Life's a Beautiful Struggle

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Life’s a Beautiful Struggle

Cassandra Alferink
English Final Project
January 21, 2012

Table of Contents

My Inspiration3
Introduction:6
Journal Entry Number 17
Journal Entry Number 28
Journal Entry Number 39
Journal Entry Number 410
Journal Entry Number 511
Journal Entry Number 612
Journal Entry Number 713
Journal Entry Number 814
Journal Entry Number 915
Journal Entry Number 1016

My Inspiration

Over the last few years I have watched my best friend face many troubling issues that young teen’s face today. She has inspired me in many ways, and she has taught me so much about life, that I would like to dedicate this to her, to keep giving the gift she has given me. My best friend, Kristen has faced a wide variety of bumps along the road that have changed her outlook on life, and has given her the ability to help me see life in a whole new way. The thing that inspires me about her is the way she is today even though all she has been through, she has a huge heart, is very loving, understanding, and always has a smile on her face. If Kristen was a book and I judged her by the cover, I wouldn’t have been able to watch her grow, and improve and find herself. I chose to create my character from Kristen’s life because of all the qualities she has from all the things she has been through. Kristen is an epileptic, who struggles with seizures every minute of every day; this is something that already makes her different, or makes things harder on her because she can’t be alone. She struggled for 4 years with an eating disorder, all types because of a carrier in modeling and her form of coping. She has always been extremely talented in art, and she realized modeling will kill her, but art makes her feel so alive. She is continuing to struggle with her insecurities about her body, but she is ready to get herself healthy and it surprises me she has done all of this on her own. After dealing with this for a large portion of her life, she thought that was what made her who she was, but then she found it inside to want to get better, and to make it happen. That month of not eating may not seem like much compared to the years of struggling, but she almost died and now she has realized how good she should have felt because of nutrients and food. Kristen battled an eating disorder which was also triggered from sexual assault and abuse from a few different offenses. Something she faced was being sexually assaulted by her uncle, which tore her family apart. She had no one to blame but herself, and doing this caused her a lot of pain and made her very sick. A huge thing Kristen overcame and helped me understand myself was when she was hospitalized for attempting suicide. This was very hard for me to watch, and I felt as if I couldn’t do anything to help her, but after she struggled for a year of overdosing and trying to end her life she finally let everything stop spinning in her head, and she looked around. She looked around long enough to see that she has made it this far, and she noticed all the love and support she had. She finally seen the sun, and realized she did deserve the sun to shine on her face, she let all her feelings out through her art, and realized it was who she was and what she was meant to do. Kristen now looks at life as something she never wants to end; she has not taken another day for granted. She is working on building her body up healthy, and I don’t think she has ever looked healthier myself. Watching her grow, learn and improve and find her way on track has been absolutely an inspiration. I have been able to learn, and grow with her because of what she has learned or understood. I have been through some things that we were able to relate to and I was also dealing with depression and needed a way out. Kristen was my way out; she was always there with arms wide open and always knew what to say. We have been through hell and back together, but I think we really just grew up....
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