You know that feeling. That excited feeling when you’ve just joined your first paranormal team. Finally you get to head out and get some practical experience, and hopefully, see if something does happen to you that could be paranormal.
Months go by and each time you venture out with your team, you discover more ways that phenomena can be explained. You think “cool, this is what it’s about right?” all the while a part of you is disappointed that most things you come across – might just not be paranormal at all.
You then start to realise that you are spending almost every weekend investigating. The enthusiasm as at its all time high. But, people in your home are starting to wonder what you look like. And those graveyard shift hours on the weekend? They start to turn you into a grouchy, tired zombie during the week.
This wasn’t what you signed up for - right?
There can be a disappointment that maybe not all that happens could be something paranormal. You may then also start to spend more time with family and friends on the weekend and after a while, you start to withdraw more from investigating. Sometimes completely fading away from it.
If this has happened to you or you know someone that this has happened to, then please know – It's really common.
I too started out my paranormal investigation journey with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a person in their very first job (ok, I still have the enthusiasm). But I also know what it's like when you thought investigating the paranormal would be filled with spontaneous activity – at least some of the time – and it isn’t.
I also know really well about spending hours, days and even weeks away from family (often using up your own annual leave) to explore not just local locations but international ones plus hours of work that doesn’t receive a paycheck (in fact, you end up spending your own money to do it).
So what happens when the paranormal passion, slides? Your beliefs have changed and your knowledge has grown so how do you keep going when your views vary so differently to what they were when you first started out?
Here are 5 ways to help navigate through these uncertain times:
1) Work out where your new “style” sits with investigating.
How much has it changed? Do you think there could be a possibility of an afterlife? Sit and think about where you might see yourself on the “paranormal investigator” scale. If you’re leaning more towards critical thinking/sceptical and not so much a believer based investigating, then that is completely normal. But knowing where your new “angle” is will help you with point 2.
2) Work out if you want to continue being a part of the team/group you are currently with.
Are they a team of predominantly “believers” and you’re more leaning towards critical thinking/sceptical? If so, think about whether or not you want to continue on with them. It’s horrible to contemplate I know. And sure, differences of opinion and investigation style is great for any team but if it's starting to have an effect on your motivation to investigate, it might be something to consider.
3) Start finding ways to look for other like-minded investigators.
Explore organisations, Facebook pages or other paranormal teams/groups who have a very similar way of investigating as you now do.
4) If joining another team makes you shudder, think about going solo.
Yes, it’s completely doable. All you need to do is build networks with people and other teams and see if there is a chance from time to time to investigate with them or help them out with private/residential cases.
5) Work out with your family and friends a compromise about time spent away investigating.
What is too much… and what is ok. It varies differently for each and every person and if heading out once a month or once a week fits you and your lifestyle, then everyone in the house will be on the same page.
Paranormal Investigators don’t have to stay in the same boat going in the same direction all the time. We are meant to grow and learn along the way, and that may mean you change your views greatly from what they originally were.
Don’t be disappointed if this happens. Just means you are learning along the way and helping carve out your own answers about the paranormal.