“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

“So, where are you from?” is my most dreaded question.

Given how many times I’ve been asked this – at hair salons making small talk, on first dates breaking awkward silence, at HBS Admit Weekend exchanging practiced intros – I should have the answer down cold. But I stutter every time.

Since immigrating to America at age nine, I felt my biggest flaw was never being wholly one thing. My Korean values of obedience and collectivism have anchored me like roots, and yet my budding American beliefs of equality and self-determination chip away at them. My Korean tongue has quietly disintegrated, and yet my English still stumbles when I make comments in class.

I opened up about this insecurity of non-belonging for the first time at HBS. In return, classmates shared their own stories of similar upbringing, even more layered identities, and same sense of wandering. It finally clicked in me: we are each other’s home. Feeling more at home than ever, I’ve turned what I once saw as a flaw in myself, into my purpose.

That purpose is to create a sense of community and belonging, wherever life takes me. Home is not something to find, but to actively create, for us who don’t quite fit the molds of this world. With this purpose, it doesn’t matter where I’m from.

— Kathy Yuh