I remember clearly my first visit to the on-post library. I wanted to set up my own library card so I could check out books and movies. I walked in by myself (which, for someone with social anxiety like myself, was very nerve-wracking) and asked the librarian about getting a library card. She handed me a form, which asked for all of my husband’s information…. his Social Security number, unit’s phone number, and military email address, among other things. Not a single thing asked for anything about me. Not even my name. I asked the librarian if I could take the information card home and have my husband fill it out, but she said no. I had no idea what any of that information was. (I was still at the point in our marriage where if someone asked what unit my husband was in, I would reply, “The Engineer one.”) I told her my husband would be in sometime to fill it out as tears welled up in my eyes. By the time I got to my car, I was full on ugly-crying a la Kim Kardashian. I’ve had my own library card since I was 8 years old and to not have my own little plastic library card with my name on it felt like another blow. Like I didn’t matter.
I’ve felt like that a lot since Andy and I got married. Like when the veterinarian’s office leaves all of my cat’s appointment reminders on my husband’s cell phone instead of mine even though Gracie is not his cat. Or when I was at a FRG meeting and my opinion was dismissed because I’m just a new spouse. Or when I went to a meeting with a bunch of ladies that I wanted to make friends with and they talked about their kids for 3 hours (each time I changed the subject, it went right back to kid talk.) Or when we found out my husband was going to miss a special celebration back home I had been looking forward to the two of us attending because of Army stuff. Sometimes it feels like nobody notices me, knows my name. Like I don’t matter and am just here, wasting space and sucking up oxygen.
But the truth is, you and I both matter. You matter whether or not you have kids, whether or not you work outside of the home. You matter if you have a Master’s degree or a high school diploma. Our God-given purposes may be different, but each of us have a purpose. No purpose is more important than another. You matter because you keep the home front running. You matter because, when your husband returns home from deployment, your face is the one he wants to see. You matter because every single person in this world matters.
I can’t say fighting this mindset is easy. Honestly, it’s something I struggle with on a daily basis. But I know this to be true, so I fight every single day to dwell on this truth.
To the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world. -Bill Wilson
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. -Jeremiah 1:5