You need to be you, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise
Remember high school? Yuck! At the time, it is your complete world and it is like nothing else exists. Circles are tight, clicks exist and everyone knows and talks about your business. The paranormal community is honestly like one big high school. Sometimes you may not have even met someone but you know exactly who they are, who they roll with and what they get up to. Facebook has made things so much more complicated. I actually can’t imagine what high school must be like for teens these days having Facebook to deal with. What is even more concerning is how a lot of adults act on Facebook. You would think we are back in high school.
When I was in high school, I had a close group of friends and I kept to myself. I was the geek who loved to study, do homework and actually wanted to pay attention in class. I was socially awkward and definitely was not part of the ‘cool group’. I suppose not a lot has changed. I still apply this today especially in my paranormal world. I spend a lot of my time at home behind my computer, researching, planning, writing and all the behind the scenes stuff a lot of people don’t realise you need to do. When I goto school pickup, I nod and say hi to the mums and that is about it. No one actually knows what I do. Why don’t I tell them? I guess it isn’t the greatest conversation starter saying ‘Hi I hunt the dead, is this seat taken?’. You know what is the worse than the paranormal community? The school mum community. It is so cliquey and I don’t want a bar of it so I keep to myself, avoid eye contact and wait outside the classroom for the least amount of time possible. I was a little taken about the other day when I was at the hairdresser. She follows me on instagram so sees all of my paranormal adventures in all of their glory. She said to me, ‘How come you never talk about your work?’. Trying to be smart I said ‘Well it isn’t a job, you need to be paid for that’ but she wanted to know what it was I did on a Saturday night and why I was posting photos of myself in night vision.
The jig was up and I was honest. ‘I guess I feel a little embarrassed that people will think I am weird’. I always find it so hard to actually explain to someone what I do out of fear that I will be judged. I will suddenly be that uncool person again that no one wants to talk to. To my complete surprise she was right into it and is even going to come on an investigation. Why do I hide it so much when I talk to people. I am very vocal about it online. Anyone that is friends with me on Facebook or follows any of my social media accounts will see what I do in about 5 seconds. So why can I talk about hiding behind a keyboard but not in person?
It is so incredibily easy to sit at your computer and say whatever you want to say. You can say things to a complete stranger and not feel any remorse, any repercussions. We see a lot of these keyboard warriors on Facebook that shoot people down for just trying to express an opinion that is outside the grain. I am not that kind of person. Behind a keyboard, I still feel remorse and I am still worried about being judged. Before I launched the blog, I had it ready to go a couple of weeks before I actually launched it. I was scared. Scared of being judged. Scared that people will think I am trying to seek attention or trying too hard to be popular. Scared that my opinion might offend someone and then I won’t be able to show my face in the community again. I eventually got the courage to press the publish button and something amazing happened. People started reading it and not only reading it, they were sharing and promoting it. I have never once asked anyone to share my page or an article nor have I ever expected it. I don’t expect likes or comments. I just write about what I feel the inspiration to write about.
The direction of the blog has changed immensely. It has gone from me just blogging about what I did on the weekend to almost a mission to tell it like it is. If something is going on in the community, I want to write about it. Sometimes my blog is directed at one particular person that I can see is doing something I don’t like. I am not the name and shame kind of girl so I hope by putting a general message out there they might read it. The probably won’t read it, but what happens is other people do. They may agree and it starts a little bit of a movement of people saying hey we have had enough of some of this crap. They no longer want to be in the clutches of the high schoolish paranormal community telling them what they can or cannot do. The place they used to come to for solice has become a place for people to try and exploit them for money or worshipping people driven by ego and wanting social media fame. They instead want it to be a place where they can talk to who they want to talk to. They can read whatever articles they want to read. They can listen to whatever podcasts they want to listen to. They can watch whatever tv shows they want to watch. You know what? It is OK to say you like watching shows like Ghost Adventures. It doesn’t make you a bad investigator. You can attend a public paranormal investigation and still be considered a serious investigator. Sometimes it is the only way you can visit the venue. You can use whatever piece of equipment you like. Just because some people think the Ovilus is crap or a K2 is not a serious tool for an investigator, if you know how it works and you want to use it you can use it. If you want to support a certain page because you like what they are doing, you can even if other people tell you not to. If you want to not support a certain group because you don’t agree with how they operate, no matter how popular they are, you don’t have to and you shouldn’t be made to feel outcast because you don’t want to support them.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you what you can or cannot do. We are not in high school anymore. We are adults. We should be able to have an adult discussion. If you tell me, “Sar (I don’t like people I know calling me Sarah I feel like I am in trouble) I know you don’t like the Ovilus but I really like using it. I understand how it works and this is what I have found”. I am not going to shut you down and say ‘Nope it’s crap whatever you don’t know what you are talking about’. I will listen to you and maybe I might give it a try to see for myself. I might still not agree with you but all it means is that we have a difference of opinion. We can still be friends and colleagues. I am not always going to agree with everyone and you are not always going to agree with me. What I guess I won’t stand for any more is a popularity contest. I am never going to be part of the cool group and support someone because it is the cool thing to do. I will support you if I see merit in what you are doing. If a think you are genuine person and I think you are doing some good I will support you. You may not do things the way I would do them but that is what makes our community so diverse. You may be more vocal than I am on certain topics but I am not going to shun you for it, it just means you express your passion differently to me. If you want my advice or help I will absolutely give it to you. I am told that I have ‘resting bitch face’ and a lot of people are scared to approach but please don’t be. I am trying to smile a bit more I really don’t know where this bitch reputation comes from, I have had it all my life. I really am nice and I am not a mean girl that is going to shut you down because you are just starting out. I guess I am trying to remind everyone we are not in high school. School is not in session. I am almost 35 years old and I am really well and truely over high school.
The paranormal is my escape and my outlet. I don’t want to feel like I am in high school again because I don’t look back on it fondly. What I do look back on from high school were my friends and the people that were there for me. People who are still my best friends today after all these years. They are not into the paranormal but they still support me. There are some absolutely lovely and awesome people in our field. They may not be part of the cool groups but that doesn’t make them bad people. They are just like the rest of us trying to do their own thing. Some are more vocal than others but we all still have the same goal. It isn’t about banding together to weed out the smaller fish, it is about finding your own voice and being proud of what you are doing. At the end of the day you are the one that has to be happy and sleep at night. You do you and you will earn the respect for just being you. Treat others how you want to be treated. Be yourself and own it.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for supporting me and allowing me to be me. My blog isn’t perfect. I don’t write like a journalist. I honestly write as if you were sitting across from me and we were having a conversation. A lot of people that have read this or other stuff I have done can tell it is me from a mile away. I could never write anonymous posts or use a fake profile because I always get caught out. I actually did an anonymous post recently and my friends were onto me straight away and said is this you? Damn. What it shows it that people know who I am because I am nothing but myself. It took me a long time to be proud of myself and not afraid to be me. I support who I want to support and I have found my voice. In the early days of the blog I was too afraid to have an opinion and I would sit on the fence because I wanted to fit in. You will notice this when you read my earlier articles. I learnt along the way that I don’t need to fit in with anyone. I have my friends here in the paranormal that accept me for me and that will never judge me because I like or dislike something. They just want me to be honest and they want me to be me. If you do this, you will earn the respect and if someone doesn’t like you, it doesn’t matter ….. as long as you like yourself.
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