Nowhere Else to Go From Here But Up

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last blog post and to say that things in my world have changed drastically would be quite the understatement. While I don’t always feel the need to share every single facet of my life, I do pride myself on being as authentic and transparent about this writing journey, and life in general (because life itself even without such high ambitions is a journey) so since everything can’t always be sunshine and roses here goes total vulnerability. I am now homeless and currently writing this post as I am temporarily in a hotel room that I am sharing with my daughter who still lives at home with me (because she is in college but is doing her classes online from home).

On Friday, May 19th, in the shadiest way ever, I was evicted from my home of nearly 23 years (would have been 23 in October). I say shady because while I’m not going to act like I was completely caught up in my rent, I had fallen a bit behind, however, I had an arrangement with my prior property manager (who I did not know had left the property until this eviction happened) because she knew that I had been a valued tenant for more than two decades and that I had applied for some assistance programs the state has to help those who are self-employed and had fallen behind (due to Covid) and that I am also applying for disability (which is still waiting to be processed). Well without any word to any of the residents, they replaced the old property manager with a new one who did not value my long-standing tenancy and did not honor the prior arrangement that I had and effectively gave me five minutes for me and my daughter to grab what we could and leave.

You can imagine that we weren’t able to grab much. You can also imagine that the very first things I grabbed were all writing related (like my laptop and the notebooks I was currently using). We managed to put a large amount of stuff in a storage unit but it certainly wasn’t everything and when we came back later everything that was left was gone. My desk, the vast majority of our clothes, everything. My neighbor who had been living beside me for the last 15 of those years and we always made sure to check in on each other, gave me enough to get a room for me and my daughter the first two nights and a church friend helped with the third night for that first weekend. A GoFundMe was started on Monday and while I haven’t reached my goal yet, a large amount was raised and that is how we are still able to stay in the same hotel room that we got that first night (at a discounted rate because the hotel manager took pity on me).

I won’t lie and say that this wasn’t a traumatizing event. Every time I think of something else I lost in all of that I get a little emotional and my daughter’s words to me were “did they have to be so joyful about throwing our stuff out” and that will stick with me too. I try to always stay positive and see the good in everything but it’s a little hard in this case. That said, everything does happen for a reason and even though I’m not completely sure what that reason is right now I’m sure it will reveal itself to me in time. Perhaps this needed to happen to push me to a level that makes me feel uncomfortable and out of sorts. They say sometimes the best things grow out of what you feel are the worst things that can happen to you and if that’s true then I must be due for some really good things down the line.

I have taken the last two weeks to stew and to settle into this new reality of mine, one that I hope doesn’t last for a long time, but I can’t pretend that this isn’t going to be a hard road to getting back on track. In saying that I also realize that the work doesn’t stop, and shouldn’t stop, just because life threw me a major curve ball. I still have books to put out (another poetry book is releasing on Friday June 9th) and that I don’t still have dreams that must be accomplished one way or another. That’s the thing that each obstacle in life teaches me over and over again. I am a fighter, and I don’t quit. I will always get back up when I get knocked down and the thing about hitting rock bottom is that there is literally nowhere else to go but up! So no matter what obstacles you are facing, you’re not alone and the one thing that you can’t do is give up. Stay in the fight and keep striving for those dreams!

Until next time… #BeDiligent #BeFearless #BeCourageous

Link to my GoFundMe: https://gofund.me/37f1fbb2

Link to my Ko-fi with the updated goal: https://ko-fi.com/authorjccarpenter

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jimmetta.carpenter

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Also check out my new Red Bubble Shop: https://www.redbubble.com/people/Write2BeMatters/shop for some cool and fun stickers and also check out my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=74026650 and think about becoming a Patron!

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Movement is Never Optional

If you have been following along with my blog for a considerable length of time, then you know that I am allergic to change. I say allergic jokingly but really, I am so averse to change that it nearly sends me into full blown anxiety attacks when my routines and things that I’ve grown accustomed to being a certain way have to change. Either an anxiety attack or emotional meltdowns. It’s not a good thing by any means and I know that regulating my emotions and dealing with inevitable change is something that I should have learned to be alright with by now but alas I have not gotten to that place yet. Not sure that I ever truly will.

