I was born in Korea -- the land of kimchi; raised in Argentina,
where I ate so much steak that I'm probably 80 percent cow by now;
and I was educated in the US, where I became addicted to peanut butter.
During my childhood, I felt very much Argentinian, but my looks betrayed me at times.
I remember on the first day of middle school, my Spanish literature teacher came into the room.
She scanned all of my classmates, and she said, "You -- you have to get a tutor, otherwise, you won't pass this class."
But by then I was fluent in Spanish already, so it felt as though I could be either Korean or Argentinian, but not both.
It felt like a zero-sum game, where I had to give up my old identity to be able to gain or earn a new one.
So when I was 18, I decided to go to Korea, hoping that finally I could find a place to call home.
But there people asked me, "Why do you speak Korean with a Spanish accent?"
And, "You must be Japanese because of your big eyes and your foreign body language."
And so it turns out that I was too Korean to be Argentinian, but too Argentinian to be Korean.
And this was a pivotal realization to me. I had failed to find that place in the world to call home.
But how many Japanese-looking Koreans who speak with a Spanish accent
or even more specific, Argentinian accent -- do you think are out there? Perhaps this could be an advantage.
It was easy for me to stand out, which couldn't hurt in a world that was rapidly changing,
where skills could become obsolete overnight.
So I stopped looking for that 100 percent commonality with the people that I met.
Instead, I realized that oftentimes, I was the only overlap between groups of people that were usually in conflict with each other.