I’m Giving Up Blogging To Join The Circus

Relax. I’m not. Although….

I was driving home from work last week, after a brutally tough day in the office. My head was fried, my brains were mush. All I wanted to do was get home and vegetate on the sofa. I was too tired to write, run, do anything really. My neck ached, a sure fire sign of a stressed Stephen. That’s when I saw it. Sitting in front of me at traffic lights. Sign from above or utter coincidence? I had no idea. But there it was.

The circus school van…..

I had no idea such centres of learning existed. A school where I could learn to crack a whip and traverse a tightrope. A seat of education where I could master the art of being fired from a cannonball, yet live to tell the tale. This was my chance, an opportunity to escape the monotonous morass of life. Where the bills mounted up and responsibility weighed heavy on tired shoulders and weary eyes.

Then reality struck as it invariably does, and the dream evaporated in front of my eyes, before it had even taken shape. The grass wasn’t greener on the other side. The side where the big top sat proud, it’s flag fluttering enticingly in a refreshing breeze. I couldn’t ditch life, and run away to join the circus. I had a wife, three kids and a border terrier. What’s more, there was all this….

Ahem. In no particular order….

1 – I’m scared of heights. So you can forget about the tightrope walking, or being flung through the air from one trapeze artist to the next. I don’t care if there’s a safety net below to catch me if I fall. I ain’t going up there. It’s non-negotiable. Plus, nobody wants to see me in sequins and lycra. That’s a bridge too far, in anyone’s books. As in, bridge between Hong Kong and mainland China too far.

2 – I’m scared of clowns. No, make that terrified. Clowns are evil. Ever since I watched the library scene in Stephen King’s ‘It,’ where Pennywise the Clown is standing there with the red balloon. Then there’s Brian Denehy in that John Wayne Gacy movie. The zombie clown in ‘Zombieland.’ The list is endless. Clowns are a phobia I will take to my grave. Behind their rictus grins lie madness.

3 – I can’t juggle. Give me two batons and I’m fine. Add a third, and within seconds, I’m all fingers and thumbs. My hand to eye coordination, what little there is of it, goes to pieces and it all comes crashing to the ground. It’s a metaphor for my current circumstances really. There are too many balls in the air, so something has to give. And as for flaming torches? Let’s move swiftly on, shall we?

4 – Only an idiot would get in a cage with a ravenous lion, armed with a chair, whip and comedy moustache. If Leo really wanted to, I’m sure he could make quick work of Marco the Magnificent or whatever he chooses to call himself. Plus, there’s the whole ethical side of it, which I won’t even go into. Suffice to say, the taming of lions is a non starter. I couldn’t even train our Charlie to sit and give you his paw.

So, as I said, relax. I’ll be here on WordPress for the foreseeable future. I’ll run and I’ll write. I’ll slog on at work and do the best I can to finish this book I’ve been droning on about for over a year. But I won’t be picking up the phone and calling Belfast Circus School. Life in a caravan, traveling the length and breadth of our fair island is not for me. I’ll stick to what I know. Sometimes that’s the best way.

Do you ever dream about running away and joining the circus? Or just running away?

What are the pros and cons of running away?

61 thoughts on “I’m Giving Up Blogging To Join The Circus

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    1. With my daughter’s and stepson’s dogs staying for the week as well as our own and the dog next door (who joins us while our neighbours are at work) I sometimes feel that I am in the poop-scooping brigade, without benefit of circus.

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  1. Lol Stephen. You made me smile. This is brilliaant. Oh, thenpros and cons of running away – well, it’s six o’ clock in the morning here, so I think I’ll snooze for a bit longer and THEN think about running away. I DID run away once. Yep. True. In my wheelchair. Yep. At all of foyr miles an hour. The police were informed. Yep. This is true! Sadly, they found me. And I was returned to my owner! Duh!

