Thinking back on this year is really hard for me. Mostly because I can confidently say it was the most successful year of my life. But also the most difficult. I both laughed and cried more than I have in my 25 years of existence. The highs were mountainous, but the lows were guttural. So I wanted to take a little moment to think of some of these highlights and lowlights, especially the real messy stuff and then transition into some resolutions. And striving to have healthier remedies for some of the messiness – both psychologically and literally using Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Supplies.
- I got to see Tove Lo’s tits up close and personal at her concert and have a drink with her alongside and because of my most wonderful friend Courtney Swan from Realfoodology
- I got to fly down to Atlanta with a restaurant I wholly admire, and spend the day taste testing cool new restaurants and cafes
- I got my Master’s in Nutrition from the University of Western States.
- I got to speak to a crowd of 130 about nutrition and gut health and following your passion with Wellness Meet up. I laughed, I cried, and I am still in disbelief.
- I got to travel to California twice and Austin with some of my most treasured friends I’ve made on the internet. One was to Expo West in Newport, CA, one was to Austin with Siete foods for Cinco de Mayo, and the last was to San Diego with Bona Fide Provisions as my last hurrah before PA school started. Connecting with these people in real life confirmed my suspicions that while the internet can be weird, it can be entirely wonderful. I am so grateful for Instagram for this reason.
- I moved out of my parents home and into a beautiful apartment near Boston. Of which has a garden in the back and is in close proximity to both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and an office attached. I didn’t find it; it found me.
- I created a series called Fempowerment Fridays where I highlighted badass ladies and some of their struggles and how they overcame it.
- I went to Wanderlust with my best childhood friend and attempted to camp and slept a grand total of 1 hour. I cannot remember the last time I laughed this hard and I will remember this trip forever due to its many hiccups.
- I decided to not put PA school on hold and accepted a seat off the waitlist at Northeastern University.
- I completed one semester of PA school while continuing to blog on the side. And I’ve met the kindest, most hilarious, wonderful, intelligent, crazy, clever 42 humans because of it.
- I performed with DanceWorksBoston twice, each time a deeper reminder how therapeutic choreographed and coordinated movement is for me.
- I helped recipe develop and blog for Moon Cycle Bakery – the coolest company ever!!!
- I invested!!!!!! I am a grown up!!!!! (no I’m not)
- I got back into therapy after putting it on hold for the better part of a year
The bad and the ugly
- I questioned myself each and every day in PA school. My confidence plummeted whenever I did poorly on an exam, which translated to insecurity in other realms of life. And when I say poorly, I mean REALLY poorly. Think 60s on exams and 40s on quizzes. Huzzah!!
- I cried more than I thought was humanly possible. Just when I thought I had reached the pit of my tear well, somehow more liquid manifested through my eyeballs. I have never been more stressed or anxious. And the kind of anxiety where your heartbeat is jumping out of your chest and throat.
- I felt like a total fraud – preaching “balance” and success in health when sometimes I was stressed to the point of nauseation and no appetite. Or on the opposite side of the spectrum, getting home and eating a container of chickpea cookie dough because tasty food was truly the only thing to make me feel better in that moment. I tried to share my lows as well as the highs, but I want you to really know there were so many really, really hard moments that made getting out of bed difficult. And in those moments I would sit in a cubicle in the library and silently weep, or call my mom and say “I really don’t think I can do this.” I don’t always practice what I preach, and crafting more adaptive habits is still a work in progress.
- Sometimes I was really mean to myself about my body. And when I was so hyper focused on something I couldn’t change (stresses and anxieties of school or a relationship) I started getting into that cycle and circle of wanting to take control of something I thought I could change, e.g. the shape of my body.
- I put so much pressure on myself – doing well in a really intensive grad school program, continuing with my blog and Instagram, doing a bit of consulting on the side, making it to every dance rehearsal, having perfectly colorful tupperware contents, and maintaining an exercise regimen. So much so that the weight of it felt so heavy on my chest that sometimes I felt like I would just burst, and in those moments I collapsed on my bed and watched mind-numbing television for hours on end rather than making the most of study time. And then would get behind studying and have a very sleepless week afterwards. I would do so much at once and then burn out so completely that it was nearly paralyzing.
