on being content where you are.

I went to a yoga class recently (hi, yoga, it’s been a few years) and in the class the instructor was talking about how we all are exactly where we are supposed to be right now. She said something eloquent about how the present moment, not the past or the future, is the most important. It got me thinking a lot about how lately, I’ve been feeling this yearning for the future to get here already or for the ability to change the past, and I’ve been allowing that to make me unhappy where I am right now.

I’m in my last week of nursing school, and a year ago I thought I would be so happy in this moment, to have made it to the end of this program. Instead, I’m feeling a myriad of emotions – from still feeling “behind” in life, frustrated at my lack of income and ability to do things like take  international trips like some of my classmates are doing, wishing to be able to just slow down and enjoy regular weekends with my boyfriend when life has been so chaotic lately… the list goes on.

I know most people will tell me that I am not “behind” in life at all – that spending an extra 1.5 years getting a degree that equips me to do a job I am actually excited about does not make me “behind” at 23 years old – but it doesn’t stop me from feeling that way. I can’t help but think that if I had figured things out a little earlier, by now, I’d have saved enough money to take a trip to places that I’ve always wanted to go. That by now, I wouldn’t be using birthday money to put gas in my car, or that I wouldn’t be in such debt to my family for everything that they have done for me.

It’s one thing to know that this all happened this way for a reason and that this season of life is probably teaching me some really cool things, but it’s another to accept that and just be here. To know that these moments have been building my character and will make me appreciate so much more later down the road. To know these things and to feel them and be grateful for them doesn’t always go hand in hand.

I don’t think that this time in my life is the only time I’m going to struggle to stay present. I almost think that this is an ongoing struggle no matter where you are – sometimes it’s just easier than other times. And right now is one of those times where I am everywhere but here. I also don’t think that all of these ‘in between’ feelings are going anywhere anytime soon, and that’s okay. Going to yoga has been a great reminder to me that wishing for change in the past or yearning for things to come in the future is only going to do one thing: make me unhappy with where I am now.

I’d like to spend more of my time focused on the present than anywhere else. Some things that help me to do that:

  • working out or going to yoga
  • spending time outside, even if it’s just for a short walk
  • trying new food or coffee
  • closing my eyes and taking deep breaths for a few seconds

If you have any suggestions of reminders to stay content in the present moment – I’d love to hear them! ❤

P.S. Happy to be back in the blogosphere. It’s been awhile 🙂


life updates

hi friends!

Woweee! I certainly did not expect to take this big of a break from blogging when I last posted over three months ago. Since I last posted, I’be been finishing my summer semester of nursing school, going on as many outdoor adventures as possible, dating a pretty special guy, moving, job searching and interviewing, and going into my last and final semester of nursing school. Life has been pretty amazing, at times feeling far to good to be true, and I have thoroughly enjoyed soaking that up as much as possible.

I am hoping to get back into the swing of blogging, especially with the end of nursing school in sight (!!) and a job waiting for me on the other end of things. I had stopped blogging and posting on Instagram for awhile because I really needed a break. Honestly, my Instagram feed felt pretty inundated with food/fitness posts that I just wasn’t interested in reading, especially when I was so limited on time. I didn’t want to put out content that I myself wouldn’t want to read or look at… so I just didn’t put out anything.

Today got me thinking about what type of content I want to be sharing. I realized that amongst all of the macro talk and before and after pictures and crap like that that exists, I could be sharing a really positive message. About how freedom with food and fitness is possible. That not forcing your body to be a size that it doesn’t want to be is a really great thing. That working out shouldn’t be about how you look. That there are far more important things in this world than how many carbs a piece of toast has. That I’ve been there in that place of eating and working out to achieve a dream body – and how miserable it made me feel and how I couldn’t live a full and vibrant life like that.

So, that’s what I hope to be sharing in the future. Thank you to all of you who have stuck with me throughout this transitional phase of life – I am so grateful ❤


back to banannas

Hi friends!

While I’d really like to start this post off by saying that I wish that I’d been blogging in this space more… that wouldn’t be all that truthful. If we are being honest, I’ve really been enjoying just living my life and savoring the moment instead of capturing so much of it on camera and sharing it on the internet.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, but I’ve been feeling a little lost in the blog world ever since my old blog domain expired back in February. There were six years of my life chronicled there and I made a bit of a rash decision to essentially let all of that disappear. It felt like a little bit of my identity was gone all of the sudden. That combined with me not currently teaching fitness classes, and somehow feeling less valid in sharing my knowledge in fitness, made me feel lost in the world of blogging. I changed my Instagram handle and my blog name on a whim and recently in the last couple months have just been feeling like that didn’t fit me well at all. It didn’t feel like part of my personality and for that reason I recently changed everything back to good ‘ol julibananna, where it all started.

