Sometimes the Mission Chooses You

“You may think your actions are meaningless and that they won’t help, but that is no excuse, you must still act.”
~Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 

It’s hard for anyone to know as a small child what they will be when they grow up.  Lots of children say they want to be a doctor or a teacher and then they change their minds when they find another thing they are more passionate about.  Some children (like me) discover a passion and it never goes away.  I’m not sure how many people aspired to be an activist when they were younger but it is amazing how the experiences in your childhood could fuel a mission that you never even knew was waiting for you. 

When I was younger I was bullied and picked on a lot and not just by the kids at school.  Mostly it was because of my weight but a lot of it was also because I didn’t necessarily fit in with the other kids at school.  I was always a creative, artsy, type and most of the kids didn’t really understand me.  I had hoped that when I had a child that the bullying would skip over her and that she would not have to endure that kind of hell.  Unfortunately kids have not changed much since I was little, in fact, they’ve only gotten worse. 

Seeing the bullying that goes on in today’s society makes what I went through (at least by the kids at school anyway) look like it was nothing.  Kids now just really like to humiliate other kids that have even the slightest appearance of a weakness or a difference.  They don’t stop at just hurtful and derogatory words, they are getting physical and their attitude is nonchalant about anyone else’s feelings but their own.  The kids in my daughters class literally make me want to forget that I am a Christian because when I see how they act I want to shake them and ask them what their problem is.  They are bullies and they are proud of it. 

I started thinking about what I could do to change things if I was in the position that I had planned on being by now.  If I were someone like Oprah or Lady GaGa, with their money, their prestige, and their power (in a sense) just imagine what I could do as far as taking a stand against the bullying that is relentless in schools today.  But when I watched Oprah’s next chapter last night, which was a special on Lady GaGa and her Born This Way Foundation (fighting against bullying), I realized that someone without all of that money, prestige, and power, can still be effective right where they live.  

I started to realize, with all of the bullying that is getting worse as the years go on, and the kids who are literally pushed so far that they sometimes take their own life, it doesn’t matter who is taking a stand as long as someone takes one.  Just as I am sure that Lady GaGa and Oprah never set out to be an activist of any kind, I am also sure that the experiences that they went through in their youth were somehow, even then, preparing them for that exact journey.  

I myself would have never thought that there would be anything good that could’ve possibly come from my childhood experiences.  However, I am starting to feel something inside me that is pulling me in the direction of using those experiences to take a stand against bullying.  I may not be able to reach people on a national level but I most certainly think that there has to be something that I can do, or get the right people to do, for the schools in my immediate area (starting with my daughter’s school).  

I’m no Oprah or Lady GaGa, but I am me and I think that if I wait until I am in the position that they are in (because I do believe I will get there someday in the near future) that it may just be too late (especially for my own daughter).  I think that I want to start looking into the ways that ordinary people like me can do something about this epidemic (because that’s what it’s becoming).  Who knew that I would ever want to be an activist of any kind?  I guess sometimes those childhood traumas you thought you would never get past can be used to help prevent someone else from going through the same kind of pain that you did. 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

The Other Version of Me

There is another side of me.  I would refer to her as my other personality but then people would get the wrong idea and suddenly think that I am crazy and need to be committed (some days they might be right).  Now while I do find myself communicating with my characters from one novel or another on a regular basis, I do not hear voices and speak to them and I don’t think that I have a twin version of myself that I talk to at night.  But there is another version of myself that I am referring to when I speak about my other self.  I am talking about the version of me that I feel that I should be by now, the version of me that I see myself becoming in the not so distant future.  

That version of me is already living inManhattan,New Yorkand is on the New York Times Bestseller’s list for three out of her four published novels.  She goes on at least eight book signing tours a year (and that would be a slow year).  She speaks to elementary, middle, and high schools on the importance of not bullying their peers and emphasizing the impact that the bullying has on the victims.  She also speaks at multiple writing seminars and networking events about nurturing the craft of writing.  She has two thriving online magazines, one of which comes out in print on a quarterly basis; both of which are produced and published through her publishing company.  

Her media empire would be continuously producing movies, television shows, and stage plays that promote self-confidence and self-esteem, empower women of all races, and emphasize the message of people being at peace with themselves and believing that they have the right to be (Write 2 Be) who they are; a Media empire that will eventually give Tyler Perry a run for his money.  She will finally get out of her own way and start singing back up for her best friend Ms. L as she goes on her many tours and perhaps will even sing solo in small venues around town.  She will be in the process of accumulating funding for her non-profit creativity camp for kids (Write 2 Be Creativity Camp) that will help promote and encourage the importance and development of the arts in children.  Last but certainly not least, she will be making moves to begin opening up her local bookstore that will be like no other bookstore.  Whew! This woman is busy!  

