i am more than ‘just’

I was sitting with somebody today, who was asking about my experience as an RA, and things that I have learned while doing this job. I was reminded of a conversation that I had had in the past, that has changed the way that I view this job. Any job that I take, or will have in the future.

I think we need to remove the word just from our vocabulary, or at least become aware of how we use the word.

I was standing in the kitchen of the camp that I was working at last summer, when the new executive director walked in and introduced himself. I introduced myself as well, and the fact that I was just the head cook.

“You are never just anything” he said back to me. I don’t think he realized the significance of what he said to me in that moment.

In that moment, I became aware of the importance of the words that we were speaking over ourselves. I had taken myself down to the very role that I was occupying – I was just the head cook. When I thought about what this meant, I realized that I brought so much more to that role then just the title that had been given to me.

How often do we speak “I am just” over areas of our lives, without even realizing it?

If we take the word just out of our sentences when speaking words over ourselves, we are taking out the title and box that we are trying to fit ourselves into when we say we are just.

I am so much more than just the title that I put myself under, and so are you.

Something that I have been working on, is my self confidence. I second guess decisions and don’t have a lot of faith in who I am. I have no issue believing in and building other individuals up, but within myself is where I fall short.

I didn’t realize that I was putting myself into a box under the title just until somebody called me out on it. It was apart of my normal vocabulary, it was normal for me to say I was just (and then the title of what job I was working)

I prefer to work in the background, I don’t like to be in the spotlight. I’m a quieter person – until you get me laughing. I like to be apart of a team, where we can work on things together. I never really got involved in things until 2nd year university, and now it feels like I am involved in more things than I can count.

I catch myself using the word when describing what I do.

“I am just the digital editor. I am just an RA. I am just the identify leader.”

What if I said: “I am the digital editor, and an RA. I also lead Identify.”

These things are some of titles of things that I am involved in, titles that have the potential to define me if I’m not careful. These titles are jobs, but not who I am on a deeper level. They have the potential to define me, but within these titles, I am also so much more than just.

Within these jobs, I am a leader. A community builder. A dorm mom. A giver and a receiver. These titles are more than a just, but there’s also an understanding that these jobs do not define who I am.

I’ve got so much more to bring to this metaphorical table – more then the titles that attempt to define who I am, when I throw in the simple word just.

I need to be careful of how I use this small but powerful word in my vocabulary.

njl.

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nattie jo writes

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