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Another year has come and gone. As usual, the world was supposed to end on December 21, but it continued turning anyway just as the Mayans knew it would. Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, had a more optimistic vision. This date would mark the end of the Macha (darkness) and the beginning of the Pacha (love), the end of hatred and individualism and the beginning of all people living together in harmony with each other and with Mother Earth. A noble goal and a bold proclamation, and with protest movements and activists all over the world wanting to take their freedom into their own hands instead of for granted, from Occupy to Idle No More, protests in Egypt, Malala Yousafzai advocating for girls’ rights to education, and of course the indigenous Latin Americans fighting for their rights (in which Morales has unfortunately not always put his money where his mouth is), perhaps within the myriad problems of inequality and strife, it may well be just barely within our grasp. The next years are going to be challenging, especially with climate change declared irreversible, so we will all have to pull together to adapt to the changing world.

The past year has been significant on a personal note as well. Sometimes, you come across a song that seems to describe precisely what you are feeling, so let this be my song for 2013:

To me, that is the sound of me finally seeing the light after the depressive state I’ve been in for the past 2 years. I was merely going through the motions of university and summer jobs with almost no direction for my future in sight. I was very isolated, finding company on Internet forums with people I could barely relate to, yet invested so much in that identity. I was aimlessly wandering through life.

So what changed this year? I decided to get more involved in the university and savour the environment there. I participated in more student club events and started talking to people face-to-face more, helped by many who were more than willing to invite me into their social circles. I realized that I had a lot of friends all along. The difference was how much I appreciated friendship. It did not matter that I had Asperger’s Syndrome. I did not have to be bound by the stereotype. If I was myself and actively engaging, no one would care about my odd speech or eye contact habits. And through my greater involvement, my path for the future became clearer.

WordPress itself helped along the way. I started this blog to express my honest thoughts anonymously while reading the interesting experiences of others. This site has met my expectations, primarily because the community has been very positive from my experience. Most bloggers I’ve read are unapologetic about being themselves and unashamed of sharing their stories. It’s a more enriching experience than being around a primarily defeatist and apathetic community.

So I have quite a lot to look forward to in the new year. It’ll be busy, but enjoyable. My resolution is to think about what really matters in life and appreciate everything I have. So to everyone reading, Happy New Year’s. Hopefully it will be a good one.