I hate the word ‘just’. Now before I continue let me issue a disclaimer: To any kids reading this, hate is a very strong emotion and should only be applied if absolutely no other emotion will do. Now, that being said, I hate the word ‘just’.

Mainly I hate it because it’s reductive. It over simplifies things that in no uncertain terms should ever, or can ever, accurately be simplified. Not to mention the situations it gets used in are woefully over complicated for a word like just. ‘Just’ is fine for haircuts, “Just a trim, thanks,” or for expressing your Thanksgiving dinner preferences, “just dark meat for me please”. But it should stay in the confines of these altogether average interactions.

Instead, we routinely see it applied to emotions, “I’m just sad,” or to mental and physical health, “No I’m just tired”. Worst of all we see it standing next to I’m in sentences such as: I’m just a dancer; I’m just a writer; I’m just an illustrator; I’m just a… People are downplaying their entire existences with a single word. You’ve done it, I know you have. I know you have, because I’ve done it too. We should all stop yesterday.

Who we are cannot and should not be reduced and written off in a single word. What you think, how you feel, is important. Who you are, and all that means to you, matters. Never let anyone take that from you. Not even yourself.


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