Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Up In the Air and Standing on the Edge

I finally watched Up in the Air last week after I heard so many good things about it. I knew it'd be one of those movies that would leave you thinking for a long while and I'm glad I was right.

Without spoiling the plot for those who haven't seen it, it's centered around Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) who spends most of his time in airports flying around the country firing people. His life is the independent dream - be on your own, march to your own drum and have no cares or worries while getting paid.

It's also lonely. The solitary life of a man detached from reality in the pursuit of his dream while helping people recover from being snapped into reality. Everything makes sense to him and not to anybody else on the outside like us.

That hit me on a few levels. I'm a person of comfort who can embrace change but ends up sinking right back into my routine. I do what makes sense and if it works, I'll enjoy it and ride it out. At the same time, I'm slowly waking up from this dream job people see for me and realizing the end is near. I don't know what's next.

There's a scene in the end where Bingham is told "You don't know what you want." Here he was trying to finally make some sense in his life and he ends up lost, confused and bewildered. Am I there right now? Yes because I've never made sense of my life after I got from under the college blanket.

To quote Kidz in the Hall, school was my hustle. It was the only thing I knew and worked hard for - not a career but rather a sense of accomplishment. I wanted the degree and at the same time, I didn't know what I'd do with it besides be a great writer who studied how media worked.

I felt like a test tube baby of great skill that everyone rooted for and said could do anything - except anything wasn't something specific.

Now I'm at a crossroads of my life and I have to figure out what I'm going to do next with it. Like Ryan Bingham, my sense of stability is ending and all I'm left with is a dream of doing better with no direction. And I definitely don't want to be like Bingham at the end of the movie.

So what am I doing? Taking a chance - a huge risk of freedom that puts me exactly where I was four years ago. Back at square one but glad for the peace of mind it brings. I've tried to make sense of being single and being in my city with most people that I talk to living outside of it. Now, I feel like it's time to just go out and kick myself in the rear.

Up in the Air, Standing on the Edge of something new. I've been scared to dive but this year, it's time to jump before I get sick of being stagnant.

Midway through the movie, Bingham and his young protege have to fire someone who doesn't go along with the spoon-fed speech. Bingham asks the man about following his dream - something he gave up to make more money at this current job. As sad as he was to be fired, he slowly gets encouraged to rediscover his passion which could endear him more to his children. Being fired went from a curse to a blessing in disguise.

If you liked Juno, you'll enjoy this movie - call it a midlife crisis version with George Clooney and Vera Farmiga playing their roles with excellent nuance and crisp dialogue. It'll make you think on several levels and have you wonder about life. I know it did for me and right now, its another sign that taking this chance for my next step is worth it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you liked that movie-- I LOVED it. It made me think too... and those are the best kinds of movies.

    I think you'll do great in anything you do, Evan. You put enough thought into things, so I say just trust your gut and always do what is best for YOU because you only have one life. It would suck to not live it to your full potential. :)