I have it stuck in my head that if I help enough people, or have a big enough name, or maybe people think that all the good I have done outweighs the bad…someday. Maybe, just maybe I might be able to look my children in the eye one day. Maybe.

I hate what I have done. My crime. Its despicable and I hate talking about it. The shame it brings is heavy. This, I cannot get around.

When is enough punishment? This is a real question I ask myself every day, “When will your punishment be enough?” I answer every time with “I do not know, now quit feeling sorry for yourself because you lost that right.”

Everything I do, every class I teach, every one on one I do with troubled inmates, every hour I work…it all amounts to “Will this make up for what I have done?” It is kind of empty though because I also know that nothing I do will be good enough, nothing. It will never make up for the past and its eating me alive.

That’s why I am going to change the world. Maybe if I make a big enough impact in the world, if people associate my name with change, maybe then I can be proud of myself and if I can, maybe my kids could be too. Maybe they could forgive me…

I hang on to this because I don’t know what else to do. How else could I prove “I’m sorry”, words are empty and vague. However actions are full of proof and specific.

“How sorry are you Dad?”

“The whole world…”

“Yeah, we heard, everyone knows.”

“I’m sorry…”

“We know…”

I hang on to that, as unrealistic as it sounds. As ridiculous as I sound saying “I want to impact the world with immense change and positivity”, you don’t think I know how ridiculous I sound?

I would rather look ridiculous trying to change the world than spend another moment thinking I did nothing to try. Besides, looking ridiculous is far better than shame.

With Love
Jeff Utnage