Monday, September 27, 2010

Bragging Rights

How do you feel about bragging?  Most people may refer to this as being a "show off." I understand when people become annoyed by braggers, because it comes off as being insincere. But does this condemn people from expressing their accomplishments, for fear of it being considered bragging

Tons of people struggle with loving themselves, which happens from many different reasons, but I'm wondering if "bragging" has anything to do with it. I'm sure we could all agree that people should feel proud of themselves when they score high on a test they studied every day for, won a writing challenge, got a promotion at work, etc... 

Most of the time, good news for people is rarely shared, but you're the first to know when something bad happens in their life. I want to break that ice, starting in my blog. Please share with me what you're proud of. You won't be judged but simply acknowledged for what you have done in your life that makes you happy. You don't have to a make a list, if you'd like you could sum up a story (we all love stories.) It could be something you're proud of individually, or even as a group (like your family.) Also, you could post this in your own blog and let your followers have the opportunity to be open about their accomplishments!

I'll begin this matter with something I'm proud of. 

It was 6th grade and I was a scrawny kid, who wore huge glasses that had rainbow colors around the lens (because I thought it was so cool), with colorful sketchers to match, and always wore my hair in a "pony tail." I was definitely part of the outcast group, but I was a 6th grader so I didn't have to worry about being laughed at. We were the "big kids" on campus. 

That year, for the first time, we had a race. It was in November, a week before Thanksgiving, so the weather was a bit crisp but the Sun shined with no limitation. The whole class of 6th grade (probably around 120 students) split up into male and female races. We had to run around our soccer field once. The boys ran first and then we were up. 

The girls immediately went to the front of the line. By then, I was stuck in the back. I wasn't too concerned about it though. I was glad to be out of class. Our principle, all chirpy like, blew the whistle and everyone took off; everyone but me. I had zoned out about something (probably the birds zooming over our heads) and I realized I was being yelled to run. I was so behind, it made me upset. I wanted to be anything but last place.

I'm unsure what force soaked in me but my feet were pounding on the floor as I started passing people.  Once I got around half of the field, I began to feel really good. I was dead last and had ultimately passed up half the group. 

I kept running, but wasn't heavily breathing at all, or even concentrated on the race. I felt so peaceful, enjoying the weather, and being around the trees (I guess I've always been a forest lover.) Here's the epic part.

I'm third place now. I see the front runner turn around and catch my eyes. I pass the 2nd runner. 1st runner turns around again, and I catch up beside her. I can still see her expression in my mind. She looked scared and a little pissed. We're running side by side and the finish line is nearby. 1...2...3.. I won. They even snapped a picture of me winning, but I've never seen it. I was dead last and I fucking won.

What did I win? Here's the funny part of the story. The principle gave me ribbon and said "Pick up your turkey after school." "My what?" Yeah - I won a turkey! Although, by then my parents had already bought a turkey for us, I couldn't wait to tell them we had another one. (After school I called them and they didn't believe me!)

Even though it was the first race for that school (not sure if they continued this) I'm sure it isn't part of some hall of fame, but it is part of my hall of fame. As well as to my boyfriend, who constantly laughs at the fact that a kid won a turkey. Maybe that says a lot about my city, :-) 


Lettuce Head


  1. I'm proud that I just finished my newest WIP! And I'm proud to say, it's the best thing I've ever written. Now to rewrite and make it shine!

    Thanks for sharing your story of winning. That's awesome!

  2. What an accomplishment! To go from dead last to first place - and seriously? A Turkey! Why wasn't my elementary/middle school this awesome. That is the coolest prize ever because it's so unique.

    I have many things I'm proud of and honestly, I only think it's bragging when you rub it in other people's faces. I talk about my accomplishments, I don't assume people think I'm bragging because I always try and make sure they are sharing their accomplishments too.

    I can't think of a specific thing I'm proud of at the moment and I won't bore you with a list. Just know I LOVE this idea.

  3. Well, that was a significant achievement, and something worth bragging about. Although, in my book, you weren’t bragging! Did your family eat both turkeys?
    I’m afraid I can’t really contribute with anything of my own; I can’t remember the last time I was proud of anything I did.
    The enigmatic, masked blogger strikes again

  4. I'm proud to say that I started writing novel about a year ago and I have five completed projects. I have no idea what writer's block is. I'm blocked by my ability to continue through the editing process and to stop working on new projects AND time.
    Bragging and being happy about an accomplishment is all about DELIVERY.
    Loved your story.

  5. Loved this story coming from behind and winning! A turkey! what a wonderful prize!
    To me there are two kinds of bragging, the oh look at me look at me i need the attention when really you just want to slap them with a wet fish. The second kind is i feel proud of my self, i did somthig i didnt think i could do... if i can do it you can do! Its through others breakthroughs we learn we can do it our selves.
    Love the idea to write a little story of my own... i might just do that and ill tell you when i do!
    Great post! Made me smile on a day that was :(

  6. Shallee - WooHoo! Congratulations! What is your wip about?

    Melissa - I was sooo surprised by the prize; you're right completely unique. I'm sure you've got a story up your sleeve. Post it in your blog :)

    Mask - I think we did end up eating both turkeys because that year we had my father's side of the family come to our house. Luckily it was then and not now. We never get together anymore. ANYWAY... I can think of something you should be proud of. How about the fact that you started your story and completed two chapters! You know how many people can think of an idea and never actually start? You're doing good :)

    Jolene - Wow, good for you! That's amazing. Keep it up! You don't want to know what writer's block feels like, haha.

