No Direction Home

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Wow, it's been a long time. All my grand intentions to keep up on my writing while I went back home for 2 weeks evaporated under the pressures of 3 towns in 2 weeks and more family and friends to meet than seems possible. I didn't even see everyone I wanted to, and I still felt like I needed a personal assistant just to manage my social calendar.

The oddest thing about being back home for two weeks was the way it made my life in Korea seem almost...unreal. As if it was nothing more than a very vivid dream. Now, part of this was caused by how much jetlag was addling my brain, making everything a bit more confusing and strange. It was a scary feeling, though. Before I moved to Korea, my life wasn't great. I was done with Seattle, and I felt like my life was on hold, like I wasn't moving in any useful direction. I was anxious all the time, frustrated, unclear about what I was supposed to be doing with my life.

Moving to Korea marked a huge change for me, not only geographic. I have a great job, a purpose, the feeling that I'm actually moving forward with my life. I'm happier, way less anxious, and problems that used to floor me seem much more manageable. So the feeling that all of that wasn't real that kept lurking around the edges of my brain was really scary and upsetting. Fortunately it was easily dismissed by a quick Kakao message to friends in Korea, or a browse through the pictures on my phone. Now that I'm back to Korea, it's Seattle that's started to fade back into unreality, but frankly? I'm pretty okay with that.

Returning to Seattle for two weeks made me realize something that I already suspected- Seattle isn't my home anymore. Before I even left Korea, I hesitated before ever saying I was "visiting home". "I'm going to Seattle," I'd say. Or "I'm visiting my family." Somehow calling it home stuck in my throat, even in regards to my hometown. Yes, many of my friends are there, but plenty of new friends are in other places. Yes, my family is there, and that's important, but what with Facebook and Skype and all the convenient ways to communicate over the distance, I don't feel a strong need to necessarily live near said family. Then again, I've always been the sort chomping at the bit to get out into the world, with less of a need for the nuclear family unit. Just don't tell my mom, okay?

So all this musing begs the question: where is my home? I may have felt the comfort of a homecoming when I stepped out of the taxi in front of the bakery near my apartment, but I don't really have strong feeling of home here yet. Seattle, Port Townsend, Sequim...I felt like a visitor in all three. In Korea I will never entirely belong, I will always stand out; that's okay with me, but in the long dark tea-time of the soul I do wonder if I'll ever find a place I can really put my roots down. Then again, Groot doesn't seem to have roots and he's doing just fine. Maybe I just need to become a space bounty hunter. Problem solved?

Teacher Pretty
Middle school ESL teacher, lover of pink, eater of kimchi, addicted to Etude House, expert procrastinator, meeter of 2-dimensionial popstars: Ana. That's me.

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