05 November 2008

"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure."

I am often awed by the perseverance of the human spirit, witnessing the capability we as humans have to overcome relentless struggles and pain, and to be pyrrhic, victorious despite heavy losses.

Despite this knowing this, we are still, only human, and have tendencies to shy away from challenges and from risk. We fear failure, and what we believe might render us unable of recovery. We think, "What if we can't?" instead of, "What if we can?".

We also may pick at our flaws and weaknesses, insisting to ourselves that we will be unable to overcome our inabilities, in order to exercise our abilities.

Or we may play victim of circumstance. Blaming our childhood, our parents, our surroundings, and resources, and else of rendering us incompetent.

And yet you are not your circumstances, you are not who you were as a child, you are not your parents, you are who you choose to be. If you truly believe you are weak and a coward, you will be. If you truly believe you are strong and courageous, you will muster up the strength it takes to move past obstacles even in fear.

Do not think of things as impossible, as many things have been deemed impossible until they were tried and accomplished. How can you know what is impossible, what you are capable of, until you try?

It may be the catch phrase of an automobile company, however I have always been fond of the saying, "grab life by the horns". This is not to say, those horns may not hurt, that in life you will not experience suffering, but that you are willing to take risk in order to live your life for all it's worth.

What doesn't kill you, will make you stronger, so take obstacles and pain as opportunity to become stronger, to be victorious over suffering. Just as spring always comes triumphantly, blooming with life, despite the frozen losses and hardships of winter before it.

I must confess, I will now have to walk my own talk, so to say, as I am currently banged up with an injured my hip, my back, my leg, and in a great deal of pain, feeling quite incapable and discouraged. Writing this entry, has been a reminder to my own self, that with God I can overcome anything, but first I must be willing try, and perhaps then, try, and try again...

What is/are one/some struggles or pain you have overcome? Have you ever tried something you thought impossible and been surprised when you succeeded against odds and your own expectations? Is there something, even many things, you want to do or try in your life that you are withholding from because you believe it is impossible or that you will fail? Other thoughts?

Title Quote: George E. Woodberry
Photo Credits: Editorial "The Silent Spring" from the February 2007 Vogue Nippon issue, scanned by Gold_Star at www.thefashionspot.com


Franco said...

I thought i was never going to graduate highschool and i did, that's it.

Tuesdai Noelle said...

Good Morning S-C

Love these photos; very lovely, passionate and sweet.

"If you truly believe you are strong and courageous, you will muster up the strength it takes to move past obstacles even in fear."
~ S-C

So true.

The quote that I could best use for me personally;

“The greater difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.”

No pain no gain. I always feel anything worth having is worth working towards & thru. I gain strength daily just being able to have the FULL use and attactives of my lims.

I awoke this morning with a smile on my face :o). Though it be good or bad. I plain on making the BEST of most of each day. After that point a struggle is no greater; traffic lights; coming and going, switches on and off, might/will return...but it will pass.

Hope your day is great ! Thanks for the words :O)

Nita-Karoliina said...

well, i have many many issues, from childhood to this day, and i am glad that i have survived, even that i was 2 times almost dying (not going into the details, but all thanks to my loving brother xo)
now i have chronic pain, head ache, migraines, everyday. i have ADD, which makes studying harder and insomnia. but i have survived and i have good help around me. i didnt think that i ever found a soul mate but i did and trough FASHIONSPOT!! we are dating and are spoke to be the companions for life, i didnt believe after so many disapointmens with men that i ever found love, true love. then i found it. and now i cherish it and dont take it for granted. i know i am hard person to be with, with all my issues and past, but he handles it and is a gentleman.
i wish u luck and positive energy and hope your pain vanish soon! with love! xoxox

detour2mode said...

really nice pictures!

Tuesdai Noelle said...

After that point a struggle is no greater than: traffic lights; coming and going, switches on and off, might/will return...but it will pass.

Little Star* said...

Wishing you a speedy recovery and happy vibes to not get down hearted at this time.
Sometimes when things get bad I always remember a quote from my old English teacher who said 'Everything will pass' and this is true. Like pain, sorrow, heartache, broken bones or depression it takes time to heal and you have to allow yourself time to heal. I have overcome many things & finished college with a good degree to feel that I have a better idea of the world & my place in it :)
Take care,

♥ fashion chalet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
♥ fashion chalet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
♥ fashion chalet said...

This resonates with me. I love Julia Stegner, by the way. =)

Check your email, love. Sent something your way....

♥/ fashion chalet

♥ fashion chalet said...

