I re-watched this movie today. More because of George Clooney and a little because I kind of relate to it. So the movie deals with this HR consultant who works for a firm which handles downsizing of organisations. He seems to be the typical I am a smart guy, I don't need anyone to take care of me, I'm just having a care free existence type and the last thing I want to do is settle or get married. There's also the young girl who he gets burdened with mentoring.
She's just out of school and has all these ideas with which she wants to revolutionize the world. He is someone who understands the industry, cold-blooded or not, and does not agree with the changes completely. They go through quite a ride interacting with each other. it glamourizes the whole living out of the suitcase, being so career driven that you don't have a home to go to but all the hotels and travel industry people seem to love you.
However, here's the part which I relate to, not that I'm flying around every few days but I seem to be on the way there. I've earned my degree, I have a good job, since I am in the services industry there is huge scope for travel and customer interaction in the future as I grow and I pick up things fast so hopefully that will be very soon. All this excites me. But there is the flip side. I) live away from my family, so far away in fact that even if I get leave for a week, the best option to get to them fast and give them most of my time is by flight. I see most of my friends settled or on the verge of settling down. And these days this includes kids 2-3 years younger to me and there is absolutely no one out on the horizon even for me. Most of my thoughts from the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep and quite often even when I fall asleep, revolve around meeting the next deadline.
And I think this is characteristic of most people who have struggled to get a good education. They want to make sure all that effort doesn't go to waste. That they do end up making a difference to the world. They are full of ideas and want to see them come to life. But at what expense? Where is the balance between their work and personal life? Is it lost "Up in The Air"? And this was actually what came to my mind on watching this movie. Where does one draw the line? For someone who has been taught to live by targets and once those are achieved reach for higher ones, does the quest for more ever end? Are we just being greedy?
Another line which caught my attention " I do not mind being married to my job, I know it's not going to hold me while I sleep in my bed, but I don't want to settle" I do not want to settle. I want to get everything I deserve, everything I work for. I do not want to be in a certain place just because its the right time to be there. The right people and place matter just as much. but what if that never happens? And what if in search of this perfect Shangri-La all the not so perfect but almost there opportunities also walk away forcing me to eventually settle anyways. And that's when I wish there was someone who could look at me and tell me this is what is going to happen to you, if you do this with absolute certainty the future scares me, the fact that the friends I was used to leaving behind are now leaving me behind in life scares me. Its not the race I'm referring to here, it's my life and there isn't much going right in it right now and that scares me.
I had once foolishly/naively answered the question what's your biggest fear with a bold "Nothing!" A few years later a slightly more aware version of me answered the question with that "I will die alone." I am sitting today at a stage where I have finally realized I was wrong both the times, my biggest fear is that "I will live alone. "