So far, 2016 has been a journey of self-discovery in both my personal and professional life. One of my main points of focus in both aspects of my life has been working on my confidence.
A lot has changed in a few short months. At work, I would be placed in a situation where I needed to make a decision that was slightly above my pay grade, but I was capable of making those decisions – I just wasn’t ever confident in actually doing it. Now that I’m having to make more and more of them, and being expected to now that I am acting as a “team captain” of sorts, I have been working on exuding confidence in my decisions and accepting critique if I make the wrong decision. So far, so good.
In my personal life, it’s been somewhat similar. Allen and I were faced with an important decision to make – and we needed to be confident in our choice. The stakes were impossibly high, and the stress had pushed my heart rate and blood sugar averages both even higher. After a lot of talking and soul-searching, we made the decision to leave our church that we’ve attended for the last 10 years.
(I have to sidebar here for a couple reasons. First, people don’t just LEAVE the church organization we were attending. Especially people who are seen as lifers – ones that will be there forever, which we were. Second, we didn’t leave on bad terms – in fact, we were given the Pastor’s blessing to leave the church and were told that we were welcome back at any time. It was incredibly amicable.)
However, no one really knows the full reasons behind our decision to leave, and due to that, plus the fact that nobody leaves the church, we’ve been ostracized by our peers. Being treated as if you’re dead is harder than I even imagined. Especially when it’s people you’ve grown up with for the past 10 years – people you’ve watched graduate high school (and did their senior pictures), people whose weddings you’ve attended (and even photographed), people who have spent countless hours at your house for youth nights and who you called honest-to-God friends before you made the decision to leave.
It hurts that your supposed “friends and family” for the last decade don’t even ASK what happened – they assume they know, or just don’t even care. But, I’m confident in knowing that our true friends will be there for us as we go through this adjustment period. I’m confident that we’ll come out of this stronger, smarter and better off. I’m also confident that we made the right decision for our health, happiness, and overall life direction. And lastly, I’m confident that if people truly care about what’s going on in our lives, why we left, or want to be our friends, then they’ll come around. Otherwise, it was all fake, and we’re better off without it.
Why am I talking about all this? Well, my Fitbit had made sure I knew that my resting heart rate was way too high, and my Dexcom made it painfully obvious that I was dealing with stress highs. In the days after we left, my blood sugar and heart rate averages both dropped dramatically.