Starting something new is rarely easy. You fumble to begin and keep trying until something feels right. For some inexplicable reason, it keeps calling so you pursue it. Whether the path you’ve chosen is correct in the reality of things is up for question but, sooner or later, you have to get off the wall and just begin.

That’s where I am right now with this: King’s Passage. King’s Passage has been floating around in my mind for a few years now. Twelve to be exact. What started as a series of letters to my children has taken on a whole new mission and meaning. Originally, I wanted a way to communicate with my children. I wanted a platform that would capture my voice and help them understand me on a deeper level than just the father figure in their life. I wanted a platform that would bring us closer together.

I think it’s safe to say us fathers carry a different voice than that of our children’s mother. We play a different role and with that comes a different way we relate. Where mothers tend to naturally take on the role of nurturer, we’re often the disciplinarian. In Good Cop, Bad Cop we’re more than likely placed in the role of the latter. Our children often view us as tough and demanding, where mothers are associated with hugs and kisses. Fathers never cry. Fathers are never weak. Fathers are never vulnerable. This has become more of a burden that us dad’s place upon ourselves.

With the arrival of my second and then third child, I stepped deeper into my fatherhood role, causing me to realize exhibiting pretenses of an authoritative father-figure isn’t what I wanted. I wanted a place where I could break down all the walls and say, “Look! Your dad’s a human too!” I wanted a safe place where I could humanize myself to them. This was always my purpose for King’s Passage. This is what I desired originally -and still do -until five years ago when life tossed a wrench in the well-oiled machine that was my life and brought everything to a standstill.

I wanted a place where I could break down all the walls and say, “Look! Your Dad’s a human, too!”

Five years ago, I had what many would consider the “dream life”. I was the lucky one who had virtually everything I could have ever imagined possessing. The perfect wife, the perfect kids, the perfect house, the perfect job. The car, community, friends, finances, travel, my own business- you name it, I had it. I was king of my destiny and nothing was going to derail me. Until out of the blue life did exactly that –derail me. My world as I knew it came to an end and everything around me tumbled down, entombing me in the deepest sadness I had ever known. Fifteen years of hard work shattered with four words, “I want a separation.”

Sleep eluded me for two years. In a few short months, I lost over 20 pounds due to stress. I was a concrete wall on the outside (after all, I had kids and a business to tend to) but on the inside my perfectly patterned life had tumbled into seemingly endless chaos. I lost all feeling of control in my destiny with no light in sight. For two years, life felt like a bad dream playing on repeat. Every day I woke up wondering, “When does this end? When do I wake up from this nightmare?” I was truly at my rock bottom.

Then slowly but surely, it did begin to end. Not all at once like I was hoping, but more like the tide slowly making its way into the shore. Like a sunrise slowly turning a dark night to the brilliant color of dawn. Step by step, I began to rise. As the healing process began, I made a conscious decision: I didn’t want to survive this whole ordeal and go back to who I was before the divorce. I wanted to rise above it all. I wanted to be better. Being better looks different on everyone. For me, being better was forgetting who I had become and returning to who I am. If there is one silver lining that came from this whole ordeal it’s that I was given the opportunity to return to my roots more-or-less, and for me that’s how I came to define success.

That is what King’s Passage is; a place where I can tell my story to my children and anyone who cares to listen. To show that being vulnerable is okay, if not wholly beneficial. There’s a strength in that vulnerability. This is my safe place where I can be vulnerable. Where I can be honest. Where I can be me.

King’s Passage is a place where I can tell my story to my children and anybody who cares to listen

I can only hope that what I have to say will help other individuals make their way through their battles as well. Five years ago, my life changed forever. I’ve come a long way and I’m still healing every day. To be honest, I’ll probably be healing for the rest of my life. Building myself to betterment I guess you could say. However, this time I don’t want to build my way to success in a vacuum. I want to bring my kids along with me. I want to bring friends with me. I want to take other men and women in similar situations along with me. Hopefully, you’ll come along as well.

Before my divorce, I always thought I would be an everyday part of my children’s lives. Never, in my wildest dreams did I think my voice might not be ever present. I always thought I would be there. Now, I’m only physically present 50% of the time as my ex-wife and I share split custody.

I want this space of King’s Passage to be a place where they can always hear me. That if they’re ever missing me, needing me, they can come here and feel me, hear me speak to them. My hope is that as they come to better understand me, they will better understand themselves as well. And if what I have to say strikes a chord with you too in whatever it is you’re going through, I would consider that a happy bonus I didn’t foresee. It makes what I aim to create with King’s Passage that much more meaningful. I’m glad to have you on board. Welcome to my passage.

Macie, Jaedon, Lennox – This is for you.

The soundtrack for this post is “O” by Coldplay. Like the songs you hear on King’s Passage? Check out the King’s Passage playlist on Spotify!

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