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Choose

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Nestled in a chapel pew in the mid 90’s,
In a strict Christian school where my skirt
fell below my knees because that was the rule,
I sat, slumped, writing notes (handwritten ones, not texts)
Back and forth to my BFF at the time.
The droning voice of the pastor echoed through the chapel…

“And you must choose….will you become bitter or better….?”

I didn’t hear what he said before or after this question and I rolled my eyes.
Because obviously this man knew NOTHING about real life—
Nothing about the rejection of the boy sitting just two rows back.
Nothing about the isolation I felt day to day.
Nothing about the pains of just being me.

“Will you become bitter or better?” As if it were that simple. Puhhleeeze.

Well, years have passed and sometimes that man’s words still echo through my mind.

“Will you become bitter or better?”

Surely there are variations of this cliché and I don’t like clichés because I’m an English teacher and I usually circle them and say “Avoid clichés,” but aside from that…

“Will you become bitter or better?”

Maybe it is that simple…
And even though I usually choose to be bitter for a while, yes I most certainly do,
It sure is nice to realize there’s another option. 
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