It’s hard to describe that feeling of not belonging. No matter how much you try, you don’t really fit in with any tribe. I have tried, to find who I am, but the years of cold war spook conditioning isn’t easy to beat.
My Father was a product of his time, he joined the service in the 60’s, when the mystery and excitement was at its highest, when all diplomats served as intelligence officers, gathering information whenever they could. When I finally admitted I wanted to be working in the same field, I got lectures on how to not bring attention to oneself, which became confusing during my teen years, You were supposed to be noone and anyone, to blend into walls, into crowds of people. By 19, I had realized just how good I had become at it. to know I had been forgotten by people I had gone to school with, was a little horrifying and kind of brilliant at the same time.
It all started at a party, after first year University. We all gathered at a friend’s house. It was a boarding school reunion. 2 guys from the year ahead of me were sitting in the livingroom, I said “hi” and asked how they were doing. They looked at me, and asked who I was. I had sat in 2 classes with both of them, we went to a school that had less than 200 people. They had no recollection of me, even though I had multiple conversations with them over the year we were in school together.
I had made myself completely invisible to them. It had never bothered me before, it was my natural attempt at surviving all the moves around the world. It was the first time, however, I was acutely aware of how good I had become at it. I laughed the incident off, but for years, it has eaten me up, and made me all too aware of the 2 worlds I lived between.