I Ran Away & Joined The Circus…Almost

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Carrousel 2014 © Stephen Bruno

When I was a child around six or seven years old, a large circus came to town. Somehow, I found my way to the fairgrounds and spent the day talking to the owner and various circus performers. Aside from some potential manipulations and harm that I did recognize may exist but did not feel threatened by, I decided to run away with the circus when they left town.

My home life included some challenging and abusive situations so I figured the circus could not be worse and might offer some promise of better times. Either way, I knew it would be an adventure. What I was too young to comprehend was that this could be a life transition.

I ran all the way home, collected a few small belongings, and then as I was walking out the door my older brother physically stopped me and ultimately kept me from joining the circus when it left the next day. My brother or any family member for that matter rarely paid much attention to what I did. Not even when I roamed the streets of East Los Angeles most nights and early mornings as I had my own bedroom door to exit out to an alley. It is ironic my brother would stop me at this time.

I always wondered how my life would have evolved had I run away and joined the circus. Nevertheless, I was not at a loss for many other adventures throughout my life including recruitment into a gang and later a tour of duty in Vietnam.

Life transitions play a significant and often meaningful time in our lives. Each transition whether it is running away, moving, beginning or ending a relationship, health crisis, picking a college major or selecting a career, generally offers an adventure.

There is no escaping our life transitions. Most of the time in hindsight, we would not want to. Transitions are all about change. Change is all about life. How we choose to embrace the changes determines what we bring to our life and those we touch.