Things a Year worth of time managed to teach me, 2021

Heshan Andrews
4 min readDec 31, 2021
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

It’s 5.57 pm, December 31st 2021. A calm reddish-gloomy evening, that seems to possess the ability to slow the entire world down a notch, fades away giving into the nights while my mind runs off down the time axis ruminating on the experiences the time brought in to face me inside the last 365 days.

What a rollercoaster of a year has it been. A big sigh to begin with.

Been entertaining the idea of writing down something to mark the end of the year for me, after reading Anjula Shanaka’s year end blog post of course 😁 (Give it a read, twas pretty good). Even tho it’s not a lot, a couple of profound things I learnt, or rather realised in the last year or so poorly articulated into two three paragraphs(?).

Learning how to learn is the biggest asset one could have in their arsenal

From school days we are programmed to learn by having some person or a system teach us carefully picked and processed chunks of knowledge, that we didn’t know we actually wanted or not. But as you grow you realise even the system itself favours the person whose progression doesn’t depend on the system. It’s the meta ability that you possess on learning that lets you work flexibly and be extremely versatile in it. Even I myself is still in the process of finding what this exactly is, from the clarity my age allows me to see I think in some sense this is getting know more about yourself, how you think, how you digest concepts and all that good stuff. As this is the ultimate skill of attaining new skills, the value of possessing such an ability is simply immeasurable. Often times this simple skill itself is enough to draw the line between competent and incompetent. Learn how to learn!

Where responsibility dwells so do the opportunities to level up your life

The last year was indeed a rollercoaster ride like I said, but standing on the last day of the year, looking back if there is a single thing that I could thank myself for doing right is taking responsibility at the right moment. In hindsight it pretty apparent for me how the highest achievements I got to achieve in the last year all could trace back to a place where I chose to take the burden onto myself willingly. Like how system favours the person whos does not depend on other entities, the entire system would start to depened on you if you just step up and take responsibility, making you a skilful, valuable person in the process.

Death doesn’t beat us down but the sheer magnitude of the effort needs to be put in to live on without the loved ones does

Often times when we are faced with a difficult situation in life, we tell ourselves time would bring an end to the suffering, As it really does. But if time is a portion that could be gulped down in a single go to make the pain go away, pain of living after losing a loved one would require the most amount of it than anything else. It’s not the immediate day after the funeral you feel most vulnerable but in the months come after. It’s when you finally get to slow down after a hectic week or so of blurry events you get to experience what’s it like to live in the same environment your loved one used to live in. If you are to be ever in a situation like this, don’t just put a full stop after rushing in to the funeral to pay the final respect to the deceased. Pull up your mind for a second from the thoughts relating to the dead and try to focus more on the people who still live that you could be of massive help, if you try to empathise and cater a bit to their emotional needs. Lend them a shoulder to cry on specially after weeks or even months in to the tragic event where they need you the most.

Your stipend doesn’t completely determine how rewarding the work is, the environment you work in tends to factor in more

To put it bluntly I would pick any gig that allows me to work flexibly and directly contribute into the product without trying to milk out every last bit that could be extracted from you over a job that doesn’t allow me those even if it pays over 10 fold of the price. Simply because I came to realise it feels rewarding only when you can enjoy the work that you do. You could get paid a million rupees a month and still be lingering in the workplace the entire time but the time you sleep and occasional government holidays. That grind for me doesn’t really make sense. You need to make enough money to keep up the quality of your life by having enough time and resources to enjoy your time outside work. Places that actually take care of their employees as valuable resources are very rewarding to work in. It gives you the motivation to give everything and more back to the organisation. Prioritise your overall mental and physical health and happiness and then find a fitting place to work in.

Thanks for reading folks, put this together as a potential future read for myself as well. If there was anything positive within these set of words that one could take into their own life, I’d be the happiest chap in the world. Please dont hesitate to put the thoughts this sparked in your head into words. Leave a comment. Happy new year.



Heshan Andrews

Your average software engineering dude from South Asia