Here’s something you might already know if you follow me on Twitter—the end of my 2014 was, for lack of a better word, disastrous. Its last months were full of nothing but significant loss, not only for myself, but for the people I hold closest to my heart.

December has been particularly dark. At its darkest, it felt like an endless and unbearable nightmare. I’m starting to come to terms with just how heavy I felt during the last month, and how many people—from close friends and family, who knew each hardship as though it were their own; to strangers and acquaintances, connected dimly through the Internet—reached out to help me.

And I have all of them to thank for helping me come through, and continuing to support me today and going forward. Too many of you reached out to me for me to recall here, but you know who you are, and I am deeply, eternally thankful for your help.

The days are lighter now. That won’t always be the case. The next several months are going to be extremely difficult, but each recent day has given me a renewed optimism. It might be naïve to observe lessons I’ve learned from everything that’s happened so soon, but I’m confident in at least some of them.

  • Self-care is important. Extremely, devastatingly important.
  • Trust can take years to build, seconds to destroy, and a lifetime to repair.
  • Only you are accountable for your own actions, and you are only accountable for your own actions.
  • If you love someone, you should tell them as often as is socially acceptable. And maybe even a little more.
  • As difficult as it can be, learning to be alone is one of the most valuable things you can do.
  • As difficult as it can be, learning when you shouldn’t be alone is one of the most valuable things you can do.
  • It’s OK to be selfish sometimes.
  • The Internet is big. It ripples, and it echoes.
  • Modern technology and connectivity introduce new tensions and possibilities to human relationships. It’s going to get much weirder.
  • Love isn’t frictionless, but it can be easy.