After a week of revelry in Glasgow, it was back to home and hearth the gone Thursday and funnily enough I wasn't feeling as up beat as I thought I would after the much enjoyed break. Blame it on holiday withdrawal or the specter or days mundane and predictable, here i was back in city staring at the endless list of applications to be filled out and some interviews to be attended, so on and so forth.
In a state of mind not so happy and upbeat I headed to a friendly neighbourhood cinema to watch a film in the hopes of getting a few laughs. The film of choice was the George Dish Clooney starrer Up in the air. Those who have missed it, please go watch it. It is as real as reality can get on screen. But I am not here to exalt the gorgeousness that is Clooney or how the role of a dapper “career transition professional” suits him better than as that of a Man who stared at goats. Pointless exercise i say...
Anyhoo. Other than the gorgeousness that is Clooney and Vera Farmiga's brilliant performance, the movie induced an epiphany or sorts... two to be exact, while it played on screen. I guess these resonated the loudest as they related quite closely to a couple of important events in my life.
Of men, marriage and expectations:T he first was when 30-something Alex (played by the beautiful Vera Farmiga) and Anna Kendrick's 23-year-old Natalie compare notes on what they look in a man worth marrying. Natalie rattles of a list of qualifications that 'fits the bill' of the perfect guy (for her): White collar. college grad, loves dogs, six foot one, likes funny movies, brown hair, kind eyes, works in finance, out-doorsy with a single syllable name, like Matt or Dave... and so it went. Compared to this was Alex's very thoughtful utterances of someone who is taller than her, earns more money than her (something she says makes sense when one's older) as the other way can create a mess in the marriage, has hair , enjoys her company, has hair (though not a deal breaker), loves..likes kids ... and a nice smile. Simple yet doable and oh-so-boring and un-romantic.
Makes you wonder how expectations go south as we grow older. Please don’t get me wrong; I don’t believe that this is a bad thing because one thing that I have learnt is not to expect the moon. Keeping them realistic has been the key for me (And I learnt this lesson just a couple of years back). Which is not to say you sacrifice your ambitions... far from it… the idea is to learn to expect the essential… which of course is different for different people… but I digress.
Back to the movie
Some may wonder, as Natalie did, if Alex’s list of expectations was akin to compromising, in other words a failure.
Alex to Natalie: You see settling as a failure... but when the right guy comes along it won't feel like settling.
Couldn't help but mentally nod in agreement. Till not long before I got married I had resisted the age old "wisdom" of making compromises in marriage. I fought the notion tooth and nail vowing not to fall in that trap. And when it was time to tie the knot, I did have to make several adjustments. Only that they didn't seem as daunting as I had made them out in my head. It wasn't as if I didn't struggle with my demons but having made the choices as I did, today I can comfortably say, these were sensible decisions that led to some happy times.
The second scene in the movie that struck a chord was when Clooney's character tells a man who he is firing that this may be the time to seize the opportunity to do what he really wanted.
"How much did they pay you to give up your dreams? At what point were you going to stop and go back to what makes you happy?" Not every body gets this opportunity... chance of a rebirth..
Made me want to quit my job right there and then (if I had one, i.e)! So I sat wondering could this phase in my life be my opportunity to chase my dreams? Getting down to doing what I claim I wanted to all this while. Isn't that what most of us do. Swap a personal ambition for "sensible" things. Before you think i am advocating quitting your job so that you can go "read a book as you go travelling the world" let me clarify that i am not. What the scene essentially said was when life gives you lemons... well make nimboo paani. I just liked this packaging so much better. Hopefully I will soon be on my way to doing things I thought I couldn’t or I should but didn’t. Wish me luck folks. So as I go figuring out if I want my lemonade sweet or salty or a mix of both, you go think about how you plan to do what you always want to do (even if it's a hobby). And those smug buggers who are already there, more power to you!