Ooh, juicy Krista gossip! Things like insecurities are so interesting to other people because they’re often very private things. You usually don’t know what other people in a crowded room are worried about because you’re too focused on your own things.
My biggest insecurity is weird. When I was younger I would have answered something purely physical. These are still very valid insecurities, but thankfully I have been able to get past beating myself up for my imperfections.
Today, though, I have something new in my life — my health.
For the most part this isn’t a crippling insecurity; it’s something I only notice on rare occasions, but the more I branch out, the more it hits me that I am different now. When it comes to dating or making new friends it’s still so weird introducing myself and explaining that I have an autonomic nervous system disorder, which is why I am (insert whatever odd action I am doing to keep myself feeling well). POTS is an invisible illness, which means people can’t tell I’m sick from just looking at me, but if anyone decides to spend even a short amount of their day with me they’ll find that I do things that clearly set myself apart from the average twentysomething.
The thing I’ve been afraid about most in my dating life is that I’ll keep whoever is with me from doing fun, normal activities. I can’t travel super-easily, I don’t drink, and I sometimes have to take several days to muster up enough energy to just go out to dinner with friends. My full-time job is “getting better,” which involves going to a million different appointments every week, regular trips to the gym, resting a lot, and taking a class for my Masters to keep me sane. I try to be positive about things for the most part, but I do sometimes get worn out and frustrated with the very slow progress (Or sometimes taking a step or two in the wrong direction).
I’m not used to missing out on things I want to do. I still feel disappointed when I realize I can’t do things like go to the WMZQ fest at the last minute or when I have to watch my friends go surfing while I sit and sunbathe on the beach. If I’ve had this illness for three and a half years now and am still not used to everything I have to miss out on, how am I going to find someone who is okay with missing out on so many of the great things that life has to offer when his body works just fine and he can still enjoy the activities that I miss so much?
It breaks my heart that my mind works this way, but I’ve slowly learned that the people who are in my life don’t love me because of the activities we do together — they love me for my mind and for my heart. The people who are close to me know that I am a kind, caring, and thoughtful person, and the many different character traits that I do have to offer in a relationship. I’m a good friend, I often put other people before myself, I am genuine, and I love others deeply. These are the qualities that really matter in a relationship anyway; POTS is just something that happens to come along with the whole “Krista package” now.
Today’s lesson: Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of our strengths, rather than honing in on the things we don’t have. The past three years I’ve realized that we don’t give other humans enough credit. There have been plenty of people who still want to be my friend or date me, despite the laundry list of things I can’t do anymore. People often do look at your heart above all else, and it has been so beautiful learning that our souls mean so much more than the physical bodies we have been given.