Gosh, I have never struggled this much with how to (grammatically) begin a sentence!
Yesterday on Humans of New York, I read a comment that has refused to leave my brain. I didn’t want it to too, so I’m glad it stayed. The guy in the main post said he was “just a bartender” and the top comment advised that we should never add ‘just’ to our titles because we are never ‘just’ something. Many readers followed that with their experiences of the word, which in turn got me thinking about the things I think of myself as ‘just’ those things. I thought of how many times someone will tell me they think I’m a good writer or a good mother and I respond that you know, I don’t know, I’m just winging it.
First of all, I have no right to tell someone that their opinion is flawed because I do not think of myself the way they think of me. People have the right to think you are beautiful (or not) and to like the way you do life. It is their opinion and when they share it, they are not asking for your consent to think that. They are just saying hey, I think you are great. You don’t have to take it if you don’t want to, but don’t get into a fighting match about all the reasons you think you are not great. They weren’t asking.
Second, and important to my point, we are never ‘just’ anything. When we add that word to our titles, we are saying we are not good enough to fully embrace those roles; that we fall short of the required standard. Now, why would we do something that we are not good for? Why would we continue raising children the way we are or doing our job the same way if we believe we fall below the standard?
I am not just a mother. I am a mother. I am raising two spirited boys to be God-fearing, honest, loving & respectful men. These, my boys, will grow up to be fathers and employees/employers and to help push another up. I am not just a mother. Out of my body came two lives that matter and have a place in this world. I work hard to raise them right, I work hard to put food on the table, and I work hard to be a good mother. I am not just a mother, I am a force! And that is before I go into all the other things that I am and I’m doing.
We are not just winging things; we are the effin wings! We talk about winging it when we have to do something that we didn’t have time to prepare for, and if we are honest, the one thing we did not have a chance to prepare for is life. You wake up one day and you are here and life expects you to make it happen. So when you complete that project, it isn’t ‘just work, you know’ – it was your sweat and effort and planning and sleepless nights. Do not downplay your purpose or mission or achievements. Unless we are saying God created us for just, we are not just here or just doing the things we are doing. If you are here, you count. And if you are doing something, it counts.
I’m dropping the ‘just’.
Have a day that means something, a day that matters (not ‘just another day’).