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My Induction into Paranormal Life – Letting Go (part 1)

4 Aug

heart-inspiring-life-love-quot-Favim.com-425667_largeAt some point in our lives, we have probably all heard the phrase, “fair weather friends.”  It refers to those people in your life who love to be around you when things are good and as soon as you show any sign that you might possibly need something from them they take the proverbial hike.  They go MIA.  They stop answering their phone.  Things are going well for them, so you haven’t heard from them in…how long has it been? I wouldn’t have those kinds of friends, would I?

I have always been the person people knew they could go to in a crisis.  If they called and were upset and hurting, I wouldn’t tell them they were intruding on the date night I’d  finally managed to get a sitter for.  I recall countless times being on the phone with this person, or that person for hours lending an ear, and sacrificing precious time with my husband and kids as a result.  My husband would give me “the look.”  It’s the look that I came to know as his, “You’re on the phone AGAIN,” look.  There was another look he’d give me when he’d had enough of me being unavailable to the family due to some crisis someone else was having.  Quality time for the two of us was scarce as it was, and I’d managed to spend most; if not all of it, on the phone consoling a friend or family member through yet another drama.

Digging deep and taking an honest look at my friendships wasn’t easy, and by doing so I noticed a disturbing fact. Many of those very same people I’d consistently sacrificed hours for weren’t there for me when the roles were reversed. Truthfully, it always bothered me that although I respected their time and took their feelings into consideration, I wasn’t given the same courtesy. When I needed emotional support or to talk about something that was upsetting me, the subject would get changed and I’d find myself engaged in another conversation about them.  After a while, it got to the point where I’d call; no answer.  I’d leave a message, they wouldn’t call back.  At first it just seemed as if they were avoiding me; then I knew they were.  If I got fed up enough to mention it, I was always brushed off.  It made me feel like my expectations of my friends were unrealistic. “You’re so needy.”  “You take everything way too personally.”  “You’re too sensitive.”  “I don’t understand why you let things bother you so much.  You’re overreacting.”  “You took it wrong.” “You’re so negative.”  “If all you want to talk about is drama, I don’t have time for it.  I’ve got enough going on in my life.”  Those responses hurt.  After all, aren’t your friends supposed to care about you? These were the same people I’d been there for over and over.  Were there times when they called me to vent that I wanted to tell them their actions and choices caused the issues they were having?  Of course there were!  Did I actually do it?  Of course not!  Why?  Because I cared enough about their feelings not to.  I felt it wasn’t my place to judge or criticize them; only to be there for them. I started to see a pattern.  As long as I didn’t assert myself, or call them out for their selfish behavior, everything was fine.  As soon as I started to question their motives or actions, there was nothing but conflict. No matter what the situation, I was made wrong for allowing whatever it was to bother me.  It became obvious to me that being right for them was more important than my feelings or anything else.  Things got to the point that I decided it wasn’t worth saying anything at all. I’d just end up feeling like shit and nothing would get resolved anyway.  It was easier to just avoid the entire issue altogether.  So for months, that’s what I did.

….next…letting go part 2…

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My Induction Into Paranormal Life: Taking Stock

1 Aug

Most people get to a certain point in their lives and start to evaluate; especially after something significant happens that causes them to be faced with a major life change or their own mortality.  The death of a relative, getting married, having kids, losing a job, turning 40, or any other life changing event or milestone can prompt you to take stock of your situation.

After I lost my job, I had plenty of free time to take a good, long look at mine.  I did have a lot to be thankful for.  I had my health, a nice home, 3 beautiful kids, and a husband who was everything I could ever hope for. But..I still didn’t have joy in my life. Life seemed daunting, hard, a struggle to get through most days, and I couldn’t figure out why.  The two main causes of stress in my life; my oldest daughter and my job, had now been reduced by half.  As a parent, I knew I needed to figure something out.  I was tired of being miserable! In my opinion, you can’t be a good parent and take care of your kids if you don’t know how to take care of yourself.

I had read that a gratitude journal could help change one’s focus from the negative to the positive things in life, so I decided to give it a try. One of the things the article suggested was to think of the people in your life who support you.  These people are the ones who want to see you succeed, do well, be happy, and are there for you no matter what.  I wrote down the people who came to my mind first; my husband, my parents, my life coach, my therapist, my aunt, and my mother-in-law.  Then I started to think about my friends.  Friends support you, right?  robin williams

I have two really great friends that I met after my husband and I got married in 1994, and we’ve been friends through all the military moves to different states and countries.  No matter the amount of miles separating us, or how often we saw each other or spoke on the phone, we could always pick up right where we left off as if no time had gone by.  I wrote these two friends down.  The friends I had made more recently, I’d made at my job.  After I examined my friendships with them further, I decided that they weren’t really friends.

