Updated: May 8
SKAGWAY, ALASKA - Alaska is America's last frontier, it's the last unexplored state in our union. Unexplored isn't the word I want to use here, I think the word I'm looking for is untamed.
The older I get, the more I realize how amazing my father is, and how hard he works. He never fails to put his best foot forward. I realize the challenges that he overcame puts him in an elite category, he has allowed me to see the world before I have go in it.
Untamed can be defined as "not domesticated or otherwise controlled." It's hard to control Alaska and her wilderness, the wild nature of the state is the first thing that jumps out at you. You can watch as many documentaries and look at as many pictures as possible, but you won't fully understand what I mean unless you've been there, been in it.
I always felt I was prepared for anything, no matter what's been placed in front of me, I've handled it well. Transitioning from my public middle school to Cathedral, transitioning from high school to college, and then I even made what seemed to be a pretty smooth transition from college into the "real world".
My favorite day of the Alaskan adventure was a day in which our cruise ship stopped in Skagway, Alaska. It was a small town, I love small towns, like tiny Mount Vernon, Indiana where my mother and her family comes from. But this town was A LOT smaller, Mount Vernon has an estimated population of around 6500, while Skagway has around 1000 residents.
As I began to land my personal spacecraft onto the surface of real world, I soon said to myself, "wow, I've seen all of this before, I've even seen a lot of you people before, I actually KNOW who you are." I hadn't been the first one in my family to see this. My father had made connections here in Indianapolis from the time he was my age (24 if anyone was wondering).
We walked to the center of town and boarded a bus, I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to see. My dad actually had very little interest in what we'd be doing that day. He had booked the excursion just for me, it was a Yukon Discovery and history tour, right up my alley. There's simply no way my dad can stay awake for this.
The connections that he made years ago were beginning to benefit me, as he knew they would. Just as I felt as I was figuring things out, I began to understand that my dad had been working to figure them out for me a few decades ago.
So we're off, the bus begins winding up the mountain side and our cell service begins to wind down. I could see snow covered mountains in the distance, and lakes that were glowing green, almost as if they were florescent. I saw mountainsides scorched from wildfires, and I saw mountainsides jumping with life (mountain goats). This wild was full of peace.
Now, I'm in it. In the "real world", so they say. I've seen my father navigate through the world in such a way that he made me yearn to do it. Even as much as I love football, I was so enamored with my dad's work that I wanted to be more like him than any football player I'd ever come across.
The bus continues on Alaska's open road as my dad's eyes are, as I had predicted, beginning to close. The bus crosses into Canada, my dad is sleep, but he doesn't care. As long as his son gets to see these new places, that's good enough for him.
I'm in the world for the first time. Originally, I was going to work directly for my dad, but then I realized it'd be better if I saw some of this world on my own. I knew that I could always call my dad to help talk me through a situation if need be, because he had been here before, he had seen this before.
Hopefully, you've looked at a few of the pictures I've shared throughout this article. If you haven't, go look, because the scenery is about to change. The scenery always changes.
My first job was awesome, and I met a lot of great people and built a lot of great relationships.
The scenery always changes. Just as I thought the grass around me couldn't get any greener, we arrived at a DESERT, the Carcross Desert, which is known as the smallest desert in the world. I took my shoes off and I ran through this unexpected land of sand. My father woke up. He wanted to see where I had gone.
The scenery changed for me towards the end of September, I entered a desert. I took off my shoes and began playing a little bit. I wanted to get a feel for where I'm at in my life.
I ran across the desert and then back onto the bus, I asked my dad where we were headed next. He looked at me and responded, "you'll just have to wait until you get there," and then he was quickly back to sleep.
The past few weeks I've been quietly freelancing, any marketing needs that you need, from websites, to graphic designs, to video, social media campaigns, I can do it all. I AM OPEN FOR BUSINESS!! I'm trying to get a good feel for working for myself.
My eyes were fixated on my surroundings as we kept pushing up the mountains. I liked where I was at, even though I had no idea where I was going.
I like where I'm at even though I don't know where I'm going. My dad reminds me to remain patient, but to remain disciplined, to keep going up the mountain. I don't even know where I'm going, but I'll figure that out once I get there.
Thank you for everything Dad.
And to all the Through2Eyes supporters, thank for your patience with me, I'm still going up, just been trying to navigate through this new frontier.