‘Just’

I apologize that I haven’t written anything in quite a long time. My excuses range from not having the motivation to not having the brainpower to not having the inspiration. I’ve had several topics in mind, but they just haven’t come to fruition. Perfect! I just (there we go again) created the perfect intro to the topic I plan to discuss. I’ve been journalling quite a bit in my time away from writing blogposts and there was something I noticed a few months ago. I tend to use the word ‘just’ frequently. Now, I’m sure that doesn’t seem like much of an issue. It’s just a word. And yes, sometimes it is. It does have the ability to purely be used as a synonym for simply. No worries there. However, I noticed my use of ‘just’ often comes with a built-in apology, a quiet plea to the interrogator to stop asking that question or a touch of shame, wishing I could be or offer more. When other people use it towards me it makes me feel small and unimportant.

Recently, in a class I’m taking, we watched two movies with a heavy hint of equality between the sexes. I know my views tend to differ from the majority of the population, so I’m going to try and avoid getting into my opinion too much. In the class, we’ve discussed Title IX and how that made it illegal for women to be discriminated against in a federally funded educational environment. Without Title IX, I most likely wouldn’t be able to take that class. My professor likes to reiterate that and how Title IX has allowed us to have more than being a wife and/or mother. I understand that, and it’s not to say I’m not thankful for it, but I’ve never been an overly career oriented type of gal. I often would tell people in a joking manner, although I meant it mostly seriously, that I wanted to be a housewife. They would ask me why I wanted to be just a housewife or question me as to why I wouldn’t want more for myself. First of all, let’s not call it just a housewife. Let’s not make it seem as though the work done inside a home is not as important as the work done outside of it or as if it’s not actually work at all. Second, why do I have to desire a career along with my stronger aspiration to have a family? Yes, I understand that plenty of women are happy to be able to go out and have careers. I do admire that quality in others even if I can’t fully comprehend it. I simply (almost put just) don’t understand why there is an expectation for a woman to have a career in addition to being a wife and mother, all while keeping up her physical appearance. Is it so bad that eliminating one of those things seems like less guilt in the long run and a big relief?

What I want to say, and honestly beg of people, is can we please not refer to a woman who doesn’t have a career (because a plain ol’ job isn’t good enough) or a strong desire to have a career as less than a woman who does? And can we please not constantly question those who are focused on their careers as to why they aren’t in a relationship or don’t have children? For men, too. Maybe you’re not a doctor, but you’re also not just a construction worker. I’ve checked out a heck of a lot more construction workers than I have doctors, just sayin’. But my point in all of this is, don’t tell someone they’re just (fill in the blank). I believe most ‘justs’ come with baggage and judgement. Let’s not stop at other people, but let’s apply that to ourselves. Don’t tell yourself you’re ‘just not good at it’. Maybe I’m alone, but as nonchalant as that ‘just’ sounds, it’s really mixed with a bit of sadness that I can’t be better at it. You’re not less of a person for lacking that skill. You also don’t need to continue to tell someone that you ‘just don’t like it’ when they ask you for the tenth time why you don’t like something or whatever they so desperately feel they need an answer to. How much of an explanation do people really need? ‘Just’ shouldn’t be laced with an apology, shame, a plea or used to lessen the value or importance of something. I think now’s as good a time as any to change that.

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