Bridging the Heights
“I demolish my bridges behind me – then there is no choice but forward.” Fridtjof Nansen
I am not a huge fan of heights. I blame my siblings, who use to put me on top of the fridge when they were babysitting me – all in the name of love of course. I would sit there as if a basilisk had petrified me, worried I would fall off the edge. I never did, and they always came back…eventually.
It might be a bit of a stretch to blame them because of sibling torture – I mean teasing – a certain amount of familial retribution is entailed. Don’t worry we still love each other all these years later despite the “traumatic” experience.
I do realize I am subjecting myself to sadistic affliction living in a city known for extremely tall skyscrapers, with very fast jerky elevators.
Hey, you have to confront your fears after all, right?
While I might have needed liquid courage to go to the top of the Empire State Building, I still went up it. Disclaimer: My eyes might have been tightly shut until the elevator reached the observation deck.
It might not be danger per se, but to quote the Lion King, “I laugh in the face of danger.”
Today I chose to do just that, as I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. Living in New York for four years, and being an avid visitor before that, I had never done it.
How do I call myself a New Yorker?
Well I did, and perhaps I can claim that title a bit more firmly now.
As well as more gumption.
My friend and I decided to watch the sunrise this morning from the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.
I didn’t give much credence to my fear of heights, until I had watched, yet another exposé, about bridge infrastructure on the Today Show. Arriving on the Manhattan side, to see rickety wood being rattled by cars and bikes, as well as construction material scattering the pedestrian walkway.
As I told my friend, thousands of people walk and drive across it everyday. “We will be fine,” I mentally told myself. I gathered my inner “I am woman grit,” and we began our trek.
It was windy and felt like subarctic temperatures after the tropic humid weather of yesterday. As we walked across, stopping to take pictures, the sun welcomed us with the pinkish purple colors of the atmosphere.
I would not let fear dissuade me from that view. While fear is great in cautioning us against to much exuberance, we also can not let it hold us back.
We have to face the irrationalism of fear head on, acknowledge it, and move forward.
As I walked across the bridge, that is what I did.
I would love to say I waved good-bye to it. I know heights will always hold some trepidation for me. Yet, it won’t dissuade me from conquering new adventures.
And with this view, how can I not?