Had I gotten it wrong somehow? Maybe somewhere along the way, I’d gotten the wrong idea about what a friend is supposed to be.  After all, these days with Facebook and Twitter, a “friend” is just someone you know or that your friends know.  Was it possible that I’d misinterpreted the meaning of that word all this time? I had managed to take a task meant to change my outlook, and turn it into a reality check.

I’ve always had a hard time making friends. Later, after finding out about my gifts, I would learn that it’s always difficult for an empath to trust, due to our ability to read others.  I know when people are being honest and sincere and when they’re not. Maybe because most of my “friends” were at least 5 or 6 years younger than me, didn’t have kids, weren’t married, etc., I expected too much from them. The only basis for comparison I had was how I treated them.   I was there for my friends to confide in and rely on.  I was there for support, to have fun with and commiserate with.  I considered their feelings, was honest with them, and I didn’t judge them if their opinion was different from mine. I was there to give advice if they asked for it.  I valued each one of them as a person, treated them with respect, and they knew I genuinely cared. I realized that they were benefiting much more from being friends with me than I was from being friends with them.  As a matter of fact, when I reached out to them for support, they usually made me feel worse; not better!

…next…letting go…

My Induction Into Paranormal Life – Part XVI

28 Jul

I’ve been told I am a powerful manifestor. I have to agree. Whatever I’m focusing on…positive or negative…will usually manifest. This is a wonderful gift when I’m focusing on something I want. When I was stuck in negativity and playing a victim role, I was focusing on the things I didn’t want. As you can imagine, during that time it didn’t seem so much as a gift as it did a curse. I spent a long time thinking I had the worst luck, and if anything was going to happen that was shitty…yep, it would happen to me. I lived life waiting for the other shoe to drop with an outlook that was very pessimistic. I believe that if you spend your time focusing only on the negative things that happen, that is all that you are going to notice. You may even be attracting more negativity toward you, without realizing it. Like attracts like.

I wanted change. I attracted change. It wasn’t exactly how I imagined it, but it happened nonetheless. After taking that 30 Day course and losing my job, I became convinced that it was my lack of self-esteem that led me there. To put it very simply, I felt that my insecurity projected out to people around me, and they treated me the way I thought I deserved to be treated. I now found myself with a dilemma. The analytical part of my brain couldn’t accept this notion that if I just changed my thinking, POOF, my life would change. I could have the joy, confidence, and security I wanted with no limits? “Yeah, right,” my inner critic would sarcastically exclaim. As it turned out, my inner self, and I were both right.

As a result of the incredible changes I was able to make in such a short time, I found myself looking for anything I could find under the heading “Self Help”. I devoured all I could. Some of it was very useful. Some of it wasn’t. After realizing that I wasn’t going to find what I needed in a book, I decided that I needed to be able to speak to someone live, one on one, so that I could get answers to my questions. I liked the free course I took and it helped so much more than I expected it would, that when the time came for a paid course I was interested in, I decided to go for it. The price was reasonable to me, and I did receive a severance when I got fired, so I figured I’d benefit not only myself by taking it, but my family and my next employer as well. The course brought together many different coaches on various topics, and I was like a sponge soaking up all I could. One guest in particular resonated with me so much that I decided to take her up on her offer for a free call with her.

I was so nervous before the call that I almost chickened out! I had made a promise to myself that I would never let insecurity or fear stand in the way of something that could benefit me ever again, and I forced myself to keep the appointment. It was the first time that I had ever given myself permission to be vulnerable and allow someone else to help me instead of me helping everyone else. I had spent much of my life being the strong one, the nurturer, the peacemaker, the bigger person. In return I’d gotten heartache and betrayal. I had to find out what I was doing wrong!

…to be continued…

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My Induction Into Paranormal Life-Part XV

26 Jul

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It was 4 months prior to me getting fired, but I already felt like a failure both in my career and as a mother. I really knew and felt that it was only a matter of time before my entire house of cards came tumbling down around me.  I was depressed, bitter, angry, restless, and felt helpless…not me at all.  The day I typed, “I hate my life” in the Google search was one of my most desperate days ever. I knew I was headed for disaster. I felt like I was on my way toward some kind of a breakdown. I didn’t like how I felt and I was desperately searching for a life line.  I sent out a soul call that day.