This is the reason why change is one of the things I talk about so much on this blog (that and fear). The way that people have to work on being disciplined in any one area, or work on keeping things clean, or their issues with time management (shoot that’s another problem I have lol), is the same way that I have to consciously work on dealing with change. Simply put, my natural personality does not adjust well to change on its own, so I have to forcefully adjust myself to the things around me that need to change.

I don’t always realize when a situation needs to be altered, when there needs to be some movement forward in a certain area of my life. I often have to have things crash in around me before my brain says okay you’ve fought this point of change for a long time now, so it’s time to just adjust. This is the point where movement is no longer optional. The point where if I don’t actively and intentionally make the decision to move forward, life is going to move me regardless, but just not in the direction I wish to go. It will move me backward.

We never want to move backwards in life because then the journey is just made to take that much longer. I truly think that if I hadn’t been so resistant to changes and to moving overall, that I could possibly be much farther ahead on this road that I’m on by now. The fear of changing (there’s that fear I talked about earlier) paralyzes and causes me to stand still a lot more than I should. Now in some instances standing still can be a good thing, but usually it’s when you want to take in all that has progressed around you, not to keep from progressing period.

A lot of the time when I think about the word movement I only think about physical movement, as in exercise. Because I suffer from chronic pain and am in some level of pain almost every single day (some days are level 1 or 2 and others are level 10 pain) I have this thing where I look for days where movement can be optional. However, I never really thought about movement in general terms for life. I didn’t think about the fact that for career success, for getting goals accomplished, for just attaining your dreams, you have no choice but to move. If you don’t, your dreams and your passions in life become stagnant. They stand still.

And that stillness doesn’t just affect you. It affects every life you and your dreams were meant to touch. So, the next time you think about just standing still and giving up, or even if you’re someone who, like me, is averse to change, just remember that if you don’t move forward, it doesn’t protect you in any way. It just keeps you stuck, in the same place, doing the same things, never growing, and never changing. So don’t hold yourself back simply by being afraid to just move.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeCourageous #BeBold

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jimmetta.carpenter

https://www.amazon.com/author/jccarpenter

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Also check out my new Red Bubble Shop: https://www.redbubble.com/people/Write2BeMatters/shop for some cool and fun stickers and also check out my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=74026650 and think about becoming a Patron!

Accept the Unexpected

Life becomes more peaceful when you switch from expect to accept” ~ Thomas Gomes

I saw this quote this morning as I scrolled through Facebook, and it came on the heels of a rough start to my Monday. Not a seriously terrible rough start by normal standards of what a rough start would be. Just a rough start for my anxiety riddled, OCD brain who needs to have things go a certain way nearly every day for me to be able to function properly. I am a routine person, as I think I have discussed here before, and I am the type of person that if even one part of my day-to-day routine is altered, I freak out and I’m completely thrown off. I actually (crazily enough) expect things to go the way that I need them to go each and every day.

You would think that with all of the things that have thrown me off track in my life that I would be used to not having things go the way that I expect them to go but sadly I am not. I still take way too long to adjust myself to whatever changes have been tossed my way and the length of time I take to accept these changes and course corrections only makes me less productive and ultimately makes it so I accomplish less than what I had originally planned to get done.

In a normal situation, what I was thrown off by this morning (I won’t even get into what it was because honestly it would be far too silly to anyone who doesn’t understand my quirks lol) should not have affected me as much as it did. I should not have spent the better part of the first half of the day just struggling to cope with the changes and the fact that what I expected was no longer. I perhaps would have been much more at peace if I had just quickly accepted that this part of my routine was going to have to change now and that was just going to be that. It’s how I should have reacted and when I saw this quote it clicked for me. I’m wasting time I don’t have trying to control something I just can’t control anymore.

I think that’s what it was really all about and honestly what my quirks about having a consistent, unchanging routine ultimately stem from. There are so many things in life that we won’t be able to control. Things that happen to us and things that happen for us that we just have no real say in. So, it’s hard to find those few things you can control (at least for a little while anyway) and that you allow yourself to get used to being able to expect, and have them change on you, on a dime, out of nowhere.

Expectations are a funny thing. We’re not supposed to ever just expect for certain things to work out in any particular way, yet we are taught to have a schedule or routine to make sure that we are staying on track with our goals and aspirations. Aren’t routines and schedules in fact expectations? When you set up your day in a way that works best for you to be productive it is, in fact, based off of expecting for things to go accordingly. Maybe the trick is to learn to accept that unexpected things will happen, even if they throw you off balance for a little bit. Thank you, guys, for letting me vent and comment if you understand what it feels like to be thrown off and struggle to adjust to the things you don’t expect.

Until next time… #BePatient BeMindful #BeResilient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

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Also check out my new Red Bubble Shop: https://www.redbubble.com/people/Write2BeMatters/shop for some cool and fun stickers and also check out my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=74026650 and think about becoming a Patron!

Troubles Don’t Last Always

I try not to get too overly hopeful anymore about how a year is going to go for me. I swear every time I move a couple of steps forward in my goals, life comes along and says ‘nope, not so fast, need to knock you back a few steps more, you’re not quite ready yet’ and then I get discouraged. Not discouraged enough to ever give up on my dreams and goals because come on, if I haven’t given up on them at this point why would I suddenly give up now. It just gets extremely frustrating when I feel like I just might be getting somewhere, that for once I might be getting to a place where I can just not have to worry so much. That place where I can be comfortable (not in the complacent kind of way) and just not have to stress over every single little thing for fear that the walls around me will come tumbling down. It just sometimes feels like I can get close enough to touch the dream but never quite close enough to actually have it.

Keep in mind when I say the dream, I don’t mean being rich and famous or overly wealthy (not that I would deny myself that opportunity if it should so happen), just to make a living from my creative abilities and not have to worry if I’m going to have a roof over my head from one month to another. I mean to be able to have my daughter tell me she needs something and to not have to weigh helping her with what she wants or needs against providing food and shelter for the both of us, or even just myself. I just want to be able to survive and thrive a little with my art and then if there was a bonus that I would add to that, I would say to be able to reach out and help other people who are also struggling without hesitation.

I know that being a creative is not an easy thing and I’ve never thought that it was supposed to be, but I just never anticipated constantly getting knocked back every time I manage to get somewhere, and I mean every single time. Having said all of that, and being the spiritual person that I am, I am reminded from several church sermons and biblical scriptures that troubles do not lasts always. That whatever struggles I have gone through, or that I will inevitably go through, that God will always bring me through anything, and it may not be in the way that I think, but it will always be in the way He feels is best for me to be able to grow.

I am so highly resistant to change that I sometimes think that the knocks that life keeps giving me is its way of telling me that I need to stop being so afraid of change and to stop shying away from risks and opportunities that could make me grow. Could that be the lesson here? That troubles don’t last always but they do always persist until you learn the lesson that you were meant to get from the journey. Perhaps that is the piece of the puzzle that I am missing. Being brave enough to go for anything without thinking of what could go wrong.

Whatever your struggles are in your journey to get to the dreams and goals you are trying to reach don’t let the times that life will knock you down discourage you. You have to get back up and keep pushing through. There is light on that other side, even if it only looks like you can see tiny cracks of it right now. Let those tiny cracks of light be enough for the moment. Imagine how much more there is to see if you just stay vigilant and keep moving forward. I won’t lie and say that you won’t get discouraged ever again. That’s a part of life, a part of the journey. But just keep in mind that troubles don’t last always and that you can only get what you’re striving for if you keep going.

