Now, below these words are the hi lights of 2017. I like picking a few big things out of each month so I can remember, but also to note that each month brought something new and different to 2017 and all were important! I promise you 2017 was not all hi lights. I cried a lot. People made me feel mad, sad, and frustrated. School made me feel exhausted and not smart some days. People came in and out of my life and there were heavy emotions. I lost my great uncle, almost like a third grandfather to me, and had to watch my dad loose the second biggest role model to him and watch my family grieve once again. Life isn’t all a hi light reel but I want to look back on 2017 through the high point lens and just acknowledge that there were lows. If we don’t experience and accept negative emotions then we are simply denying a fact of life. Not everything can be positive or looked at in a positive light and I think if we try that there is a lot of denial going on. So all that to say, I’m human and I have crappy parts of life and myself that I don’t enjoy just like you do! However, I had a freaking blast this year.
I hadn’t planned this year to be “the most fun year yet” but in my last 23, it has been hands down the year I’ve smiled the hardest and for that I’m so grateful! I think that has a lot to do with the friends I’ve made through grad school and for the personal choice of putting myself out into the world to open up myself to others more than I already have. I mentioned I cried a lot this year, much like 2016, but these tears were different. In 2016, I was still working on my anxiety (I still am now but it’s no longer the center of my attention) and it was a big transition year for me. I cried because I left college, because every day things still made me incredibly anxious and that pissed me off, and I cried because that year was lonely at times. When we have huge transition years, graduations, deaths, marriage, personal victories, etc, I think that is to be expected. 2017 tears were because I told myself it was ok to be vulnerable and I sort of knew that tears would just come with that. Vulnerable not just in personal life, in school life (speaking my mind on a huge presentation and teaching my students with my heart in it, not just my head), in fun situations (saying my studying can wait, this random concert opportunity can not) etc.
I share my personal life with you, to an extent. There is A LOT I leave out because, well, it’s personal and I’m not about to make this blog switch from constancelyeating to constancelydating or constancelybeinga20something because 23 is a weird freaking year and getting rude comments on how I’m choosing to live my personal life via DM on instagram or on a blog comment is really hard to deal with. Also, personal life stuff is just personal- super simple. I get asked the question “when am I getting grand kids?!” or “soooo, any cute boys in your life right now?!” (or something along those lines) probably once a day if I’m around my family or other young people or at least a couple of times a week when I’m just living my life and it wears. a person. DOWN.
The answer to those above questions are, in this order, “I don’t know when you are getting grandkids, that’s for God to decide”, and “mm I’m working on it”. So, this year has just been a TON of trial and error, a lot of “mmm not sure how that makes me feel”, “oh gosh, I need to get out of here”, lots of alone time in my thoughts and prayers, and tons of time just “saying screw it, “let’s do it!” (not even kidding you, it’s either said in my head or out loud and it usually ends up being super fun or I learn a lot from it). So, in short, in 2017, I cried a lot of personal growth tears and I don’t regret them. 2016 was transition tears. What kind of tears will come in 2018 I have no freaking clue but I’ll be there saying some more of “screw it, let’s do it!” and probably some “nope, tried that before, learned from it, and moving on!” because that’s what your 20’s are for, or so I’m told. They are for learning a lot and I totally get that.
I have no goals for 2018 except for hoping to be on the blog a little more and to continue being curious about everything, people, nutrition, life, school, etc. I don’t plan on changing my body or diet in any way and I hope to become a more confident intuitive eater and do lots of continuing education.
Now, on to the FUN STUFF. I realized a lot of money was spent on airfare in 2017, probably won’t change that in 2018!
Before starting school I hopped on a plane to Seattle to visit one of my best friends Heather from high school. I had never been before and I LOVED it. I think this was the first trip I had ever planned by myself and was just like yup, I want to go there so it’s happening. I also got to see my Chicago gal pal Allison for a bit. I ate LOTS of great food (including Molly Moons ice cream below) and actually linked it (for what I ate and did- also my favorite coffee of all time) all here.
I started my Spring Semester at CSULA taking all the second parts to classes like Medical Nutrition Therapy, Advanced Nutrition, Management Principals in Dietetics , and Maternal Nutrition among others. This was I think my hardest semester looking back at it. So. many. numbers.
I posted this photo at the end of January and remember feeling super happy with how this dress fit (cellulite and imperfections included). 2017 was the beginning of me embracing dressing my body and loving it. I gave away a ton of clothes that didn’t fit me anymore and just let it go.
Much of the same, school wise. Later in this month was my first year being an advisor for the Youth and Government YMCA program and going to Sacramento as an adult and not a high school teen! So fun. I do remember having to sprint back to my room to get a few hours of studying in between sessions. This year that won’t be the case. Can I get an amen for no more MNT?!
This trip to Scramento was also cool because I only packed necessary snacks (granola bars/trail mix/apples for snacks that I did’t want to pay triple the price for at a store or hotel lobby) and just sort of browsed the city for food when I felt like it. Patted myself on the back for that intuitive eating decision.
That month I was asked to speak to the senior group at the Y to answer some of their nutrition questions and I was so excited! This would later lead to speaking to more senior groups later in the year because people enjoyed it. I started to realize teaching was something I really enjoyed.
Next up was Expo West- such an overwhelming but fun experience! It’s a giant food show where vendors and bloggers/foodies meet and eat a TON of the most random combos of food ever like an ice cream sandwich and then some pasta and then a chip and then a protein smoothie with Cheerios in it. I finally got to meet my pals Emilie, Haley, JJ, and more! It was so nice hugging people in real life after feeling like you know them so well off the internet. Meeting them was also really important to me because they are all in my shoes and it’s so nice to have people studying nutrition and being a young 20 something to just talk life with.