Almost forgot, thanks for the lovely blog comment, your compliments mean so much to me, sweetie!<3

I love you and your blog. :)

By the way, wow does it take time to reply but it's fun too, you know? There's always breaks in between though, cleaning, coffee, TV... ;)

♥ fashion chalet

MR style said...

it's always lovely seein julia stegner back !! she's not doin covers !! : sad no

yello said...

wow, you really have a way with words
i love the first photo

Tuesdai Noelle said...

One last time...also do have a speedy recovery :o)

Prays for you,


J'Adore Fashion said...

defeat could be hard to overcome--growing up with all life experiences, i have learnt to always believe, be determined and have faith even at the toughest times.

girl, I have a way with words... love taking my time to read your post :)

great pictures!!
Hope you feel better hun. am send my love and speed recovery your way :)

Bern said...

so beautiful. so honest. and so true.

* Fashion Dreamer * said...

So sorry to hear you are going through a bad time. Wonderful post though, very inspirational. I'm going to print it off actually, we all need words of comfort and encouragement from time to time. I love this phrase: Non est ad astra mollis e terries via. It's latin and means: there's no easy path from the earth to the stars.

Lisa said...


oh NO!

what happened @ work?
did you break any bones?
you know i will be praying.

sending ALL my love your way.

are those drugs making you say ridiculously kind things?
words cannot express my gratitude.
they will never be able to.

ah pain.
i've been in pain heaps.
both physically + emotionally.
God & family & friends. are my pillars of strength.
nothing gives me more strength.
and i know God only gives us what we can handle.

PLEASE get better soon doll.
beautiful post.



lacouturiernyc said...

what a beautiful editorial.

and darling. if you made a collection of all these lovely posts into an inspirational book, i am quite sure a lot of ppl would buy it as coffee table books! the quotes, photos etc are so beautiful!

La C

makemoremistakes said...

These are gorgeous words and pictures my dear. There is so often so much shit that life throws at us, and I think for me personally, it is the choice to never ever regret anything that makes me able to move on and conquer obstacles in front of me. Inspiring, and uplifting post, love.


Miss Karen said...

I hope you're doing well and are not in too much pain anymore :(

I love this post so much because I feel like this all the time and blame everything from my circumstances to my parents, etc for not being who I want to be. And the worst part is that I'm aware of it. But I'm slowly turning it around - and your lovely posts certainly help out!!

PS. I'm sure you don't suck at putting on make up. One day I'll definitely come to NYC and we can strut around the streets all dolled up! :D

Nature Grafitti said...

Julia Stegner (her birthday was yesterday!)... the photography... your writing... amazing, artistic and relevant

everyone has been through dark spots. for some people, those spots are much darker than for others. I adore the saying "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" as i find it to be the ultimate truth.

For me, at least, i know i have been through a few hard times. I was on my own deathbed a little more than 2 years ago. But i know that what i have gone through is a mere nick on the skin to what so many people must suffer on a daily basis.... this certainly puts things in perspective

MOLLY GRAY said...

i was very impressed by the way you expressed those words.
amazing pictorial by the way...
trade links?

rachel said...

I have gone through a quarter life crisis (as I like to call it) late last year, when I didnt know what direction to take (career-wise). I just felt like I was floating around and it was mostly the pressure that got to me. What happened though was that God used that time to draw me closer to Him. I learned to trust and depend on Him more. And later on I realized that that hardship I went through prepared me for the wonderful privilege God gave me the following year.

I'm so sorry to hear that you are "injured" right now, but I would like to encourage you. I know you will come out of that situation gloriously stronger.

just thought I'd share this with you... :)

"...but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

♥ R

Ivonne from Self Exposed said...

Thank you so much for your comment! It's always a nice surprise finding one of your comments in my blog :D

I am very sorry to hear that you are having a bad time! I hope that whatever it is that you are going through, gets better with time! Through your words you have proven to have a very strong heart, and I think that's the only thing anyone needs to overcome any problem, and you have more than enough S-C! I send a huge hug, hope it helps.

Personally I am having a bad time myself. We experienced a terrible accident yesterday in Mexico City, a plane crashed like a block from my office. It's huge, because the second most important person next to the president was on it, so everyone suspects terrorism. All day long I have been trying to send peaceful thoughts into space, just trying to stay positive, but everyone around just seems like zombies, you know? They seem unaware of the political consequences of our everyday actions.

But after reading your post, I'll just keep on trying. It's worth doing the effort just for knowing there's people like you and some other bloggers out there.

Extra XOXO!


Hot Bot said...

I hope things get better S-C.

Mary said...

The way your writing correlates to the pictures is so impactful and haunting. it really brings new meaning to the images.

♥ Marta ♥ said...

