a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Here’s a prediction with good news and bad news: In the next few years, more people will lose their employment. The potential good news: More people will be finding meaningful, fulfilling work in self-employed or freelance work. Accordingly, lifestyles may change to accommodate the changes, but many people will find more fulfillment, more creativity and more meaning in those changes as well.

And, if you believe in it, in yourself, and do the work, something – anything – can happen.

An example of this just came my way….I once knew a clown named Bounce. Seriously. I met him in Key West. He had an act called, Locomotion, and his talent as a gymnast and juggling, unicycle-riding provided his living through street performances then. He was committed to this work and way of life in a way then foreign to my 21yo self, who was just taking a year off from college to fool around.

He lived in a busy household on the street where I shared an efficiency apartment with two friends. We connected in some unlikely way and I’m grateful, for it was Bounce who kept me out on the straight and narrow by modeling a lifestyle far more intoxicating than the partying being done by my peers at that time.

It was a life filled with many creative, artistic people moving through it – beyond my current imagination. It also involved exercise, whole food, peacefulness, and yes, hard work. We ran to the beach every morning. He worked on his juggling routines by day and performed at the pier in the evenings while I went to my restaurant job. It was a magical time that ended too quickly but I believe it permanently influenced me in more ways than I knew.

I eventually went back to school in the Midwest, thinking once again about a career in journalism and put the seemingly wild island days behind me. Time to get serious, I told myself.

Well, I didn’t end up too serious, but I did end up sincerely pursuing work that moved me. I did remember the passion and happiness that moved through the people I knew on the island…I knew I wasn’t going to settle for less than that.

And Bounce? I looked him up just the other day — 20+ years later — he still lives in Key West and is still juggling. He has a wife, OooLaLa, who performs with him. They have a son who still tours with them during the Summer break from school. They teach juggling throughout the year. They never, even for a moment, gave up on their artist’s Way. Namaste to both of them. Thanks for the inspiration and confirmation.

Some of us will be forced into it kicking and screaming, but we do have a path emerging through these chaotic times. It’s not one without bumps and bruises but it is one that can set us free.

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2 Responses to “”

  1. Roger Hartsell Says:


  2. phyllisdiehl Says:

    welcome back,,,you were missed…loved your article today. i wish it was as easy for people like Bounce. a life style of meaning… good is that. thanks for sharing, and again welcome, you ae always missed this reader.

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