    Serena - LOL, a wet fish, eh? But I agree. That's a good way to separate the two. Dooo write your own story. I'd love to read about it. I'm glad I could help your day feel a little brighter. Try listening to your favorite music; that always helps me.

  7. Wow I loved this story!!! Who doesn't love these stories, the one's where you think you're down and out but things suddenly change for the better!

    I'm proud to be catching up on blogs today, I'd like to say writing but I'm just not feeling it today.

  8. Oh my God, I can't believe you won a turkey. That is beyond epic. Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Lettuce Head, this is such an important point. It kills me when I meet middle aged adults who have accomplished things and still have no belief in themselves at all, and I am convinced that part of it is that we are taught to feel guilty about talking positively about ourselves.

    It's not bragging to say, "That story I just finished? That's pretty dang good." It's bragging to say, "Yep, I'm the best writer in the world, and everything I turn out is like gold, and everybody else cranks out coal compared to me."

    So a few things I'm proud of...

    Number one, I'm proud that I've been a positive influence in the life of my wife, and that I've been able to help her overcome some emotional obstacles that held her back for years.

    Number two, I'm proud that I've grown up into a man whose has a relationship with his parents of friendship, support, mutual sacrifice, and mutual support.

    Number three, I'm proud of the research I did for my masters thesis.

    Number four, I'm proud that I played a small part in getting families closure and resolution when I worked in the forensic anthropology lab.

    Number five, I'm proud of the work I did for a while tutoring college students with autism, aspergers, and other developmental disorders.

    And, yes, I'm proud of several things I've written, too.

  10. I'm excited my first book comes out next month! Yes, proud - also humbled and very nervous. All of the above!

  11. Yay! Great story, and good for you. And believe me, I think people this side of the Atlantic are way more ready to talk about and take pride in their accomplishments than where I came from. Brits seem to have turned self-effacement into a national pastime, and can't wait to tear down any hint of success. Shame.

    So, what am I proud of? Simply completing a novel (not published, may never be, but I've still done what most people will never do). Cutting my son's umbilical when he was born. The pirate ship and tree fort in my back yard. The work my staff and colleagues keep on doing for the province of BC. My wife & I getting off our arses and moving to BC (something else many people talk about, but never do). I'd better shut off the flood now :-)

  12. Greetings,
    This was a terrific story and one that I can very much relate too. I won't go into details but I was your classic stereotyped 'nerd' in high school. Then one day, I decided I would win the mile race in PE. And yep, I did.
    Hey, I'm glad you won a turkey. All I got was a shocked look from the entire PE class and especially, my PE teacher:-)
    Oh, and to 'Botanist', I am from Vancouver and British Columbia is one beautiful place. I shall be in a town there named 'Hope', next May. How fitting.
    Anyway, pardon me for that. Just wanted to stay what a superb blog you have. I would also like to express my gratitude for your kind and supportive comments on my blog. Thank you.
    With respect and kindness, Gary.

  13. I’ll be proud when it’s finished, and becomes a best-seller, Lettuce. Which, it really ought to be, if, for no other reason, I’ll be buying copies by the truck load ;)
    The enigmatic, masked blogger strikes again

  14. WTG! Great story...Thanks for sharing! I think the thing I'm most proud of is the award I was given as a teacher. It was called the SEAM award. It was for special education adaptation and modifications in the classroom for all children both those with special needs such as a variety of disabilties, kids with attention problems, gifted kids, kids with emotional issues and kids that were just going through issues at home that weren't classified...For me it was a huge honor...It meant I was doing something right for kids that needed a little something extra. (smile) Thanks for letting me share...

  15. Jen - Yes, these stories are definitely ones to put a smile across your face. I'm glad you enjoyed my turkey race! Thanks for stopping by :)

    Kelly - I still can't believe I won a turkey either. I remember carrying it home and felt like a champ!

    C.N. Nevets - I agree with everything you wrote! It is a shame that it's looked down upon and of course has to do with how we were raised, our culture, education, etc. Your list was wonderful and I'm happy out of all those great accomplishments your wife's number one :)

    Alex J. Cavanaugh - Oh my! That's GREAT news. What's your book about? I'm truly excited for you :)

    Botanist - Ok wait... your pirate ship and tree FORT? In your backyard?!? That's the COOLEST thing. You gotta take a picture :) I loved what you're proud of. Thanks so much for sharing. The fact that you've completed a novel and you and your family didn't just decide, but went through with moving, says a lot about your character; you're pretty awesome :)

    Gary - Hello, so you have a winning race story too? Go us! Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy your blog so you'll be seeing me around :)

    Mask - Hey you're getting there! Keep writing. I know you've got it in you. And I'll read anything you're willing to share :)

    Sharon K. Mayhew - Wow, what an honor! Such a cool award for a cool lady. We need more people like you in this world!

  16. ...feeling prideful isn't a curse if orchestrated under the correct pretense. In your case, all's well:)
    I'm proud that my upcoming novel is currently in stage four of edits...the light at tunnel's end growing larger.
    I enjoyed your post, the race, the thoughtfulness. Our prose is similar, using athletics as a tool for getting your point across.
    Well done, EL

  17. Thank you, Elliot. Your novel is something to be proud of, most definitely. Congratulations! Also, thanks for following me. I shall be following you :)

  18. I saw your comment on my blog, thanks. I've posted a reply there with a link to some photos I already had from a while back. Will get around to taking some more eventually.

  19. Just wanted to let you know I've got a blog award for you at the bottom of Wednesday's post!

  20. Thank you Kelly! I've been too busy with school to make my rounds on blogger. I'm sorry I missed it. I truly appreciate you including me. :)


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