A soul call is a cry for help that one sends out into the universe; sometimes knowingly, most of the time unknowingly.  I didn’t know it that day, but when I Googled, “I hate my life,” I sent out a call asking for help.  I couldn’t see the computer screen because of tears that had welled up in my eyes; which only served to make me angry.  I was sick and tired of crying, hurting, and being misunderstood.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired!  I managed to calm myself enough to read the search results and clicked the link that would later change my life.  I remember thinking, “Like this is going to help.”  It just goes to show how powerful soul calls actually are.  Soul calls are like prayers in that they are very powerful and they are always answered, but often not the way we think they will be.  For instance,  I thought I was asking for help to keep my job. Little did I know that 4 months later it would be a moot point.  I was asking for my life to change, and my desperation caused it to happen the fastest way possible!

Things did change– so quickly and drastically since then — sometimes it feels like a different lifetime.  All of the things that have happened in that one short year still boggle my mind.  Having worked my way through and overcome each obstacle as it came, I know all were for my good.  In retrospect, getting fired from my job was just how things had to happen so the change I wanted so desperately could manifest.  I closed the door on that portion of my life, causing another one to open; then another, and another, until once again I find myself facing yet another door. Do I leave it closed?  Do I open it and walk through? Getting fired wasn’t the hardest thing I would face in that year.

….to be continued…

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My Induction Into Paranormal Life- Part XIV

19 Jul

Believe

My soul voice had guided me toward the inner strength and peace I had always longed for, but had never been able to obtain, and to the path I am on today. I read the blog, and was very pleased to discover that this woman was down to earth and not all hearts and rainbows. She was a real person! Her life sucked at times too! Awesome! She offered a free 30 day course on self-love and after some deliberating, I signed up for it. It was free, so what the hell, right? I felt I had nothing to lose at that point, and if I didn’t get anything out of it, I was no worse off.

I did learn some valuable things in that month. The knowledge I gained was a stone, when cast into the waters of my higher self, caused a ripple effect that has created tremendous change to my very core. An a-ha moment of this magnitude can and often does create a shift in the way one perceives herself. I began to feel I had value. I felt I deserved to be treated decently, with respect, and courtesy. I began to say no to people because I finally felt I had a right to. For the first time in my life I did things because I wanted to, not because I was worried that someone would be offended if I didn’t.

That first step toward improving my self-confidence has been invaluable to me. I credit it, finding a terrific therapist, and getting my own life coach for most of the changes my life has undergone since. Is my life perfect? Hell no it’s not perfect, but nothing is! It’s the change in my perspective that’s made the difference. I don’t feel like a victim to life. It’s that confidence shift that gave me the courage to take a good, hard, honest look inward, to seek out answers, and to trust my soul voice to lead me to them.

I feel that self-reflection is a very important tool that can be used for self-improvement, self-help, and self-love.  Taking responsibility for the things that go wrong in life that you may ultimately be responsible for is important also.  There is no self-improvement for someone who always blames others for her problems and never takes responsibility for the part she may play in those problems.  For example, if someone finds herself in bad relationship after bad relationship, but never looks inward to do some analyzing, she will always blame the other person in the relationship for it going wrong; however, there could very possibly be a pattern of choices she is making that are part of the issue.  Sadly, she will forever be stuck in unsuccessful relationships, because she will be oblivious to her own destructive patterns.

The same could be said for someone who walks around with a victim mentality toward life.  I know this from experience and it’s an existence devoid of joy and immersed in pain.  Add to that the anxiety, pain, sadness, negativity, grief and every other emotion an empath experiences that is not hers, and life becomes a struggle.  One minute up, the next down, anxious and scared, then happy and laughing, then angry…all seemingly out of the blue with no provocation whatsoever. Enough of this type of living, and you’d have to be nuts not to look for something–anything–that might help.

…To be Continued…

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My Induction into Paranormal Life-Part XIII

14 Jul

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A few days ago, on July 10th, 2013, it was exactly a year since I left my job. It’s really crazy how life can change so drastically in the blink of an eye; yet seem to come full circle again and leave you right back where you started. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection and soul-searching, and I’ve learned so much in such a short time; about myself and others as well.

