This week was my birthday. Because it was on a Tuesday, and because we're trying to watch our finances, it was, outwardly, less-festive than some birthdays I've had. No presents to unwrap, balloons, fancy meals.
But the outpouring of loving messages I received on this day, I think, surpassed my wildest dreams. Cards, emails, Facebook posts. People took time to tell me how much they cared about me, what I'd meant to them in their lives. The children made me handmade cards. My group of Russian wives brought me flowers and chocolates, there were hugs and kisses and affirmations. It was really quite overwhelming, and beautiful, and all of this meant more to me than any packaged gifts could have.
Facebook deserves a lot of credit for this. I have 298 friends on Facebook. Most of them are not people I see regularly - many of them I haven't seen for years and years. And yet, with FB, I feel like they are part of the complex web of my life, still connected to me by threads of the past. Even better, I keep up-to-date on their lives and take the time to reach out, once in a while, with more personal messages. Birthdays produce a flood of greetings; they're an invaluable chance to remember all these people, and where they fit into my history.
Hearing from people at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts was especially touching. There are so many people there now who began as my students, and have gone on to become amazing artists in their own right, doing things I'd never even dreamed of! They tell me how circus has changed them, and immediately I'm brought back to my own feelings about Circomedia. Circomedia did that for me. It truly changed what I understood of my capabilities and my identity. And even now I think back to those first teachers - Bim, Jackie, Julie, Rod, Helen - with appreciation and even reverence. To think, now, that I am giving something of this experience to others!! It boggles the mind. It makes me think that I have already accomplished something immensely important in my life. I could die happy. And yet... there is still so much more to do! When I am back to my job there, and helping more and more people to achieve their dreams through circus arts, then I will really feel like I am doing my life's work.