model: nina stiesdal
photographer: linda pochinda
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
― Nelson Mandela, politician and philanthropist, from the 'Long Walk to Freedom'
"As a culture, we have grossly distorted the word "failure." You are not a failure if you don't peak at the age of fifteen. Look around you, at what you're doing, because whatever it is, there's someone younger who's doing it to greater success, that's life. It does not matter how many candles are on your birthday cake, dreams don't have an age, you are no more a failure if you achieve success at the age of eighty-eighty, than at eighteen, so keep going.
You are not a failure if your life does not unfurl gloriously like fireworks, all awe and wonder. Perfection is a charade, an illusion that deflects your gaze. Many will cultivate their lives and show you only the pretty bits, but no one is immune from pain, from heartache, rejection, disappointment, loss. Underneath the skin, we are raw, every one of us, and I want you to remember that.
You are not a failure for not looking like the digitally enhanced human beings you see in magazines, for being flesh and blood and bones. You are not less of a woman if you're not a size 0, and you're are not less of a woman if you are a size 0. You are neither a failure for the presence of curves, or wrinkles, or love handles, or for the absence of them. You are more than what can be seen in a mirror.
You are not a failure, if you are not materially wealthy, if you do not have the latest phone, clothes, car, or any sum of inanimate things. Better to be rich in spirit: patience, faith, love, and generosity, cannot be bought, or taken away, eroded by the ocean, or scorched by the sun. They are what give life meaning; the light, where there is darkness.
The closest we come to failing is in giving up, or in never trying at all. You have to be willing to weather the droughts, the deserts, the storms, the struggles, and they may crack your facade and leave their scars upon you, but so long as you do not relent, lay down, and die, you cannot fail. Success is not the same for each individual, we will not all follow the same paths to get there, or arrive at the same time, but to keep moving in the direction of where you want to be, despite hardships and cynics, is what makes you a winner."
- Susanna-Cole King, writer
"Don't get down on yourself when you realize your flaws; be proud that you are aware enough to address them. To have flaws is to feel alive. It is to know that there is something to work towards. It gives life purpose and meaning. It allows us to constantly be better.
One of my biggest flaws: Ignoring responsibility."
- Brooke Shaden, fine art photographer