join the circus. The one thing (yes, there is only one) stopping me is this question: "If I give in to the urge to run off and join the circus, what exactly will I do once I get there?" I didn't really realize this until I recently did some research on the matter (and by research I mean that I talked to some guy that knew some guy whose uncle was in the circus).
Dude, there are so many career options with the circus. As I considered my options, I thought the easiest thing in picking a circus career would be to focus in on something that utilizes my natural abilities and character traits. But apparently there isn't a position open at the circus called, "The Incredible Over-Analyzing Woman". If there were, I imagine that my introduction to the ring would go something like this, "Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls of all ages, let me direct your attention to center of the ring! We traveled the world to find her. We searched high and low. Through the jungles of Zimbabwe and the mighty mountains of Ohio. Let me now introduce to you....Katie McNemar, The Incredible Over-Analyzing Woman!!!! (Insert crowd gasps here) Your eyes are not deceiving you folks, Katie has actually been over thinking her phone call with her boss for 132 hours straight. The only thing keeping her from continuing to worry about this phone call is that she thinks she just got a weird look from someone in the audience and is now thinking that everyone thinks she totally weird. How long will she dwell on this new thought....STAY TUNED!!!! "
I also thought about being the bearded lady since I already had a run-in regarding an angry Russian lady and my non-existent mustache. But more reasonable winds prevailed and I decided that my desire to be one of the non-single folks running around out there was more important to me than being a side-show freak. Tough call though. Really tough call.
After throwing out a few more options like: Circus Accountant (I still count on my fingers and just got rid of my abacus...darn....shoulda hung on to that thing), Lion Trainer (I would definitely try and cuddle with a tiger cub and end up being one of those people in the news that has to get a new face...and knowing my luck I would get Walt Disney's frozen face.....no thank you), Poop Cleaner Upper Person (I don't know the official title of someone that shovels crap for a living, but I am pretty sure I have plenty of years of experience under my belt....ba dah ching!), Ring Leader (my mom always accused me of being a Ring Leader, and when she said it, I felt as though it had some negative connotations. I'll hold out for something less sketchy sounding....maybe something like, Circus Bookie), and last but not least, I decided that I didn't want to be that person that they shoot out of the cannon (I don't do well in tight spaces or tight pants...oh yeah, and soaring through the air at 100 mph milliseconds after a bomb detonates under my feet).
I got worried that I was never going to find my perfect circus job; and then the clouds parted and the angels did sing. Finally, a break-through came when my brother, Kirk, and my sister-in-law, Dana, called me one Saturday afternoon to tell me that they had just gone to a TRAPEZE SCHOOL....right here in DC!!!!! WHAAAA!??? I had heard about the NewYork Trapeze School before but I couldn't believe that Kirk and Dana actually did it. They told me all about it over lunch and a few weeks later showed me pics and videos of their adventure. Then, Kirk asked me if I wanted to go with them the next time they went. I thought about it for a few minutes because I always thought I would be way too scared of heights to do it. But then that kick-ass side of me bubbled up and said, "What chu talkin' 'bout Willis!? You gonna get yo skinny white butt up to that school and you're gonna kick fears ever lovin' boo-tay...OKAY fool!!!????" (My kick-ass side is straight from the mean streets of Buckhannon, WV, so look out cha'll).
I didn't really think about it much beforehand. I've had tons on my mind lately, so oddly enough, swinging many feet in the air whilst wearing tight clothes around people that I don't know, didn't seem to be at the top of my worry list. That's when you know it's bad.
|Kirk giving the trapeze the stare down.|
|Chalkin' it up!!!|
|The rickety ladder|
I was super excited to realize that I didn't feel afraid of heights at all throughout this whole process. YAY!!! As someone that used to get paralyzed with fear from a third story hotel balcony...this was mega big progress. (Insert clapping and cheers of excitement here)
|Notice the toes dangling from the edge. Also notice...my game face.|
Once I had the bar in both hands, the instructor gives you two commands; one to bend your knees (READY!), and the other to jump (HUP!). The second hardest thing was to not only leave the familiar safety of the platform, but to actually jump into the unknown. I suppose jumping into the unknown looks a little better than falling into the unknown...but whatevs. The instructor on the ground is in control of the ropes attached to your harness in order to help you stay in the air, but you still have to use your own strength in order to complete the trick. Yes, they teach you tricks.
Dwight Shrute from The Office (link to Wiki provided for my mom) wants to say something:
Question: Katie, what exactly did you learn from flying through the air with the greatest of ease!?
Fact: A lot.
I learned that even though it is scary to let go and trust, when I try to keep myself safe and hold onto things...I can't fly...I can't soar...I can't feel the exhilaration that comes from leaping into the unknown and leading with faith and not sight. Trust has been an issue for me for a long time. You can always play it safe and only do things that feel safe and comfortable, but then you will never know what it feels like to really and truly trust. God knows that it isn't easy for us to let go and turn control over to Him...but He also knows that life is easier and more fun when we do. We can white knuckle the bar that keeps us from taking a leap of faith, or we can let go and let God show us that He is holding us up.
Be like Peter when Jesus asked him to get out of the boat and walk out onto the water. Take that step of faith while keeping your eyes on Jesus. Peter began to sink only after he looked down at the water raging around him, and stopped focusing on Jesus. Jesus will not let you go. He will not.
I know it's a busy time of year, but in the new year, take a minute and think....are there steps you need to take toward the unknown? Are you stuck on the rickety ladder? Do you have your toes on the edge, but you're too afraid to jump? God didn't create us to live in fear. Join the adventure that God has in store for you.
And for my next trick....
I'm fixin to practice what I preach. STAY TUNED!!!!!!
Merry Christmas everyone!
Gal 5:1 - "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
Check out some more pics if you want:
|Reaching for that bar is way harder than it looks in pictures.|
|Kirk the trapeze pro.|
|This is how you flip off of the net. BOOTY SHOT!!!|
|Seconds after my first fly. Still high on life...and adrenaline I suppose.|
|Back flip dismount|
|Man, that ladder was freaky.|
|Your prize for looking at every picture. YAY!!!!!!!!!!|