Crossing the Bridge

Published by Alba MelgarCDeBaca on

Crossing the Bridge

Guest Blog by Brandon Ferguson, BS, VETTED Intern​

     We often fear the unknown. It’s what prevents us from stepping outside of our comfort zone; prevents us from reaching our true potential; prevents us from crossing the bridge to a different life. For me, graduating college, I experienced all these things. I’d imagine there are similar experiences and feelings our military goes through when retiring.
     When the time for graduation came, I was filled with emotions. What was going to happen next? Graduating was always in the plans, so why am I nervous? Why am I anxious? It was the unknown. I had just spent the last four years at this amazing university and now it’s all over, just like that. Like reading a new book, you never know what the next chapter is going to be about however, you don’t just stop, you keep reading. Earning a college degree has been my biggest accomplishment to date and I can say with confidence that aside from all these emotions I feel, excitement is the one most present. I’m ready to step outside my comfort zone; I’m ready to reach my true potential; I’m ready to cross the bridge into a different life.
     I never served in the military, but I’ve been exposed to it all my life. My father did 22 years in the Air Force. I got to experience promotions, deployments and ultimately retirement. In a way, what my father and I went through was similar. We both were stepping into a new world. His civilian, mine “real world”. Just like he got to see the excitement on my face when graduating, I got to see that same emotion on his when he retired. It was a sobering experience. We both ended one chapter and started another. We both left familiar places. He spent the last 22 years in a lifestyle he’d grown accustomed to and I just spent the last four years in a similar lifestyle.
     My dad always said, “uncertainty breeds stress, planning alleviates uncertainty”. We both felt this uncertainty but we also both had a plan we were ready to execute. My dad was successful in his post-retirement life. I’m a recent graduate so I am still working on creating my future.
     You might ask me: what’s preventing you from stepping outside your comfort zone? What’s preventing you from reaching your true potential? My response:  NOTHING.

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The Bridge Builder by Will Allen Dromgoole

     An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
     You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”
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