It’s important to note that I didn’t know I was an empath until recently and throughout my life, I’ve always been very sensitive to the feelings of others. I have always been extra sensitive to negative energies, especially the ones that were focused toward me. I’d spend countless hours analyzing. I would feel responsible for them and turn them inward; thinking it was my fault. If only I was(n’t) ______, if only I wouldn’t have ______, or it’s because I _______, was common inner dialogue for me. There have been times in my life that this type of self-criticism has damaged my psyche to the point of despair. Once it got to the point of me being suicidal. Thankfully, I recognized the thoughts I was having at that time as being unhealthy and I sought help. I felt those familiar feelings last January, and I started looking for ways to climb out of the pit of despair I found myself in.

One very difficult morning, I couldn’t face going to work that day. It was a chore just to get out of bed most days, which made me habitually late during that time. Not wanting to face the judgement of being late yet again, I called in sick. After my husband left for work and the kids left for school, I found myself crying and unable to stop. I got out my lap top and Googled, “I hate my life.” I found a website that was about self-love and how to get it. It was a life coach’s web site. I didn’t know anything about life coaches, so I don’t know why I had the opinion I did, but I had always thought that life coaching was a bunch of, “Life is wonderful…lah dee dah…” and I really wasn’t in any mood to read about how great life is and all you have to do is think positive, etc. I started reading the information on the web site thinking it was going to be another one of those kinds of deals. I almost closed out the page without reading it, but something inside told me to give it a chance. My soul voice was guiding me to something.

…to be continued…

My Induction Into Paranormal Life–Part XII

3 Jul

After months of self-reflection I was finally able to understand why it was always so hard for me to make friends as a kid, and even later on as an adult. Being empathic can have devastating effects on one’s self-esteem! Thankfully, I worked my way through it and now I have the most self-esteem and confidence I’ve ever had. I still am a very giving, compassionate person; that hasn’t changed. What has changed is I won’t let myself be taken advantage of by people who take and take, drain my energy, and make me feel used. After all, any relationship–be it friendship, a romantic relationship, or a family relationship–can be destructive if all the giving is done by one and all taking is done by the other. A healthy relationship is one that is mutually beneficial for both parties.

In the end it was the twisted perceptions of a few individuals and their insecurities that led to the moment I was fired. Couple that with the knowledge that exactly one week after I was terminated, 9 other people were laid off–not terminated–and I was a very angry and bitter person for some time afterward. I felt wronged, and spent a lot of time asking, “Why me?” I came to realize that I would never get an answer to that question and if I did, it wouldn’t be the truthful, honest answer. I already knew why, and I knew they’d never admit it. I needed to get past the fact that what they did was wrong.

It is difficult sometimes to understand what motivates people to do the things they do. I find myself wondering how they live with themselves, sleep at night, or justify that kind of behavior to themselves. A lot of people would have become bitter and cynical after everything that happened. I was for a while, but I didn’t like how I felt. That’s just not who I am. I’m not made that way. In fact, my personality was probably what made me the easy target. After all, compare me to any other person on my team at that time, and I was the one who would go without a fight, without stirring things up or making a fuss. In that regard, they were right.

That day after meeting with my manager and director, and letting them tell me their version of why I was being terminated, I simply looked at them and asked, “Are we done?” They said we were, I took off my access badge and threw it on my director’s desk. There were so many things I wanted to say, but I said nothing. I turned around, walked out of the office, grabbed my things from the cubicle I’d been sitting in, and quickly and quietly walked out. I didn’t give them the satisfaction of walking me out in front of those that would be happy to see me leave. There was one individual in particular that I purposely avoided making eye contact with on my way out. I felt she was responsible for most of the issues. She was the ring leader; the pot stirrer, the gossiper. There’s one in every place of work–the person who spends so much time worrying about what everyone else is doing that one wonders how they get their own work done. There was just something about our two personalities that didn’t mesh. I am proud to say that I was always professional and civil to her, although it was very hard at times. I was worried what I might say or do should we lock gazes on my way out. I am normally a very peaceful and friendly person, but we all have our breaking points. This person pushed my buttons consistently for 4 years attempting to get a rise out of me. With my livelihood being taken away due mostly to her years of focusing on imaginary favoritism that she thought I’d received from my former manager and acting like a spoiled child, I felt it best to avoid her. After all, she caused the course of events leading to my firing. She wasn’t only affecting me, but my family as well. I knew all along it was she who put everything into motion and ultimately took food off of my table and gifts from under the tree for my kids during the holidays. I knew that one sure way to get me riled is to put me in “mama bear” mode. It was better for us both that I steered clear of her as I left. I went out the back entrance of the administrative area, kept my head up, and didn’t look back.

