I have a confession to make. There are days that I think I’d like to scrap my ties to the paranormal world altogether and move along with my life. On those occasions, I look at Techie McScienceGeek and say, “That’s it! I can’t deal with this crap anymore. I’m DONE!”
He just rolls his eyes.
All of the drama that seems to rise up frustrates me, but no matter how I feel in the moment, I don’t want to walk away from the field. I just wish I had some kind of detector that went off whenever I was about to step in a big, heaping pile of drama. Perhaps as my detector started screaming, I could execute a clever sidestep and avoid getting it on my shoe.
When I have one of those “I’m done” moments, the reality of it always catches up to me pretty quickly. I’m not done. I can’t be done. Because the reasons that I investigate and study the paranormal keep me here. What are my reasons? Why such a fascination? Here are my top ten.
1. It’s fun. I enjoy many of the people I’ve met, and I like getting together with them. While we take investigations seriously, the social element is important, as well. Sure, I’ve met a few people who haven’t been so great, but the majority of the people I know are terrific and I enjoy spending time with them.
2. I have a driving personal need to know whether or not something exists beyond biology. If all we are as human beings is biology, that’s fine. I can live with that because that means that the worst thing that happens when we die is that suddenly we no longer exist. If that is the case, I won’t know about it so no worries. If, however, we are something more, I’d like to know that, as well. If our consciousness lives on and there’s a way to discover in this lifetime that it does, then I’m going to be right there trying to figure it out. I lack the certitude that so many seem to display about the presence of the human soul. It’s a nice idea and I’d love for it to be true, but I’ve witnessed some pretty soul-less behavior…so maybe what I’m really doing is seeking certainty. It would be a relief to know that everything truly did happen for a reason. It might make it easier to deal with other people. You know the ones I’m talking about.
3. I’m a sucker for a good conversation. The paranormal sparks a lot of good conversations that make me think, and that occasionally blow my freakin’ mind. I thoroughly enjoy participating in those discussions.
4. I’m also a sucker for a good puzzle. When something happens that I can’t initially explain, my mind kicks in, and I start to shift pieces around looking for a truth.
5. I like questions better than I like answers. Sure, if I get an answer I’m thrilled. But for me, the questions are what really matter. Since the paranormal is rife with questions, I’m like a kid in a candy store.
6. I like fascinating people, places, stories, and adventures. I’ve been places for the paranormal that I would probably never had access to as Joe public. And I’ve met some pretty interesting people who have amazing stories to tell. As a storyteller myself, what could be better?
7. I’m looking for God. I grew up in the church, and in my college years my mind told me that the concept of a personal deity was a nice story, but probably a scientific impossibility. Since then, I’ve wavered back and forth, settling ultimately on an Einsteinian view of the Divine; however, part of me misses the personal God from my childhood. It would be nice to know that somewhere in the universe, no matter what happened or what I did, there was someone who loved me unconditionally and was always on my side.
8. I’m just a little bit geek. Or maybe a lot more than a little. I like pushing around quantum physics style ideas and actually coming up with explanations for spiritual phenomena that fit within something resembling science.
9. I’ve been interested since I was little. Favorite cartoon as a kid? Casper the Ghost. Favorite books? Anything about ghosts. Favorite television show in the 90s? Sightings. Throughout my life it’s followed me, and I’ve eaten it up. Quite simply, I love learning about the paranormal. Not just ghosts but all of it. The weird and unexplained draw me in over and over again.
10. I’m an experience junkie. I collect them like other people collect stamps, and the paranormal field, especially as a paranormal journalist, is rife with experiences.
Those are my top ten reasons right now, and they vary. My reasons for doing everything in my life are never static and unwavering. As I learn and grow, I constantly check with myself to see if my activities and interests still serve my current knowledge and beliefs. So far, the paranormal has passed that self-check for *koff*45*koff* years. Maybe I will wake up tomorrow and it won’t, but for as long as it does, I’m in it.