Boldly existing outside the box through conscious living and constant learning.
Often I sit and think about the path my life was on before you. I am taken back to a time when thoughts of service, compassion, legacy, and the pursuit of things that matter where not even within the bounds of my vocabulary. A time when money, “things”, and a predisposed path were all I knew. I see a young man guided by the lust for more and the faulty notion that to be happy was to be what others wanted me to be. Safely in my cozy box of comfort and complacency I was content living out my days in the middle; a destiny of average awaiting my frivolous attempts at life. That person died when you showed me a new way.
You softly took my hand not with anger or frustration, but with gentle guidance, showing me the light of a new path. You took me to a place where this life was worth much more, where I would be measured by my positive impact on the world I so stubbornly avoided. The transformation of that young, naive, narrow-minded boy into the man I am today was, and is, because of you. Unboxed Life is because of you.
My destiny is found because of you.
Each day and with each action, word, and gentle nudge you allow me to open up my mind and find the path that is uniquely mine. Without preconception or expectation you are always there, supporting, encouraging, empowering. This life is not easy. The path we have chosen is not always comfortable and is never benign. But with grace and love you lead me toward the true purpose of my existence and the life’s work that will live on long after we have both left this place. Without you this man would not be and this life would be wasted.
I know things aren’t always easy, I am not always easy. Remnants of that boy we left behind sometimes creep into the present like a thick fog over a morning hillside, covering that which we have worked so long and hard to build. In those moments the light and warmth of your heart are all that break through the haze and lead me back to the true and right path.
Your immense patience, your uncompromising ambition, your unwavering dedication to open-mindedness, service, and compassion are unparalleled in anyone I have ever met. I have realized that, no matter the unlikely path we walked to this place, you are the one who shows me who I am even when I cannot see.
As we continue down the pathway we have sometimes reluctantly chosen, I know that I have much to learn about my place in this world and what this life means to live. For all the uncertainty and ambiguity that is so prevalent in the life we have chosen one thing remains constant…
Even for the challenges and resistance, the loneliness and the misunderstanding that comes with choosing an unconventional life, I would not trade it for all the riches in all the worlds. And most of all I can say, without hesitation or indecision, that without your guiding hand I would not be here.
To my best friend, my confidant, my loudest cheerer and my biggest supporter, to my heart, my mind, my soul and my being, I say thank you from the bottom of the heart you created and the life you helped build. I love you and promise to spend my life striving to be the same for you.
All photos: Taken by Tanner Colton all rights reserved