2016 has been... an interesting year. I've made friends, and I've lost some. I got a lot of time to sit down and reflect, and I grow thankful every day for the people who choose to stand by me despite all my shortcomings.
In the spirit of 2016, let me turn the things that made me happy this year into a Top 5 list:
1. I got to travel
Since "the incident" of Feb 2014, I've not really travelled as much as I would've normally liked to. This year though began with some travel: to Pasikuda with the family. Places I got to travel to this year includes that and our usual annual trips to Kandy, Anuradhapura (and Yapahuwa, a first for me), Somawathiya, the Deep South (Katharagama, Mulkirigala etc.) and some really fun day trips Down South with the co-workers.
I was particularly happy with the pics I got to take on the Deep South trip.
2. I got to learn
... both in and out of the classroom. In the classroom I tried to wrap my head around ML techniques, neural nets, advanced DBs and their ilk. Outside of it, I got to play with React quite a bit, learn Laravel in a (cramped) couple of months and push out live systems almost immediately (what a beautiful framework, has changed the way I write PHP for the better). I got to dabble in more Python than I ever got to.
I got into some crazy YouTube channels that inspired me to pick up my guitar after years, adjust the truss rod and play some barre chords. I followed Casey Neistat as he built and sold a company, and let John Green teach me history like I was taking my AP exams.
3. I got time off
I got three months off to write my thesis' lit review, write this blog, write about the UNP and write code to buff up my Github profile. I started working at YAMU the week after I was done with my final exam at uni, and I never got a proper break since. Those 3 months let me put everything in perspective and helped me decide what I really wanted to do with my life.
4. I got bald
Well, started balding. Not really fussed about it. (I feel that) I am well aware of my mortality, and that I'm no longer the youngest guy in the room.
5. I got to let go
... of some important things which I once thought would stay with me for (most of my) life. It was much easier than I thought and I feel much better for it.
Life is a stream and hanging on to a bank is not going to help when eventually we all need to float away. Or so I feel.
So, that's been my year. It wasn't terrible personally by a long stretch, but it was certainly challenging and 2017 promises to be even more so. I hope you've all had a good year, and wish you all the best for the next one. Cheers!