Well, then.

It’s been a hell of a year in a lot of ways, both good and bad. I’ve never liked retrospectives, and I promise I’ll steer clear of lists and reminiscing. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this year, it’s this: one of the most important things I can do is find other people who care deeply and join voices with them.

When I started posting here on The Pastry Box a year ago, I’d fallen off the blogging train. I spill dozens of thousands of words each month for my work: client briefs, project audits, company communication, and technical articles all add up. But I’d let the other things, like writing about personal growth and social issues and ethical dilemmas and the things that move my heart as well as my head, languish. Being given the chance to participate here changed that, and it changed my year for the better.

Collaboration—whether it’s a group blog, an indie album, or a protest march—is about all of us doing something more than any of us could have managed individually. Contributing to The Pastry Box made me want to do better, because I was surrounded by people writing great things. At the same time, it meant that I didn’t have to carry the burden single-handedly. Most days, I could come here to read, listen, and learn from others.

This idea—the importance of finding people who care about things that matter, listening to them, and joining in—isn’t just about blogging. If there’s one lesson to take into 2015, that’s the one I choose.

Our world is full of exhausting and difficult challenges if we go at it alone. Find people you can support, and who can support you as you do the same. Tackle the big problems together.

Happy 2014.

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