I examined my relationship with alcohol and stopped drinking for a bit. I quit smoking after 20 years. I came home. I bought a house. I fell in love, hard and gracelessly (which is probably the only and the best way to fall in love). I did a whole lot of things last year, and I am by and large proud of them.
I also had to say goodbye to people this year, including a version of myself that I wasn't able to live up to being. I've spent much of my time back in the Bay Area coming to terms with my time away and realizing just how profoundly sad I'd been for the last couple of years. I've hidden away in my house licking wounds I'm not supposed to have. It is good to know myself better, even if I am ambivalent about the me I'm growing to know. The idea is that I love myself, even as I recognize pieces of myself I previously didn't believe I could love.
But to get back to where I started this, the truth of the matter is that 2013 has been, for me, a good year mostly, and I'm so uncomfortable with that fact. It's one of the reasons I think I've been so much less social since my return. I don't know how to express fully the gratitude I feel for my life now because I don't feel I deserve to be happy. I have some idea where I learned that lesson, and how and where it's been reinforced, but I plan to spend 2014 working on unlearning it, among other things. Because not only do I intend to defend and increase this hard-fought contentment, I intend to indulge in even higher-stakes happiness this year. That's a terrifying proposition, which is why I know it's a commitment worth making.