You know what? I’m not fine, and I haven’t been “fine” for a while…I think we all know at least that much. A few months ago when I saw the Kickstarter campaign and trailer for this documentary I was freaking pumped. It wasn’t long after I got back from Thailand and it seemed to be saying everything that I have been thinking and feeling for over a year now. All the reasons why I went to Thailand and why I’m doing things that don’t make sense to anyone else are all supported by this movie. The trailer also showed a bunch of people that I was already inspired by and following – I first learned of it because I follow Adam at Man vs. Debt and then recognized Steve at Nerd Fitness, Danielle LaPorte, Chris Guillibeau, and Pat at Smart Passive Income being interviewed in the trailer. Sign. Me. Up. I immediately donated and shared the page. I could not wait to see the final product. When it finally arrived, I watched it twice in a row. And I’ve watched it a few more times since then. I can’t say that I was completely blown away by it. The introduction and some of the voice-over seem a little unnatural at times. I also just almost wish it was longer and had more…something. I’m not complaining – I’m not changing the world/lives with any documentaries though and really do recommend it to anyone and everyone. The stories told here are nothing short of inspiring and comforting. Without a doubt, the people chosen for interviews and final cut absolutely made the movie for me. Just like anything else, I’m sure it means different things to different people depending on who they are and where they are in their journey. That said, I hope you will see for yourself – whether you are happy and “fine” with your life or not. We are all connected and are all affected when people around us do things that they don’t enjoying doing. I think that we all need to stop thinking about our lives as a step-by-step process we need to follow(usually to make other people happy). I don’t even want to say it because it is so full of cheese but it is so important to listen to your own heart and not somebody else’s. My favorite quote from the documentary: 

“living a life cut off from your own heart is not really living.”

True that. So what am personally taking away from the documentary?

1. Talk is cheap. Worthless, even. Stop talking and start doing. You have to act like the thing you want to be if you ever want to actually be that. Seriously…in what world can you spend all your time doing something that you don’t even like to do and hope to eventually be doing something else that you actually enjoy doing? It doesn’t work that way. You have to take action. Big action. Fake it till you make it. Be first, do next, THEN have. Ready, fire, aim. Want to be fit? You have to act like and do the things a fit person does. Do it long enough and you will become fit and healthy. Want to live an amazing life? You have to DO amazing things.

2. I’m not alone. Throughout this whole process, I have felt extremely alone in my battle. Like…everyone else has it all figured out and I’m the only one that has no clue what the hell they’re doing. It was comforting to watch these other people saying the same things that I have said and felt. And they are doing/have done wacky things in an effort to change their lives. And it worked. And that the things I’m doing to get through it might seem crazy to some people but to other people it makes perfect sense.

3. I have this sense of gratitude that I am going through this now, at this point in my life. There is one interview with a married couple that bought a school bus and remodeled it – so their family of 8 could live and travel in it. At one point, the wife mentions that she still struggles with what other people think about what they are doing. I can’t imagine going through this with a family and other responsibilities and even more judgement from society about what you “should” be doing with your life. I think I get a pass most of the time because I am a single twenty-something with pretty much zero obligations, and it makes somewhat OK to be selfish and make crazy decisions. I welcome anything that makes this journey just a little bit easier, and have great respect for people who have made changes in their life under much more difficult circumstances.

4. I’m still scared and it pisses me off. Even after my trip to the other side of the world – which could almost be considered a success – I’m still terrified to make another move. Of course, the pain principle and my deep-seated need for change personality will get me there eventually. But what about time and money and other people and blah blah blah. It holds me back and makes me frustrated with myself. All I want is for that fear and insecurity to go away.

5. There probably is no “end” or “there” or “figured out”. A year or so ago when I started this blog I had such an idea in my head that I would one day get to the end of my quarter-life crisis. I would finally get it all figured out and make it there – wherever the hell that is. The more I’m learning and experiencing, the less I think that will happen. And the less I might even want it to. When I think about the things that I want out of this life – adventure, laughter, amazing relationships and family, good health – none of them have an “end” or a “there” and that is why I want them. They exist on a continuum that allows for endless growth and opportunity and excitement and love. Could it be that “figured out” and “there” might actually be things that I don’t want? If I can just learn to embrace the uncertainty, I think I’ll be on to something really good – way above and beyond “fine.”

Ultimately, the documentary is timely for me and the more I look the more I notice other people with the idea that we want more from this life. I came across this excerpt from the Free and Easy Traveler facebook page. I don’t know where they got it, but I saved it and I feel like it is a perfect conclusion.

There’s a common adage that today’s youth doesn’t have a good work ethic – that they don’t appreciate their job, that they aren’t as dedicated and want too much time off. Well what we think is maybe today’s youth has just figured out that their identity is not defined by their career and that their life doesn’t need to be planned within the safe confines of what they’ve been told is ‘normal’. Today’s youth has learned that they can challenge the traditional way to live by exploring – exploring the world and their options on how to live within it. And given the current state of affairs, we think that it’s a good thing that today’s youth are trying to change how things are done. And if they happen to be having one hell of a good time doing it then well, maybe part of the lesson is that everyone just needs to enjoy being alive a little bit more.