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Humbled, no brag

Posted on 15 November 2013

Originally I wasn’t going to say anything.

Congrats to Top 40 Under 40! #FF @GoalSpank @jessicaleequinn @akurjata @JenniferBrandle @JoelCMcKay @kaleenaross @OVERhangPG @CopperPigBbq

— Tourism PG (@tourismpg) November 15, 2013

Congrats to my Top 40 under 40 co-host @akurjata! Great company to be in.

— Betsy Trumpener (@BetsyTrumpener) November 15, 2013

Congrats to #dptodd alumnist @akurjata for making the #CityofPG top 40 under 40 list #weknewyouwhen

— D.P. Todd Secondary (@dptstrojans) November 16, 2013

But the number of messages, tweets, and emails I’ve been getting has prompted me to mark this in a more public way than I had planned.

Every single congratulations I’ve received has come from someone who I owe a debt of gratitude to. Family, friends, mentors, teachers, co-workers, bosses, colleagues, past and present. All have helped me succeed.

Just before I found out I had made the top 40, I was reading this interview and highlighted the following quote:

“It’s almost like some great, ineffable Kurt Vonnegut novel: it’s hard to understand the influence people have on you until 5 or 10 years later. It’s scary to think about what my life would have been like if they hadn’t been there.”

That rings true for me. I think back all through my life and the key roles people have played along the way, without me realizing. What if I hadn’t had the teachers I did? What if I didn’t make the friends I have? What if I hadn’t inherited the work of so many others?

I think of encouragements I was given without me recognizing their value until it was too late to say thank you. Invaluable lessons that were passed along unnoticed until years later. Skills that I have only because someone else had the foresight to realize they would one day be useful to me, even if I didn’t know it at the time.

And the community where I’ve spent most of my life.  My home. All along amazing people building this city, envisioning what can make it better, and putting in the work to make it happen.

My initial instinct was to downplay this as no big deal. And look, I get it isn’t an international award only given to a few people each year. But after seeing all these messages from people I love and respect who want to celebrate- it just doesn’t seem right to shrug it off.  I’ve looked at the other people on the list and what they’ve done and I certainly feel like they shouldn’t shrug anything off – it’s amazing stuff. And there’s amazing stuff being done by people who aren’t on the list. There’s amazing people out there. It’s nice to celebrate success.

So what I’m trying to convey is a thank-you. I know the words are clichéd, but the sentiment is genuine. I am fortunate to be supported and inspired by so many great people.

And congratulations to everyone else out there making things happen. There’s amazing people everywhere. Celebrate them.

Humbled, no brag.

Filed under: personal

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