Inspiration at the Mission: “I’m Fine, Thanks”

Kristina and I paid off all of our debt in 2011. Save for our home, we have no loans. We have worked very hard to become more self-sufficient (stop paying people to do things we could learn to do ourselves) and to seek out simplicity by eliminating unnecessary indulgences (cable tv, gym, etc.). We also sold a bunch of our rarely-used stuff to pay off our debt. We did this so that we could pursue our true passions and begin this Free Range Quest. Because of our hard work, our brilliant Realtor and our kick-ass mortgage broker we are lucky to have home equity and a very low mortgage rate. Now the real fun begins.

Over the weekend we were lucky to slap on our uniforms and attend the world premiere of a film that identifies many tough questions and struggles that we have faced — and that we see others grappling with every day.

I’m Fine, Thanks, follows a crew of five as they travel the country over six weeks, interviewing more than 60 people about choices, the paths in life they have followed, “ultimately, that moment when people realize the life they’re living is not the one that’s true to their heart – and what they decide to do about it,” according to a press release.

I found out about this first feature-length documentary by Crank Tank Studios while scrolling through an assignment desk email about a month ago.

What I didn’t know, is that my wife had already contributed to the film’s Kickstarter and was trying to contact them via Free Range Quest. We were both instantly struck by the powerful and familiar themes of the movie trailer.

The assignment desk inbox is a bottomless, pitch black well of information from the corners of the earth. It is not hard for drops to slip through one’s fingers, but their marketing subject line pitch of “Documentary featuring Portland residents has world premiere in town on July 7” caught my eye.

Once I began to absorb the message and the subject of the film, I began to get that buzz of inspiration, the spark of passion.

Something we believe whole-heartedly is that when you align yourself towards what you want, soon it will seemingly start coming towards you. I knew that the chances of the skeleton weekend news crews covering this “feature-y” story on a Saturday were slim. I contacted the filmmakers anyway. Fortunately, Producer Adam Baker, Director Grant Peelle and Production Coordinator Joan Otto were happy to provide us with press credentials.

“I can’t believe how coincidental/cosmically aligned/just plain awesome it is that you and your wife have an undertaking that is so in line with the goals of this film – and that my release reached you,” Otto said.

Baker said he came up with the idea for I’m Fine, Thanks while writing for a blog about getting out of debt. The implications of many financial decisions the average American makes were obvious motivations of many subjects in the film.

Feeling as though we need to live a certain prescribed life, “the babe, the boat the bucks,” as one subject put it, work for decades at a job (presumably for someone else) until retirement (and only then pursuing our true dreams) seems to be a common theme for many people across the United States.

Walking into the darkness of the movie house from a hot, sunny Portland afternoon, we found out we were among the first to arrive at the Mission Theater in Portland for the screening. The sold-out event filled up quickly and as the intro to the film rolled, I knew this was going to touch a raw emotional nerve.

“Don’t start crying, Dave,” Kristina whispered.

“Oh, there’s going to be crying!” I’m far too much of an emotional sap (like my father).

The film’s subjects are far from feeling “fine.” Their bare emotions as they share their tug-of-war between appreciating what they have and mourning the loss of their innermost dreams is arresting. The stories were largely focused on people arriving at the question “why?” Why have they been living a certain way? Why do they feel so stuck? Why haven’t they followed their dreams? I’m Fine, Thanks is sure to leave any viewer looking inward and asking, “What are you waiting for?”… And yes, crying.

As Free Range Quest, we are also passionate about the “How?” We’re hoping there’s a sequel that can share more in-depth the stories of those who have broken free of that crippling cycle of complacency to make a change and strive for happiness. We want to see more about how they did it and how it has changed their lives.

For now, we are going to share how making a change in our own lives has propelled us into a life that is inspiring, hopeful, and exciting for us — and continue to join up with like-minded people who feel free to leave complacency behind and take control of their own happiness.

-D & K, Free Range Quest

MOVIE TRAILER – I’m Fine, Thanks

Intro to world Premiere with Grant Peelle


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