Up in the Air

How much does your life weigh?

This was a question posed by the always-gorgeous George Clooney during “Up in the Air” – which by some twist of fate, I am watching while up in the air, aboard American Airlines, en route to Los Angeles.

By another twist of fate, I am viewing this movie — which centers around Clooney as a downsizing specialist — the day after being downsized myself.

And while, in classic Aly-self-loathing, this would normally result in pressing the call button and getting myself an airplane bottle of Chardonnay, I have to say things are looking up, up here.

When the “How much does your life weigh?” – question was asked, I was getting a fairly pleasurable view of the sunrise, and realizing the significance of this question weighed against (irony in terms again), the dawn of the new day. Clooney is speaking about how outside commitments — relationships, ties, compromises we make with ourselves — are what weighs us down. (Imagine putting everyone and everything in your life in a backpack…then try to walk with it.) The lightness of being — being only responsible for yourself — is what he saw as the ideal in his motivational speeches.

It’s a fairly existential way of looking at life, but it — for many of us — is timely. As of yesterday, for the first time in my life, I am untethered by what other people tell me to do. I finally have gotten the “swift kick” (as a close friend called it) – to follow my dreams, and do what I should have been doing all along. I have my own site, I am writing about what I believe, and what I choose — and it can never be dangled over my head because it’s mine. I woke up today feeling more inspired and creative than I have in my entire memory, and I knew, it was because now, I was working for me. For my dreams. For my goals.

I, like many women, have a tendency to tie my worth in making the people around me happy and secure. I give gifts, I bake cookies — and yet at the same time, I always feel guilty and unworthy asking for anything. When you do everything to please everyone around you, ultimately you look up and realize there ain’t no one pleasing you, and your own needs and goals have become second-fiddle. Not to them, but to yourself. (But maybe, to them too.)

So, it’s the dawn of a new day, and I’m traveling light — thank you, Mr. Clooney – all the way to LIVE BLOG the Oscars for Samsung. (Hey, I bet I’ll run into George there…)


6 Responses to “Up in the Air”

  1. 1 Candice
    March 6, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Beautifully said Aly girl!
    What a difference a day makes.

  2. 2 amy
    March 6, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful. I am really proud of you and support each and every one of your goals. Congratulations on launching your site!

  3. March 7, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I am so jazzed for you, Aly! No one deserves to travel lightly more than you do! Amazing things are right around the corner…and be sure to get George’s autograph when you see him 🙂

  4. 4 Lauren
    March 12, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    LOVE this post. Just saw this movie for the first time last night and thought it was quite tragic- but love how you took it and turned it into something so positive and motivating. Thanks for always inspiring! xo

  5. March 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    wow that is exactly how I feel… but i don’t think I have the courage to do what I want… actually I’ve never had an idea what I wanted.

  6. April 1, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    I enjoyed this post. I’m glad that you have the courage to pursue your own thing – it sounds liberating!

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