2018 — Thank u, next

2018… you really challenged me. At first thought, I can be quick to think “wow, 2018 sucked”. But if we’re keeping it 100? 2018 truly was such a year of learning. A year of heartbreak in almost every aspect of my life – work, personal, romantic. A year of growth, just the same as every year before – only now, I am beginning to understand that I learn more and more as the years pass. All of the challenges and mistakes and things that happen, they contribute to my growth in a way that success cannot. I get to know myself better as every year passes. And as impossible as it seems in the moment, I still manage to survive every one (thus far lmao).

So, as I reflect on 2018 as a whole, every laugh + every tear – I gotta sit back and think, “what a fucking great year”.

And for y’all (myself included), I am sharing some photos and a recap of every month of 2018. It’s easy to forget what got you to where you are now. The hardships you’d rather forget than hold onto. Or the fun times you had with that one special person that broke your heart. Maybe even an incredible milestone you reached but have pushed aside to reach the next goal. Reflection is so very important and essential to growth and preservation.

Was your 2018 a beautiful shit show like mine? I wanna hear from you guys. What was the biggest lesson you learned? Do you believe in New Year’s resolutions? If so, what are you trying to accomplish or implement into 2019?


JANUARY

First haircut of 2018!! Finally found a stylist to go to consistently. (Only to move to a new state and have to find a new one six months later.) Crazy that my hairstyle is so different from what I’m getting now, just a year later. (It may not look much different to you, but I can certainly tell a difference!)

Celebrating my sweet friend Paige’s birthday. The kind of girl who goes out of her way to make everyone around her feel special. The kind that often needs to be reminded how gorgeous she is. Also…. boxers, a white tee, a fuzzy pink robe, and Adidas superstars are appropriate party attire – no?

This day, I remember feeling v v v grateful for all of the friends I’d made since my move from San Diego. Recounting all the troubles and emotions from the transition and finally feeling like: “oh shit, I belong. I am loved.”

First Soulcycle class post-accident. It was emotional for me. I started feeling like myself again after this. (Still haven’t made a post about the accident. I had intentions of writing one on the year anniversary but it felt counterproductive to my growth.)

Museum of Ice Cream!! One of the best memories of 2018. Colorful rooms with the intention of taking photos happens to be right up my ally. Content for days. Blog post from this day can be found here.

A planned beach day/ unplanned photo shoot day in Pacifica. The intention was set out to journal together but it turned into good chat and silliness. The weather was perfect. I remember this fondly. Lauren is living in Australia now and I miss her dearly. Lucky for me, we chat so often I think our friendship has actually strengthened with distance. It takes a special mix of people for this to happen and I thank the stars for her every day. See my “25 things I learned by age 25” post here.


FEBRUARY

FINALLY got my hands on this yellow shirt I had been after for….. ever. It’s my happy color. I get told I look like sunshine when I wear it – which justifies my purchase even more. 💛

Put together this banner of one of my favorite quotes/positive affirmations/mantras. It’s been hung in the past few places I’ve lived and I plan to keep it that way. Find you, Be you, Stay you. A reminder for me of past, present, future. The past tends to bring me down, and I am so caught up in the future that I often find it challenging to live in the moment.

Me, in a Mexican restaurant, admiring an old friend. Felt on top of the world this day. The kind where you’re just really giggly and silly and don’t care who’s watching. It actually makes me sad now in retrospect – I no longer speak with this person. At first it seemed natural to spend time apart, then I started noticing we just didn’t see each other at all. And after that, I noticed they started getting close with some people in my life that had put me in a really bad place. What I’ll say about that is – it is never your place to decide who your friends spend their time with. But, if they are well aware of the damage the other has done to you, and they continue to be seen with them, they are not your friend. A true and honest relationship, whether it be friends or more, is one that promotes growth and happiness. Whew. That is something I am still learning.

Also got an ice cream cone. Oh, and the first one had a packet of cleaner in it. (Not kidding.) Then I took it back. It was an…. interesting experience. Love that for me.

Bart-ing to the city for Soulcycle. This is what I miss most about the Bay. Truly. My own zen. My self-love. Biking the city alone helped me find my sense of self. Fun fact about me: I am awful with direction. When I get to a new city/area, getting lost tends to be how I find my way. I’d gotten lost so many times in the city that I had learned my way around and my adoration for San Francisco only grew. I crave the feeling of escape I had there and I am still i search of it in other areas of my life.

My ritual: Bart to the city, bike to the Castro, get there too early by accident, get an iced coffee from Philz (mint mojito or half sweet mocha tesora) double at Soulcycle, hit up friends to hangout/get drinks with after class.

