Age Change: Univer-SOUL Circus

Last weekend I went to the Univer-Soul Circus with my niece. She’s gone every year since my sister moved out of state. I haven’t been to this event since I was her age. It has been 20 years! Now while I don’t recall faces and acts I do remember certain parts of the show; motorcycled in the sphere, elephants, tigers and lots of clowns in a tiny car. Those things are memorable. I remembered my excitement and the looks on my faces as I saw them on hers. But this outing made me think about the changes that have come with age and adulting.

Sitting in the stands 20 years later at the circus. I really was entertained. Aside from my allergies got haywire due to the animal smells, heat and more underneath the Big Top, I was laughing, smiling, dancing, and even crying at one point. Among all of those great feelings worry and sadness did creep in. Not in a depressing kind of way, but just in a feeling sort of way.

First emotion that hit hard, sadness. When the “trainer” Naom I believe his name was had the camels and zebras running and dancing and others did tricks and stunts on moving horses and had dogs come out to perform I could not stay in enjoyment. My mind continuously wondered about the treatment of the animals. While I did notice some moments where the humans showed great affection to the animals, I still thought about the restrictions. I became angry when I saw a little dog walk off stage after a grand performance and receive ONE treat! What is this? Why couldn’t I thoroughly enjoy it? I tried hard to portray that I did so my niece wouldn’t worry or ask questions that I know I couldn’t lie about.

Second, the dare devil type stunts. Now I know folks in the circus are talented, highly skilled and possibly trained AND they do it often and get paid for it. BUT I cannot share with you all how many times my heart stopped, afraid someone would fall or get hurt. Of course that is a part of the show and you cheer wildly when they land a trick, which I definitely did. However, I distinctively remember two times where a trick didn’t go as planned and seeing the performers face of disappointment afterward. I can relate to that all too well. A woman said to be from Russia didn’t land a trick on two moving horses. She seemed noticeably upset immediately after, she said a few things to that ring leader, but of course us in the audience couldn’t hear. Next a guy doing stunts with a group on the tight ropes. He’d done amazing stunts already, but he missed this one. He was visibly upset and it took a moment to bounce back (facially) although he’s partners were cheering him on, like hey man don’t worry about it. I was just thrilled that he did not fall to the ground.

This recognized this feeling from the last time I went to an amusement park. I couldn’t stomach all of the rollercoaster as I once could before. Where did all of that excitement go? Since when was it replaced by worry and anxiety? Was this just apart of age change and being more aware of how life works? Is there a way to get back to the carefree-ness of my youth? I obviously have many questions and not a clue where to begin exploring these things.


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