- I got into a fight with a family member and we didn’t speak for the better part of six months.
- I made people feel small and like I didn’t value their friendship because I was so caught up in the stresses and anxieties of my own daily life.
But just because these things were bad and ugly doesn’t mean I wish they spontaneously evaporated from my 2017 rap sheet. In fact, I learned more from these experiences than I did from the good ones. I put myself in the way of failure, and I survived. Sometimes, just barely, but I did indeed survive. And this is my most resounding resolution. I want to keep messing up. And I want to be less afraid of messing up. And I want to talk about messing up. I hope as failure becomes more commonplace, I begin to view it more through a lens of curiosity, rather than beating myself up over missing the mark of perfection. Because how boring would life be if we did everything right all of the time.
10 Resolutions for 2018
- To think about someone’s intention more than execution of said intention – how they wanted it to be perceived vs how I perceive it. Sometimes I lack the information to have an objective opinion because my subjective experiences are dumped onto the situation, and this can really affect how I initially understand things.
- To take a break when I feel uninspired, rather than posting a photo of avocado toast. To know it’s okay to take a break. To work hard, but to work efficiently without so many distractions. To not be on the fastback to burnout.
- To not be so fiercely independent and aloof. To know it’s okay to breakdown in front of someone else and to share some of my burden. And to remember this quote by Rupi Kaur: “what is stronger than the human heart which shatters over and over and still lives.”
- To not harbor so much in my shoulders and to slow down when I start having that tight feeling of chaos in my chest – to use breath to break up that chest congestion.
- To love my body exactly how it is. To not worry about gaining a few pounds, and to think of that weight as extra fuel to get my brain through the most challenging task it’s ever done. And when I start feeling a bit uneasy about my body, that’s when I need to give a little TLC to my brain. Because why would I want to be small anyways? I want be bold and clever and bright and whole and present and magnanimous. Not small and fragile. My body is my home and I need to build my home up rather than tear it down.
- To journal every day. I have a lot of thoughts and lean heavily towards the realm of analysis paralysis. I want to write them down and make sense of them and reframe their narrative to that they stop swirling around nonsensically without pattern or meaning. To give the thoughts structure so that I can better enunciate how I’m actually feeling. Sometimes it’s all thorny branches up there and needs a little gardening.
- To continue with therapy. And to keep a list on hand of the things I am most grateful for and that give me joy. This way, when things are dark, I have a little sunshine as back-up. I can be a sunflower even in the winter without much sun, knowing I have enough happiness on reserve to conjure back up the good and self-photosynthesize.
- To waste less – energy, money, and plastic. To avoid eating out so much. To bring a metal straw with me everywhere – thank you Lili from The Well Necessities for this amazing pledge! To not buy so much coffee and to commit to meal planning especially when things are especially busy.
- To not be so afraid of messing things up. To say things that are wrong. And to admit when I’m wrong / have more adaptive ways of cleaning up the mess. And to continue talking about my experiences and my failures. And to remind myself that often failure is a feeling and not a fact. And that I’m so proud of myself for the failures and the successes! What I’m doing is impossibly hard. And I need to remind myself that even if I’m not doing it well all of the time, I’M STILL DOING IT!!
- To switch over all my cleaning products to non-toxic ones. And to use these when things get physically messy. To not let my room become such a disastrous dumping ground, and to make a better habit of cleaning up throughout the week, rather than spending hours on the weekends.
On this theme of messing up, and keeping things messy, I want to firmly switch my cleaning products over to Aunt Fannie’s. I did some of this a few months back (read more about that here), so that my home is fresh and healthy in the holiday season without tons of heavy bleaches and toxic disinfectants which may do more harm than good at keeping us healthy. If you’re new to this brand, the Aunt Fannie’s Housekeeping Bundle is a really great starter kit for Healthier Housekeeping in 2018.
