Paranormal investigating is almost an indescribable feeling. People get different things from it and there is a reason why people say it is addictive. Whether it is the thrill of the hunt or an experience you cannot explain, we find ourselves week after week wanting to go back to feel or experience something again. One of the things I have vocally said I love about the paranormal is that I feel like in some ways it is a bit of an escape. When you are on an investigation, the problems of the World seem to fade away. You aren't thinking about the bills you have to pay or what you have to catch up on at work on Monday. All you are thinking about is the location, the people, and the investigating. For myself, it was paranormal investigating that helped me to break a cycle of depression. It gave me a sense of purpose and almost 8 years later, I'm still here more dedicated than ever. My investigating habits of course have changed. While for the first few years every weekend was spent doing multiple investigations, now I am maybe investigating once a month. I have cut down dramatically (not counting 2020) to find a balance that works with not only my home life but more so with the realization that paranormal research is not just exclusive to investigating at a location. As we evolve and grow as people, my approach to research and do the same. Investigating every weekend for some is the dream and one that I lived for several years, but it was also a lot of hard work. Some people are just not able to do it as much as they wish they could. There could be financial reasons, family reasons, health reasons, or just not knowing where to go or what to do. It may have a person thinking that maybe they are not as dedicated as someone else or may even have them feeling like their voice is not as important as someone else who is out every weekend investigating. This is not true. While I do think that investigating out in the field is important, it is only a very small piece of the puzzle. Paranormal research goes much further and deeper than a paranormal investigation.
Social media has allowed us to connect with fellow investigators on a level that we have never been able to before. One of the things that can happen is a thing that has been dubbed as FOMO: Fear of missing out. It is real feelings that social media induces. When we follow people on social media, it can be easy to forget that they are also real people with real-life problems. We tend to show a certain side of ourselves on social media. A lot of people within the paranormal like to keep their personal life separate from their paranormal life. It means they don't necessarily post 'real-life problems' on social media and all you are seeing is them out investigating all of the time and having a great time. When you see someone out there every weekend, it can sometimes make you feel like maybe you are not doing enough. Maybe you have some thoughts on a certain area but you feel you are not qualified to offer your thoughts simply because you don't have as much field time under your belt. I know this is how I felt during the first 2 years of investigating. I personally wouldn't even call myself an investigator in the beginning because in some ways I was made to feel I was a 'newbie' and I had to just listen and watch instead of expressing my thoughts. There are a lot of figures in the field who can be a little egotistical and more preach their ways rather than allowing you to contribute. There are also some great people who act more like what you would call mentors who are there to answer any of your questions but will encourage to seek your own answers and who will support and coach you along the way. You may not find them at first, but they are out there. If you are reading this, maybe you could actually be that mentor for someone else. You may not think that you can help someone else, but often all they need is a guiding hand that will allow them to grow and search for answers with the comfort of having someone to turn to.
I feel like at some point, after a few years of investigating, many of us reach a point where we think "There has got to be more". There is indeed more to being out all night sitting in a room waiting for something to happen. There is more to reviewing hours upon hours of audio and video looking for just one response. It feels like all of that is just preparing for you what is to come. You begin to see things a little differently. Maybe a particular experience you had has changed your perception or after a certain amount of investigations under your belt you are looking at things differently. It starts to go beyond the typical questions you are asking on an investigation. This is where the real research I feel begins.
You start exploring different routes of research. The great thing is that this is something that can be done from home. Books are your number 1 source of information.
“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.” – Descartes
* Though I would add to this quote there are a lot of amazing women who have written books as well that would make delightfully thought-provoking conversations!
In the field research is an important piece of the puzzle, but it is not the only piece. If you are worried you are not able to get out there and investigate, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy the paranormal from home. At the end of the day, when we investigate, we are seeking knowledge. You don't have to go to a reportedly haunted building to gain this knowledge. So the next time you feel like maybe you aren't going out enough, think about the other ways you are contributing to the paranormal field. Remember, it doesn't long how long you have been investigating or even just interested in the paranormal, you have a voice and an opinion that matters that deserve to be heard. I have had people that have never investigated the paranormal before poise educated and thought-provoking questions to me that have led me down a different path of research, somewhere I may not have found myself if they had not asked that question. So don't think your voice does not matter, it matters a lot more than you may know!
You have to do what is right for you. If you can and want to and are able to go out and investigate every weekend that is awesome. If you can't do that, remember that is OK! There are plenty of ways you can contribute and enjoy paranormal research from the comfort of your home. If you want some more suggestions on things you can do if you can't attend a paranormal investigation, check out my article: Enjoying paranormal research without having to leave your house
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