Positive Living: Feeling Grateful, Thankful and Blessed + 22 Highlights From My 22nd Year!

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The fact that I’m 22 today boggles me… when did I get so old!? I know 22 isn’t that different than 21… but it sure as heck feels like I just jumped into REAL adulthood. I feel like this year has been the year of positive living and it's giving me all the feels today.

As I reflect on this past year, I can’t help but feel so overjoyed and downright thankful. as. heck. Although this year, as is the case any year, had its fair share of ups and downs, stressful moments, health struggles and school-induced breakdowns, it also had so many amazing, life-giving, happy-tear, positive moments as well that I can’t help but look past any of the negatives.

I feel like after this year I am finally so sure of who I am, so confident in my own skin, so happy with the decisions I’ve made and so in love with the life I’ve created.

Before getting on with today’s celebration (leg day, nails with my mom, wine tasting, dinner out and Pressed!!!!), I wanted to take the time to share 22 highlights from this positive living year. This life sure is beautiful.

  1. I ran my first marathon and loved every single (semi-painful) mile. I’ve never felt so alive as I did when I crossed that finish line.

  2. I survived being the president of my sorority for a year and learned so many priceless lessons about leadership, loyalty and perseverance.

  3. I conquered the hardest course in my major (with the help of many teary phone calls to my mom) and kicked its butt! I wrote over 100 pages and have never felt so relieved to press print.

  4. I truly dove into my passion for sustainability and have successfully began buying almost 75% of my groceries at the farmers market (when I’m at school). I’ve loved starting to share more about this love for local and sustainable eating and can’t wait to share more in the coming year.

  5. I found my soulmate…. Delicata squash. ;) How did I go so many years without it in my life!?

  6. I traveled to Luxembourg for a month and despite my travel anxiety I had an amazing trip. I saw beautiful sites, I spent so much quality time with my family, I ran in some of the most beautiful places and proved to myself that I’m not so bad at traveling after all.

  7. Going along with that, traveling this past summer helped me be much more go-with-the-flow (although I still have a ways to go). This year I’ve learned to be okay with switching up my schedule, saying “yes” to more and doing things out of my comfort zone.

  8. I finally got a diagnosis for the gut health issues I’ve been experiencing for years. Although having Ulcerative Colitis in and of itself is not a highlight, knowing what’s going on and being able to take steps to help myself feels amazing after so many years of being in the dark.

  9. I got to meet some of the most amazing blog friends in real life and it filled me with so much joy. Getting to call these ladies my friends and getting to talk for hours about food, fitness and life (always over the yummiest food) are moments I will continually cherish! Christina, Kayleigh, Kelsey, Helen and Les are such lights in my life and I can’t wait to keep meeting more of you.

  10. I had my first Pressed Juicery experience (exactly one year ago today!!!) and my life hasn’t been the same since. For real, Pressed Freeze gives me life.

  11. I became a grandma... to two perfect grand-littles that is! ;) Although I don’t talk about the sorority side of my life that much on here, it truly does play a huge role in my life.

  12. I finally made the decision that after graduation I’ll be moving back to the place that feels most like home. Kirkland truly has my heart and I can’t wait to create my future here!

  13. Became a plant mom and successfully didn’t kill my babies!!!! Seriously though… In the past I’d even kill all of my succulents… I still have three plant babies and they’re thriving.

  14. I really got into my groove with recipes this past year and am so proud of the recipes I produced for the blog! I can’t wait to keep the goodies coming in the next year!

  15. I did heated yoga for the first time and although I’m no yogi by any means, I LOVED it. I had always been too scared to try hot yoga, so I was proud of myself for getting over that and just going for it.

  16. I applied for my first big girl jobs. I haven’t heard back from them yet, but it still feels really dang cool to be working towards creating my post-grad future.

  17. My family and I successfully cooked our first SCD-friendly Thanksgiving and it was the best, most joyous Thanksgiving EVER. Full of good food, happy tears and sweet memories. We got to share it all with my brother’s girlfriend as well, who is just the sweetest blessing in our lives.

  18. I got a long-form story published in my school’s magazine that my supervisors let me pitch and write completely independently. It was called “Follow Me” and discussed how to create an online identity and brand. It was SO fun getting to share my expertise with parents, alumni, community members and students.

  19. I got over my weird fear of sausage and I’m really thankful for that. ;) Chicken and turkey sausages are my favorite now. I just love expanding my foodie horizons!

  20. I reconnected with my love of reading and read some of the BEST books. “Unprocessed,” “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” “The Third Plate” and “In Defense of Food” (plus even more!) were devoured this year and I loved every single one.

  21. I launched my big time health nut tank and I couldn’t be more excited! It feels so good taking steps to further this platform.

  22. I got to spend a lot of quality time with my longtime best friend (who I hadn’t seen for SO long before this summer) and it filled my heart up. She is such a rock in my life.

What a YEAR. What a LIFE. So happy to see where this next year takes me. Thank you all for being a part of this journey!!

XO nat

Related: Thank You 2017, Hello 2018: New Year's Intentions and Reflections, 2017 New Year Reflections & Intensions, Cheers! A Recap of My Healthy 21st BirthdayThree Year Blogiversary: What I've Learned Through It All, 21 Things I've Learned in 21 Years