These photos were actually from a bad date, funny enough. But I liked the shot enough to ‘gram it. I wasn’t feeling very confident around this time. I remember knowing in the moment that the date should come to an end early, but questioning whether or not I deserved better. (I did, I do, and I always will.) Let this be a lesson: if you aren’t into it, don’t fake it and don’t force it. I’ll say that again – don’t force it.

First time at Twin Peaks. It was so windy. Like……. so windy. I almost fuckin fell off. I was so cold my hands were nearly frozen and I worried I would die of frost bite. Idk how I even got an okay photo if we’re being honest. We took polaroids. And they FLEW AWAY. Like, far away. But you’ll never guess what happened next…. I found them on the side of the hill. On the side… of the hill. If you’ve been there you know how insane this is. I almost cried. And now the photos are here for me to show off to you.

Saw Demi Lovato and Kehlani with this cutie. Also tried out a mustache. I don’t think it suited me unfortunately. Ali and made a habit of belting Demi on the way to In-N-Out during late nights so it came as no surprise that she invited me to this concert. I had the MOST fun. Ali is such a kind and inviting spirit. Iwwy a biwwy.


MARCH

Soulcycle!! Again. Took these photos to add to my instructor application. (Oops, I’ve never talked about auditioning for that on the internet.) Shoutout to my blemish in the second one. I’m pretty sure that was actually a cut that never went away. Anyways… we’ll talk more about Soulcycle another day. Maybe on a podium, who knows.

Everlane opens in SF. Honestly I just look cute in the button down, it ain’t that serious. I also am an affiliate with Everlane but their social team sucks and I am still unsure (a year later) what the affiliate program even is. That’s okay! Still one of my favorite brands ever.

The one and only time I wore these white shorts. White is a fucking commitment. I do not recommend unless your only goal is to look tan for a minute.

My #spons post with Dixie cups. Lol. I don’t think I ever actually got paid for this!! It was so sporadic and fun bts. Went with a friend to Santa Monica for a tattoo expo. Was going to get a tattoo but pussied out last second. Went location hunting for a while and settled on this. It was so overcast and I spent a while coaching the friend behind the camera.

Glossier in SF. Got to meet my rep babe Mollie. She is something unique. Upon chatting, it was like we’d known eachother forever. I admire her deeply and was so so happy to have had the chance to spend this day with her. It was a real cute time.

Probably my best selfie of 2018. En route to the children’s march!! Suuuuch a good experience. Felt so freaking empowered and heard. Also how cute are Martina and her mama – wouldn’t have wanted to be there with anyone else.

Glossier yoga event hosted by myself and beautiful friend Martina. We’d just started talking/hanging out at this time – after about a year of mutually following eachother on Instagram. The event was all in all, a v positive experience. Got to meet a few other reps in the area as well. ✨


APRIL

Photobooth memories with friends turned family. These gals have truly been there for me when I needed support the most. They have seen some of my darkest days and never shied away from showing me the love and kindness I needed. Feliciana and Naty…. y’all, I wouldn’t be here without you two. And Junior. Duh.

A snack with some ice cream. She showed me Bi-rite for the first time and I am forever grateful. Martina is the kinda gal that comes into your life at the perfect time – like it’s fate. Also…. she looks so innocent. She’s not. And I love that about her.

Coffee date with Lauren. This smile was genuine.

Outside of Glossier in SF. A spontaneous photo that turned out to be a cute coincidence. “Have Soul.” This was later reposted by Soulcycle and I about died.

Flight home to San Diego for the first time since I left to San Francisco, surprising my sister for her birthday! The trip lasted less than 24 hours. We made the most of it.

Soulcycle La Jolla! Something I’d wished for since I started riding – a studio in San Diego. The class was a bit underwhelming but I looked really cute and got a v cute crew neck.

Harper does San Diego! My sweet, sweet pup.

My live reaction to having a San Diego burrito for the first time in almost two years. This is probably one of my favorite things ever if I’m honest. I’d do anything for a burrito right now.

Back in the Bay. Uncle Steve gets new kittens. I go crazy.


MAY

Back in Pacifica with Lauren. She doesn’t realize how cute she is and that’s a shame, but I do my best to remind her often. I never posted this photo of myself but I kinda like that we both have matching photos now.

In the Marina with Martina. We did it for free juice/Barry’s/Soulcycle. It was worth it. We got the juice, uber’d to the mission, got food, and picnicked at Dolores Park. Another one of my favorite memories in San Francisco.

In the city for Soulcycle. Big surprise here. Post-class, went to Pressed Juicery next door. The cashier gave me a free juice because she’s a fan of Glossier. It’s a cute memory, and a reminder of how special community is.


JUNE

Rainbow socks to celebrate pride month – the best month of the year. To read my “Coming out” post, click here.