Until next time… #BeVigilant #BePersistent #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jimmetta.carpenter

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The Circle You Choose

I think sometimes it can be overlooked how important it is to have a core set of friends who understand you and your passions. Not only that but understand and accept you as a person. They don’t ask you to be anyone you’re not while still allowing you the room to make changes at your own pace. They don’t judge the things you do that they may not understand. They respect what you’re passionate about and respect the time you need to dedicate to that passion. Most importantly they are friend enough to tell you when you’re not doing what it is you’re supposed to be doing and that you need to get yourself (s**t) together.

I joined a writing community virtually a little more than two years ago (a little bit before the Pandemic hit) and as luck or fate would have it, it turned out to be one of the best things I could’ve ever done. I met friends there who get me, they understand me, they accept me, they are my tribe. I underestimated how much I needed that. Even us introverts need a tribe and people who will support you and encourage you no matter what.

Even though I’m a person who would rather be alone more often than not, I have always had a good amount of friends (not too many and not a dismal number either) but I can’t always say that they understood me or accepted me fully without trying to change me at their rate of change. I can’t even say that they always respected what I’m passionate about (writing) or the time that I need in order to fulfill that passion. I’m sure that they thought they were being the friends that I needed them to be because I never lead them to believe otherwise. Given that they were far more social than I am I’m pretty sure I wasn’t what they needed either.

I think this is why every friendship isn’t meant to last forever and people do move on and they grow apart. But when you do find those people that get you, your tribe so to speak, you absolutely should hold onto them. And don’t just receive the love they pour into you, make sure that you are pouring love back into them as well. Writing can be such as solitary career choice, but it doesn’t always have to be. Find your tribe and when you do make sure that you love on them and hold them close.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeReceptive #BeEmpowering

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jimmetta.carpenter

https://www.amazon.com/author/jccarpenter

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

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These Are Apparently the Times We Are Living In Now

I don’t typically discuss political things or things that are going on all over the world here. That is unless those things have affected my mental state so much, to the point where I have to get what I’m feeling out or else I will scream. So, to avoid having people looking at me crazy or my neighbors thinking that I’m dying in my apartment I have to get some things off my chest. Now if you are a conservative who is in favor of what the Supreme Court has done to this country in the last week alone, I am sorry, but this post is not going to be for you.

This Supreme Court sucks! I am so profoundly devastated by the thoughtless and dangerous decisions that the Supreme Court handed down, not JUST on Friday but on Thursday too because in one breathe they’re saying the state of New York can’t have a say on how they handle guns and everyone is now free to run around New York all willy nilly with their guns out, while turning around on Friday to say “oh but we trust the states enough to make them the arbiters over women’s bodies” because that makes sense. Let me make this clear, I am neither for or against abortion. What I am for is women having a say over what to do with their own bodies and with their own situations. I am not for a bunch of old men (mostly anyway) getting to control whether a woman does or does not have a baby.

I watched as pro-life people talked to reporters about being the voice for the lives of the unborn children and I wanted to scream and say, “so to hell with the life of that mother who is carrying that unborn child”. No woman wakes up saying “hey I want to go out and get pregnant with a child I may or may not be able to afford and then precede to have an abortion”, that’s just ridiculous and that is how the pro-life movement is presenting things. Either that or they are relegating it down to making it as simple as saying women only choose to have an abortion because they are not being told by the masses that they are strong and capable enough to be a mom.

Well, here’s a thought, what if a woman just simply doesn’t desire to have children or if they have decided that 3 is their cap and they don’t want any more. Or what if you have a child who is raped and gets pregnant? So, then she just has to suck it up and deal with it? I literally wanted to scream when I saw a pro-life activist on CNN the other night and her response to the child who is raped question was “we don’t answer violence with violence and abortion is violence”. I wanted to yell at that woman and ask her so is her answer to punish the child who doesn’t bare any blame in that scenario with a responsibility that she is not mentally or financially ready for?

