The question that most people asked me when I saw them was, "when are you coming home?" However, the second most frequent question was, "when are you going home?" And, this separation really troubled me. People use the same word to describe vastly different parts of the wold, both of which, however, reside in me. I know I talk about home all the time on here, and I can imagine you folks throwing popcorn at the computer screen yelling, "Oh Jeebus, kid, get over it."
This is the hardest thing for me. I cannot get over it. Believe me; I have tried. I am so blessed to have the people I have in my life. Every moment I spent in Wisconsin with my family and friends, I was reminded of the life I could have, if I had chosen it. But, then I went to pick-up tonight, and a dear friend folded me into a hug that reminded me that Korea is my home, too.
In the past two years, I've grown a Korea family. It started in the roots of having the shared immediate experience of being ex-pats in the same place at the same time. With dinners, drinks, and conversation, I have watered my relationships, and they have grown into stout trunks and strong branches that hold the tree houses of our adventures. Yes, there are storms that may shake us up a bit. But I know that through everything, my Korea family will support me exactly when I need it.
Of course this doesn't negate the relationships I have in Wisconsin and scattered about the globe, and I promise to nurture those more diligently than my first two years. Right now, I feel like my heart is somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with both lives vying for my full attention. In this past month--and with encouragement from one of the wisest humans I know--I have tried to change my perspective. Instead of seeing that pulling back and forth as a game of tug of war, I am allowing both sides to pull at the same time and have a rope that supports: a tightrope of emotions.
Right now, it is reaching 2200, and I am running on fumes and struggling with jet lag something fierce. So, if none of this makes sense, it is because I wrote it pretty haphazardly and didn't really focus as much on my writing this week as I usually do. Next week, I will do better.
Peace, love, and polar bears,