This past year has been one of the most transformative that I’ve ever experienced. A lot in my identity has changed. I stopped teaching fitness classes because I was burnt out and because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep it all up with school and retain my sanity. I became a nursing student. I pretty much stopped blogging all together because it wasn’t a priority anymore. I moved across the country and away from so many good friends and my family. I went through a breakup and started dating again for the first time in a long time. I started meeting amazing people here and making Atlanta a home.

That’s the beauty of your twenties. Things are fluid and ever changing and we’re all figuring out who we are as people. And when we realize that something doesn’t fit us anymore it’s okay to admit that and not cling to it.

I’m not really sure where all this is going but I am happy to be back to my roots again. Same ‘ol blog name, same Instagram handle, maybe a bit of a different woman behind it all. Excited to continue sharing this journey with y’all, through good food, fitness, and some nursing school shenanigans sprinkled in.

Thanks for sticking with me through thick and thin. Means the world to me ❤



opening my eyes

It has been just over a year since I graduated from UCLA, and it simultaneously feels like this has been one of the longest years ever but also somehow I blinked and it disappeared. Day to day I have worked harder and persevered through more than I had ever expected but on the whole time sure has flown.

It’s hard to believe that a year ago I had no idea what nursing school would bring or the things that I would see along the way. I’m 10 months out of 15 in and have learned so much more than I ever expected.

One of the things nursing school has done for me is that it has opened my eyes to see people of all walks of life. It has brought me into conversations with people that I ordinarily would never connect with. It has taught me that bad things can happen to any of us – whether physically or mentally. It has made me truly see that mental illness does not discriminate. It has opened my ears to listen to each individual person’s perspective – whether I agree with it or not. It has allowed me to realize that we as humans are all so much more similar than we could imagine – that we all have struggled more than we let on; that we are all so much stronger than we realize.

I know this probably all sounds a little cheesy. But every word of it is true. From clinicals at a psychiatric facility, to attending an AA meeting, to helping out at a homeless shelter and playing with kids in daycare, nursing school truly has brought me into so many places and situations and for that I am so grateful.

Nursing school also has helped me to realize that nothing is black and white. There is no perfect solution to treat a disease nor is there a perfect way to care for someone. There is no way to have a perfect healthcare system and there is no way to make everyone like you. This world sure as heck is messy. But getting to walk through the mess with people and connect with them on a deeper level has been one of the greatest gifts that I’ve been given.

I’m so thankful that I found nursing because I don’t think that there is a more perfect career for me. I know that once I’m out there practicing as a nurse it’s probably going to be one of the hardest things that I ever will do. But it’s what God put me on this earth for and that’s pretty cool.


what kind of message am I sending?

I haven’t been blogging much lately because sometimes it feels a bit self indulgent. It’s been a battle back and forth for me because the reason that I didn’t quit blogging entirely was because I want to help others by sharing my story. But sometimes sharing my story or tidbits of my life feels a bit more like “look at me!” than it does anything else.

I also have been really struggling with how I portray myself to others in terms of fitness and nutrition. My blog for years revolved around fitness and nutrition and so did my Instagram account for the blog. And since Instagram is only a snapshot of the highlight reel (as much as I try to be real and authentic in that space as well), I have been thinking about how others might perceive me. If a person that comes across my account for the first time and the first thing they see is a picture of my body, is the first thing I want them to think about me that I am a fit person? Am I creating a space that is making people feel insecure in their own bodies? Or am I inspiring others, as a full time nursing student who’s passionate about health, to make their health a priority?

If someone comes across my Instagram account and they don’t know my story, that I battled with a disordered relationship with food or that I’ve been lifting weights for over six years now and that’s one of the reasons my body looks the way it does or that I’ve been through the struggle of body image (and still have some bad days!) – I guess I just don’t want to give off the impression that I am perfect.

Honestly, I really don’t know the answer to any of these questions.

I know that the Lord gives us each unique individual passions and I know that one of mine is health and fitness. But I am scared that I’m not sending the message that I truly believe in when it comes to health and fitness. That giving yourself grace is the best thing that you can do for yourself, or that food is meant to be enjoyed, or that what your body looks like doesn’t mean anything compared to who you are on the inside.

I also feel like so many people who share their fitness journeys on social media just want to give advice out about fitness. While I was a certified group fitness instructor and have a ton of knowledge about fitness, I think that there are so many other qualified people to share information that that’s not something I’m necessarily passionate about or want to focus on.

As I type this blog post I realize that it’s all over the place – forgive me for that! I guess I just feel a bit at a standstill when it comes to what I share in this space and in other spaces on the Internet. I don’t want to do more harm than good. I don’t want people to see me for what my body looks like or what foods I eat. I want to send a message that is bigger than that but I don’t know where to start. And I don’t want to stop sharing about health and fitness because I am so passionate about it.