I watched another young woman who celebrated the decision by relaying a story of a teenage girl who she helped through a difficult time in which she made the choice not to go through with the abortion and I thought great, but you’re apparently losing the point that she had a choice, the decision wasn’t made for her. Anyone who is pro-life or pro-women for that matter, seriously needs to think about the fact that they are celebrating women no longer having a say over what they can and can’t do with their own bodies and in their own families. Every woman’s story is not the same and to impose your belief systems and moral reasoning on women as a whole is just wrong. It’s interesting how no one wants to regulate men’s bodies, force them to get vasectomies, take away their options to get these women pregnant.

I am so livid about this that I literally could not focus all of Friday and the vast majority of the weekend. For Justice Alito to say this text is not a part of the Constitution as his reasoning for this decision is ludicrous because in the text of the Constitution, I would not even be considered a person, but instead property. I also would not even be allowed to vote. It makes me wonder just how far back he wants to take us. And if you think that they are going to stop here then look no further than Justice Thomas’s concurrent opinion in which he thinks they need to overturn rights to contraception and marriage equality, i.e., same sex marriage. Who are they to tell someone who they can and cannot love? Who are they to regulate whether a married couple or anyone having sexual relations can actually use various methods of protection to at least try to keep themselves from getting pregnant? What kind of place are we living in right now?

This is not the country I grew up loving. I was born after Roe v Wade was in place, so I’ve never known anything but being able to have rights over my own body. So now my daughter is going to go into her adulthood not having rights that she had when she came into this world? What are we doing right now? I am just saddened for this country and I’m sad for my daughter and the daughters of other women I know. I’m extremely sad for my niece who lives in Oklahoma (a state who now holds one of the strictest laws against abortion I’ve ever seen) and is a young woman now and I’m worried about if she were to end up in a scenario that she didn’t want to be in. She would just be forced to do something she doesn’t want to do, being a mom (because she doesn’t even know if she wants kids)?

I just… I’m out of words now… I can’t understand what is happening and I’m just sad. These are dangerous times we are in, and it’s just not supposed to be this way. In the land of the free, we’re not really all that free, are we? Then again, I guess we never really were.

Until next time… #BeVigilant #BeStrong #BePersistent

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jimmetta.carpenter

https://www.amazon.com/author/jccarpenter

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https://ko-fi.com/authorjccarpenter

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Do We Always Have to Be “On” to Prove We Showed Up?

Last week was a rough week and I tried extremely hard not to show it. Now it was supposed to be a really exciting week in terms of my YouTube channel because I was doing a collaboration with one of the biggest AuthorTubers on there and it’s someone who has motivated me and inspired me through her own channel so that part was very exciting. And believe it or not it went well. But I had to mask a lot of pain that I was in to make it seem as though everything behind the scenes (for me anyway) was okay.

I woke up last Tuesday morning in excruciating stomach pain that is looking like it may be a hernia but that explanation for the pain wasn’t considered until near the end of the week and after the exciting collaboration happened. But I did what most of us creative entrepreneurs who are also moms have to do. I smiled my way through the pain and pretended everything was okay. The only way you would have known anything was wrong (at least until my first week of May vlog comes out later today) was if you happened to be close enough to me for me to confide in.

We often have to be “on” sometimes even when we don’t want to be. Even when we may be in pain or, for some, grieving, or depressed, or when you just plain old don’t feel like putting on a mask. If we want to succeed, if we want to get to a point where we can truly thrive, where we can enjoy what we’ve built and have the luxury of being able to say no if we want to, there are oftentimes pieces of ourselves that we have to sacrifice.

There are far too many instances where we find ourselves amplifying the performance we have to put on just so no one sees us struggling and my question is why. Why is it wrong, or weak to show when we are struggling. Why is it that we feel like we would burden someone else by telling them that we may not be okay, or that we need some help. It’s a question I think that we should all ask ourselves because I sure hope that I’m not someone that other people feel that have to put on a show for.

