Status: Just getting started!

The Paper Trail

My Past Isn't My Own

Sometimes I forget that my past isn’t really mine. That the stories I tell to others as they reminisce about their childhoods aren’t really memories, but really works of fiction I’ve perfected over time; memories no more real than my accent. But I knew I had to get out, and out I went.

When I first arrived in the UK 10 years ago I never imagined anything would have me considering going bak to my old home; back to the life I had spent countless hours and unimaginable amounts of money to leave behind. Becoming a completely new person is much more difficult than it sounds; especially when you leave the country. The hardest thing to get in another name is a passport, but once you’ve gotten one you’re golden. Next to no one will ever think to question you with a valid passport in ‘your’ name, and I had managed to do just that. But I had a lot more to do than just ‘create’ a new identity and get a valid passport. I had to find a valid, believable identity for myself that nobody else was using (which is a lot, LOT more difficult in the current digital age than it was in former generations). Taking this route would provide me with formal documentation of ‘my’ birth, as well as a social security number and anything I would ever need to prove who I now was.

Then there was the issue of my previous identity and what to do with it. I had to do this in a way that would keep any one from trying to track me down. I could have left those ends untied and just let myself become (and continue to be) a missing person until the time that I would be presumed legally dead by the courts. That takes about seven years, usually, at least in the United States. As an adult I could legally choose to go missing, and nobody could do anything about it. Police wouldn’t even start up or continue an investigation if it were to be determined that I chose to walk away from my life, under normal circumstances. But these weren’t normal circumstances, and I couldn’t afford to take that chance. Not only would be family likely come looking for me out of concern, but I also wasn’t just running from my life for no reason. Many things had happened that made it basically essential for me to no longer continue living as myself; if I wanted to continue living at all.

This wasn’t an idea that just came to me out of the blue. I’d been secretly interested in and dreaming about one day just leaving everything and everyone behind; telling nobody where I was going and never coming back for years. It’s not that I lived the most horrible life you could imagine. I had a loving family, and was very close to my brother, in particular. I had a nice house with a good friend, and though it wasn’t anything spectacular it was everything we wanted it to be. We had a cat and a couple little hamsters who were my pride and joy (I’ve never had any children of my own, though I hear that the roommate just mentioned has since had a daughter). I had once been engaged, but that had ended once other things in my life went sour. I wasn’t incredibly torn up about that, though. It was rough, but I had made it through and was surprisingly fine with the relationship ending. I’ve always been one who can let certain things (a lot of certain things, really) just roll off my back without much of a second thought, and that was basically the way I had handled that situation. My problem was that there were just as many other things that I had much difficulty letting go of; things that I was never able to get over or completely accept in my mind. Because of this, I had dealt with a lot of depression and anxiety throughout my life, and had never been able to get to a place where I could say I was truly content. I always wanted something more, but not in a greedy, materialistic way. It was fulfillment that I craved. I wanted more reasons to smile in my day-to-day life, to finally be able to let go of the things that continued to plague me. Most of all, I wanted to feel complete, and I knew that in order to do so I needed to start over. I would wipe the slate clean and begin a new life as a different person far away from where I had initially made a life for myself. This is the story of how I managed to do just that, and why I was considering going back after an entire decade living as somebody else.
♠ ♠ ♠
I know it's short, but it's basically just an introduction to the story and the main character's situation. I'm hoping this one will come together better than the other novels I've tried to write in the past that I never ended up finishing! *fingers crossed*