Awards and Accomplishments

Who doesn't like earning a gold star? From a young age, I have been goal-oriented and, throughout my life, I have won many awards. I have always enjoyed receiving the awards, and the positive feelings associated with success have lingered in my memories, but once I won the awards, I usually kept them out of sight. When I was in college, one of my friends suggested that I make a "brag wall", a wall in my house dedicated to my awards. I always considered it, but my awards lay collecting dust for years nonetheless.

When in the throes of a deep depression, I would sometimes reflect on my accomplishments and how they had been rendered meaningless by my lack of productivity. Luckily, as soon as my depressions subsided, so would my negative feelings, but my awards still lay collecting dust.

When I started my current job, my boss asked me decorate my office. I had just been on medical leave from my job as a teacher and had gone through six months of shock therapy, after which I decided to resign from teaching. I was still recovering from my depression and my self-esteem was pretty low, but I thought of the "brag wall" idea and of all of my awards stacked up on top of my filing cabinet at home. It seemed like the time to finally create a "brag wall".

The next day, I took all of my most meaningful awards to work, dusted them off, and hung them up. My "brag wall" definitely attracts attention. Most first-time visitors to my office look at the wall and ask questions about the awards they find interesting. It is fun to talk about my accomplishments. I used to be shy about discussing my awards, but now, with all I have been through, thinking about how consistently productive I have been, for most of my life, motivates me to keep moving forward at times when I am feeling less than optimistic.


  1. A Brag Wall is a great idea! I scrapbook as a form of art therapy and to remember the good times, what I have worked so hard for, and why I keep fighting this illness.

    Thanks for this post. Glad your brag wall brings you joy and connection with others.

  2. Now I have moved into a new office. My new office walls are covered with original artwork, so all of my wall space is taken up. My awards are back at home, but the experience of having a "brag wall" was quite interesting. I would recommend creating one either at home or at work - at least for a while.

  3. Anonymous11/29/2012

    Hi I came across your blog because I wanted a gold star image to create a t-shirt. So when I read your blog I was surprise because I suffer from Bipolarity type 1 and I know how difficult it can be when your depressed all the time. Just wanted to say your story is inspiring and things do get better with time.

  4. I hope you found your star. I've gotten used to having ups and downs and taking medication, etc., and I've noticed that, all things considered, things have gotten better with time. It's good to hear that from you, as well.