Circus Life

My house is currently covered in comic books. We are finally getting Wyatt to sleep in his own room, which only works till about 1 or 2 in the morning when he wakes up and runs into our bed. We have coffee roasting to do. Shows to book. A five year old to teach. Books to write. Songs to sing. Things to clean. A lawn to mow. So many other things I can’t even think of them right now. And we are tired. I’m in desperate need for a tropical vacation. We may have, in fact, lost our minds.

We live a bizarre lifestyle. I can only speculate that it may be pretty close to what living in a traveling circus might be. We are traveling quite a bit less than before, but the hectic randomness of it all feels very circus like. One day we are on the food truck, then Rodney is playing at the Tobin Center, then we are roasting coffee, then we are creating a comic book database. It can be a bit nutty.  It is, however, a life of freedoms from many things. We want Wyatt to grow up understanding that life is not about tests, and that it is all a game carefully constructed by many people and it helps some and not others and that it is our responsibility to recognize this. We hope to teach him how to live accordingly. Which is first and foremost, to be a kind individual. Kind to every living being no matter what. He strikes up a conversation with every person he comes across 98% of the time, and those people always walk away with a smile. We also want him to know that he can live on the outside of the game very happily. While there are many, many people out there who are living in this game and thriving and enjoying it, there are many, many people out there who want out. You can get out of the game. You can sit out or permanently remove yourself. Sometimes, I think I am just sitting out, but I really think I have removed myself from the game. I want my time to be with Wyatt and to write and watch my husband get excited about Daredevil #1. I want to bake. I want to roast coffee. I want to paint. I want to be healthy. I want to find a way to help others find a balance while I find mine.  Now, you should note that running off and joining the circus can be stressful at times. You need to know how to go with the flow. You make sacrifices. You get creative and you learn to do twelve things at once. You learn that you don’t actually need all the things you had before. This is probably the hardest lesson for people newly joining the circus to grasp. Currently my act is spinning plates, while taming a lion, while riding on a horse standing in the saddle on one foot, wearing a glittery leotard with a feathery tail. Although I am sure that describes how 99% of mothers feel, whether they are working from home, in an office or stay at home. Motherhood is it’s own ring in the circus. Raising kids period, is it’s own ring.

Anyway, in this circus we own and travel with we make the decisions and call the shots. And when we screw up we start over. There is no one to pass blame to. We can’t fire anyone from our circus. We learn a new act and add it to the list. We disappear and breathe for a bit. We keep moving forward no matter what. That may be the most fun thing about circus life, while always moving forward, every day is different. Everyday we experience something in a new way. There are no two days alike. Actually the best thing about circus life is Monday is like a Friday or a Saturday. Hell, I usually have no idea what day it even is.

While digging through a box of stuff from probably 10 or 12 years ago, I found a notebook. I flipped through it to see if I could pull out pages and re-use it. I came across a list I wrote. It was titled “What am I going to do with the rest of my life”. Apparently 24 or 26 year old me was very concerned. On this list it said the following: Go back to school for a masters degree, get a culinary degree, open a restaurant, write a cookbook, travel, get to writing for real this time. I laughed at this list, because it just seemed so funny. How bizarre. While I don’t remember writing this list, I do remember thinking that I had to choose just one path. I needed to commit to one thing I was going to be. That stressed me out. I think the finality of being just a ____ (fill in the blank) scared me. I had all these things I wanted to do and try and none more important than the other. Then I laughed because I realized in one way or another I made each of these happen. Well… I was only a semester away from my masters degree…but whatever. I opened a food truck, started a coffee company, I write, I travel. Not on the list was becoming a mother and that I would put down as my greatest accomplishment ever in my life. At 24 I had no idea that being a mother was going to be the greatest adventure. When Rodney and I made the decision to live this circus life we also decided we, Wyatt included, could be all things. You can do whatever it is that makes you happy. There is a way.

I hope you join me on my circus journey. There will be more coming from the blog- yes I know I say that all the time- but for real this time. I hope to inspire something in you. I want to share a little about my journey each day that I hope will not only help me keep myself balanced but maybe spark a new flame for you.

So, I will leave you with a peek into my current reality.

In the super fun process of getting all our things out of various storage places (finally), we have not only run across old lists of things to do with my life but also found Rodney’s comic book collection. And oh, what a collection it is. If you haven’t figured out by now, I am pretty easy going when it comes to most things, so when my husband and son were so excited to see all these comic books they could have rocketed through the roof, so was I. I clicked that “Buy it with one click” button for archival quality sleeves on Amazon so fast! It was fun to see Rodney so excited. He needs a hobby that is all his. Music is most people’s hobby but when it is your job sometimes you need something else completely different to focus on. So we have been cataloging comic books. We have just under 400 of them so far. Dating back to the 60s up to the early 90s. Let me also say, I had no idea how comic books retain value. Even the most insignificant book he has was tripled in price. Needless to say, our nerd level around here has just hit a new height. When Rodney says Fantastic Four #52, I actually know which comic book he is talking about. In case you are curious, it is the first appearance of the Black Panther, published by Marvel in 1966 and is worth several very pretty pennies. Never in my life would I have thought that I would know comic books by their numbers. I was never into comic books as a kid. But, oh, am I into them now. So much so, that every dream I had last night had to do with comic books. In one dream, I ran into my friend Michelle who was on her way to see “The Hulk” at the Majestic, in her hand was The Incredible Hulk #102, the Big Premiere issue. I told her to have fun and walked off wondering how in the world they were going to portray the Hulk on stage for a live audience, and I probably needed to get tickets so that I could see this. When I woke up I was still groggy enough to lay there thinking of different ways in which you could show the change the Hulk goes through on stage with shadows and lights. (Once a theater nerd, always a theater nerd) If I dream of nothing but comic books again tonight, I fear I am too far gone. I probably will never be able to return to the land of people who don’t know which issue Wonder Woman #204 is.

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