As an empath, I am very emotional. That trait alone kept me from fitting into Corporate America. I kept my composure the entire walk and elevator ride down to the lobby. I lost it when I asked my manager to please make sure that the form I’d gotten from a student I just finished meeting with got submitted. I choked it back, walked out the doors, and got into my car; my mind reeling. I remember being angry with myself for not telling my director off as I’d promised myself I would when the inevitable happened. After some thought; however, I knew I did the right thing. After all, I’m sure she would have loved for me to raise hell in her office. Then she could have called security or the cops and made a huge spectacle at my expense. I’ve worked through all the emotions– anger, grief, betrayal, bitterness, and so on. I have come away from the experience with wisdom and a love of self that I never would have had otherwise. I understand now that in order for me to get to where I am today, I had to experience all of it. I had forgotten one very important fact– that life is to be lived, not survived.

…to be continued…

My Induction Into Paranormal Life– Part XI

28 Jun

The issues at work caused me to take notice, do some self-reflection, and try to get a handle on what was happening. To the non-sensitive, non-empathic individual, it would have simply been a case of disciplinary action. I was late for work, and I was written up. Both of these things are true. It went way beyond that. There was a written warning. The first one I’d gotten in my life! When I received it, I knew there was more to it. I knew by then that something was about to happen. I’d felt an overwhelming sense of impending doom for months. I could feel the tension whenever I interacted with certain people, and I knew I wasn’t imagining it. My coworkers and director were civil to my face, but they’d unknowingly tipped their hands to me. They were dealing with a sensitive. I knew what their intentions were and I had no doubt they were looking for a way to terminate me. Because my work performance was exemplary, it took them over a year to do it, but in the end it turned out as I predicted.Tomorrow

It was that major amount of inner work that allowed me to analyze the things that were happening at work and see them for what they truly were. I looked at things that occurred during my childhood, teen years, and on into my adult years as well. I noticed most of the painful times had affected me so greatly because I was an empath. Conflicts were the worst, and I suffered so much more than the average person because I could feel the emotion and anger directed toward me, as if it were an object someone had physically thrown at me. When I had a disagreement with one of my friends or family members–anyone, really–I sensed their true feelings. Later, most would say they didn’t mean the things they said and they were just angry; and if they were not being honest about how they felt, I always knew. I  knew whether or not they were telling the truth and whether or not they were truly sorry.  That was especially hard on me as a kid.  It hasn’t gotten any easier.  I just know how to deal with it better as an adult.

There is nothing worse than having an argument with someone you consider a good friend, only to realize that they never really were your friend to begin with. They were only hanging around because of what they could get from you. That realization coupled with me having to learn to say no to people and stand up for myself was one of life’s hardest lessons for me. It remains so.  I’ve had to sever ties I never thought I’d have to sever. Some were people I’d known my entire life; others were people who I’d met at work.  All were opportunists that knew I had a people pleasing nature.  As soon as I began to start thinking about what I needed to be happy and voiced it, the opportunists in my life got very uncomfortable.  Most were gone in a flash.  Others stuck around a while longer, perhaps to see if I was going to stick to my guns.  I did, and eventually even the stubborn ones had to take notice.  For whatever reason, it seems empaths always have people in their lives that drain their energy.  I call these people Energy Vampires.  These types of individuals are drawn to an empath because of their common inability to say no or stand up for themselves.

Keep an eye out for more on Energy Vampires and how to defend yourself against them in a future post! In the mean time, if you’d like some great information about empaths and their common characteristics, you can find it at the following links:

http://www.psi-zone.net/guidebook.html  http://mysilentecho.com/dreamtongue1.htm .

…to be continued…

My Induction into Paranormal Life– Part X

27 Jun

Two years ago I was up to my eyeballs in circumstances! My husband and I had been dealing with severe behavior issues with our eldest daughter for approximately 4 years prior to the proverbial shit hitting the fan at my job. I’d managed to work through most of it.  I’d been blaming myself and feeling like a failure as a parent. I was an emotional wreck most of the time.  My work performance had started to suffer because I was preoccupied.  The leadership I had at that time was very understanding; however, and I was able to push past the problems at home and I threw myself into my work. After that, work had become my solace.  This was short-lived; however.

