Dear 2018

Dear 2018; Looking back on the year @ karlyjoy.com 

[IMG: blurred christmas lights. Red circle in center with title of post]

Dear 2018,

You’ve been, well, not great. It’s felt like it’s been about 2 months and 84 years all at the same time and I’m not all that sad to say goodbye.

This year, I turned 26. My birthday was kind of a bummer for reasons that don’t really matter, but I was with friends and family so that’s all I can really ask for. But I hit the point of my late twenties. Being closer to thirty than twenty is bizarre and I still don’t know how to feel about it.

[IMG: black and white photo of me, looking off past the camera and smiling. I’m sitting in front of a large lake in my wheelchair.

I got to see AJR with my best friend, Sam, and it was one of my highlights for the entire year. Those 3 weird dudes quickly became one of my favorite bands to listen to and I still smile when a few songs come on shuffle remembering that night.

[IMG: black and white selife of my friend Sam and I.]
[IMG: black and white photo of a crowd at a concert. Hands are in the air and the lights from the stage are in the background.]

My aunt visited from Pennsylvania. My family and I hit one year in our apartment and resigned our lease. We’ve spent so many late nights together in our living room, binging tv and snuggling our cat Penelope. And speaking of cats, I adopted Periwinkle! Watching Peri and Penny become friends has been incredible, and having two furry babes to hug every day never fails to put a smile on my face.

[IMG: black and white photo of my aunt with her arm around me. We’re smiling and posing in front of a large lake and city skyline.]
[IMG: black and white photo of Penelope, a white fluffy cat.]
[IMG: black and white photo of Periwinkle, a small black and white cat.]

My friends and I celebrated each other’s birthdays. We tried and failed our first escape room. We had tons of board game nights, although we haven’t in a while and I super miss them. Snack plates, screaming matches, throwing cards, and laughing til no sound comes out. Our game days were good days. But there were also coffee shop dates, skype sessions, celebratory dinners, and plenty of PJ days. And those were all good, too.

[IMG: black and white photo of my brother and I with our two friends Sam and Lexi. We’re posing in front of an escape room wall and holding signs saying we lost.]
[IMG: black and white photo of my friend Sarah and I. We’re sitting together outside at a small table.]

For the most part 2018, you felt slow and lonely. All my favorite memories feel spread out and distant, with huge blocks of nothing in between. Looking back, if I had to pick one consistent word to sum up the year, it’d probably just be ‘sad’.

But you weren’t completely terrible. I had a few adventures around Disney. We made it to the Flower and Garden festival and Food and Wine, too! I even made it to Magic Kingdom at least once, pretty early in the year. All I can think about is getting back as soon as I can because man, I miss it. Mickey ears, parades, smiling with characters, and seeing the castle. When 2019 comes around, I’m going to need a healthy dose of magic.

[IMG: black and white photo of me in front of Magic Kingdom’s purple wall.]
[IMG: black and white photo of me sitting by a Food and Wine festival flag on a bridge in Epcot.]

I went to Pride and collected rainbows. My best friend Lexi and I went to see Good Charlotte – my favorite band since I was 10. We both cried and it was absolutely one of the happiest nights of the entire year. By far.

[IMG: black and white photo of me at Pride. I’m wearing lots of beaded rainbow necklaces, a rainbow shirt, and pin. Flags and people are seen behind me.]
[IMG: black and white selfie of my friend Lexi and I.]
[IMG: black and white photo of Good Charlotte on stage and the crowd.]

I got used to having a job and a consistent schedule. I even almost got used to waking up at 7 am, but that still really sucks. While I’m bummed I didn’t get hired on permanently, I didn’t lose my job either so I’m counting that as a win.

I might have kept my job, but I lost my wheelchair. My chair that I’ve had for almost 8 years, that I’ve trusted and depended on for everything in my life. It’s currently sitting in the corner of my dining room and I’m writing from my loaner chair. Because 2018, your biggest disappointment was the fact that my new chair has been approved and denied twice, and it is now impossible I’ll have it before you’re gone.

[IMG: black and white photo of my brother, Kevin, and I.]
[IMG: black and white photo of my mom and I]

And now we’re here. Christmas is just a few days away and 2019 is inching closer and closer. Honestly, I’ve just been holding out for January. My family is so lucky to have each other and a place to live and to be able to spend our money frivolously from time to time. But still, the past twelve months have been so much harder than I ever expected. Every time things started to ease up, the other shoe would drop and we’d be struggling all over again.

So, 2018, I’m really grateful for all the good things you brought me, but I can’t wait to see you go.

Bring it on, 2019. Let’s see what you got.



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