Bridges

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Astoria, NY’s HellGate Bridge

I’m still waking up from the long holiday break, so coming up with a topic worth writing about took a little more effort. The world has remained quiet for the last few days—we all had to nurse our post-NYE celebration hangovers, and then slowly revive ourselves back to life in time to kick start our resolutions (I, personally, will continue my annual tradition of being a cliché and visit the gym for a month before dropping back into a life of lounging and take out).

 

Work has also been slow today, which has given me a chance to really dive into one of my passions—reading obscure articles on Twitter. So far, the winner of stupid Internet trends is a video of a NYC subway rat dragging a dead rat through the subways (you’re welcome), but it was actually this short article on Curbed.com about China’s obsession with building scary bridges that really caught my attention.

Apparently, China’s longest all glass bridge wasn’t enough of a thrill, so designers decided to create a tire and rope bridge suspended between 12 to 30 feet (depending on the section) above tea fields in China’s Xuan’en County. Essentially, this is a high school gym class challenge course on steroids, and from the pictures, it doesn’t look like you get a harness, so hold on tight.

The vertigo-prone side of me finds this bridge terrifying—I can barely look over a railing without getting dizzy. But for the adventurer in me, this looks like a perfect way to get my adrenaline pumping. You see, I love that thrill of taking a chance, of putting myself in a situation that may scare me.

I love bridges. In college, we had the Mount Hope Bridge looming over our campus, and during my four years that became my own symbol of hope. I find so much comfort with bridges—standing at the water’s edge in Astoria Park near my home, I can stare out at New York City and its network of bridges. I’ve made an effort to cross most of them by foot (at least the ones I can cross), and it’s rare for my Instagram to go a month without a carefully-filtered photo of these metal monsters. Because for me, bridges are a sign of better things to come.

I mentioned in my last post about how 2016 has become a year of change for me. Change is scary—you’re crossing into unknown territory and hoping that the outcome will work out for the best. But that initial journey is scary, much like crossing that Chinese rope bridge. For me, I don’t know what to expect, but I have to trust that I will be able to help myself through the struggle—I don’t have a harness, and there are holes in the bridge that will make my journey dangerous. But on the other side, there is safe ground, there is comfort, and when I look back, I will be glad I took the journey. It will be a story I can tell for ages.

I hope that 2016 brings the same joys, moments of growth and struggle, and ultimately, happiness to you all. Let us all take a moment to really think about what it is we want out of this year—New Years Resolutions may appear cliché, but they are also our chance to restart.

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