More school + I left for Chicago at the end of March-first week of April for my Spring break to see my family and friends! Lot’s of Jenis ice cream, pizza from my favorite Italian place, train rides to see my grandparents, and hugs from my Chicago humans.
Ella was adopted when I was a sophomore-ish in college- she’s so big now UGH! We celebrated her 5th birthday this year!
May was a lot of finishing up with school and trying not to loose my marbles. I always feel like towards the end of any semester I start going a little crazy and my main goal is just to keep it together. May is always filled with celebrations, friends graduating, friends birthdays etc. Always fun to celebrate!
HOORAY. I remember walking out of this final almost collapsing on the floor. I think it took me almost the whole 2.5 hours to complete the last MNT thing before my clinical rotations and we were so stinkin happy- look at us- all the smiles!
I turned 23! June was such a fun month I planned another trip to Seattle because, why not, and I just began to feel really confident in myself as an intuitive eater, a 20 something, and I just had lots of grateful thoughts. Maybe it was because I didn’t have classes weighing me down and this was my first break since graduating college?! Whatever it was, it was fun.
Went on the coolest hike (Lake 22) this time in Seattle, ate more delish food(check out that fresh fish below!), met some awesome humans, drank lotsa wine, and smiled a lot. I split my stay 1/2 with Heather and 1/2 with Allison (full post here).
So, my plans for a “low key” summer had pretty much vanished at this point. I had planned on getting a grip on my thesis, which I did, but I also did a ton of freaking traveling and it made for an awesome summer. I haded back to Chicago for more family and friends. Lotsa sangria on my cousins roof and nice strolls around Lakeview/Downtown/Ogden Dunes Indiana.
Later that month was Camp Fox! This was my third year being a director and it was the best yet. Fox is a place with legitimately no reception and horrible wifi (you are in the middle of the ocean on Catalina Island) so no IG/FB/blog and a place I voluntarily loose reception on “real life”. Camp life is unlike anything I can describe in this space but just imagine a bunch of people embracing your truest, weirdest self and loving you for it. Camp is a place where I feel appreciated and where I feel like I can give the most to other humans. See those things around our necks? Those are called rags. The rag program at the Y is essentially an outward symbol of an inward goal or goals and Y campers/directors/counselors are encouraged to start on this journey and work through their goals during the year and come back to camp and re-evaluate (you only wear your rags at camp and can only move up rags or re tie at camp). If you accomplished your goals you can move up a rag color and sit down and take some very quiet time with yourself to think about what’s next, get counseled by someone of equal or higher rag color, and go through the ceremony to start your new goals. There’s a little more to the rag program but I don’t want to make this too long. This year I got my gold rag and it means a lot to me. My goals have a lot to do with my professional life as a future RD as well as some personal standards I want to hold myself to. I’ll definitely need more than a year for this rag but I wanted to show you guys that part of my life and part of what the Y does for me and others in helping us grow. It was an honor to be asked to tie several rags from my campers and counselors on my unit- holds a special place in my heart because each of my rags has helped me through obstacles in my life and that’s what they do for others, too!
If you watch my instagram stories you probably see this human below a lot. Chelsea tied my rag and is one of the greatest friends and mentors to me! Wanted to include her here since she was a huge part of 2017 in helping me grow.
July I also flew to Vegas to speak on behalf of Siggis Dairy! I worked with Abi (she was the RD for them at the time and is now traveling the world!) to create a presentation on a little bit about basic sports nutrition and how siggis fits into that. Huge learning experience for me.
I traveled through Vienna, Austria with my sister and one of my good friends from college who lives there now! We had such a blast and met our parents in Italy a week later. Such a dream. Check out our whole trip here if you missed it! Austria and Italy.
Selfies in Sienna! Lots of wonderful food and many cities and smiles.
Bak to school! This time only graduate courses (except 1) which were wayyy different than undergrad level courses. Lots of self study and way more reading. I loved it. I started teaching a new semester of nutrition and leading the hiking course at CSULA too. Here’s some of my class hiking Switzer Falls.
Any guesses on where I went?! Yes, Chicago. I worked for siggis at their booth at FNCE, the conference put on by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I worked with some of my favorite people and we shared an air bnb, so fun! You know Emilie and JJ now, next up is Alayna and Winnie.
I also got to meet these amazing RDs! I just about cried out of excitement because again, I felt like I knew them from their blogs and IG and have so much respect for them and hope to be as successful as they are as a future RD. Also this was when May told me she passed her RD exam and I again almost cried out for excitement for her! She has been a constant source of support for me ever since I met her back in 2016 graduating college. She is so insightful, caring, and funny.
At this point I was saying to myself how amazing it would be to have an opportunity to work for or with any of these women and then boom December came and that opportunity happened.
This was also the month my best friend got into freaking nursing school! Sarah is my best friend and we joke that we are each others only friend- even though that’s not true at all, we do understand each other so well and our lives this year living at home while somewhat adulting have been nearly identical so it was just awesome to see her accomplish this. We spent many beach weekends at her family’s beach house in Newport this year.
I think this wins as the best month of the year. Zion with my grad school friends. 2 concerts, and tons of friend seeing. Each day in November felt packed to the gills especially with the holidays starting and Friendsgivings and family time. So much and all so good! We also had some of our hardest presentations and did so well. I love seeing my friends get into their little nutrition niches.
This was a great month because another semester DONE. Just one more to go. I also found out I was chosen to be one of Robyn’s interns and it was basically a dream come true. I can’t wait to learn from her! We took a family trip to Lake Arrowhead as well and it was fun to laugh together and spend time before my sister leaves for college again. + more sweet time with friends that made the end of the year perfect!
An there you have it! My year in review. What a wonderful one it was. I hope yours was amazing and if it wasn’t then I hope 2018 is filled with learning experiences and more smiles for you :).