I grew up as a very artistic, athletic, and insecure child, and I always tell people that circus saved my life. But that is only part of the story. As a teen, I was chaos. I entered into an extremely toxic relationship at 15 that took over my entire life. I almost ran away from home multiple times at the demand of my partner, and I developed an eating disorder (anorexia) as well as a deep, dark depression. Though I did not name those struggles or know how to speak of them at all, it’s safe to say I was having a very difficult time growing up. When my 3-year-long emotionally painful and manipulative relationship finally ended, I was sexually assaulted. This pushed me further into a depression and I felt the stigma of rape so deeply that I was unable to speak to anyone about it for quite some time. I had this intense wound burning me up and thought it was just mine to manage. Around this time, I did not know how to deal with anything life had thrown at me, and I was just letting the world sweep me up and throw me around. Until I found circus.
Through the creation and performance of circus, I found an artistic and physical outlet, purpose, and the confidence I had been missing for so long. When I realized this was a valid career choice, I threw myself in head first and it gave me a healthy way to spend my time. It also provided me with a community who understood my artistic and athletic tendencies– which gave me the true support I had been craving. This world that I had fallen into created a path for me to explore who I was, and I finally had a goal to pursue. I left my hometown to go to a circus school in another country, as is common for a performer who is serious about their circus career. During my time at school, my bond with my community became stronger and the people around me were working on their career as hard as I was. I naturally began to eat enough food to fuel my intensive workouts. I was not surrounded by toxic people anym...
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