Five years ago today, I moved out of my marital home and into my own place, living on my own for the first time in my entire life after 26 years of marriage (31 total years in the relationship).
My readers and friends were unbelievably supportive of the process and what I was going through. I was chasing dreams to be who I am 24/7, use my talents and my mind, my passion and the opportunities coming my way to take a chance on seeing what I am capable of. And, I am eternally thankful.
It started with a dream to build a respected paranormal blog, and that goal has been an awesome process.
I was so beat down by the relationship, that I was afraid to show my face online. I thought I was hideous. A dear blogger asked to see my face. I sent a picture and he turned it into my new avatar for "Autumnforest" that made me realize I had misjudged my looks, my worth, my life and it was time to look at it realistically.
Then, I had a burning hope to publish a book - I have now published over 20 books in five years! (my Amazon page of books)
Growing Up With Ghosts
Vacationing With Ghosts
Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories (Desert Edition)
Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories (Appalachian Edition)
Twice As Special
Josiah: Undead Cowboy
Was That a Ghost?
Paranormal Geeks Gang: Geeks and Ghosts
Kickin' Up Dust! (Getting Lost to Find Ourselves), Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse
Zombie Housewives of the 1960s
Zombie Housewives of the 1970s
Zombie Housewives of the 1980s
Developing Your Psychic Skills
I Recovered From Panic Disorder
My Alien Encounters
How To Take a Gorgeous Selfie
Philia: Sex in Dark Places
Taphophilia: Love of Cemeteries
Spectrophilia: Love of Ghosts
Lycanthrophilia: Love of Werewolves
Coulrophilia: Love of Clowns
Mermaidophilia: Love of Mermaids
Limikkenophilia: Love of Shapeshifters
Sanguivorophiila: Love of Vampires
(Coming soon - "Pagan Bloodlust," erotic horror novel and "The Hunt: Ghosts" paranormal romance series)
The job I was in (medical transcription) had me making almost minimum wage after changes in the industry (1/3 of what I used to make), and no time off, crippling sciatica from sitting and typing nonstop, and I dreamed I could leave that situation and be totally in charge of my own life and my own success.
At least one time in a person's life, he or she should plunge out into the great unknown without a net. These are the things that become legends in old age.
Through my logical and succinct communications online in the public realm, I made a friendship with someone who was impressed with my take on things. A mentorship ensued and that allowed me to learn a new field of study, stock trading and oil industry, and test my capabilities there. I have invested and traded in companies that are going to change the world with great new technologies, like Inovio (INO), PLUG Power (PLUG), Ekso Bionics (EKSO), Plastics2Oil (PTOI), and others.
Eventually, I quit the 9-5 to take that plunge with my capabilities. It has never been secure or carefree, and has required intense work, lots of moments of utter terror and joy. The biggest obstacle has been the way I was taught to look at life and success and the desire to see what life's path takes if I follow my skills and passions.
Learning to adapt when I want to give up, and test my limits when I am feeling safe have been important skills.
I remind myself regularly that, at the end of my life I do not want to say, "I had a dream I could try to do something on my own." I will always be able to tell my granddaughter that "at one time, grandma quit her job and traded stocks and helped to facilitate sale of oil leases. This freed her up to write and paint, research and embrace her soul's desire."
When life is said and done, it's not what I did that haunts me, it's what I wasn't brave enough to do, that haunts me.
My advice; if you are going to take a risk in your life, expect you will be insecure, terrified, and you may even "fail," but so long as you went for it - you were triumphant! Reinventing ones self should be a considered requirement of living.
I still haven't dated since I was 16, but I haven't been without relationships in the five years. I just didn't enter the singles scene. For someone into as many unusual things as I am, finding someone I have stuff in common with meant joining meetup groups, going to para-related events, and meeting them sometimes online.
A man's mind, heart and humor above all else is valued by me.
Building friendships is vital as a single. When I was in a bad marriage, I didn't want anyone to know it and I didn't feel comfortable making friendships. When I became single, my friends adopted me and I adopted them into a huge family. I have been more curious to see what I could do if left free on the field of life to have experiences - finally!
When it comes to romance, at this point, the guy better be a dream custom fit because I want to experience the love of my life and I want a partner in interests and adventures. I don't want to be in another relationship with someone who doesn't get an artist's soul and an intellect's brain, who doesn't ask questions of the universe and its mysteries, can't give a compliment or be supportive, or feel like a kid decorating for Halloween each year.
Most definitely, I want someone with a heart and soul that are apparent and in regular and active use daily.
I have done a lot of traveling, a lot of investigations, been deep in great think tanks of researchers, and gone to plenty of events in these 5 years. My life went from the same day every day to the great unknown, with all the excitement, thrill, and horror.
I took up the hobby of urban exploration - photographing abandoned sites.
In fact, if you ever want to know about the creative life, just know that it is never a waste of time and the serendipity is amazing. When I started photographing abandoned sites, Julie and I came across an abandoned home which became later the location for our first book, "Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse" about 1950s suburban women getting up after a chemical bomb turns them into zombies, put their lipstick back on and go about their boring days as usual. Later, those abandoned sites became the impetus for our Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories books where I did a psychic read and Julie photographed the abandoned sites. As well, we have documented many places that no longer exist, have developed a lot of history, and the beauty of the forgotten. Each trek out so renewed us that we would come home, change our lives immediately - energized by a new perspective. This is written about in our book "Kickin' Up Dust! (Getting Lost To Find Ourselves)."
Because of my absolute love for painting and horror crafting, I opened an Etsy shop. It has given me an amazing outlet for another side of me that needs to create visual medium. Each item in my Madam Curio shop comes with an urban legend.
I have dealt with tons of responsibility and decision-making on my own, built a happy nest that is totally me, expressed myself with my bohemian style and gotten to be me 24/7 without worry of disapproval.
You also get to do things your way, so day to day living is smooth because you assessed, "don't need to put the dishes away tonight," or "I want to go on vacation to here - " and there is no one to bargain with. On the same token, it's all in your hands which is exhausting.
I have enjoyed developing my cooking talents in arenas I'm passionate about instead of the meat/potatoes kind of cooking that was once expected of me. I grow my own organic food on the patio, go to farmer's markets, workout, and do things that I never allowed myself to take time to do for myself when I was putting someone else first.
You might see my YouTube Channel (Psychic62) expanding even more as I am gathering all my experiences, knowledge, focuses and more into some helpful information sharing ways, whether it's life coaching, health, humor (Dale the Doll is always around) or handing the para realm. I mean to take what I started here and make a warehouse of info for immediate access, giving you links, sites, and ways to expand and explore your own passions in the para realm.
After all, Ghost Hunting Theories began with a meeting of para geeks in the blog realm and became a worldwide revolution to expand our knowledge past what we were spoonfed in institutions; religious, governmental, and educational.
I hope something about my journey has helped others to see that the transition has been scary beyond belief, lonely, terrifying at times, boring, isolating, and then life-expanding, networking, connecting, exciting, joyful, and amazing. They are the two edges to the sword we single people dance on.
Ultimately, we have stories of our bravery and our achievements, disappointments, and phases to tell others about when we are old and infirm and live on the memories of the past.