I’m almost finished with chapter 13 of book three, which means only one more to go. Once I’m through with 13, the final one will be much easier to write because it’s not so intense. Last night, the enormity of finally finishing this book hit me and nearly overwhelmed me. I was truly a different person when I began writing the first chapter. My life revolved around being a father and provider. Today, while being a father is still my focal point, the reality is that I live alone, and the intense roller-coaster ride of these last three years has forever changed the person I am.
In some ways, those changes are for the better. I now see that a person cannot change no matter how much they hope for it; some wounds are too deep to heal. I also understand more clearly that love and compatibility are too different things, and love alone is not enough to sustain a relationship. From the separation from my kids, I have learned just how much inner strength I have. Unless you have endured that pain, you cannot understand it, and while there have been times that I’ve wanted to lay down and quit, my inner resolve has not allowed me to. That’s good to know about myself.
Not all of the changes are for the better. I am a somewhat colder person than before. My trust is damaged. I have less patience for people’s bullshit. I am much more angry and bitter.
When I look back at who I was 32 months ago when I started this book, the distance feels enormous, but here I am writing the climactic scene exactly as I envisioned it. I can’t believe the fruit didn’t rot on the vine. When I do finally finish the rough draft of this manuscript, I will celebrate, and then I will go get my kids and play with them for a couple of weeks. No matter what else, I am a blessed man.