Facing a fear…(in tiny baby steps)

If you’re from western Kentucky, then you know about the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge. If you’re not from western Kentucky but have been here at some point in your life and have driven across an old, terrifying bridge, then there’s about a 1 in 3 chance that it was indeed the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge.

It has literally been the bridge of my nightmares for years.

For some reason I have frequently dreamed (or dreamt? I honestly never know.) that I am being forced to walk across the thing. Sometimes I just have to walk across the regular bridge, sometimes it’s falling apart as I walk across and sometimes I have to crawl over the railing on top. I have no idea what any of this means, nor do I really want to. I deal with enough neuroses during waking life, I really don’t want to delve into the mysteries of my dream world.

So, when the old bridge was finally blown into the water and a shiny new bridge with a walking path was constructed, my first instinct was a simple “hell no.”

While I did have to admit the new four driving lanes are exceptionally nice, I didn’t care how nice the walking path was, I wasn’t going across it. Until I realized that I had a chance to actually conquer a real nightmare in a relatively safe way. I kind of figured I had to do it.

Justin was understandably apprehensive. After all, the last time I was willing to face a fear has probably left me banned from the St. Louis Arch. (Chances are if I’m ever around you, especially if I’m a glass of wine deep, and you mention anything that even kind of sounds like saint or arch, I will tell you the full story. The short version: claustrophobic, a stuck pod door and me shoving children, including my own, out of the way to escape. Not my finest hour.) Despite this, he and Brody were somewhat willing to be my accomplices.

In order to even try this, I had to push a few things out my mind: that an earthquake would occur while we’re on the bridge, that my body would forcibly throw it’s self over the rail and that a barge would come plowing thru about the time we reached the center. This last one is actually pretty plausible (not that the others aren’t) seeing that it has actually happened it in the very recent past. (Google!)

We loaded up and headed over a couple of weekends ago (I’ve been trying to write this for a while. Things have been busy!) and I actually made it. Well, mostly. We accidentally picked a crazy windy day, so we only got halfway, but it’s a start. And yes, I was terrified and Brody had to hold my hand the whole time (for me, not him), but I’m still counting it as a success. I intend to try again on a nicer day, which I consider even more of a success. I have a tendency to give up on something if it’s not instantly comfortable – maybe a few steps across a bridge will lead to a few steps toward more new things.

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