Where is home for me? I have no home. Ever since I left my ex-husband’s and my home to share a tiny, low-ceilinged apartment in Seoul with a guy I had an affair with whom I had known 7 short months, I have been a nomad. Even when I lived in Seoul for a year, I still had to leave Korea every three months to renew my tourist visa, which kept me unsettled. On my last visa run to Bali, I found I could not return to Korea. Bali embraced me with open arms and became my home, instantly upon arrival. However, the baggage I had been carrying in a huge, black trash bag over my shoulder that I brought from a marriage I left in shambles, also came with me to Korea and Bali. Even though I set it down when I arrived, it stayed with me. I couldn’t let go of it. I couldn’t get rid of it. I was always reminded of my bag of bad deeds and shame sitting in the corner of my bedroom in my Bali villa. This bag of badness prevented me from experiencing much of home anywhere. I did feel at home in Bali, but at the same time, the rending of my soul that occurred there due to the wreckage of my past and the baggage I carried with me did not allow me to settle and expand into that heart and home space that I could only touch the edges of whenever I had some kind of touching-god experience in Bali. I actually had many peak and valley experiences there that were a spectrum of feeling and growth. I dug my heels in there, I fell fiercely in love with Bali, and took it hostage, like I did with the boys I fell in love with. It was the same type of relationship: I fell immediately and fell hard, without really knowing who I was falling for. The lust and love came before the intimacy of daily living together. And living with Bali was easy, even when her boils and scabs became apparent. I still loved her even when the honeymoon wore off, because it was the living with myself that was so difficult and got in the way of my love for Bali, my home. This again mimicked how I was in relationship with anyone romantically, a solid and successful relationship could not be built upon a foundation of sand that was close to the ocean and ripped apart by waves of self-loathing and lack of self-worth. Because I could not have a relationship with myself, I could not truly settle into my own skin and my own life in Bali, and I eventually punished myself and created a horrible accident that ultimately made me lose Bali and come crawling to my mother’s house in the US.


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