It sounds like a lot, I know, but this is the version of me that I am striving to be and who I believe that I was meant to be.  I know that it will take more than one year to get to that version of myself but 2012 is definitely going to be the year in which I begin to clear the path of all of the self-made obstacles that I have created over the years.  It is going to be the year in which I am going to take clear and calculated steps that will further me in my efforts to becoming that person.  The other version of myself (the one I want to be) is standing on the other side of a very long bridge and this year I am making my way over to her.  What a journey I am sure it will be.  I guess when I reach her I will let you know.  What does your “other self” look like to you?  Until tomorrow…Are you who you always thought you would be?  If not, what’s stopping you?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

What We Take Away From Our Childhood

This is going to be short (I hope) but I felt that I needed to share this today.  I was talking to Ms. L. earlier today and we were talking about (in short) expectations and what we will and will not accept from people, or as far as standards, period.  I had an epiphany in the middle of the conversation and it was something that I had always known deep down inside but had never brought myself to say out loud where someone else would actually hear it.  Now I don’t want to get too far into detail because it’s a little too personal but it had to do with things that were carried over from my childhood.  

Parents we must watch what we say to our children, but more importantly, what we don’t say to them.  I hear and read stories about children being bullied in schools, young girls becoming promiscuous, or children just acting like they have no respect for any adult, and when you actually listen to what they have to say you realize that the shortcomings are sometimes within the parents.  In my conversation with Ms. L I remembered about all of the things that my mother said to me and mostly what she didn’t say to me.  Those words, and those lack of words still live deeply within me today and they have affected my choices and my decisions and sometimes the rough situations I found myself in were a result of what I wasn’t told and shown when I was younger.  

I know we teach our children to be independent and that the belief has to come from them that they are smart, and beautiful, and that they are worth more than the hand they are sometimes dealt, and that they don’t have to just settle for what seems to be okay when they could have better.  But children need to be told this, and they need to be told constantly because it stays with them.  How many times do you hear when someone tells you they are the way they are because that’s what they were taught and brought up to know and do.  Now when they are speaking of something good and respectable we congratulate their upbringing, but we forget that that answer applies to those that do things that are not respectable as well.  

The children out here being bullied by other, or worse, bullying others and being promiscuous and disrespectful are doing what they are taught, and what was instilled in them somewhere.  Either they aren’t being told that they deserve better or they aren’t being made to believe it.  Our childhood does stick with us into our adulthood and while you quite possibly should leave some childish things in the past, the things that are ingrained in you, they stick, whether we want them to or not.  That’s my thought for today and I hope that someone gets something out of this.  Until tomorrow…Let your children know that they are worth, and deserve the very best! 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

Born This Way

“Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.”
~Lady Gaga 

Just last week a young boy, Jamey Rodemeyer, who was only fourteen years old, committed suicide.  He had been taunted and bullied for years because he wasn’t sure of his sexuality and he was different and he just couldn’t take it anymore.  He was a huge fan of Lady Gaga, whose main mission through her music is to promote acceptance and being proud of who you are and the differences that you may bring to the table in any circumstance.  There is no acceptable reason for someone, or a group of people to single certain individuals out because of who they are and because they don’t fit the general mold that society sets for any one person.  There is a reason why God created us all to be different and not to be copies of everyone around us.      

We live in a world where appearances are everything and where being different is not rewarded but rather ridiculed and condemned.  People whose lifestyles are not the same as others are treated like they are diseased.  Those that are unique and creative are made to feel as if there is something wrong with them because their mind thinks differently than the average person’s.  Simply put if people do not know what to make of you, then you are too different for them to accept.         

Bullying is a nationwide issue.  It’s not just happening in one city or even just one state.  People are literally killing themselves to get away from those that are bullying them.  It should never come to that.  Fourteen and fifteen year old children should not feel that they have no other way to escape the judgment of others just because they are their own person and don’t strive to be a carbon copy of everyone else around them.  

When someone writes an eloquent book that touches people’s hearts and souls, maybe even one that causes them to make particular changes in their lives, then the words are powerful and meaningful.  However, when someone uses their words to pick at and ridicule someone and goes to the extent of bullying them, then all of a sudden people’s excuse is ‘their just words, they don’t mean anything’.  So which one is it?  Words are powerful or words don’t mean anything?  Well coming from someone who knows all too well what it feels like to be bullied, words do mean something.  They hold the same amount of power for the negative as they would for the positive, perhaps even more so.  

Words can hurt.  No matter how many people think that what they say shouldn’t greatly affect someone else’s life, chances are, they do.  Sometimes what a person says can shape the rest of someone else’s life.  Perhaps those individuals out there that feel the need to condemn someone else for being themselves should take a much harder look inside.  Who is it that you are trying to be?  Until next time…Be who are, it’s the way that God intended you to be! 

“I’m beautiful in my way, ’cause God makes no mistakes. I’m on the right track, baby. I was Born This Way.”
~Lady Gaga 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress