a cocoon of self-banishment
Hopefully, by now, you've seen "Up in the Air," starring George Clooney and Vera Farmiga. I just watched the film for the second time a moment ago, and I truly feel like I am Ryan Bingham. Oops, allow me to provide the slightest sliver of context. Ryan Bingham, played by Clooney, is a professional "termination engineer" -- hired by companies to relay the message to certain employees that they have been fired. Bingham is great at his job. He has the stomach for human detachment, but through his many travels, he discovers something amiss. He refuses to be weighed down by relationships (family or romantic) because they will, as he says, strain his stress-free, care-free existence. He makes his philosophy no secret. He urges others to view life in the same vein. And yes, I was Ryan Bingham. I felt the same way. I sternly refused to be vulnerable to the effects of another human, so I stayed distant in my interactions with others. No way would I put myself out there with the chance of some schmo stomping my heart into the cold pavement with reckless regard. And, through my recent travels, I also discovered something great was amiss. Now, I am determined not return to those old ways but to embrace the opportunity of a luminous future. Forging relationships with others and sharing yourself with others makes life grand.
Good luck in your travels.