42/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Have you ever been inspired by someone to do something? Yes, most of us have been. Has that something been outside of your comfort zone? No, most of us don’t take that risk. I was in the latter category for most of my life and would never dare leave my comfort zone for fear of being criticized. I would sit on the sidelines of life and watch the game take place. One day, I happened upon a column in the local newspaper written by my friend Andrea and I read it and was awestruck that first, my friend was a writer, second, my friend wrote so well and third, my friend was published in the paper. I would scan the paper bi-weekly only to realize it wasn’t a weekly piece but when I would find it in a later issue, I would read it and really be moved by her writing. My foray into a writer for the online version of a Vancouver daily was inspired by Andrea. I asked Andrea for advice on my first article as “The Whitest Brown Guy” and she gave me excellent critical feedback – write in your own voice! I have taken that piece of advice to heart and I know it has helped with not only the articles I’ve written but also in these gratitude posts. I also must mention that Andrea is a wonderful friend. I call her my glamazon friend as she is amazingly beautiful (and statuesque) on the outside but even more amazingly beautiful on the inside – a sensitive, caring and altruistic soul. She can do it all – she is a wonderful mother to her kids, a great teacher in the classroom and a supportive friend. So proud to call you my friend Andrea!