I know that I’m not going to find the answers to any of this any time soon. But thank you for bearing with me in the meantime ❤ I appreciate you more than you know and would love to hear your thoughts!



vote for the letter project!

Hey beautiful people!

It’s been awhile since I’ve popped in, but I wanted to take a second to ask you a favor today.

The Letter Project, a project I’ve been a part of for a few months now, is one of the KIND causes of the month. We write letters to girls and women all over the world who need a little encouragement. Whoever gets the most votes will get $10k donated to their cause, and I know that this project could more than use that!

You can vote HERE – thank you so much in advance ❤

Being a writer for this project has been amazing and writing letters to other girls is just as much of a reminder to myself as it is to them that we are enough just as we are. If you know a girl who could use a little encouragement right now, you can submit a letter request here. And if this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, we could always use more letter writers! There is no minimum requirement for how often you have to write – you can send as little or as many letters as you want. Each letter makes a difference.

Thank you so much again! I’ll be back soon with some more posts!



why a second degree?

Back when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life a year or two ago, I would have absolutely loved to be able to read someone’s blog about their experience going to nursing school. I really didn’t know much about the process of getting a second degree other than that you pretty much needed a BSN to be a nurse. Thankfully my best friend from high school was in nursing school and graduating at the time, so I was able to pick her brain about a lot of nursing school questions (thanks, Nicole! <3) as well as ask a few people I knew who were doing a second degree program about what it was like. I don’t think I would be here today without them!

So, I figured that writing about nursing and nursing school would be a great thing to do while I’m in it (as opposed to looking back) so that anyone who may be interested in nursing school has an honest opinion and another person’s experience to read about. Without further ado, here we go!

Once I figured out that I wanted to go into nursing (which is a story for another day) after volunteering in a few hospitals, I started researching schools that had nursing programs to figure out the process of applying and what I needed to do for applications. I ended up discovering that there are quite a few schools that do accelerated BSN programs for people like me, who would already have a bachelor’s degree by the time nursing school started. There were programs that were just the accelerated BSN but also a lot of programs that combined the BSN + MSN all in one to fast track you to becoming an NP.

To be perfectly honest, the idea of signing myself up for 3 more years of school to become an NP was way too overwhelming for me. I didn’t consider it much because I wanted to make sure that I really did love nursing, and also wanted to get some experience working as a nurse. A lot of the programs have you pick a specialty as well, and since I had no idea what I wanted to do in relation to nursing, I decided against it for the time being. (There are a lot of varying opinions on this as NPs are becoming a more prevalent role in the healthcare field. I had a million people ask me why I wasn’t getting my master’s and a lot of people suggest being an NP. But I decided that it wasn’t right for me right now).

So, I started sorting through programs and looking at what you needed to apply, including prerequisite classes. I started doing this around the end of my junior year at UCLA and over the summer before my senior year. A lot of schools require a few different prerequisites and it was a little frustrating to me to have to sort through them and try to strategically pick where to apply so that I didn’t have to take five jillion classes. I ended up being able to plan a few of my classes in my senior year (like microbiology and microbiology lab) that would apply for my major and also cover prerequisite requirements, which was a huge blessing! I also took night classes on top of my regular courseload during my senior year to get classes done on time. It wasn’t easy but I’m so glad I did it, since I didn’t want to take a bunch of time off between my degrees.

Something to note is most of the schools don’t require you to have your prerequisite classes done before you apply – just before school starts – which gives you a bit of leeway time to get everything done! I ended up taking a class online over spring and into summer to finish things out.

(Fam at my UCLA graduation!)

Another thing that I took into consideration for applying to programs was where I wanted to live. I knew that I wanted to get out of LA, and unfortunately a lot of the second degree programs in California were located in southern California. So I started researching places to live as well as schools so that I would end up somewhere I enjoyed living. I ended up applying to schools in Portland, Nashville, and Atlanta. The second degree programs were also weird in that a bunch of them started at different times, so that’s why I was okay with only applying to three schools. I figured if I didn’t get into any of them, then I could just reapply to different schools for the winter term!

Thankfully, I ended up getting into 2 out of the 3 schools, and between the two that I got into, going to Emory was a no-brainer. The nursing program at Emory is currently ranked #4 in the nation and I fell in love with Atlanta when I came to visit (I remember being so in awe of how GREEN everything was! Haha!). Rank isn’t super important in the grand scheme of things, but going to a school that is well-known in terms of getting a job was relatively important to me since I want to make sure I’m employed after this whole shebang.

So, that’s how I ended up here in Atlanta! I am almost halfway through my 15-month program and it sure is flying by.

If you have any specific questions for me about nursing/nursing school or life in general feel free to shoot me an email or fill out that contact form anytime!

Happy hump day, y’all! Hope your week is treating you well!!