Written By Malin Jörnvi


Published: March 12, 2017

I find myself often complaining about things being hard: Coming to New York was hard; all the work with applying to university and the Visa, with figuring out the financials, with leaving home… Living in New York is hard; Studying what I love at university level, paying New York prices for everything, trying to stay true to who I am… Staying in New York is hard; Not knowing what the future holds while still having to make up plans, dreading the daunting process of OPT and more Visa paperwork, finding a way to somehow pay back the debt accumulated over these years… I find myself continuously thinking and worrying about all the struggle that brought me here, the struggle of living here, and the struggle that remains in order to stay here.

I talked to my internship supervisor Albert about life being difficult the other day, to which he responded: “No one said it was going to be easy.” That struck me. Of course I’ve heard it a million times, but frankly: I’ve never really listened. Because although I’ve grown up with the saying, I still get frustrated when things are hard. I somehow expect to always get what I want. Sure I work for it – but do I really struggle? Albert, who’s a Danish citizen, added: “So you want to stay in New York. Well, look at the worst case scenario. You go back to Sweden.” Meaning: Worse comes to worst, I’ll go back to a functioning society with almost free health care and a loving family. I’ll go back free to find a way to support myself, and fulfill my life however I want. I just won’t be in this city. What’s really hard about that?

Nobody EVER said it was going to be easy. There’s freedom in letting go of the expectation.


Another “hard” paperwork task of everyday life: tax forms ready to be posted, New York City

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