Yesterday I felt like a nobody.
I can’t pinpoint what it was exactly.
Maybe it was people criticizing the company I interviewed with last week after having looked down on me so long for not having a “real” job.
Maybe it was all the church leaders being recognized now that I’m not (for the first time in a long time) one of those leaders.
Sometimes it’s difficult to see everyone else getting recognition for doing the same things you never got recognition for. Sometimes everybody else’s success just makes you feel like a nobody. Like being “just” a mom isn’t important. Like being “just” a blogger (“whatever that is”) doesn’t make a difference. Sometimes there’s just no one there to encourage you when you’re buried alive in laundry and dishes and a great big mess of Legos. Sometimes people just won’t understand why you do what you do.
But let me tell you this:
There will be at least one person who understands. There are other moms who are buried under the same pile of housework you are. There are other bloggers out there who went through the same thing you are going through: when no one understands why blogging matters. There are other people out there who had to say no to the things that would give them recognition so that they could say yes to the important things. And those are the things that won’t get you the recognition, but they are the most important things.
It took me until around 10:00 PM to figure that one out. As a results-driven person trying to focus on the things that matter and not just numbers, I try not to check out my stats all that often. But yesterday I checked my stats before going to bed to find an old post had exploded. Something I did–something I said seemed to matter even 5 months later.
I love reading the comments on those posts, checking out who shared and what they had to say. These things aren’t things I would ordinarily hear or see but they are the things people are saying about me. And suddenly I realized that the work I am doing–writing a book, writing here—does matter. My words matter. They make a difference. I can’t tell you how my heart swells with warmth when someone says “thank you,” or says, “this post really helped me.” When I am doing the hard work on the sidelines, people I don’t know and will never know find that my work matters.
Just as in whatever you do, there are people who watch you and listen to you, whether they are bystanders in the grocery store or just the little eyes and ears and hands and feet that are running around your house. Your words and your work–they matter. They make a difference. Your words can tear someone down or they can build someone up. Your words and your work can save a life. Improve a life. Make a difference. The way you toil around the house may show your kids how much you care for them and how much you care for what God’s given you…and that may build them into responsible adults. Your hard work on the sidelines may not mean you’re the star of the show, but someone will notice. Your kids, your co-workers, your spouse, your friends. And people will talk and say what an inspiration you are. You may never hear about it, but it happens regardless. Just like how my dad will tell my husband that he’s proud of me but won’t tell me to my face.
Whatever you’re in the middle of today–whether another hectic work week, the endless cycle of laundry and running to and fro, or just your volunteer work, your conversation, your writing–it matters.
No matter how much you might feel like a nobody. No matter how little recognition you get. Your words matter. Your life matters. You might not see it until it’s over, but it’s true.
When you feel like you’re a nobody…someone out there things you’re a somebody.