I think that every time something doesn't work out the way I expected... I feel like giving up, but don't. Especially, when it comes to uni. there are times when I'm so stressed and feel like can't do it anymore... I push myself to the limit...I am always afraid of not reaching my goals and simply failing in life... if that is even possible. But I think that it's important not to give up ... :)

Have a wonderful day :)

Jane said...

gorgeous photos! the words are beautiful too...every body feels like giving up sometimes.
tag, you're it! :) see my blog more the details

surimay said...

aaaaawww, lovely and inspiring post as always. i hope you'll feel better soon. the fact that you can even motivate yourself and others with this type of writing and insight is amazing! you'll be fine! :D

haha. as for me...i fail all the time. but what can you do but suck it up and do it all again! i make really bad decisions though. but we have to learn through experience and mistakes i guess.

p.s. love the photos you find! :)

M said...

I myself am struggling with some choices I must make and each possibility is scary. I'm sure one of my choices would make me happy, but there is that feeling of uncertainty and fear of the unknown and fear of failure.
All we can really do is learn to get through our fears and struggles and in the end it will just make us better people.

Take care and hope you feel better soon =)

J.Yo said...

what obstacles have i tamed?

killing my will to die, and as result, i'm living and breathing and loving life that is a fun bumpy ride!

great post!

KATLIN said...

These kinds of battles are a daily thing for me, and I think the same for everyone. I constantly question myself and what I want to do. I know that I'm very afraid of what I am able to achieve because what if I aim to high and never make it. I need to work on that...
And I wish you the best of health and a speedy recovery!!!

Eelie said...

When i read you were 'banged up and in a lot of pain' i shed a tear. At times life appear quite horrible but it is through these struggles and times for self realisation that make you a stronger person and you have an infinate strength and love in your mind, heart and soul. I do hope that you are beginning at the very least to get through your pain :)

This year has been the worst i've experienced. A multitude of illnesses (long-term), breakups, cancer scare, flat flooding, threatened to be evicted, slight bout of depression, the list continues... all culminating in many months of sadness, heartache but also strength.

You are a beautiful girl Susanna. You truly are :)

Songy said...

This might be funny. I had a lot of difficulty during my school years to go to a uni of my choice but that was easy compared to getting my driver's license in Australia!

I have a mantra - it's not about never falling but it's about getting up every time you fall.

Vintage Me New You said...

amazing article again:)the photos are the same!
issues?well...i am the queen of problems:))

Mila said...

Gorgeous gorgeous post, darling!
You always touch my heart, dear...

First of all, what gorgeous photographs you picked. those dresses are almost to die for!!!

You know i am struggling a bit lately, with different things that are happening in my life.
I can feel i am really searching, for myself the most.
Other things are a bit too personal to say in this comment on a blog...

Thanks for this reminder. Life is so worth it!

Love u dear Susanna,


sueper said...

when you try, you find that you're more capable then you think

In critic situations people just can do more

Cate said...

I love the heading. It really moves me and I totally agree with it.
"Or we may play victim of circumstance. Blaming our childhood, our parents, our surroundings, and resources, and else of rendering us incompetent." - Excuses again. Like in your previous post.
I think it's also important not to let yourself be discouraged by other people.
Dear Susanna-Cole, I hope you recover soon from your injury, whether it be physical or psychical.
A struggle I think I have overcome is my bipolar depression. After three years of going to a psychologist, the psychologist not having helped me at all, I just took matters into my own hands and overcame my depression. True, I still have fits of depression every now and then, but the point is, now I know how to deal with them and it hasn't killed me, but made me stronger.
A thing I have tried though being advised against it is taking Maths classes on a high level. I have been a straight A student in Maths, and also in English. and everyone advised me to take English on a high level because for English I wouldn't have to study at all. But I took Maths because I think it's more fun, even though I have to study for it. Because then seeing the A on my paper makes me feel more proud, knowing that it is something I have worked for (but I have yet to achieve the A on my Maths high level paper ^^).
A thing I am pretty much withholding is that I want to be a film actress, but I am withholding it not so much because I think that I will fail (because I don't think I will), more out of laziness. Because IF I study drama, I want to do so in England to get the chance to star in English films, which are acknowledged more internationally, too - but for now I'm just too lazy to leave the town where I have all my friends and start anew in a city where I would have nothing or nobody.
Great post.

DaisyChain said...

Please stop posting things that make me cry! Haha, every single one of your most recent posts have really hit home.


Paloma said...

Beautiful words and images, as usual. Alwasy try, always. You suffer more but you also enjoy. Otherwise, life is just plane.
And I really like that now, with all this economic crisis and everybody dressing up in black and ripping clothes, you go sweat and dreamy with this editorial. Thanks for that.

