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Who Else Could I Be?
an excerpt from my book 'I Must Have Wandered: An Adopted Air Force Daughter Recalls'
I didn’t have a regional accent—was never in one place long enough to develop one—I would take on the persona of a new acquaintance so she would accept me. I had no related cousins or siblings and didn’t see myself in my immediate family. Finding an identity took work when no one looked like me. It was a preoccupation, a necessity, and with no voice associations, I had to scrutinize their way of talking to make it mine. Otherwise, how should I talk or act?
This was a chore, my job in a constantly changing sphere of friends, was to be vigilant in order to assimilate. I had no physical mirrors until my daughter was born when I was twenty, and then the realization hit me. There had been no one else!
I might have noticed this work, this habit, around then, thinking it a social skill. I must have done it through school, this self-preservation mechanism to make me safe with strangers. Sometimes the exposure wasn’t long enough to make the mirror work when we left again, but when there was time, I could act like, talk like—be accepted. Who else could I be?
I Must Have Wandered: An Adopted Air Force Daughter Recalls https://linktr.ee/SCMel
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