I just want to be a light, and some sort of inspiration and motivation for as many people as I can. I suppose that’s why I sometimes feel like I have to contain my struggles. I hate the thought of pulling anyone down or not being able to inspire someone. But sometimes I need a break from being “on” too and that’s okay. Striving as a creative entrepreneur should never mean having to put on a mask to hide our pain. I like to think of it in terms of a phrase that I used to hear in the church I grew up in. They used to always say that all were welcome to come as they are. When we come into any space, creative or other, no matter what we are struggling with, we should always feel as if we can be free to come as we are.

Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BeThoughtful #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jimmetta.carpenter

https://www.amazon.com/author/jccarpenter

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

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Give Up What is Weighing You Down

It is not easy being a creative entrepreneur. Yes, I know being an entrepreneur period is hard work but when you are a creative individual you are not only expelling all of your emotional and mental energy into what you are passionate about. You are also having to tap into a business mindset that, if you’re anything like me, just isn’t something that is second nature to you. I think for creative individuals what stands in our way more than anything is our own self-doubt and lack of confidence in our ability to conquer the things that don’t come natural for us (like business know how and anything related to math in general lol). We get so hung up on what we think we can’t do that we lose sight and focus of what we can do.

So much of what holds us back from living up to our full potential can typically be relegated to an extension of one thing, fear. Whether it’s a fear of failure, a fear of success, a fear of change, fears of financial ambiguity, fears of disappointing either the people in our lives or ourselves, or just a fear of what is unknown. We come up on these boulders (obstacles) sitting there in the road, standing in the way of us getting to our destination. It seems immovable at first because we’re just seeing this obstacle that is taking up the entire space of the road and that instant feeling of defeat sets in. We spend so much time focusing on the boulder (obstacle) itself that we don’t even realize that if we just give it everything we have inside of us to move it, if we just physically push it off to the side of the road, then we can continue on the journey to reaching our goal.

Fear is that boulder in the space of our minds. It can take up so much space in our head, forcing us to lose focus on whatever particular thing we are fearful of in that moment. It can overwhelm us so much that we don’t even realize that if we just tackle that fear head on, just give it everything we have and push past it, then we can move that fear aside (at least for that moment anyway) and continue pushing through to accomplish our dreams. 

Fear is a heavy burden to carry. It weighs on us like that immovable boulder. It starts to seep into our everyday lives until we are afraid to do just about anything that will move us forward. Fear likes it when we are comfortable because when we get comfortable then we never truly grow and we stay stuck right where the fear wants us to stay. Still. So if we want to succeed at all of those dreams we’re so passionate about,  then we have to give up all of those fears that keep us weighed down and tethered to that box we get so comfortable staying in. In order to fly, to really soar beyond our wildest dreams and imaginations, we have to be willing to let go of all of that dead weight.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCourageous #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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A Reminder of the Dream, In Case You Forgot

Today we remember the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had all of those years ago when he gave that I Have a Dream speech. While I don’t normally repost old blog posts, I couldn’t get past the fact that what I wrote last year to commemorate this day STILL applies, even more so, today. I want to leave you with those same words today and remind you that we are not finished yet, not until we can see his vision for the dream that he had all the way through. We cannot give up on a fight in which he literally gave his life for. I hope that something in this post inspires you today to keep striving towards the goal of making his dream of a better and more equal America come true.

Is There Still Hope for The Dream?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say today but I knew that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was going to be the subject of this post. So, I went to pull up the full “I have a Dream” speech on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs) because it’s been a long time since I’ve heard the speech in its entirety. As I sat there listening, it was mind blowing just how relevant and powerful his words still are to this very day.

Now I don’t know if that is telling to the staying power of his words or to the sadness that they still ring true. In essence, we may have come far but within these last few years we seemed to have taken several steps backwards.  I guess you would have to listen for yourself to determine which one it is for you. For me it’s a bit of both. Yes of course those words he spoke that day still matter, even more so now, because before the last four years we were starting to see some of those dreams manifested and brought to fruition. Or were we?