A full day spent at Dolores Park. I still have tan lines from the places on my back I couldn’t reach with sunscreen. No, I’m serious. It’s awful. This is a photo I never put onto social media because I was feeling body-conscious, but fuck that. Day was spent with Victoria, a girl I met at work who quickly turned into one of my dearest friends. We got snacks and canned wine from Trader Joe’s, hungout for too long in the sun, then went to Soulcycle drunk. Would not recommend. (But, like, maybe? Cause it was really fun. Hi Joe.) Also, this day I walked around the Mission/the Castro without a shirt on. I do not do this. It was liberating. Post-class we ended up at Hi Tops and Beaux. I miss these nights. Victoria is another friend that I have actually grown closer to, rather than further apart, with distance. Everyone needs friends like this. I love you bitch.

Another day at Dolo.

Pre-Bart ride to SF. The lighting was some of the best I’ve ever encountered. I miss it already. Also – why is my hair so fucking big.

100 rides at Soulcycle! Rode with one of my favorite instructors, Mister Joe Royal. His classes are intense (which I like) and he’s not hard to look at (again, not bad) and if you get a bike in the front, center – you get a view of his biceps (which I strongly recommend). S/o to Victoria for making it out to help celebrate.

Last look at the Golden Gate previous to the move. I miss it every day. I was really emotional, knowing this would be the last time for a while.

Pride ride at Soulcycle to kick off pride weekend in San Francisco. Maybe one of the most iconic weekends ever. Thanks for class, Andrew. And for playing George Michael. Love you, mean it. Also, if you want to check out my photo diary from Pride, click here.

PRIIIIIIDE WEEKEND. Started out in Dolores. Lost my friends for…. a while. Had about six anxiety attacks. Found my friends. Started drinking. Had the best last weekend in SF that I could have asked for.

Okay I look really good here. My gloss? It’s poppin.

Hi, Martina.

Hi, Jack. A kind, honest, daring soul. I strive to put of the level of positive energy he does.

(Next day.)

Hi again, Jack. Also pictured: me, shirtless in public, again. This doesn’t happen often!! But I’m learning I feel good when it does.


JULY

Brief intermission. I had one weekend left in SF post-pride and I was busy moving the whole time. I drove to Arizona (13 fucking hours).

The night after I moved, I was convinced to take a flight (the next morning, like 5 hours later) to NYC.

This is me on the flight. I didn’t have my beard trimmer with me so I know I’m looking a little too scruffy. This is a trend in all of the NYC photos. I am so sorry.

First time in NYC since I was 10. What I can confirm: Times Square was cute but smelly. Tourists don’t know how to walk. My patience is slim.

Next day. It was so hot and so humid. I did not pack appropriately. My number one priority was looking cute but it didn’t really workout that way for me.

Photo in front of Radio City Music Hall. Just call me Sharpay Evans.

Fun fact: got literally TACKLED on Prince street. Like… man, sprinting down the street with a heavy ass backpack, running directly into me. I fell to the ground and was in shock for a good 30 seconds. Yikes.

Glossier showroom!! She was cute. Also, my mirror selfie got reposted onto Glossier’s Instagram stories. Yay.

Central Park. I’ve got more photos from this trip but I am still unsure whether or not I want to dedicate a full post to the trip. You’ll hear more about that in a second.

Soulcycle in NYC. For anyone that doesn’t know, this is where Soul originated. Got up early and got to what, in my experience, was the worst class I have ever taken. Talk about irony. Still so happy I was able to stop by and look forward to the next time.

That’s all you’re getting from NYC for now as far as photos go. And I wanna be honest – photos only show so much. What you don’t know is that my time in NYC was actually really challenging and pretty heartbreaking. I went to see a guy. This is someone I’ve known since around 2012, so there’s a lot of history there. I was young when we met, we both were. Trust was challenged, actions were made that caused waves in our relationship. We’d met twice prior to this NYC trip and I was under the impression that this would be a romantic vibe. My feelings had been made clear over the years and what I’d been moving towards was a more-than-friends type situation. When I arrived, this wasn’t the case. I felt embarrassed, not heard, upset. It seemed as if the whole situation was turned on me. “You’re this way so it’s not gonna work”. I was put down, him telling me “You look different in person”, with a negative tone. He wouldn’t kiss me. Pulled his hand away when I tried to hold it. It seemed unfair. Why, after my feelings were communicated and what I was looking for made clear, would you invite me to spend a weekend with you in a magical city like NYC? We talked and it escalated. He didn’t want to hear me and shut down. “Just go home. I don’t care. This weekend is ruined. You ruined it.” It ripped my heart out of my chest. I considered giving up. Setting my pride aside, I did my best to relieve any negative feelings on my end and make the best of the trip. I did not take all this time to be here with you to have this end badly. And I did. The rest of the time spent was pleasant – still no kiss. And that is something that will linger forever. Why, why have I felt so strongly I was meant to be with this guy who asks me to fly across the country for him, but can’t offer me the affection I deserved and asked for? What I deserve is better. Love hurts.

