18 Things I’m Thankful For in 2018
grat•i•tude / noun
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
It feels like 2018 just began, but already the end of the year is right around the corner and I find myself reflecting on my accomplishments from the last 11 months. I have so much to be grateful for; so many people, places, memories, and experiences to celebrate. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for just about everything 2018 brought me, specifically:
1. My Family
I am who I am because of the people in my life. Chief among those people are my family members. 2018 saw the loss of a handful of loved ones in my family; I lost a grandmother, an aunt, and a great uncle. But, with every loss, I was reminded of the power of love. There is beauty in coming together to share memories and emotion, even when the prevailing emotion is sadness. I am thankful to be part of a family that loves, supports, and takes care of me, even in difficult times.
2. My Parents
Somehow, my parents got stuck with a free-spirited, tattooed, bad-with-money daughter, but they haven’t given up on me yet. I am not too old to admit I still need them a lot of the time, and 2018 was no exception. If not for my parents, I wouldn’t be in yoga teacher training or at my new house. My parents have helped me out both financially and emotionally throughout this year of transition, and even though I rarely say it, I am so grateful for them and all their love.
3. My Yoga Practice
I’ve loved yoga since I was a kid watching my older sister practice VHS tapes of Denise Austin in the living room after school. After a few years bouncing around from studio to studio, I started dedicating myself more seriously to a regular Vinyasa practice. Working with my yoga therapist, Meghan Foley, has taught me so much about my body and how to best care for it — and I am so, so grateful.
4. Yoga Teacher Training
If you had told me a year ago I’d be in training to become a registered yoga teacher, I’d have laughed in your face. I never believed I could do something like this, because I never believed myself to be “fit.” I thought yoga teachers had to be stick-thin, overly-zen health nuts. What I’ve learned is that all yoga teachers have to be is themselves. I am grateful to have found myself through this program and this community.
5. My friends
I have a lot of friends. So many, in fact, that most of my weeks are booked solid with morning coffees, happy hours, and lunch dates. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a vast community of support, but I am grateful, nonetheless. My friends keep me from spiraling into loneliness and lethargy. They remind me to take breaks, have fun, and let loose. I’d be so bored without them.
6. My roommates
I recently moved to Uptown to live with three of my best friends. A year ago, I wasn’t really friends with any of them. And, a year ago, I was pretty stir-crazy living on my own in my small, one-bedroom apartment. Now, I get to laugh and spend time with people I love every single day. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of women to share a home with.
7. THE Girl Mansion
Over the past two months, my life has gotten exponentially better, and it’s all thanks to the Girl Mansion. The Girl Mansion is what my roommates and I call our five-story town-home. It’s massive, and full of love. More often than not, one of us has a handful of friends over, contributing to the vast community of support I mentioned earlier. It baffles me that I get to live (and party) in such a beautiful home.
8. My Career
I am grateful for my career. I’ve worked hard over the last few years to establish myself in the local marketing industry, and it’s all starting to pay off. In 2018, I began writing for the MPLS MadWomen and National Institute for Social Media blogs; I landed three speaking engagements; and I transitioned from my role at Olive & Company to a new role at TopRank Marketing. For a 24-year-old, I think I’m doing pretty well. I can’t wait to see what my future has in store.
9. My Network
Part of the reason I’ve done so well for myself in my career is because of my network. I love meeting new people, and once I meet them, I almost always ask if I can take them out for coffee and pick their brain. Establishing a connection with individuals in my network is how I’ve landed all of my jobs so far, and thanks to my involvement in the community, my name is present on the Women In Digital, MPLS MadWomen, and National Institute for Social Media websites.
10. The WOMEN IN DIGITAL Board
A large portion of my network stems from the Twin Cities chapter of Women In Digital, an organization dedicated to empowering women to share their power with one another in pursuit of career advancement. I serve as the Marketing Chair on the board, and I am grateful to have met some of my best friends in this role. A few of us always grab drinks or head to someone’s house after meetings and events to debrief and recoup, and the wine never stops flowing.
11. Mental Health
Back in 2016, I was diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety and began taking medication to help with both. It’s hard to imagine what my life would be like today had I not stepped into the mental health clinic and taken ownership. Everything got better once I started taking care of myself, and I am proud to say that I am happy. A special thanks to my friends, my family, and my yoga practice for contributing to my happiness.
12. Physical Health
I reached my heaviest weight in 2018. I also lost a lot of weight, eventually, and arguably got into the best shape of my life by devoting so much of my time to a heated power yoga practice. I am grateful for keeping up with this practice, even when it’s difficult. I am also grateful for getting the diagnosis and tools I needed to stop binge-eating. Over the past few months, my binges have gotten smaller and less frequent, and I am so damn proud of myself.
13. Spiritual Health
It’s been a long time since I had a regular spiritual practice of any kind. I battled feelings of guilt for a long time as I tried to figure out what I believed in and how I wanted to go about practicing that belief. Right now, I believe in the flow of the universe. I believe that the universe has our backs, and we get back from it what we put into it. I believe in working hard, being kind, and following my gut. By putting these beliefs into practice, 2018 became a banner year in my life.
Let’s not pretend as if coffee is not the official sponsor of 2018 (and every other year I’ve been alive since high school). I am grateful for coffee, in all its many forms, because it gets me through the day, every day. This year, I learned about Folly Coffee—a local-to-Minnesota coffee company that brews four different roasts in Silver Lake, Minnesota. Their coffee is seriously delicious. Find out for yourself.
15. Om Brewers
I have Om Brewers to thank for reigniting my passion for yoga. Back in February, I attended a class at Lyn-Lake Brewery and had the time of my life. I began going pretty regularly, and quickly became friends with the business owner, Melissa. (She happens to be one of my roommates now. See #6.) In less than a month, I’ll become a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher and my first official class will be an Om Brewers class. Talk about full circle.
16. Women in Politics
I love women. I love that I live in a period of time when women are beginning to rise in rank and take on powerful positions of leadership. This year, I voted in both the primary and midterm elections for the first time, largely because I wanted to vote for some of the incredible women on the ballot. In 2018, more than 100 women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, including a record number of women of color. I’m definitely grateful for that!
17. Trixie Trax (a.k.a. my car)
Poor Trixie got a little scuffed up this year, and she also spent a morning in the Minneapolis impound lot after being towed off the street. But, I have never been so grateful to have a snazzy, reliable car. Trixie was my first big purchase after starting to work full-time, and now that I’ve increased my commute, I’m certainly grateful to have her.
Last, but not least … my home. I recently shared on Instagram that I spent a lot of time in Children’s Hospital as a kid. At night, the only thing that would calm me down and help me fall asleep was looking out the window at the lights of the Minneapolis skyline. Today, I still find comfort in looking out over the city. Minneapolis has always been my home, and I am incredibly grateful I get to live here (even in the winter).
Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours!
What are you thankful for? Tell me in the comments below!