We thought that we had started to see some change with President Obama because he was someone who truly took those words of Dr. King’s to heart and he embodied them and strived, with much opposition, to make those dreams a reality. We thought we had come farther, but within the last four years we have seen certain strides that were taken being walked back immensely. It makes you wonder, had we really even made any change? Was it all surface accomplishments but underneath, the roots, were still very present and had not yet been weeded out enough to allow sustainable growth?

That day on August 28th of 1963, Dr. King said that America needed to pull itself out of the quicksand of racial injustice in where people of color lived on an island of poverty amongst a vast ocean of material prosperity. He points out that America had not kept its promise to us and that it was in for a rude awakening if it expected things to go back to business as usual.  I think that he would be disheartened to see all of his words continually quoted by people who clearly have no deep understanding of what they actually mean because if they did then they would see that we only seek “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

I think if he were still alive that he would find himself having to repeat those same words he spoke to those gathered around the Lincoln Memorial that day. I think he would feel obligated to remind the entitled groups of people who think the rules don’t apply to them that equality is not wrong, it is not unreasonable, and it is not unattainable.

I think he would also turn to those who have grown weary and tired, and yes complacent amongst those who would like to revert back to a time that our ancestors struggled so hard to lead us out of and tell them to keep moving forward. I think he would tell them that we cannot be satisfied with the status quo, and we most certainly cannot leave this country in the fragmented state that we find ourselves in today. I think that he would remind people who are angry because we’re still explaining that we just want equality that they have to continue to strive for freedom but not by “drinking from a cup of bitterness and hatred”.

The song that plays at the very beginning of the recording of his speech is “We Shall Overcome” and as I listened to the words in that song, and replayed the words of his speech, I have to say that even in the current state of this country, I still have hope that we will be okay. I still think that Dr. King’s Dream is going to come true, someday, but we can’t give up, and we have to keep moving forward, until we are all Free At Last. 

Until next time… #BeFearless #BeBrave #BeRelentless

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Do I Really Need to Say Yes More?

I read Shonda Rhimes book, Year of Yes, a couple of years ago and I vowed after reading it to start saying yes to things more often. Essentially I promised myself that I would be more open to change. After all, isn’t saying yes more geared towards the things that are out of your comfort zone and that you normally wouldn’t do? I will admit that there are some things that I have done since reading that books that I ordinarily wouldn’t have done, one of them being starting my YouTube channel. There’s a few more things that I have done that required me to step out of my bubble of comfort but I would assess that there have been far more times that saying no was the better move for me.

I have struggled in the past to find that balance between throwing caution to the wind and saying yes to things and knowing when to draw the line and just say no for myself. It would seem that at the moment when I finally learned how to say no to the things that I don’t want to do for my own sanity and self-care, that I lost some of that ability to say yes. I do believe that the Pandemic of the last year and a half also gave me further permission to be more of a no person than that yes person that I was working on becoming.

Honestly, I’m not sure that I want to be that ‘say yes to everything’ person because I don’t know that I would be a very happy person if I did that. I spent most of my childhood, my twenties, and a sizable chunk of my thirties saying yes to things that I just didn’t want to do at all, but not for the aspect of change, rather to please other people. I don’t know if it’s different when you’re saying yes for change and saying yes to people please but either way I don’t know that I can be that person. Sometimes no really is the right answer.  

Now this is not anything against the people who say yes to every single thing and who love doing so. I think that it’s great to discover what works for you and if you are someone who says no to EVERYTHING then you should definitely read Shonda Rhimes book and incorporate yes more into your vocabulary.  It’s good to explore and step out of the bubble of comfort sometimes. For me, I just cannot say yes to everything because then I get in this place where I start feeling like I’m doing things more for someone else and not for myself. I don’t want to go back to that place where I’m pleasing everyone else by saying yes to what they think I should do to the detriment of my own mental health and my own joy. I will not give up this peace that I have found and if that means I say no more than yes, so be it.

Until next time… #BeTruetoYourself #BeStrong #BeAuthentic

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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