I'm Steve Hunt, a 30-something, father of two (both girls; and beautiful) who happens to run websites for a living.
You may know me as the online guy for MCN - Motorcyclenews, the one-time, Head of Online for the Augmented Reality company Zappar, the founder of MySoti.com or from my very early days as the Website Manager for PlayStation Europe or as an Information Architect for the BBC homepage.
You get a lot of time to ponder and dwell when you’re a single father. Initially - for me at least - that was one of the hardest aspects of divorce to come to terms with; after not seeing my children everyday, the realisation that I only had myself for company was an unwelcome one.
For longer than was necessary a lot of my friends kept telling me that it ‘would get better’ and that things would ‘get back to normal’ after a while. This wasn’t ever true of course; when you’ve spent the best part of eighteen years with someone and over half of those with a child in your life, ‘normal’ has morphed into quite another thing entirely.
It won’t get better. Not until the day that I have my children home with me will that ever happen - and let’s be honest here, the chances of that happening are slim at best. Better isn’t really an option anymore; but ‘easier’ is. Easier is the dream.
Whomever wrote first that ‘time is a great healer’ was right in most respects. The passing of months and years happen so slowly however that it’s hard to know just when the healing is going to start - perhaps it happened months ago? Maybe this is as easy as life will ever get? Maybe - in a few years (or ten) - I’ll look back at how hard life was and wonder how I ever managed to come through it?
It would be correct to say that some of the early wounds that hurt so deeply in the early days and months turned out to be the ones that would be cured the quickest.
I don’t miss what people seem to expect me to. With hindsight the company and support that I had hoped for from that person in my life to be was never there; and I know that there are better (there’s that word again - ‘better’) people out there whom I have met since that fill that void.
But what I do miss most if all is, who I was; who I thought I was on the path to becoming. Mourning the loss of time with my children is one thing; grieving over the notion of my role in their lives being marginalised as another man just takes up my space and becomes - by proxy - the person whom they see and learn from on a daily basis is my biggest wound. That wound will never heal.
But alongside that I have no idea who I am now? No real projection to live up to, no real direction in which to aim. I woke up this morning with no plans, no great ideas and a weekend of free time. It’s an unusual feeling still, even after three years. Not knowing who I am and what I want to do makes me uncomfortable.
I don’t know if my life will ever, really get easier - perhaps in years to come I’ll look back on all of these empty days as a luxury that I didn’t appreciate at the time. All I hope for now though is that, maybe - one day - this empty, hollow feeling will get easier to cope with too?
Time is a great healer, so they say.