Ultimately, the company culture changed and morphed into something I no longer recognized.  My department director left to be the campus director at another location, and my manager, who at the time was my friend, got laid off.  After the dust settled, I found myself dreading going to work.  The leadership in my department had changed, and I’m not sure what it was that opened my eyes, but I remember walking into work one day and feeling anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks out of nowhere.  The tension in the atmosphere felt palpable to me, but when I went to my desk and looked around at my coworkers, no one else seemed to notice. I felt the tension in the air.  For the first time, I walked into a room and could sense how people were feeling.

I did not know at the time that I was a sensitive or that I was empathic.  I only knew that life had become very painful for me in both the figurative as well as the literal sense.  I was going to work every day to a job that I hated, but I was petrified to move on and start new somewhere else. I was paralyzed by the fear that I would end up in the same type of environment at a new job that I was suffering through at the current one.  I lacked self-confidence and I thought my situation at work had to do with something that was wrong with me.  “Hindsight is always 20-20.”  That’s what my soul says to me at this moment as I type. I am inclined to agree. My soul has always spoken to me, but I used to tune it out.  It took that despicable   work environment I was dealing with to make me start listening to it again.  It was like someone had removed the blinders I had on, and suddenly I could see things exactly how they were–no filters.

Thinking back I had started to feel it after my first director left. I had pushed it away thinking it was just apprehension over the changes.  Now my soul was telling me to take notice and watch my back.  I started listening to my soul voice, and began to take inventory of the things that I’d been denying and pushing away.  For instance, there were coworkers that I’d met years prior that I didn’t care for after just one interaction with them.  Something inside me said, “Stay away from this one.”  I just had a reaction to them upon meeting them that was unpleasant.  I would talk myself out of it because I knew nothing about them, thought it to be unfair to judge a person without really knowing them. I would think about how many times someone had judged me without knowing me, and would tell myself, “Give (him/her) a chance, that’s not fair.” As it turned out, my first impression was right every time.  I saw right through them and the masks they wore to hide their true natures. I sensed all the hidden agendas, all the hostility, and I knew the things they were saying behind my back. I didn’t hear them and no one had to tell me.  I simply felt it and I knew.

…to be continued…

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My Induction into Paranormal Life- Part IX

23 Jun

When I started in Saint Augustine working for the ghost tour company, I had a skeptic’s interest in the paranormal.  In the few short months I was there, I had experienced so many things and captured so much photographic evidence on a nightly basis, I could no longer deny there was something that existed in a reality separate from the one I knew. Some would call it another dimension, others an alternate reality, and still others would say it was a parallel universe.  I wasn’t sure what it was, only that I now knew something outside of the norm I was used to was showing up in my pictures, and somehow I just knew where to aim the camera in order to capture whatever it was in a photo.

Where it all started!

Orb, Anastasia Island, FL Lighthouse

Orb outside the keeper’s house, Anastasia Island, FL.

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Orb outside upper story dormer window. B&B located in St Augustine, FL

The time came when I could no longer do the ghost tours.  I had a family who depended on me and the hours just weren’t the kind of hours I could keep and hope to spend any quality time with my husband or my kids.  There was also the fact that although I really did love the work and enjoyed giving the tours, I just wasn’t making the kind of money that could justify the lack of quality family time to me.  The job also wasn’t helping to support my family either.  I drove 45 minutes there and back. I really was only making whatever tips I received in an evening because the rest of my pay was going into my gas tank.  Ultimately the time came that I had to resign.  I didn’t want to, but I had to find something that would allow me to contribute to the household and help pay the bills.  I gained a lot of knowledge during the short time I was employed in Saint Augustine giving the ghost tours about the paranormal, and for that I will always be grateful.  I also think that in a lot of ways that job was the catalyst to the evolution of me as the person I am today and the life I am living today.

When I woke up the next morning, I took a walk around the house while my kids were gone and my husband was at work.  The depression I had fallen into after being terminated from my university job was evident everywhere I looked!  I wasn’t always a neat, organized person…my parents could tell you that, but after 4 years in the military and living on my own, I had become somewhat of a neat freak.  Of course, with 3 children, I had to learn to let some things go and ease up my expectations somewhat regarding the cleanliness of my home.  What I saw this day; however, was a bit beyond easing the expectations.  Everywhere I looked there was disorder.  There was no semblance of order or organization to be seen, from the kids’ bedrooms, to my bedroom, to my kitchen cabinets, to every closet.  Things were just thrown and left where they landed.  I began to see the mess as an external, visual representation of how I felt about my life.  I sat down on the couch and began to contemplate the events that had occurred over the previous months from the time I’d been fired, to working the job in Saint Augustine, to the present.  I realized that something had to change.  I just didn’t know what.

…to be continued…