Are You Living Your Life Or The Life Someone Else Thinks You Should Be Living?

I love my emails that I get from the Tyler Perry mailing list.  I swear it’s as if he knows when I need to hear a specific message and writes them just for me.  Like he was somehow the vessel that God chose (one of the many vessels) to send me a very bold and clear message.  He sent a message that didn’t mince words and didn’t beat around the bush by sugar coating things.  The subject title in this particular email was simple: Don’t let anybody define you!    

His email talked about how when he was a young boy he had so many people tell him that he would never make it, that he would never become a millionaire because he was black or because he was poor.  Among those many people there was actually a teacher and even some of his family.  I understood exactly what he was talking about because I have always been told that I would never amount to anything by the one person who is supposed to think the world of me, my mother.  

Now there are plenty of others who have said things like I dream too big, and I am never going to become successful, and I’m always going to be in a state of struggle, and basically that all of my efforts to become successful and to build my own company doing what I love to do and what I know is meant for me to do are for nothing.  I would like to say that I haven’t listened to those words of discouragement and that I responded to those negative voices in a way that Tyler Perry did, by ignoring them and doing it anyway.  But I can’t say that because I have spent the better part of my life trying to defy what I was told I couldn’t do all the while, deep down, believing in what those voices were saying.  

I have since learned to tune out those voices (for the most part anyway) but every once and a while, mostly when I have a new idea or a new way to develop and produce the ideas I already have, those voices do get deep inside my head and sometimes they even manage to convince me that they are right, but only for a little while.  When I read this message from Tyler Perry, it came after I had just finished brainstorming an idea with Ms. L. on how to bring one of my dreams on my list of accomplishments to fruition and those doubts began to creep in on whether or not I could really do this.  

I shared some brief ideas with another person that I thought could possibly help me in one area of making my idea a reality but they essentially told me every possible thing that could go wrong and that could keep me from being able to do it.  Not what I needed to hear.  I know everything that can go wrong.  I know that I am operating on little to no money most times and that my credit might not be so hot to a bank or possible investors.  So What?  

I am finally starting to realize that if I am constantly waiting for the money fairy to rain some money on my dream then I might never make it happen.  I have to have faith that it will happen, not just because it is a really good idea, but because it was what was meant for me to do.  God didn’t give me this gift for nothing and he sure doesn’t expect me to waste it.  So I’m not going to waste it.  

It’s hard to think that you have to tune out the people who are supposed to be close to you but if they can’t support me in living the life that I want to live then I don’t need to listen to words that aren’t driving me forward.  I’m done living the way everyone else thinks I should.  I can’t live the life other people would rather me live because that wasn’t the life that was meant for me.  Whose life are you living, yours or someone else’s? 


Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”


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