I haven't known you very long, but I'm going to miss you. You were so full of wonder, of new discovery and new adventures and new ways of thinking, of realized dreams and sparkling new aspirations and limitless learning, each day spent with you an invaluable education to the ways and the worth of the world.
You taught me things I never knew: my own strength, the astonishing kindness of others, the precise hue of crimson the sun makes as it reflects its rays off the red rocks of the great Southwest. You showed me things I'd never seen: canyons so deep and trees so tall and nature so beautiful, endless roads and starry skies and grassy plains that stretched for days.
And perhaps most importantly, you reminded me of things I'd forgotten: appreciation, humility, gratitude. You reminded me of the power of love and the value of time and the fragility of life, of the necessity in making every remaining minute count, of the depths of the human mind, of the cosmic fabric that holds each and every one of us together.
You brought me friends and you gave me gifts that I'll always treasure, you built me a home and you blessed me with ample time to enjoy it. You were kind, overwhelmingly kind, and I'll never forget that.
I promise to stay true in your absence, to continue living the deliberate, examined life. I've set goals and I've pledged resolutions: I'm going to finally finish the house; I'm going to finally see for myself what lies on the other side of the Atlantic. I'm going to take my minimalism to a new level, and I'm going to pepper my time with smaller adventures and explorations: the trials of a freegan, of a neo-Luddite, and more, climbing ever toward the dual apexes of self-sufficiency and of simplicity. And I'm resolving to be better: a better person to those around me, one who listens more and talks less, a person better at compromise, at attention, and at maintaining those relationships I cherish.
I'm going to miss you, 2013, but I hope I'll still make you proud in the year that follows. Thanks for everything.