I am from a traditional/non-traditional Chinese American family.
I was talking with a girlfriend the other night, discussing our families and all the activities parent’s plan for their kids. The insane schedules, the constant running around. Reminded me of all the stuff my mom used to rush us around to all the time. Just the thought of it all was incredibly exhausting.
With mom always rushing us all over the place, activity to activity, once in a while we ended up at the circus and then this one time mom had planned specifically for dad to take to McDonalds.
Every time we had to go to the circus two things would happen:
- I would mentally prepare for all the funky smells I was about to confront and I would not let them get the better of me. I would control my compulsion to want to throw up, because mentally, I wouldn’t allow the poop to win.
- I wouldn’t let those clowns see my fear of them.
Then one day, dad announces that he is taking me to McDonalds. I remember he was very upbeat and I didn’t quite understand why, but I was happy that my dad was taking me somewhere and that I had him all to myself.
I also loved McDonalds. Mom was very strict and rarely ever let us have fast-food, but we were allowed a few times a year.
We order our food and sit down. Dad smiles and says, “There’s your friend mommy wanted you to see”.
Caught off-guard, I turn around all excited, it was Ronald McDonald, a clown, I have never felt fear rush through my blood in such a violently horrifying manner. It was terrible and I didn’t have my Pre-Circus Meditation to prepare me, I was put on the spot, I had to think quick. For some reason I didn’t want dad to see my fear, because I was so happy being with him, so in my most composed version of “freaked the fuck out” I don’t ask, I tell dad, that we need to take the food to go. He looked so confused and his proud smile of taking me to see my “friend” turned to complete confusion. I couldn’t even eat my food at the McDonalds when Ronald was there, I had to get out and I had to get out fast…
Brings me to today… I realize that most the people I meet have caused this kind of reaction in me, but it’s only after their masks fall off.
Most of the time, as we get older, we overcome our fears, but I realized my gutted intuition of clowns never dissipated and was in a strange way, always kind of “fresh” and exhaustingly dancing around me. It’s this strange energy that lurks and I’m always blithely aware of the fact that I never quite know when it might meet me around the bend next.
I woke up this morning and realized my Anxiety of Clowns was more of a foreshadowing of how most people are in life and more than ever, people can be the scariest kinds of Clowns, life is a circus, sometimes it’s a show, sometimes its a tragedy, most of the time’s beautiful, but one constant life has taught me is that most people are clowns, disguised as people, but at some point, the make-up comes off every clown.
It’s not actually the clown that is scary, it is the person, behind the make-up. People are scary. Especially people with agendas.
It’s as though my childhood intuition was actually a foreshadowing for how adulting would be nothing more than maneuvering through a circus of clowns.