It’s true, I’m running away with the circus.
People’s reactions to this are so interesting. About half are excited for me, the other half think I’ve lost my damn mind.
This post is my way of explaining that I didn’t lose my mind, I just might have different priorities than you. 😉
I’ve been trying to think of the best way to simply explain my reasons for joining the circus. The best analogy that I came up with is this:
Some people become nuns or monks and join a monastery. I joined the circus.
To me, the simple bare bones lifestyle that is inherent to circus life is appealing. Not having a lot of Stuff is appealing. Traveling, working with my hands, caring for the lives of others, celebrating life with others, performing and entertaining, these are all appealing.
Caring for animals, especially horses, has always been a sort of spiritual practice for me. I am a very holistic-based person, I need to DO things. I love reading and learning that way, but for me to really feel fulfilled and to truly grasp a concept I need to experience it.
It makes me really sad when people who are close to me don’t trust my judgment, especially regarding my own life. I’m sorry if I’m not the person you wish I was or expected me to be, but I’m more sorry you can’t accept me for who I am. I think a lot of people have forgotten the meaning of life. What do I think is the meaning of life?
I think the meaning of life is to live it. That simple… but humans make it hard. To truly live is to grow, to take risks, to be authentic. That’s what I’m striving for and I’m sorry if there are people who can’t see that.
That reminds me of one of my favorite quotes on page 260 of Forever by Pete Hamill.
“I don’t know what that means. To truly live.”
Kongo paused again, his eyes wandering to the walls of the cave, to the blackness at the far end.
“To find work that you love, and work harder than other men. To learn the languages of the earth, and love the sounds of the words and the things they describe. To love food and music and drink. Fully love them. To love weather, and storms, and the smell of rain. To love heat. To love cold. To love sleep and dreams. To love the newness of each day.”
Though I have to say, a LOT of people have been incredibly supportive and I am so grateful for that!
Oh and for the questions I keep getting asked:
- I’ll announce which circus once it’s 100% said and done & I talk with the production manager about being public.
- There are no large exotic animals (no elephants, tigers, bears, etc.)
- I saw all the animals and met their owner (the trainer) and they are all well cared for and content. I would never take a job that sacrificed animal welfare.
So stay tuned…
I felt like writing down some things about me you may or may not know, things I deem important when calculating the sum of my whole.
I’m naturally inclined to take whatever route is off the beaten path. I realized that’s just who I am in 5th grade when I tried to explain to my class why I didn’t understand the binary gender system and that “love is love… so why does it matter?”
I feel like I’m perpetually awkward. Nothing ever comes out the way I want it to – words or actions. I’d like to think some day I won’t identify as “awkward” but that day’s not here yet.
For whatever reason, for a very long time I’ve been conditioned to not touch people. I remember my senior year of high school when a new friend embraced me in a caring, light-hearted hug and I was shocked…. I didn’t know what to do and realized I really never touched people. I’ve learned how to fake it… because NYC culture is full of people who hug and kiss at every meeting and leaving. I can always tell when my faking it doesn’t cut it, and now we’re back to awkward. Edit: It’s not that I don’t like hugs, I’m all for hugging! I just have convinced myself I “do them wrong.”
I got a massage, like a real one not just a shoulder rub from a friend, for the first time a few weeks ago. WEIRD. That’s a lot of touching. I was proud of myself for not dissociating, though I can’t say I enjoyed it. (No offense meant to S. who did a great job!) I mean, my muscles totally enjoyed it. The jury’s still out with my mind.
Ironically, (actually it’s probably not ironic at all), I’m fascinated by all things physical. I’m considering getting a master’s in somatic counseling psychology focused on body psychopathology. I should probably learn how to let people touch me first, eh?
One of the big reasons I fell in love with hoop dance is because it’s one of the very few times I can feel present in my body and enjoy it. The motion of the hoop, of my bodies’ movements to keep the hoop spinning, grounds me and connects me. When I stop worrying about learning new tricks and just let myself feel the flow I can feel my chakras open and the energy flow through me. Too often I’m worrying about learning new tricks.
I’m a really anxious person. I didn’t know this until my therapist told me. That literally makes me laugh out loud, because I’m usually very self-aware. I just had always connected my behaviors and coping mechanisms to depression… and because I didn’t behave the way I thought “anxious people behaved”… it just never occurred to me. But now I totally see the correlation between heightened anxiety and desires to engage in eating disordered or self-harm behaviors.
I’m really proud of myself for not engaging in those behaviors for well over a year, even though the feelings arise all the time.
The other time I feel grounded and connected to my body is horseback riding. Something I miss, so much, but am not participating in at the moment because it’s very expensive in the NYC area, and I also think I’m way too fat and ugly to even set foot near a horse right now.
When I rode regularly, it was similar to hooping. When I wasn’t worrying about getting the movements right (regardless what discipline I was working on), when I let myself just enjoy moving with the horse our energies combined and it’s absolutely an empowering and beautiful experience.