My intention is never to bash anyone. Only to be real, authentic, and vulnerable. You’ll hear more like this before the post is finished. I just want to make clear that I have grown from every heartbreak. Every wrong turn, missed sign. You live and you learn and you grow. Thank u, next.

This is a pre-interview selfie, amidst my month and a half of unemployment post-move. I dove headfirst into depression and anxiety. Felt isolated and sad. Missed my friends. Felt pretty worthless. But that will all change soon!!


AUGUST

Harper’s first time at the dog park. She loved it. The most friendly dog you’ll ever meet – happy to see everyone. Will treat you like you’re her best friend. (But we all know I’m her favorite. Shhhh.)

Sedona!! She’s a beauty. Didn’t get to hike but I hope to do so soon.

After years of curiosity, I finally took a test to find out my Ancestry. There’s a whole post on that, you can find it here. I know there’s a lot of talk around these tests, but I am happy I committed to doing it. I feel more myself than ever as a result.

A collection of selfies where I was Feelin’ Myself™️. I was in the gym like every single day and really seeing/feeling the results.


SEPTEMBER

More selfies. You’re welcome.

First one is me shaving my face and owning it for the first time in years. Felt good to shed the mask.

Went to a craft fair!! Brought home a rainbow cactus!!! I am drawn to color so much it’s craaaazy.


OCTOBER

Lol. It was pouring and my dog got out. This was me after I chased her for about 15 minutes. Me in a sherpa jacket on a rooftop. Fun fact: I am very afraid of heights. Hehe. Around this time I was talking to a guy in the area. We hungout once but talked pretty much nonstop for months. My feelings grew quickly. I was really vulnerable emotionally, after New York. Again, I made my intentions clear and was met with mistreatment. I could go on a bit longer about this one, but we’ll leave it at that. Again, do not force anything. Don’t talk to closeted guys. Thank u, next. Troye Sivan with my little sister – such a fucking good night. I got us front row seats and we snuck into the pit. My sister is the kind of girl that doesn’t always communicate when she appreciates you, but shows it in other ways. I felt that love this night. Being a good big brother is something I take very seriously. And my god, am I proud of this girl and what she stands for. Her confidence astounds me. I learn from her every day. Last day in the AIRBNB!! Lived in this place from July-Nov. The lighting was perfect, I miss it. And the HUGE windows made it perfect for tanning naked in bed. RIP.


NOVEMBER

My birthday – historically the hardest day of the year for me. I get over emotional and reflect on every bad thing in my life. I know, it’s silly. I was in bed at 7pm, ready to spend the night on my laptop. Then I get a message from Marshall asking if I wanted to go out for my birthday. Ariana joined. This gesture has stuck with me. They truly turned my whole day/night around. We stayed up and ate Jack in the Box. It was lovely. Black Friday. Sis and I with our teddy bears to fill the void of not having a mans. First time leaving the house after a week of being actually dead and sick. First meal was In-N-Out. It was solid. This was around the time that I got involved with someone I shouldn’t have. Word of advice: don’t get too invested too fast!! Even if the person acts/voices/pretends you’re on the same page. One day you’re kissing in their car, the next you’re getting ghosted. Thank u, next.


DECEMBER

LANY concert with Carlos. Third time seeing my favorite band. Meeting this dude was maybe the best thing that happened to me nearing the end of 2018. This kid is so infectious – the best energy you’ve ever seen. The biggest heart. The most kind. He’s so fun and carefree and I wouldn’t mind being a bit more like him. Party at Carlos’. Meet Valerie. Tough, baddie exterior. Vulnerable, beautiful interior. This girl surprised me so much. So careful, so thoughtful. I lean on her for more than she realizes and I feel cooler when she’s around. I love you Val. This is Jett. He strikes you as a simple guy but he is actually so complex. His mind works in such unique ways, and I am constantly learning from him. The kind of guy you want in your circle. I feel special to know you. Christmas shopping 2k18. Last selfie of 2018. In bed, waiting for 12:00 to hit. Watched The Notebook and cried. But like, in a good way. Then I went to In-N-Out. The NYE I deserved.
So, 2018? It was another year of growth. A year that deserved a full ass post about it. Years usually seem to fly right past me, but this one seemed to last forever. Through everything I am happy to be here. Happy to be healthy. Happy to have grown so much in 12 months. I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, but I do set intentions. In 2019, I will not force anything. What is meant to be will be. I gotta trust that. And trust myself. Please please please share about your year, what you learned, any goals/resolutions/intentions/mantras you’ve got set for this year. I want to hear all about what you’ve gotta say. I love you dearly. I will see you soon.

Xoxo, Cody Johnathan.

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