palimpsest PRONUNCIATION: (PAL-imp-sest) MEANING: Something reused but still showing traces of its earlier form. I don’t know when it happened. I cannot pinpoint it, but I feel like something has changed within me. I’m no longer a trace of who I was before. There are things about me that I feel will never change. I embrace my quirks and flaws, because they are the things that, when stitched together, help to paint a clear image of the summation of me. These days I feel as if this body of mine has housed a hundred different versions of me. For too long it protected this self berating, self sabotaging, self loathing girl that was afraid of her own shadow. With each day that I reach towards my goal of healthier, shrinking me, I realize that those insecurities had to vacate the premises at some point. This vessel used to be inhabited by a creature that could not see other people. Yes, I’ve always felt that my heart might swell and burst from my chest with the capacity that it has for love, but before now I had that heart caged. Luckily, my brain willingly signed that eviction notice and my heart has been able to love more purely. That’s the best word I can think of to use. What I’m saying is, I may look like the same Ashley I’ve been my whole life– a mini me version of my Father. But these ladies inside of me, they leave and a new one comes in to replace her. And I’m so thankful that as these days pass, I am upgrading along the way.

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