So the year is coming to a close and it's time to look back on everything that's happened and offer an assessment. It's not something everyone does or necessarily should, but I feel like doing it so here we are.

2013 has been for me a lot like this past holiday season: busy and a bit stressful but ultimately rewarding. I won't deny that there have been hardships and there were times this year that I felt pretty awful. But I've had friends to help me through it and I've become a more confident writer, scholar, and person than I was last January. On the whole, I think the positive outweighs the negative and I don't really regret most of the choices I've made.

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I was in a pretty bad place at the end of 2012: I was lonely, depressed, and I was pretty stressed out about school. I was anxious and panicky and I had a lot of difficulty sleeping some nights. That isn't true anymore. I still get pretty anxious from time to time and I'm kind of a high-tension person by nature, but I've gotten a lot better. I sleep a solid seven hours most nights; I have friends who I know care about and trust me; I'm doing a lot better in school (and am very close now to finishing that chapter of my life); I've got some of my writing confidence back. All in all, I feel like things have really improved.

Some of that I credit to behavioral changes I've been making to myself for a couple of years now. Some of that can probably be ascribed to the fact that I've become more willing to own up to my issues and deal with them. But a big part - and I really do mean a very large and significant portion - of why I feel things have improved is the people I've met and learned from in the last year. I've been incredibly fortunate in this regard: I've made so many new and good friends in the last year and I've connected even more deeply with those I already had. And I want to thank all of them for being the awesome friends that they are.

Also, I'd like to thank all of you who've read, shared, or commented on my posts here on io9. I've had an unprecedented level of attention here this year and I am very grateful for all of it. I know that might seem like false modesty, but it really isn't. I'm glad to have been able to make some kind of impact on this small corner of the internet and to have entertained people through my writing. Thank for you for supporting me.

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I don't know what 2014 holds for me (or anyone else really). I know it's going to involve a lot of changes. I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions - they're usually dramatic, overambitious, and almost no one ever really keeps to them. But I do hope that as 2014 goes on, I'll continue to grow and improve as a person; I hope that when our planet completes another cycle around our sun I can truthfully say - as I can now - that it was a good year.