It’s protocol. Disney security is trained to engage people in normal questions. Establish baselines. Profile. Cross-check stories with observations. “Where are you from?” is not a complicated question; it shouldn’t require contemplation.
My inability to answer smoothly has “randomly selected” me for further screening more times than a believable random.
Deer in headlights, fumbling for words.
“East Orlando…yeah, East…I think.’
“Kalamazoo, Michigan. Just moved here. Going back in a year.”
“Owosso, Michigan.” [No clue why my birthplace would be relevant]
Turns out responses involving “Michigan” raise red flags when I’m holding a “Florida Resident” ticket.
Am I a local? Am I a foreigner? Do I belong here?
Dennis and I joked about inventing new identities for our year in Orlando. A chance to be who we aren’t. Wouldn’t that be fun? No one would know. We knew not a soul.
We could have accents. We could invent quirks. We could rewrite our stories. We could be whoever we wanted to be.
There’d be no context.
No counter-evidence. No counter-intelligence. No counter-intuition. A blank slate.
There’d be be no consequence. We’d roll into town. We’d roll out of town. No one would ever need to know.
That was the temptation. Bring our hidden-selves. A year long masquerade ball.
But, hiding is exhausting. Hide and seek is stressful. Keeping track of who knows what is torture. Being who you aren’t makes for a decent movie plot, but an unsustainable existence. Even for just a year.
No accents were contrived. No (fake) quirks were established. No stories were fabricated.
We came to our senses.
As it turns out, a blank slate year is good for something. While no-context and no-consequences make for an bad identity scam, they make for an ideal identity expo.
Daring to show my true colors, to try out my true self.
With no pretense in place and no residual fallout in view, it was a year to experiment. Not to try out who I wasn’t. To tease out who I was.
With minimal risk. I wouldn’t face “never live it down” decisions, failures, embarrassments. My home was a thousand miles and six degrees of separation from my temporary life in Orlando.
I was a foreigner and required to return with nothing more than a suntan and an overpriced souvenir.
This was a unique gift – complete freedom to be myself. An expo of displaying the real me. Test it out and see how it goes. Live it out with no consequence of failure.
The spiritual parallel is rich. Here in this #notmyhome world, I have a choice. A lifetime of moonlighting various identities as they fit the moment or a lifetime of living out my true identity.
Pretending vs. fulfilling.
Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners”
to keep away from worldly desires
that wage war against your very souls.
1 Peter 2:11
This world is fraught with opportunities to grasp at straws where identity is concerned. Chances to be who we’re not. To fool the masses.
Look to your left. Look to your right. Insecurity abounds.
My identity isn’t in anything I can produce, purchase or pretend. My identity is tied to my soul.
Yet to all who received him,
to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession,
that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9
Living out the fake me, I’ve nothing to gain.
Living out the real me, I’ve nothing to lose.
In my #notmyhome of Orlando. In my #notmyhome of this world.
Part 1: Passing Through
Part 2: Homesicking
Part 3: Purposing
Part 4: Familiaring
[This post is #5 in the #notmyhome series]
Part 6: Hoarding
Part 7: Simplifying
Part 8: Investing
Part 9: Sojourning
Part 10: Borrowing
Part 11: Departing
Part 12: Reflecting