Chin Up or the Crown Slips

England, 1951, British actress Audrey Hepburn is pictured enjoying a day off at Rottingdean (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

One of my life’s role models is Ms. Audrey Hepburn. Not a lot of people know this, but Audrey has experienced World War II of which she dealt with severe malnourishment from the ages of 9-16. She was 88 pounds then- of which she recalls, “We ate nettles and everyone tried to boil grass – in addition to tulips – but I really couldn’t stand it.” After the war was over, 7 bars of chocolate and condensed milk was given to her from a Dutch soldier as a sign of liberation. In her excitement, she gobbled them up, and of course grew ill from it since her stomach was empty for all that time. Even so, chocolate is one of her favorite indulgences.

Expanding on her sufferings, her son writes, “She suffered from asthma, jaundice and other illnesses caused by malnutrition including acute anemia and a serious form of edema which Mum explained like this: ‘It begins with your feet and when it reaches your heart, you die. With me, it was above the ankles when I was liberated.’ ”

These are defining moments and for Audrey, to be denied one of the sources essential to optimal health closely intertwines with her state of happiness and confidence. These are defining moments that although are painful and traumatic, Ms. Audrey was able to change that around. Instead of sulking in to depression and hopelessness, mourning for what she did not have, she in her graceful way kept her chin up and wore her crown to her success and the legendary icon she still is this very day. She may have not been a woman of physical strength, but her character, her spirit, is unbreakable and persevering. In turn, she went back to help the very children who needed what she had lacked as a child.

I aspire to this as I have my own hardships, trauma and struggles. Someday, I hope.. I wish to impact lives in this very manner. With that being said, I lift my chin up to keep my crown high and proud of all that I have accomplished so far with my own defining moments.

Whatever you are going through, know that what you are facing is temporary. Be proud of the hardships that you have faced as they have defined you. Keep your chin up and hold your crown high. May you be inspired to live your very passions without fear or anything that may hold you back.

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