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  2. Ok well I’m now just sitting here sniggering! The thought of you in sequins taming a lion from the top of a ladder has reduced me to uncontrollable giggles …. my fellow coffee drinkers around me are giving me odd looks and trying to shuffle further away. Personally, I completely and utterly loathe the circus; I am convinced that my parents rescued me from one as a baby … they give me the creeps … and I only need to think of Jack Nicholson in one of his scary films to compel me to hide behind the sofa, more so than Dr Who EVER used to. Am I strange? Yes without doubt. For what it’s worth, I’m also afraid of frogs; they’re just too … ummm hoppy.

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  3. I never knew Belfast had a Circus school! The only one I ever knew of was the one in Florida that the Ringling Brothers operated.

    I once was in a DV shelter in downtown Buffalo & roomed with a woman who had been a carny with the famous (here in the States) James E. Strates traveling shows. She had been all over the US, traveling via train. She had some of the best stories EVER. She was the HUMAN FROG! She really did look like a frog, too. She was a real sweetheart.

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  4. Not a huge circus fan and I’d make a rubbish circus employee. Last time I went was when I took my son, think it was his 6th birthday, and luckily he was young enough to find it lots of fun when it was in fact pretty poor. The performers and animals all seemed bored and tired and clad in costumes from the 80s. So I wouldn’t want to join that particular circus.. 🙂

    However, I love the idea of running away but not “properly”. I’d want to notify all my loved ones of my new address and have them visit, but I would love to run off to my husband’s native New Zealand and live there – for a while or for the long haul. Perhaps I’m getting restless? Then again, I leave the UK and London for a while on holiday and it only takes me a few days to really miss home…

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  5. I would love to join the circus but like you i have family and other obligations, i can juggle but runnjng away from life’s poop only means delaying the inevitable as it is just waiting for you when you come back

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  6. I wanted to fly on the trapeze. Seriously. Even though I’m not particularly coordinated. There was a literal circus school not far from where I lived. I saw a documentary about it and did some serious daydreaming. 🙂

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  7. Ha. I ran away once. I took me and my two younguns (2&4) across the USA to get a new start. It was the beginning of the end of my first marriage which didn’t happen until 9 years later. It was brave and crazy and lonely all at the same time. I would do it again if need be.
    I’m glad you are not joining the circus, because if all the reasons you list!!
    Get your book edited so we can all read the final product!! Happy Tuesday.

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  8. You might want to look for circus summer camps for your kids, though. We have one here in Santa Cruz (run by a local school teacher who is also a professional clown) that is quite good—the kids nearly always have a unicycle brigade in the local parades. It is separate from the aerial dance schools, which are also quite popular, though mainly with girls and young women.

    San Francisco (about 100km away) has several circus schools.

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  9. I saw this on a t-shirt, “Mustn’t fall asleep, clowns will eat me!” That being said, you can juggle sir! You juggle work, family, writing your book, blogging and running. So don’t sell yourself short, you DO have circus skills!

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  10. That’s so cool! I would love to be in the circus, but alas, I have a crippling fear of clowns 😱. Otherwise, I’d totally be the one walking a tightrope, swinging from a trapeze, or flying out of a cannon. That’s how I roll. 😏😂

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  11. I dog sit for a living……have often wondered how much doggie poop I really do pick up. Then when I go home I pick up my own dog’s poop. All of which leaves me pooped out! But it is all ok……just taking care of some of GOD’S little creatures!

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  12. I think we all experience times when we want to run away; when the burdens of life seem far too heavy to carry. I am glad you will continue blogging – I look forward to your posts. And the circus, while it may seem glamorous to some, seems to me to be a whole other means to torture oneself.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I dream about running away to Mexico sometimes. Warmer climate, cheaper cost of living, good people. I mention it to my husband now and then, but he’s not yet bought into the idea (I speak Spanish, he does not). I think our imaginations can truly save our lives sometimes, can’t they? Hope the next day is a better one, Stephen.

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  14. Running away does little good because you only exchange one set of problems for another plus the others usually follow close behind. Running away works when we flee sin and run to the Lord.

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