I thought I was normal. A trendy “fashion girl.” But it turned out after a trauma caused me to reevaluate my priorities, I am actually really weird. And I need to make peace with that.
I always knew what I wanted out of life. I loved anything visually expressive and creative. It made sense I would work in fashion. I worked assisting stylists, then styling, while turning what was a blog covering fashion weeks around the world, through many pivots, into a startup that was selling emerging fashion designers from around the world.
I was happy. I was ready to take my startup to the next level by getting ready to pitch investors. I was making new friends in the startup community, I had recently ended everything with an ex-boyfriend and now I knew what I wanted in a relationship and was ready to hit Tinder, Bumble, everywhere and have all the puzzle pieces of my life fall together as I always saw them. I was even hitting the gym daily.
Then my dad got sick. Despite the fact he had me later in life, I was not that worried. He was going to be okay. He HAD to. But he wasn’t. He passed away after three months of being sick.
I always knew what I would do in a situation like this. I would throw myself into my work. Stay really busy. But that was not at all what I could do when the unthinkable actually happened. My body was heavy, as if it was filled with molasses. My brain was cloudy. My stomach hurt. I imagined grief would be incredibly sad. Sadder than I had ever been. But this was different. I had no idea grief would be so . . . physical. I could not move. All I wanted to do, all I could do, was lie in bed. When I tried to work I could not care. My startup did not seem important enough to overcome my need to lie in bed and do nothing. I never saw something like this coming. I did not have a plan B for “not caring about fashion” anymore.
The only thing that gave me any motivation to do anything at all was a shot in the dark google search, from which I expected nothing. I typed in “Evidence of past-life memories.” Im not weird. Im not woo. Crystals are nothing more than decorations. “But. . . “ (my thought process went) “just because our consciousness is created by the brain, and there is nothing like a god or anything, why could our brain not create an experience of being conscious for someone more than once. And could any of those memories carry over?”
Never in a million years did I expect to find what I found . . . the first step down the rabbit hole of “weirdness.” The work of Dr. Jim Tucker and the late Dr. Ian Stevenson – two rational, science-minded, child psychiatrists and professors at the University of Virginia who studied cases of kids with past life memories and were getting results! Even Carl Sagan said that Dr. Stevenson’s research was worthy of further investigation. WHAT THE FUCK?!
After reading hundreds of more books, scientific studies, classes and even getting my own medium readings, I realized the thing I was most passionate about was sharing all I had discovered. But I DID NOT WANT TO BE WEIRD!
Me (to one of the few people who knew about my journey) : So . . . I’m gonna write this book about, umm about if there is valid scientific evidence of an afterlife. My whole journey over the past year and the people I met along the way.
Friend: AMAZING! That is so brave of you.
Me: Thanks. But I’m gonna do it under a false identity.
Friend: Umm and how are you gonna promote? On social or anything.
Me: The way Elena Ferrante did. I don’t think anyone still knows who she really is.
Friend: . . . Ummm . . I am not sure that would work.
Me: But what will everyone think of me? What will Neil Degrasse Tyson and Stephen Hawking think of me?! (This was shortly before he died)
Friend: Do they know you?
Me: Point taken. But what about everyone else.
Friend: Some will think you are weird. Some people will dismiss you because of that. But do you really want closed-minded friends? Some will think it’s interesting. And some might also be in grief themselves and could be helped by the fact this skeptical atheist thinks there is something to all this afterlife research.
Okay, she had a point. After exhausting every possibility I was confronted with either staying “safe” and “publicly” normal and maybe getting my book out to a few people, or just owning it and being “weird.” Jade egg, crystal loving weird, although I promise what I have been researching has a lot more valid evidence. And I mean A LOT more.
So that is how I went from fashion startup business girl to, well, “weird” because it was not about me anymore, it was about others in grief.
Written by Elizabeth Entin