May The Bridges I Burn Light The Way…

“May the bridges I burn light the way.”

If you don’t recognize this quote I won’t blame you.  It comes to us courtesy of Dylan McKay and the television classic Beverly Hills 90210 (the original).

Recently I listened to sports writer Bill Simmons and his friend Matt Barry break down the entire series into 46 award categories and essentially applaud the greatness of the show for over 2 hours in a 2 part podcast.  It was some of the funniest internet entertainment that I’ve ever enjoyed.

But after listening to it once for pleasure and once for work (I know, how lucky am I?) the one thing that stuck with me was the quote from Dylan to Brandon.  Dylan was heavy back into the booze and he and Brandon were once again getting into the kind of fight that only people that care very deeply for each other will get into.

The line got me thinking.  A lot.  When Dylan said it he was pissed off at the world.  And while I’m not in that place right now, I know that there are bridges I have burned.  There are people that will line up to tell you that.

So I wonder if mine will they light my way?  And if they do, is it a bad thing?

Can I use my past failures, mistakes, missteps and fuck ups as guidelines of what not to do for the future, because that sounds like a fantastic idea.  It would mean admitting to myself that there are some bridges and relationships that will never be rebuilt.  It would mean taking a long, hard look at what I did that lead me to those situations and why I never want to be there again.  And that’s not easy work.  That is gut wrenching, heart hurting, headache inducing stuff.

Admitting our own mistakes is never easy.  Acknowledging that we hurt people and can’t take back those words and actions is a helpless fucking feeling.  It makes me cringe, makes my heart pound and makes me want to say a thousand apologies to the people that were once so much a part of my life and now seem gone.  It also makes me want to thank those who have forgiven me and continued to love me.

It’s because of those people that I want to take Dylan’s words and use them as my own.  I’ve seen the hurt in the eyes of the ones I love and have loved.  I’ve seen the tears and felt their salty sting.  Those are things that I will never forget.  How could I?  And so I will let my past guide me.  I will let it lead me down the paths ahead of me.

I never in my life thought that Dylan McKay would be a major influence on my growth as a person.  But that’s the way it seems to be going right now.

So wish me luck, and may the bridges I’ve burned light the way.

23 thoughts on “May The Bridges I Burn Light The Way…

      1. It was a quote I saw on stumbleupon and I had to look it up on google. I saw this and after reading it came to the conclusion this kid’s a FAGGGGGG

          1. Dear Joshua ;] what a great response. btw thanks for the blog post, even if it was written a long time ago. I came across this quote in the last couple of days about half a dozen times, so I had to google it. The original quote has indeed tremendous self-burning anger and toxicity in it. But I like how you would make it into a learning path, lit by the torches of your own mistake. the Path of Self Reflection is true to this picture > [ with many interesting point of views ]

  1. Just a question, what was the name of this 2 part podcast? I’ve been trying to find it for the past hour and Ijust cant find it.. Please help me :)

  2. i want to thank you for writing this. you’ve accomplished getting all the thoughts that i’ve had in my head for a while, and couldn’t admit to myself, down. Now that i can physically see my thoughts, i can accept them for what they are and use them to help me achieve what i need to do. time to let my mistakes pave the way for me

    thank you again

  3. Hello! That’s so good! I came trough this quote today and I couldn’t remember where it was from. I used to love BH90210 when I was younger. Anyway, It got me thinking about so much about and it felt so right in many ways that I google that. You put in to worlds what I was feeling about it. That’s great! thanks!

  4. If my 90210 memory serves me (holy shit i just said that didn’t I?) ..Isn’t it a snip from a Byron poem?? .. It’s always been one of my all time fav lines which is why i remember that Dylan said it over 20 yrs ago.

  5. I had never heard this quote. I actually was a fan of 90210 when it first came out and some way I still missed this. I gotta tell you that I really am owning this quote as of a few days ago when I saw it on I want this to be my cover page on FB but, my game friends might not see it as a statement of strength, so much as a statement of anger.

  6. I have burned all my bridges in Albuquerque. It’s time for me to move on to live in a whole new territory. I have wasted too much time living in a city that isn’t letting me move on with my life. A new life awaits me in a smaller city. It will soon be time for me to leave the Land Of Entrapment. It will be soon time for me to go on a new journey

    1. Hey Tarakealy, when I wrote this post I was thinking specifically of 2 relationships that I was sure would never be put back together – and while it takes 2 to tango, it was largely my fault in both cases. It was about me treating people like shit and acknowledging that an apology wasn’t going to fix it – and deciding that I needed to learn from it. I hope this helps your understanding of the post.

  7. I’ve never thought of this quote as a nice one. The person I know who has it hung in her office is a ruthless awful person who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. It’s not a positive image for me. It’s hard to imagine people like her ever feeling bad about their actions. This to me seems to fit the mindset of corporate raiders and corrupt politicians, not people who are interested in making society a better place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *