Saturday, February 24, 2018

Blog Entry Saturday: The Evolution of Ghost Hunting Theories and Myself

Today's blog entry is the journey of this blogger in the almost 10 years of this blog's evolution and how it correlates with my own process....

In 2008, I had my Achilles tendon reattached. I wasn't allowed to walk for several months and for someone who was not used to asking for help, I was miserable. I was crying almost every day. My brilliant son said, "mom while you're laid up, get on your laptop and start a blog about ghost stuff since you like it so much." 

I thought it was a crazy idea. What did I know about blogging? But, still, the concept of sharing all kinds of theories about the unexplained and meeting people who were into the same stuff sounded good. He showed me the basic setup on Blogger and before he could bat an eye, I had run with the concept!

Blogging was at a peak of popularity then and there were so many great people to network with, share blog entries, chit chat. I ended up making a "Lonely on a Friday Night" posting each Friday night and we would chat back and forth with hundreds of messages through the evening. I found out just how lonely I was in my marriage and how much I needed friends. 

I finally had an outlet for my humorous side. I did Ghost Adventures drinking games and parodies of the paranormal shows. Soon, I brought on Dale the Doll, my sidekick and added a YouTube channel (psychic62) to showcase him. 

Along the way my friends supported me as a writer and encouraged me. I submitted my writings and won contests. I was stunned. My readership grew. People were starting to quote me (autumnforest).

While my marriage had long been an ongoing issue, I was now focused on something else, my writing career. I was a medical transcriptionist at home, typing production lines every day for medical reports, but by night I was me in a land where people understood my quick wit, my curiosity, my desire to know and share more information on all things unexplained. 

And, in 2010, two years into blogging, I was brave enough to finally say, ENOUGH! And I divorced.

In this shot above, I had just finalized my divorce and went on my first single girl vacation to San Diego. Lots of time to look into the horizon and wonder what kind of life I would have. I never ever imagined it would be the one I have now. I didn't see it coming at all. That horizon was a big blank slate and I have filled it to the rim.

Having come out of a relationship since I was 16, I came out of the marriage thinking I'd find the love of my life and we'd make this awesome tag team for the rest of our lives, just supporting each other and being madly in love. 

I didn't have a frame of reference for me without referring to someone else. 

Prior to marrying, I was the baby of the family and it was all about what the elders needed. No one encouraged me to have a self identity or to pursue dreams. I was to be a support for someone else's dreams and life. 

I remember one time in the darkest of times I said, "thank you for letting me be a witness to your life." Pathetic, huh? 

So, here I was in 2010, climbing up a foothill behind my apartment building and looking out over the Valley of the Sun and thinking, "what direction do I go in? What opportunities will come? What am I capable of?" 

I didn't realize it at the time, but opportunities were going to start knocking rapidly and I was going to be brave enough to answer them all.

As for my blog, it continued to be a point of reference for researchers and the media. Even those in reality TV shows were finding dialogue with me to be interesting and often outside-the-box. 

I had offers to do shows, but that was not the direction this geek wanted to take. I wasn't into it for any notoriety or celebrity or to travel around promoting a show that was edited to stupidity for the advertiser's benefit. I wanted to have time and space to do real research and contribute knowledge to the subjects.

I continued with my studies of all things unexplained and horror. I gained a sense of something unifying about it all and developed an almost philosophical attitude that it is all somehow related by its vagueness of presentation and difficulty holding and examining. 

In 2011, Julie Ferguson and I began to publish books together. First, we did "Kickin' Up Dust! (Getting Lost to Find Ourselves", The Zombie Housewives" series and the "Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories" series were followed by "Paranormal Geeks," and some children's books.  Eventually, we were writing our own books separately, as well. "Growing Up With Ghosts" and "Vacationing With Ghosts" gave me 5-star ratings and an award. All in all, I had published over 20 books in the 7 years of singledom.

With the single life came something long overdue - travel! Road trips became my saving grace. With a miserable job doing medical transcription, a profession that once made me 26 dollars and hour but was now making 8 dollars an hour thanks to voice recognition that was miserably slow to edit, I needed an outlet. 

I wanted to see and experience things and have a frame of reference for my blogging and book writing. My best friend Julie and I started photographing abandoned sites, exploring the state, and going on ghost and even Bigfoot investigations and UFO watching. We were open to whatever is out there and got some precious time on the road. Our book "Kickin' Up Dust! (Getting Lost to Find Ourselves!)" was all about these treks and how we went out on a simple road trip and came back to make major changes in our lives. 

The effects were amazing. We eventually flew back east for two long trips where we got to explore many states and mysteries and develop a sense of what we wanted for our futures in terms of seeing things, doing things, investigating things. 

Every single trek has created something new in my attitude about my life, the changes I make, the perspective I gain. 

Going on the road really means getting away but it also means getting closer to you. I was able to revisit my childhood haunted estate in Fairfax, Virginia and my childhood summer home in Newpoint, Virginia on the Chesapeake. My 5-star books "Growing Up With Ghosts" and "Vacationing With Ghosts" were born from the perspective revisiting allowed. 

I realized then who I had always been deep inside, what I valued, and what I vowed to myself. That vow was simple - continue to see what your potential is, be brave, set out no matter how uncharted the course, and use everything God gave you! 

In 2013, besides writing lots of books and blogging and plugging away at a career that made me minimum wage and wore my body down, I finally decided to take a chance on me. 

My mentor taught me how to trade stocks and perform due diligence. Like my son teaching me blogging, I took it and ran. Within one year, I made enough to quit my miserable job and begin stock trading with a nice amount of capital. This was the end of 2014.

The market wasn't the greatest with the last presidency and the lackluster economy, but I managed to keep myself going for some time trading stocks, focusing on oil painting again, getting my blog numbers up to top rankings around the world, and putting out book after book. I was quickly brought in as an admin on stock boards and a healthy contributor to due diligence and discussion on the market and the economy in general.

I was proud that I could capably make decisions and trust in my instincts and also be a valued source of knowledge.

During this time, too, my mentor had been teaching me all he could about the oil industry for years and was now nudging me to enter the field. For someone who had no children to teach the industry to, he was pleased I was eager to know more and more and he quizzed me daily to see if I knew how to apply the knowledge.

I continued to surprise myself and him. I also found a deep abiding respect for the men and women who made it possible for us to get from here to there, our goods as well. Without increased oil production, our lives would be almost abysmal. He started me out in understanding leasing, geology, how to turn prospects into projects, how to evaluate potential pay zones. It was becoming less of an education and more of a passion.

And, with my study of the oil and gas industry, I became a working partner in a lease. I also helped my mentor to evaluate what he had and its potential for turning prospects into drilling projects. I was introduced to many people in the industry and began the process of networking. When I felt confident about my connections, I began to ask questions and fill in any gaps in my knowledge with new perspectives and was allowed in on the process of decision-making from exploration to production.

And, as I felt my time financially was dwindling for continuing in stock trading, I made a shift into oil and gas industry equipment and rig brokerage in 2016. 

It was around this time that my blog had really gotten high rankings in the unexplained category and my blog showed a strong emphasis on Bigfoot and ancient giants, two areas of research I had been honing in on. 

I also got my paranormal romance book series picked up by NewLink Publishing with release of the first book this spring, "Ghost of a Chance! (A SEEK Team Investigation)"



There I was in 2010 and here I am today.

That future I kept peering into, it's still just as vague. But, around me I have the proof of what I'm capable of. If you look back at your childhood, you might find the clues.

I was creative, but also able to play alone. In a group, I tended to want to lead because I don't like indecisiveness. I had a talent for taking a box and creating a car, taking a sheet and making a gown. I can focus myself to complete any task before me and I adapt and learn quickly. 

The blog has reached #1 ghost hunting blog on the web, #8 paranormal blog in the world, and gets many thousands of hits a day. I feel proud that it's a showcase of both open-minded theories about the unexplained, as well as a location for my papers on my studies that are ongoing. 

Even though the horizon seems as vague as ever, I can see all the parts around me, all the networking, the connections, the activity and excitement, the process as it evolves.

Like weight loss, it's what you do day to day that leads to success down the road. And, I look at the things I have done day to day for the past 7-1/2 years and realize I'm closer to something.

What is that something? 

My purpose, my destiny, my reward.

Thank you, my friends and readers, for letting me do a retrospective today of where I was and where I am headed. I could have no better cheerleaders for my trailblazing endeavors. I vow I will light the path and pass it on, a mentor to anyone and everyone who needs one. As well, the research and findings on GHT will only get better with time - 

1 comment:

  1. Great story. I read every day. Congratulations on a life well lived.



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