Sometimes, when you’re doling out advice to someone else, you get your own moment of clarity that is so completely simple, you can’t imagine how you’ve missed it.
The other day, I used the phrase, “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys,” with a friend. It’s an old Polish proverb, widely shared on the Internet these days, that simply means – “not my problem.” Except with monkeys.
The problem is, sometimes you think you are stuck in the tent. You sit there, with the noise of the organ and flashing lights and the chaos of three rings that are out of control and no Ringmaster and you realize, this is not my circus. You look at the ticket you’ve been gripping in your hand that is torn and wrinkled and faded and stained and realize the tent is, too.
You are not stuck in the tent. It’s just time to build a new one.
Though you’d like to grab a hammer right now, tents aren’t built in a day, you realize. The one you want may take a year, or even eighteen months, but yours will be spectacular. Not without work, or hardship, but spectacular. Yours will have color and light and joy. It means assembling a special troupe, even if you don’t know who will still be there. It means getting fitted for a Ringmaster uniform. Tall hat, gold buttons, riding crop, and boots.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages… It is time to build a tent.