It’s been a month now since Judge Camiletti hit his gavel and ended that chapter in my life. Problem is, I still have a ton of questions, and I doubt everything I’ve done. I’ve talked to several folks about these ideas and thoughts… and apparently it’s normal.

Actually, it would scare them if I didn’t have doubts and have my own retrospective on what’s happened over the past 2 years.

… in time, I guess, they will resolve themselves and the dust will settle.

I sure as hell hope so, because I have a daughter to raise. She is the Rock Star. The Future.

Even though she’s 8, she already has some of my shittiness engrained. The other day, she threw out a “well, YOU were the one who left mommy…” I ignored it, because I know where it comes from. She’s a passenger in all of this, without control of the wheel.

My job, though, is to make sure that she sees the bigger picture and can grow up with a happy childhood. That’s my goal. I want her to grow up as a happy kid. This was a stepback in her childhood, I realize that. I chose it, and it’s a decision I will bear and own for the rest of my life.

But, over the past 2 years, she’s heard me called every name in the book. I’ve been slammed, berated, and belittled right in front of her.

And yet she thrives. She sees and understands what’s going on. She still wants to be with me. She still wants to talk. She still opens up.

Her fears. Her triumphs. Her goals. Her beliefs. Her loves. Her hates. I still get to hear them all. And for that, I am truly blessed to be trusted and loved enough to hear them.

That’s why this next chapter in my life will be called “Emma” – it’s going to be all about her. I’ll be there within the pages, sharing my lil’ adventures along the way. But, this part is going to be about HER. Afterall, she IS the Rock Star.

In the meantime, this Chris Stapleton tune is heavy on my playlist… it’s a story about a family coming overseas and planting roots (DEEEEEEEEEP ROOTS) in West Virginia. It’s deep, and really nails the culture of us mountaineers.