“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”
C S Lewis did not say, or write these words. But as fictitious, misattributed quotes you find on the Internet go, it’s a good one. And when you find yourself about to hit 40 and consumed with the irrational desire to go to circus school, you’ll take all the justification you can get.
Circus is seductive. Started on a whim, I’ve been doing aerial classes for over a year and though my progress can be glacially slow – straddle ups, will you elude me always? – I love it enough not to have ever considered giving up. The kids are both at school, and though I’m scrapping together freelance work it feels like I could have some time to devote to something… so why not a BTEC Diploma in Circus Arts and Physical Theatre? The cliche about not getting any younger feels truer than ever, yet perhaps because I AM old enough to know better it feels like such an indulgence, so much like something I shouldn’t be doing, I find myself getting unexpectedly emotional as I relay this all down the phone to the course co-ordinator. She listens, and tells me about the reservations she had when deciding to give up a ‘normal’ job to teach circus instead. I try not to blub.
“Go through the process, do the application, take it from there,” she says. “And for what it’s worth… I’ve never regretted running away with the circus.”