Exploring Every Inch of the Road in the Journey

The day we cease to explore is the day we begin to wilt. ~Cicely Tyson

Good or bad, life is nothing but a bunch of experiences. We have really good moments and we have really bad moments, and oftentimes the bad moments start to feel like they are more present than the good.  Where am I going with this you ask? Well, just that mistakes and hard times are simply apart of the exploration that we do throughout our journey. We can’t avoid them and in all honesty we should probably be welcoming them.

This thought process came to my mind because of a zoom call that I had with some wonderfully creative girlfriends of mine. We were getting together (virtually) to discuss Cicely Tyson’s book and other extraordinarily talented black creative artists. Of course the conversation ventured over to discussing our own creative endeavors and what our vision was for the things we were working on. I was singled out, and rightfully so (because they know me so very well), for often being afraid of stepping outside the box and exploring things, mainly for fear of making mistakes.

I have expressed here many times over the years this really tiresome dance that I do with my fear and how I strive to move past that and I’ve made strides and every now and then I realize I hadn’t let go of all of these fears as much as I would like to believe.  Don’t get me wrong, I am way better than I was years ago in terms of dealing with my constant fears and the obstacle the fear itself presents itself to be. I just have a ways more to go. On that zoom call I was reminded of advice from other successful people throughout history which is that the more you fail or rather make mistakes, the more life experience you have to put into your work and the better you can make the next attempt.

Not exploring things, not exploring life, is in many ways not allowing yourself to experience both successes and failures in various magnitudes and to use those learning experiences to fuel your drive and motivation to power forward.  Without exploration we don’t really learn what works and what doesn’t work, what we like and what we don’t like, and we simply don’t learn much of anything about who we are. 

If you are letting fear hold you back or keep you in that place of comfort, stop holding yourself back from experiencing every aspect there is of success, and that includes the moments in which you will undoubtedly making mistakes. It is not failing to get things wrong and to mess up. You only become a failure when you cease to explore at all. Never stop exploring every inch of the road you will walk on your journey.

Until next time… #BeCourageous #BeInspired #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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The Fabric that Creates Our Stories

Fabric that creates our stories

Let’s talk about the stories that make us! We all have moments in our lives that we sometimes wish hadn’t happened. There may be certain experiences that we wished had gone a different way than they did. Or even just a small rough patch that you wish you could’ve somehow dodged along the way. I know that I have a huge chunk of childhood experiences I’ve wished I could have replaced with better ones and some mistakes that I’ve made in my teenage or young adult years that I would do over again if I could.

The problem with trying to recreate history, however, is that if we were to do that we would completely miss out on the lesson that we were supposed to learn. In addition to that we would also not have the experiences that help to shape and mold us into the people we were meant to become. I was watching an episode of Oprah’s Master Class and the guest was talking about the fact that the stories that we share with others, the wisdom that we tend to draw on from other people’s experiences, come from the rough patches in life.

We wouldn’t have those experiences and those moments that give us teaching tools for life if there were no rough patches to begin with. What I’ve gone through in my life, the issues I’ve had with deep depression, the abuse I suffered in my childhood, even my struggles with my weight throughout most of my life, sure I may wish they hadn’t happened, but they could very well be the inspiration that someone else needs down the line.

I think of all of the inspiration that I’ve gotten from other people’s struggles and the obstacles that they’ve overcome to get to the level of success that they’re at now and it’s amazing. Knowing that when I finally achieve the goals that I’ve set out to accomplish and when I get to that level of success where I can truly influence others, to think that I could possibly provide some inspiration to someone else in the future and possibly give them feelings of hope is extremely comforting to me.

Our struggles that we endure and the obstacles that we battle through become some of the greatest fabric to our story. To ever try and wish that away would more than likely be a costly mistake because so much of our trials and tribulations are woven so intricately into our lives that without them we could be completely different people and not necessarily who we were ever meant to be. So when you start to dwell on the hard times that you’ve experienced, stop and think. If you were to wish those hard times away, those rough patches, then you wouldn’t have a story to tell. Those experiences have built your character and they are the reason that you can inspire the world around you. So make your stories count and let them be a way to heal somebody else.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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The Questions We Ask Ourselves, and God (Part 1): Why Me?

“I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.”

~ Jewish Proverb 

I have a ton of questions that I asks’ God on a regular basis.  These are questions that I probably know the answer to already but for some reason I never listen to that voice inside of myself until I go to him.  All he does is amplify that voice inside of me so that I actually start paying attention to it.  Have any of you ever found yourself asking God question after question and then wonder when you’re going to get any of the answers you’re waiting for?  I’m discovering that maybe the answers to our questions are already answered but we just aren’t paying close enough attention. 

The most common question that I find myself asking is why me?  There is so much that we go through in life and sometimes it starts to weigh you down.  Naturally the first thing you want to know is why do you have to go through this.  Why is this happening to you?  It just seems sometimes that things get really hard really fast and they take a really long time to get better.  It makes it even more difficult when the person next to you (figuratively) seems to have everything falling right into place just so neatly.  But their story is not your story.    

God puts us through things, not just for the sake of doing so, but to strengthen us.  He gives us tests so that we have testimonies to share so that we can be an example for others.  If you think about it you will realize that you already know the answer to why me.  It is because without your experiences, without those trials that you have been put through, your life story wouldn’t be the same.  You wouldn’t be the same person that you are without those moments that made you stronger.  You might not be as appreciative of your successes if you didn’t have all of the obstacles thrown in your way just to get to them.  

I’m not going to sit here and say that when I have a rough day, or a rough week, or even a rough month, that I won’t ask why me again.  However, I think that I won’t be waiting as long for the answer because I know why me.  I know that my story, my struggle, has a more profound meaning.  I know that my experiences will eventually be able to help someone else cope with their struggle and that I will be proof that for those that have been broken down, it was only so that you be built back up.  

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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