No one ever talks about the displacement that immigrants feel when they are forced to return to their home countries.

No, I’m not trying to take away from the struggles of first- or second-generation immigrants. No, I’m definitely not trying to turn this into some sort of “suffering Olympics”.

God knows we’ve all had enough of these “suffering Olympics” in our daily life. No, auntie, I really don’t think my depression is comparable to your hairdresser screwing up your trim. I’m sorry for your loss, but it really is apples and oranges.

But I’d just like to take a second…

Photo by: H. A. Ljungstrand, Watson’s Bay, Sydney, Australia. Taken 06 May 2017

Content warning: body hatred, dysmorphia

Somewhere in January, I made a decision that, for me, is a major one.

It’s the decision that I wanted something permanent on my own body, one that I had decided upon by myself, and wanted for myself.

It’s something simple, really, and a lot of people would think and scoff, “That’s not really a big deal, isn’t it?”

But let me take you on a journey, and tell you a story behind why it isn’t. At least, for me.


When you’re born, you’re subjected to a genetic lottery.

Your eyes, your hair, your…

A Brief Glance Towards the Sun

Photo by H. A. Ljungstrand, Shimogamo-jinja in Kyoto, Japan. Taken 14 January 2017

On wintery Friday nights, (considering the current climate) I’d like to think that they are best spent catching up with friends over video or voice calls. Perhaps have a few drinks with housemates, celebrating another end of a busy work week. Maybe even unwind with someone close to them, perhaps over a few episodes of Netflix’s La Casa de Papel.

Well, watching La Casa de Papel was something that I was doing earlier this evening. Sitting next to my sister while her partner is connected on the phone, who is around 2800 kilometers away…

Photo by: H. A. Ljungstrand, St. James Church in Sydney, Australia. Taken 30 December 2017

When I first watched Jane the Virgin, I wasn’t sure what to make of it.

A pious writer who was accidentally artificially inseminated, and had to navigate the ups and downs that came along with it.

Well, the ups and downs that also included the whole international crime lord arc.

If you asked me back then, I definitely wouldn’t have thought that years later, in 2019, I would have been waiting on the couch for hours. …

Hope A. Ljungstrand

Grad student who procrastinates from writing assignments by writing on Medium

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