I think that anyone who knows me knows that I don’t mind learning valuable lessons from children. Sometimes the people who show us whether or not we are moving in the right direction or whether or not we’re just stuck standing still are the children that are a part of our lives, whether it be our own or someone else’s child.
My best friend Ms. L has an 11 year old cinematic genius in the making. It is amazing to think that at his young age he can make his own movies, cut and edit film, put together book trailers and produce graphic artwork as if it were as easy as breathing. He is truly a gifted little boy and Ms. L told me last night that he has finally decided that he wants to make a go of it as a real official business so that he can make the money he needs to afford the more high tech things that he needs to go even further in his adventures of film making.
I mean it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s so talented because his mom is essentially the most gifted writer that I know. What amazes me even more is the fact that in one night he managed to make this decision, create him a website (a freebie one—he is a kid after all), create business cards and rehearse his spiel that would land him his first of many clients (which he got the next day by the way). In one night. I am 32 and have been working at making my dream a reality for the last decade or so and I am still not as far along as I should be. It really made me (and Ms. L too) think ‘what the hell am I doing and why am I wasting so much time?’
I keep getting in my own way, so much so that I’m sometimes not even able to recognize that that is what I am doing. I tell myself that I will get rejected for an article before I even bother to try sending it off. I tell myself that no one will like the story or characters I have created before actually giving it a real shot. I constantly tell myself all of the reasons why I can’t do something without seeing the most important reason why I can, because it was something that I was meant to do.
I believe that everyone is talented at something and even if there are a hundred writers out there who are just as talented as I am, it is only me who can write the stories that I was meant to write and who can tell them in only the way that I can. I’m no Maya Angelou, or Terry McMillan, or Alice Walker, but I am Jimmetta Carpenter and just as I can not write the way that they do, they can not write the way that I do either.
Ms. L.’s son has so much belief in himself that he is not letting the fact that he’s 11 and has no real money of his own to fund his business stop him. He’s just diving right in and handling whatever hiccups happen along the way. My God if an 11 year old can have that frame of mind about his business then why on earth can’t I. My best friend’s son doesn’t realize the lesson that his leap of faith has taught me but one day he will realize that he just showed me that the only person that is really in my way, is me.
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”