The products I use most frequently:
- Floor Cleaner: My floors are really old and wood and so I need to treat them with a little extra TLC. This is what I use to clean up the seemingly incessant turmeric / cacao powder dustings and sticky kombucha / wine splatters. Works like a charm and smells so fresh and clean.
- Glass & Window Cleaner: While my apartment is super old, we JUST JUST JUST got new windows. Which I am abnormally excited about. The Aunt Fannie’s window cleaner adds a streak-free sparkle to mirrors, windows and really just any surface.
- Cleaning Vinegar Wipes: I use these on any and every surface, most specifically cleaning my desk area, as this doubles as my study space and my blog photo backdrop. The smell is clean, crisp, and fresh and just makes my whole space smell rejuvenated and organized. Like a mini-face lift for the nostrils. Because I’m cooking and meal prepping so much, it seems there’s always something to clean. There are tons of different wipe scents as a great way to change up your cleaning routine and freshen your kitchen or home in a healthy and pro-microbiome way.
To learn more about why Aunt Fannie’s is pro-microbiome and what that even means, check out this post.
Thank you to Aunt Fannie’s for sponsoring this post and for existing. I wouldn’t be able to get so excited and passionate about my present and my future if it weren’t for companies like you.
And to hop on the health cleaning products train, you can use the code LEMONS for 30% off Aunt Fannie products from now until January 7, 2018!
What are your resolutions!? Let me know in the comments below!
Love this write up! It stirred something in me. I love the authenticity in all that you wrote! Realize that what you do matters and you are touching women’s life with what you share. I felt like I needed to share that with you!! Looking forward in the new year to see all that you do! Mess ups and all!!!
Beautiful post you’re my favorite blogger.. one of my resolutions is to start reading more empowering blogs such as this one.
You are not alone sista and I applaud your authenticity and vulnerability. I, too, am in PA school and could not have resonated more with so much of what you said- literally had the same conversations with friends and family. It’s like we are drinking from a fire hydrant with all of the information we need to know- so technically speaking if you absorb 60% of the “water”, you’re still doin pretty darn good ? (I’d probs want to slap someone if they told me that…but really…let’s think about it…) Remember that this season of life is just a moment in time and not a forever deal…what’s on the other side will be so worth all of the tears and sleepless nights, even though I’m the midst of it all you may feel like you’re losing your mind. Give yourself some grace…grace upon grace- you’re going to save flippin lives for goodness sakes. Again- thanks for sharing your story…always remember you’re never alone (I was def DRIVING the struggle bus my first semester…but things get better!) Keep on keepin’ on?
I’m going to bookmark this post and come back to it, because so many of your resolutions are things I’d like for myself, too – particularly ways of dealing with stress and anxiety. Good luck in 2018 and thanks for sharing with us!
Katie, thank you so much for your vulnerability through your reflections on this year. I have been feeling a little uneasy the last week due to stress of going back to school and starting a new routine with the new semester. I always feel pressure to make goals for the new year and to start “clean,” but that’s just not realistic. Thank you for reminding me that life can be messy and that’s okay because we learn from those mistakes and messes. You are one awesome woman. I know you will continue to learn and grow from your challenges in the year, while enjoying all the great moments in 2018!
Thank you so much for reading, Elena!! So grateful for you! And best of luck with this new semester xo
Thank you for sharing ALL of this! I recently took the plunge into the online world of sharing my life: the good, the bad, and the ugly on my website through blogging and Instagram. I am still finding my voice in the online world, but one thing is always and forever sure for me and that is authentic people are who I am drawn to. So thank you for speaking from your heart and sharing the good and the bad. 2017 was a year of lots of joy AND sorrow for me and I can relate on many levels to a number of the points you posted. Keep on keeping on, sister!!! You are rocking it and your joy radiates!!
Awe thank you so much Carrie! You are so kind! I too am drawn to authenticity and I’m working on sharing more of the bad and ugly! You rock so hard right back!!
This is my first time visiting your blog; I love that I can hear your true self and voice through your writing. Loved reading this and looking forward to reading more. Excited for all that you will accomplish this year!
Thank you so much, Lia! That is so nice to hear! xo