No Turning Back

Dear Friend,

I’ve been tentatively planning a visit to my relatives up north for the first time since 2019. When I saw the prompt from WordPress for this month is Bridge, I immediately thought about the trio of bridges my mom, sister, and I watch for as we drive north – they’ve always been our “point of no return” for the Michigan trip. The point at which we refuse to turn around, to backtrack, to cancel. The bridges themselves have held no special significance to us beyond a landmark for our annual trip.

And yet, in a way, they do somehow hold special significance for me today. Lately, I’ve caught myself thinking “it would be easy to get a position at my old job.” And it would – because falling back into well-worn patterns always seems easier than forging new ones. It’s tempting to see this life bridge as the chance to turn around, to reconsider, to lose ground, but I like to think I’ve grown past that mentality for the most part. I keep trying to remind myself that this “it would be easier” thought is simply my brain panicking at things being hard and overwhelming right now.

I’ve been imagining myself as a younger me, the one who was scared to rock the boat. I feel much like Nicely, finding myself tempted to give in to habits that don’t benefit me, yet I’m more afraid of being pulled down by the demons I’ve battled before. To that younger version of me, I say this: Yes, change is scary. Yes, things are hard. Yes, it is okay to be fried and overwhelmed and want to retreat to what is familiar. But just because something is familiar doesn’t mean it is good for us. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

So, I’m going to keep driving north, past those bridges, and into less familiar territory. I’ll be traveling new routes and taking small detours and stopping to see the sights. I’ll be revisiting the lessons of my youth – but this time, with the wisdom of experience on my side. I hope when you encounter your own life bridges, or whatever your usual landmark for turning around is, you also remember you are strong and brave enough to forge a new path. I believe in us. We’ve got this.

Love always,