Wana said...

gosh, i love this post! the strength of the message in incredible! fab babe!!! these words will keep me going for me and my unborn children and they children! no joke!

Some Notes on Napkins said...

great blog :)

Creaholica said...

'We think, "What if we can't?" instead of, "What if we can?".'

that's so true. It's good to read this, it makes me happy.. and I am willing to think 'what if we can' al the time. And beatifull photographs aswell.

and thank you very much for your comment! you're really sweet! :) ×

muchlove said...

So sorry to hear about your injury. Hope you get well soon!

As always, I love your post. This is a topic I've just recently been talking about with someone close to me.

It's so true. It's better to experience many failures than go through the empty stillness of not knowing. The lessons you get from simply trying is invaluable.

Petra said...

Once again you have left me speechless! You have such thought provoking, insightful posts that leave me pondering for hours.

I really do agree that your life is what YOU make of it, that your circumstances (family etc) do not dictate the path you will or should take. It is easy to blame things for aspects of your life, but so much harder and more courageous to, as yoiu've said, take like by the horns!

I have had some diffucult times that could not imagine ever recovering from, however the fact that i am here goes to show the strength of the human spirit.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful words. Thank you for sharing xx

i.d. said...

The human spirit is truly indomitable, and I think that this generation, our generation, has so much to offer.

I love your blog, it provides me with daily inspiration and food for thought! Thank you!

She's Dressing Up said...

I hope your injuries get better soon - you seem very strong!
Beautiful post as usual.
I often find myself very negative and feeling defeated, but this post has inspired me not to think like that.

Caf said...

fabulous post!
I got dressed up and went to the races 2 years ago and I haven't been able to walk unaided since. I twisted my ankle in my high heel and developed a chronic pain condition called RSD that is rare and poorly understood. If that wasn't bad enough, a year into it I needed a hip operation that has also never healed and now have pain right through my body that is still being diagnosed...I so get thinking there's no way you could cope with something else happening and then finding out that you can. People ask me all the time how I stay sane but there isn't a magic formula for me...we all have to play the cards we're dealt, kicking and screaming won't help anything...
-Caf :)

Jillian said...

my darling
you are truly a gifted writer
you captivate me w/ every post and i've never seen a blog where so many people actually answer the questions the writer asks!

this post has really touched my heart, and it hits close to home

there are so many weaknesses that I have and some of them stem from childhood, from being babied and never doing things on my own to being teased at school, being the "biggest" loser/geek in highschool... those scars last forever. I feel in some ways I am a better stronger person for having made it through, but at the same time my insecurities seem endless.

Everyday I find small triumphs in things I've taken the time to do on my own, learn on my own and appreciate every little step I make toward being more confident, independent and happy.

it seems we have all lived and learned from our difficult pasts, but I think the true winners are the people like yourself who take their lives into their own hands and accept responsibility and move past all the obstacles in their life rather than dreading them or wasting time thinking about the past.

but that is just what i believe!

you're a very beautiful and talented person...

hope you're well my dear
xoxo <3


ashley said...

I still love that quote, so very true, what doesn't kill you does make you stronger.
Indeed, it is life's struggles that mold and create individuals who can understand and care for both themselves and others.
hope you have a splendid week-end sweetie!
x ashley

jaleh said...

this post pretty much sums up everything that i've been thinking about lately. your blog is so thoughtful, i love it. it's so refreshing :)

i have gone through some things that i will talk about and many, many things that i refuse to talk about, but whenever i am upset or miserable i always come back to one thing : that i am myself. not my parents, not a victim of circumstance, not anything but whatever i make of myself. sometimes that makes things harder but most of the time it makes me feel better.

Sydneydoll said...

simply inspiring : )

The Stylish Wanderer said...

another great post lady. you are too cool.

I love these pictures.

syd vicious said...

Very well said.

TheMinx said...

this is an amazing post. Both the pictures and your words are incredibly inspiring :)

Styleseeking Zurich said...

I love this post with the pictures and you write so well, everybody can relate to it in some ways!!


a vision of neon said...

totally agree with your first quote!!! thanks for reminding me :)

so nice to hear how tfs has "helped" you! its still my second home :)
(im leyla m.)

Stompface said...

these photos are incredible. They make me want to draw them, especially that last one with the cool bonnet.

Oh I have gotten so behind in your blog. I always want to read it when I know it will be nice and quiet and I will have lots of time to read it properly!! oh dear must catch up!

I hope your leg is finally listening and fixing itself!


Anonymous said...