I think anyone no matter who are you has moments where you think that you don't really fit in or that perhaps people just don't understand you. Even the 'popular' people have their moments too. Initially when I found the paranormal field, I thought 'finally ...... my people'. We had a common interest of liking to sit in dark rooms talking to the wall and it all seemed to make sense. I was hooked. Soon I realised as most of us do as that the paranormal field was much like high school. There were your popular groups and popular people, there was the bitchiness, there was the backstabbing and there were people that demanded they be center of attention when they walk into a room. In fact this is not just something that happens in high school, it is not just something that happens in the paranormal field, it is really just a fact of life and is going to happen no matter what industry you are in.
There is always going to be a reason for you to feel like you don't fit. In reality, it shouldn't even be about fitting in. You should be able to do what you want to do without have to conform to a certain expectation. Social media does have a way of making us feel pretty inadequate at the best of times. I feel it on a daily basis. Maybe me with my blonde hair and bookwormish ways can't really compete with the typical look associated with the paranormal and the occult. Hell I don't even have a tattoo! In a lot of ways it makes me feel like because I don't fit that idea of the occult or weird things associated with the word 'paranormal' and that I don't necessarily belong here because of that. It may feel like everyone in the paranormal field is obsessed with black and wearing clothing with a skull on it, but if that is not your style - don't feel that you have to dress that way just to fit in. I admit I do dabble now and then because you kind of do find yourself liking that stuff more and more, but it is not a pre requisite to joining the field. While I do feel this inadequacy at times, I look at the things that are important to me and my pursuit of the paranormal. I don't have to have a large social media following with lots of paranormal celebrity friends (I wouldn't hate it though if I did!). I have my blog that I absolutely love writing and I have people who genuinely like reading it and offer their thoughts all the time. We have discussions that open my mind and make me think and that is so much more important to me.
I had been told early on when investigating on more than one occasion that it must be difficult to investigate the paranormal without having any sort of psychic ability. When I was among people of that nature, I certainly felt inadequate. I didn't feel what they were feeling. I didn't see what they were seeing and if I am being honest, I didn't believe half of what they were saying. If I expressed my thoughts, they were shot down that I was too close minded and perhaps not supportive of their abilities. It took me to a point where I felt like maybe I didn't belong as a paranormal investigator. I also investigated with people who were very tech orientated and I wasn't so much. I had very different ideas on what an experiment meant and would try to question why things were done a certain way and tried to add my own I guess twist on it. A lot of the times those ideas were dismissed because they didn't conform to the more mainstream idea of what people have on ghosts and spirits or more often than not I kind of eventually just kept my mouth shut and blended in with the background because I didn't really know what else to do. So I wrote my articles and did my own research.
I kept at it and I published my thoughts. I read every single comment. I read every single email. While a lot of it was encouraging, there was a consistent amount of what you could call 'hate mail'. It felt like maybe people weren't quite understanding the point I was trying to get across. I also am very aware of the point that no one likes to be told that something they experienced may not have been what they thought. One of the most frustrating things I encounter is when people start attacking me based on the description of my article or the topic it addressed without actually reading what I had to say about it. I've been told time and time again that I am wrong. I never said I was right. I try to put forward different points of view and allow the reader to make their own determination because I wasn't there. I don't know what happened, but if I can give them a bunch of possibilities, it may help them really work out what went on. I kept writing and as much as some of the things said about me hurt, I kept going. Why did I keep going? Why did I keep going when maybe my website was only getting 20 hits per day for the first 2 years? Because I didn't care. It was never about that. It was never about the numbers and it still isn't about the numbers. Do I celebrate when the blog has a good day? Of course I do why shouldn't I be proud of it? But it is not the driving force behind this. I love to write and if I was not doing this blog, I very much doubt I would still be in the paranormal field. This is what I needed to do to find 'my place', and I am incredibly happy here. It took 5 years to get to a place where I was happy and comfortable with where I am in the field. I made mistakes like everyone, I learnt lessons and it has all shaped me to be the paranormal investigator/researcher whatever you want to call it that I am today.
I find myself today among a group of people with diverse opinions and we are all such completely different people but there is one thing that we have in common, and that is respect. Respect of one another's opinion, respect for the work each other are doing and respect for the fact that even though we think differently about things, that we ourselves could be wrong but it something we can openly discuss without having to give each other low blows to get our point across. Do I feel I fit in now? Not really, but I have learnt that is OK!
The field is a diverse place and like anywhere in life, there will be times where you feel that you don't belong. I am always banging on that there is not one way to investigate and that I encourage you to find your own style and your own thoughts based on your experiences and research. Your opinion matters. You may not feel like you stack up or you may not feel like you belong, but to me that feels like you are doing something right. No one wants to be the same as everyone else and do what they are doing. It may take you a while to find your feet, but don't give up. And If you don't fit in that paranormal box - build you own ...... and you own it!
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