People can change.
I often hear and read others claim that people can't change: a zebra doesn't change its stripes; a leopard doesn't change its spots.
This is false. I know. Because if even one person can change, it renders that statement invalid. I am that one person.
Ten years ago I was sixty-seven pounds. Not dead; certainly not living. I was in the deepest throes of full-blown depression and anorexia. All my energy was spent surviving—barely—to be a good enough mom to my son. I didn't want to die. But I had no enthusiasm for life either. But fortunately, somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered a different Jehne. The Jehne of my childhood and early adulthood who was vibrant, positive, and happy. This gave me hope that one day I would return to the real me—my core identity. I went from stripes to spots.
But now I am back—in stripes—and possibly even stars! The old Jehne has returned in full force. I feel alive! Ambitious! Not just hopeful, but also thrilled to be alive and living. I am at a normal, healthy weight. My mind is clear, focused, and sharp. I have short-term goals that are materializing. And long-term ones to keep me on a forward-moving path. I am no longer just in the present; I have a future as well.
My twenties were spent being a single mom. My thirties spent being sick. My forties are about returning to form—and improving upon that form. I reckon my fifties will be fantastic: a decade of resolve, stability, and peace.
I am on fire! But please don't put me out. Let the flames burn bright and high.