Crossing the Bridge

March 5, 2008
Now, I'm afraid of a lot of things. Two of my most major fears include the fear of water (since I cannot swim), and the fear of heights. No, this is not a question of what readers are afraid of, or even writers, but simply something that tells you exactly how to fight those fears.
I'll be straightforward and upfront: I'm a coward. I don't usually like facing my fears, especially not alone. But then again, who doesn't like to face the thing they fear the most? But let me tell you, once you fight it, it's invigorating. I'm telling you, if you do it, a huge weight will be lifted off of you. You'll be able to keep fighting until you've kicked the fear right out of your system!
Now, as I said before, I'm scared of the water and heights...I live in a big city, and I go to school by a huge bridge. Bridges are high--and above water.
Oh, yes, I am a coward indeed. I've looked at that bridge numerous times before, when going to school and when going to the train station to go home...and I've vowed never to cross it unless it was by car. Never would I cross by foot.
And then, one day, a very good friend of mine suggested we go over it. By foot.
I was petrified, let me tell you. I was completely frozen! I kept saying no but he kept insisting it would be all right and that the bridge was sturdy enough to hold thousands and thousands of people--nothing to fret over. I kept saying no, until finally he decided to just walk up to the first of two archways that held the suspension cords to keep the bridge up. I agreed (reluctantly, but nevertheless I did) and we ended up crossing the whole bridge anyway! The more I walked, the more excited and brave I felt. Besides, I was with a friend--even better.
Afterwards we headed to a seaport, where we could get a perfect view of the bridge we crossed together. We sat right by the huge window, and he pointed to the bridge, saying, "That's it, Gabby. That bridge? That's the one you just crossed."
I looked at it and I was in shock. I didn't think I was THAT high up! Looking at that bridge made me so happy that I conquered my fear.
Ever since then, I've been able to do anything. Sing in open mic nights at school, project my voice in an excellent presentation about Mohandas Gandhi, and even confront the people that hurt my feelings before or teased me. Whenever I feel scared to do something, I always think about that bridge, and what my friend told me. If I could cross a bridge, then I can do whatever I put my mind to.
So, if you're ever scared to do something, whether it be as small as crossing a bridge or speaking publically for millions to see, think about crossing that bridge. Believe me, it's one heck of a motivator!!

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