In an ordinary world, an ordinary man lived an ordinary life. That man is not me. From the youthful and optimistic days of my young adulthood to the broken and mended 30-something of today, I have risen to the peaks and summits of life’s mountains, and I have fallen to the depths of life’s deepest valleys. Yet I have always found it within me to stand from the rubble and dust-off, lessons learned.
At the height of life, I was the most popular teacher at the largest high school in the state. At the depth of life, I sat in a prison cell and wished for nothing more than the end of the emotional pain I’d brought upon myself and those around me. And the winding roller coaster in between, as well as the peaks and valleys, have bestowed upon me a lifetime of experiences and lessons, triumphs and tragedies, rejoicings and regrets. The victim of my own success, I played the part of the superhero while acting as the supervillain. And in the end, I had nothing to show for it but a humiliated life and a ruined career, but also a loving and committed wife who refused to let our marriage fail.
Now, with her support, I have become the quintessential story of remorse, repentance, rejuvenation, and redemption. Today, I am driven through life by the need to be a positive part of the world — to do so much good in life with my remaining days on earth that it will someday outweigh the bad. I spent too many years playing the part of the tragic villain; I am putting Saul behind me and I am living as Paul, I am working as Paul, and I am writing as Paul. There is at least one part of the world — one part of societal reality — that I believe I can change. And I have the drive, the experience, and the talent to do it. Opportunity awaits.
I am a writer.
I am also a former teacher, a recovering sex addict, a convicted criminal, and a villain to many. I am trying to put my life back together, trying to be a husband again, trying to be a father again, trying to be a citizen again; and the “Ongoing Commentary” is my way of making sense of the world around me; it is my way of coping.
I’m tired of being the villain…
I’m not a horrible person. I’m not evil. I’m not sick. I’m not predatory. I’m not deviant. I am a fallen and fallible human being who made some really bad choices.
Imagine if your life’s entire legacy was based solely on the worst decision you’ve ever made — the worst thing you’ve ever done. Because that is my reality.
Life didn’t deal me a bad hand. In fact, I was dealt a great hand. But I played my hand badly – stupidly – and I lost a lot because of it; there is no one to blame but me. And now I’ve been dealt new cards, and I don’t have many chips left – but I refuse to walk away from the table; I haven’t lost yet. The game isn’t over until I’ve won, or until I’ve lost my last chip. Either way, I have no choice but to keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.
But regardless, I am still Kurt Michael Brundage. And I must always carry that weight.
“So it goes.”