Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Baggage Claim

What’s in your backpack?

How much does your life weigh?

Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack.I want you to feel the straps on your shoulders.

Feel them?

Now I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life. 

You start with the little things, the things on shelves and in drawers, the knickknacks, the collectibles. 

Feel the weight as that adds up.

Then you start adding the larger stuff: clothes; tabletop appliances; lamps; linens; your TV.

The backpack should be getting pretty heavy now and you go bigger: your couch, bed, your kitchen table. Stuff it all in there. Your car, get it in there.

Your home, whether it’s a studio apartment or a two-bedroom house. I want you to stuff it all into that backpack.

Now try to walk. It’s kind of hard, isn’t it?
This is what we do to ourselves on a daily basis. We weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move. 

And make no mistake, moving is living.

Now, I’m going to set that backpack on fire.

What do you want to take out of it? Photos? Photos are for people who can’t remember.

Drink some ginko and let the photos burn.

In fact, let everything burn and imagine waking up tomorrow with nothing. It’s kind of exhilarating, isn’t it?

Now, this is going to be a little difficult. So stay with me.

You have a new backpack. Only this time, I want you to fill it with people.

Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office.

Then you move in the people that you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your cousins, your aunts, your uncles, your brothers, your sisters, your parents. 

And finally, your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or your girlfriend. You get them into that backpack.

Don’t worry I’m not going to ask you to light it on fire.

Feel the weight of the bag. Make no mistake, your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. Do you feel the straps cutting into your shoulders? All those negotiations and arguments and secrets and compromises.

You don’t need to carry all that weight.

Why don’t you set that bag down?

Some animals were meant to carry each other, to live symbiotically for a lifetime. Star-crossed lovers, monogamous swans.

We are not those animals.

The slower we move, the faster we die. 

We are not swans. We’re sharks.

This is not me talking, but Ryan Bingham a character George Clooney was born to play in the movie ‘Up in the Air’.He fits into the role as comfortably as he does in the suave suits he is wearing throughout the film.
I’m hoping that when you read the monologue from the film above, you too found yourself answering Ryan’s questions and doing what he asks you to do.

These are not words that I personally choose to live by, in fact I remember watching the film for the first time and thinking to myself, “No, that’s not the right way of approaching life”.

I was however very intrigued by some of the things he says.

I think the basic question here is about what all we tend to carry with us when we go through our lives on a day to day basis.The burden we choose to place on our shoulders.

I want you to think about all the things that are weighing on your mind right now, even as you are reading this post.

Wouldn’t you agree with me that too often we weigh ourselves down by thoughts regarding things that are not really under our control.
Regrets from our past, worries about the future,issues at work, bills that need payment, exam results and scores from matches featuring our favorite teams.If all this isn't enough we also think about other people’s problems. This would make sense if the ones we thought about were friends and family, but we also tend think a lot about celebrity relationship woes and drug problems and so on and so forth.

Maybe you’re set of problems are not the same as the ones listed above, but I’m sure you have your own worries to deal with.

While ‘Carpe Diem’ and ‘Seize the Day Boys’ may seem far fetched sometimes, living in the moment is a reasonable expectation from oneself, wouldn't you agree?

For a moment, turn your thoughts toward only those things that need your individual and immediate attention.

Don’t you feel atleast a little less burdened?

Doesn’t the space you have created for yourself allow you to enjoy a little bit more of your present than you were able to before?

Don’t you feel your drooping shoulders straighten up a little as you let go off everything that is not under your control?

Life is short and unpredictable, we only have a little time here and a significant portion of it is spent on worrying and thinking about things that usually end up taking care of themselves. Trust me, a lot of apparently unsolvable problems in life get sorted out on their own without any assistance from you or from me, its just how the world functions.

We all have baggage that comes in different sizes and shapes, and it is only natural for us to be weighed down by them, it might be easier for some of us compared to the others to empty our backpack off all the stuff that we dont really need and move on with our lives. For the rest of us, here's the best part, if we have good friends whom we can lean on and share our burdens with, the weight becomes a lot more easier to bear.

Until next time

TGV