reach my goals and set new ones, and help me recognize the beauty in everything.


What is something new that brings Joy to your life?

This isn’t new, but my friends and family bring me the most joy. I’m so blessed to have people I can talk to about anything; people I can drink tea with, have dinner with, and talk about life’s ups and downs. I’m at my happiest doing things I love with the people I love.

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Bryony and I with ourselves in gingerbread girl form … with matching knee braces made of frosting.

Bryony, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Your strength is amazing and your trust and faith in the future is something we can all look to for inspiration. We’re walking with you, girl. You are a blessing to this world!

Bryony and I cook dinners with our friends every week. It’s called Friday Night Dinners. Pure deliciousness. Check out an article on our group in MIX Magazine and follow the blog!

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