I know this is the kind of thing people usually save for an awards speech or a published book. But I just finished a good book yesterday, and then I watched the Oscars, and now I’m in the mood for saying “Thanks.”
Who says I can’t offer a few acknowledgements just because?
So to start:
Thanks to the people who believed at the start: Myron, Don C., the Drake, Steve M., Bill and everyone at the Star, Dan and Howie, too. To Richard for the Redskins gig. And Uncle Donald for telling me to send that email to Ted Leonsis. Funny how that all worked out.
To the guys at the Rocky — thanks for a great summer. Sorry again about almost getting deported.
To Jan and Greg at KENS, for that first shot. And for standing up for me too many times to count.
To the 2k5ers, who always gave me a place to come home to. Especially those who always made time to listen: Gerf, Lizzy, Ani, Emma, and all the boys — Jason, LK, Tom, Dinner, Shoe, Kurt — I owe you for that.
Thanks to everyone at Mizzou who believed. Most of all, to Keith, Amy, Randy, Dave, David, Jen, Dorothy, and Paul. To the NewsFoo guys, who opened doors for me, and let me tell that story about Mrs. Claus.
And of course, to the Tigers who told me to keep going: Ryan, Dan, Beth, Sarah, KVo (and fam!), Teresa & Luke. Won’t soon be forgotten.
To Jordan and the Stry.us team, who came along on an absolutely crazy ride and made it unforgettable. (Still so proud of you guys.) And to everyone in Springfield who pitched in — especially the amazing team at the library.
To my bosses at BuzzFeed: Ben, Scott, Doree, Dao, and Erica, for believing in all of this, and to my co-workers who do work that impresses/inspires/wows me every single day. To Allison, too, for convincing me that New York would be fun. (You were right. It is.)
To everyone who let me tell their story: Thank you. Biloxi and Springfield, thanks for letting me share your stories, too.
To my parents: Thanks for teaching me to always do the work.
To Ellen and Sam: Thanks for always being there to kick my ass when I needed my ass kicked.
And to Sally, the queen of superlatives. You are The Silliest, and The Best, and The Most Wonderful. You make this all work. Love you.
That photo at top comes via Instagram’s @papajm25.