Episode 37: Your Blue is Not My Blue ft. Aspen Matis

Episode 37: Your Blue is Not My Blue featuring Aspen Matis

Aspen Matis and her husband Justin had only been married three years when he went missing. On a cold November morning he kissed Aspen goodbye and left to attend the funeral of a close friend but never came back.


She and Justin had met walking from Mexico to Canada when she was thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, using the 2,650-mile journey to help her reclaim her body and spirit after being raped* freshman year of college**.

Aspen’s first memoir Girl in the Woods is the story of that experience and her recovery which she wrote to heal and help spread awareness of the prevalence of campus assault. Her new memoir Your Blue is Not My Blue-A Missing Person Memoir is the story of how in searching for her husband she discovered a deeper purpose.

In this episode, Aspen shares what she’s learned about happiness, the role creativity and writing have played in recognizing her place in the world, and how she’s moved from a feeling of powerlessness to strength.  

*Rape is the only violent felony that is almost never prosecuted. Only 3% of rape cases end in conviction

**Between one in four and one in five female students will be raped during their undergraduate educations.

Aspen Matis is the author of Your Blue Is Not My Blue: A Missing Person Memoir (Little A, June 2020). Called “fearless…A beautifully written story of inspiration, courage, and ultimate transformation” by Booklist, the book was a #1 Amazon bestseller in memoirs. Author Deepak Chopra said the memoir “will open the door to empathy, compassion, and healing.” Novelist Aimee Bender called Your Blue Is Not My Blue “gorgeous…a gripping read that wrestles honestly and sensitively with the ways we connect and the ways we miss one another.”

Matis’s short-form writing has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Tin House, Psychology Today, Salon, and Marie Claire. Her first book, the critically acclaimed memoir Girl in the Woods, was published by HarperCollins in 2015. Called “a powerful read” by O, The Oprah Magazine, the book made The Guardian’s annual top 50 list. The New York Times named Matis “a hero.” To learn more, visit www.aspen-matis.com.



I’m a writer, a teacher, a native New Yorker, and I love hearing about people’s lives. When I think back to my elementary school days at PS 20 in Flushing, Queens whenever we began social studies or a history lesson I wasn’t that interested in learning about battles, topography, or politics. What I wanted to know was how people lived: What their families were like, how they adapted to their circumstances, what they ate, how they celebrated, how they felt.
Sociology became my major at Binghamton University and in my life so far I’ve been an actress, a salesperson, a Zoo Keeper’s Aid, a volunteer animal trainer, an ELL teacher, a mother, and a wife. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, all of which led me to create this podcast which is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve undertaken. I couldn’t ask for a better job than having in-depth conversations with survivors, thought leaders, authors, social justice warriors, and people who believe that we are all connected and then getting to share their stories, insight, and vulnerability with listeners.
I’m so glad you’ve landed on this page. I hope you find stories here which resonate with you and that you’ll tune in every week. 
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ATEC (Episode 10) (ATEC Pin 3)