Gaining perspective (metaphorically)

I am only 3 weeks into the bridge year experience, but if I had a dime for every time that I said or heard, “it’s a metaphor for the bridge year”, I would have enough money to reach my fundraising goal.

Trevor with a cachorrinho

If you are wondering what a metaphor for the bridge year is, then the answer, to quote Trevor, is, “legit everything”. I bet that there is not a single thing that cannot be compared as a metaphor to the bridge year.

That’s one of the marvels of the bridge year. You learn to embrace multiple perspectives so that you may experience your surroundings in as many different lights as possible.

Sunset during Catch 1 at Ecomuseu do Ribeirão da Ilha  

Lights are a metaphor for the bridge year.

From the different stars we see at night here in Florianopolis compared to the ones at home to the phone-flashlight-bonfire that illuminates the nights of Werewolf and card games, the lights all represent the bridge year. I would explain how, but I digress. You can figure it out.

Some of the most valuable lessons I have learned so far about gaining perspectives have come from photography. Here is an excerpt from a journal I wrote at the end of our Welcome Week in Brazil:

“I think an important thing I’ve learned this week is that in life I must choose to either stay behind the camera and take the picture or let someone else take the photo — I can’t do both. Looking at my growing collection of photos in my google album, I realize that I have no pictures of myself.

It’s a metaphor for the bridge year.

I choose to stay behind the camera, experimenting with new ways to frame the setting. If I were in front of the camera, someone else would be choosing my frame, and that’s not what this year is about. Yuri taught me that to get the view I want, I must choose the angle, do what I can with the lighting, and manually adjust zoom, aperture, shutter speed. Similarly, I am learning to readjust and experiment with how to view life, how to live it, how to picture and preserve a moment… or how to decide when to let a moment pass by undocumented except for in my memories.

I think they are the most beautiful: the pictures we only get to see once and never get to share.”

Ironically, I do very much enjoy taking and sharing pictures, and I don’t mind having almost none of myself — it’s my pleasure to take photos of the people and places I surround myself with. I often must take at least 10 different pictures of varying configurations to finally get the 1 photo I am satisfied with, though. I do indeed have 9 other pictures of Trevor with Belkis’s adorable puppy that didn’t make the cut. The fact that I only chose one to share, and chose that one photo specifically, is a metaphor for the bridge year.

Here are a couple of other metaphors relating to the bridge year that I would like to share:

Jumping over waves
Practicing headstands
Playing on new terrain



Climbing trees (and not knowing how to get down safely)






Painting with a banana






No matter what you fill in the blank with, _________ is a metaphor for the bridge year. I don’t want to explain them all because that would ruin the point. Interpret the photos and the metaphors however you wish. It’s up to you to choose your perspective on how to picture my experience. I’ve already decided on mine: through the lens of a rookie photographer making the most of her bridge year in Brazil.

Love and Peace,





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