I have no idea what I really look like. I know that what I see isn’t what other people see, and what I see is never the same. I’ve learned to trust those around me that I must look at least like an average person… otherwise I would never leave the house.
I have a really dry and dark sense of humor, and often I’ll say things that in my mind are obviously hilarious… but my delivery is such that it comes out sounding totally genuine. Most people don’t get it, and then I’m left frustrated having to explain myself. When I meet someone who gets my humor… I don’t even know. It’s freaking amazing, because I love to laugh.
People always ask why I named my cat Claudia, and the truth is it’s because she told me that’s what her name is. Who am I to change it?
I moved to NYC to be an actress and a writer. Oh hi, giant cliche, you were fun while you lasted! I still write, and I would love to act if the right opportunity presented itself. I just quickly learned I’m not into the lifestyle of molding myself into someone’s idea of beautiful cattle in order to get some chorus role in a show that might not even make it to the final stages of production.
I know that I am excruciatingly way too hard on myself. I’m pretty sure I deserve it, though.
I have big ass dreams. I want to be a celebrated speaker at a TED conference some day. Maybe by then I won’t be so awkward. Or I will, but people will think it’s charming.
Confession: I totally loved the show Charmed in high school. I know if I had any cool points up until now they just dropped a significant amount.
For the record Holly Marie Combs is now a mom on Pretty Little Liars, Alyssa Milano is famous on twitter and Shannen Doherty is…. EDIT: WRITING SELF-HELP BOOKS! LOL.
I was a page at the public library in high school and I have had my nose in a book (or several) ever since I could read. Probably before I could read. I wrote poetry and essays and really melodramatic livejournal entries. Yet somehow, I didn’t know who Dorothy Parker was until two years ago. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
I think the internet ate my ability to concentrate on one thing for substantial periods of time.
I was a damn good flute player throughout high school. Talented I suppose to an extent, but mainly I worked my ass off. Not because I loved it, but because I really wanted to fit in with the “pretty popular” girls who all happened to be the best flute players.
I was a damn good vocalist a few years ago. Talented, yes. I’m naturally a gifted singer… but I totally didn’t practice in any correct manner so I always felt like I was winging it. Therefore I’ve never done karaoke, it makes me nervous.
I hate autographs. I just… don’t get it.
I read a lot of non-fiction. I just really love learning about stuff. I abhor the vast majority of fiction. It’s a whole lot of people kissing their own asses. But sometimes there is fucking brilliant fiction that I fall in love with. I just ended a sentence with a preposition, sorry.
I fantasize about owning one of every breed of dog. That’s a problem though, because then I’d be classified as a level 500,000 hoarder.
I really dislike when people need black/white definitions or labels, after they have just told me my thinking is too black/white and I need to chill out and see the grey more. So if I’m not perfect, that doesn’t mean I’m a failure… but if I’m not straight, that DOES mean I’m a lesbian. (no.)
I really love fruit smoothies. I also love broccoli, asparagus & mushrooms.
I hate that I’m such a fucking people pleaser. I HATE it. It grosses me out, but it’s really hard to stop. I’m working on it. I hate that when in new situations or meeting new people I revert to that behavior, and it’s completely not my natural behavior so people get the total opposite idea of my personality. Especially when it comes to dating.
Do you remember the show Wonder Years? It always really creeped me out as a kid, but I could never put my finger on why.
I hate when people talk about how ‘young’ I am. Fuck off, who cares. We’re all living right now! (And I’m not THAT young anymore. It made a lot more sense when I was 23 & fresh off the boat from Ohio.) I did not take a boat from Ohio to NYC, I actually took a train.
I simultaneously long to be a hardcore super buff kickboxer and a graceful lithe ballerina. I’m definitely neither.
I could go on… but that’s all for now.
7:45am walking the dog.
“you married or single?”
“you married or single?”
I turn and give him a look… it’s fucking 7:45am. I am in pajamas. My hair is down and all crazy humid-frizzy. No make-up. Are you serious, you dickhead, I don’t want to talk to you.
“I could do nice things to you, I know you’d like it.”
Walk faster, dog stop smelling everything.
“You know you should let those walls down, not everyone is out to get you!”
…….FUCK YOU. I hate that they always turn it around like that, “oh you won’t acknowledge my advances so I’ll tell you that you’re a cold bitch.” THANKS.
I am not your baby. I am not a baby. I am not a girl. I am not yours to label “beautiful”, “sexy”, “blanca” or “mami.”
I am not an object. I am not something to possess. I am not a prize. I am not a toy. I am not an image.
I am a human being, and my life is not a game.
I do not exist for your enjoyment/exploitation/amusement/ego.
I am not here for you to narrate my walk from point A to point B with colorful commentary on my body.
Do not tell me to smile, mind your own business.
Do not tell me “own it” or “work it,” I did not ask for your advice.
Do. not. touch. me.
I am a human being, and I deserve respect.