There May Not Be a Tomorrow

So unless you don’t own a television or have a Facebook account, or any other form of social media, then you have heard the devastating news that legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant and his beautiful talented daughter died in a helicopter crash on Sunday along with two other teammates of hers, their parents, the pilot, and the assistant coach to the girls’ basketball team. The news was, to put it mildly, shocking and honestly when I first heard it I had to ask was this another one of those death hoax things going around on the internet. Sadly the news was true and surreal.

Any time someone dies it sends your mind into overdrive thinking so many different thoughts you can hardly keep them straight. However, in instances like this with someone of this stature, someone who seemed almost invincible, and who had such a huge impact on the lives of so many people that he had never even met, it just hits a bit differently. You look at the legacy of someone like him and you start to think about the inspiring words he has said and the amazing things that he has done and the things that he still had on his heart to do. You almost immediately can feel how big of a loss this is for his family, his friends, his fans, and the lives that he had yet to touch.

There are many things that can be said about Kobe Bryant, whether you were a fan of his or not, and that is that he had tremendous work ethic and his ambition was certainly something to strive for. He definitely lived his life to the fullest with purpose and with intention. For that very reason, while I’m sure there are many things that he wanted to do with his second act after retiring from basketball, I don’t think he left this earth with any regrets as to the legacy he was leaving behind because he never let any grass grow under his feet. He had a plan when he was younger about what he was going to do with his life and he committed to that plan and much the same way he planned out his basketball career at a young age, he had planned out his retirement as well and he made strides to accomplish those goals with every decision he made.

We all think that we have forever to do something on this earth with our lives. We have these massive plans for what we want to do years from now but the truth is that we don’t even know if we’ll get tomorrow, let alone years from now. We all have loved ones that we may not talk to on a regular basis or that we hold some kind of anger towards and are withholding forgiveness for some distant time in the future when we can forgive them at our leisure but what if that day doesn’t come.

We don’t know how much time any of us has on this earth and at any moment our time could be up. Don’t keep putting off until tomorrow the things that you want to accomplish in your life and more importantly don’t keep waiting to tell the people you love how you feel about them. It shouldn’t take moments like the death of someone who even after accomplishing so much still had such a promising future in order to get people to stop letting the grass grow under their feet (myself included) and putting things off until some tomorrow that may never come. You are here for a purpose so stop planning for a big future and start living today. Stop thinking people know how you feel and just tell them. Stop saying I’ll forgive them later and forgive them now. Until next time #BePresent #BeMindful #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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

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Staring in the Rearview Mirror Won’t Move You Forward

Rearview Mirror 5

So let’s talk about living in the past! Most people would say that your past is what has inevitably shaped you into who you are. A lot of our defining moments have happened already, long ago, before we ever had a chance to realize that we were being shaped by them. So if you had an ideal childhood with virtually no turmoil whatsoever (which for most people is highly unlikely) then you had one hell of a smooth transition into adulthood and you are lucky. However, if you are like the vast majority of the world then you have had a bumpy road on this journey that we call life and your past is most certainly providing you with so much grit and tough skin.

The past is the past and should always remain there but sometimes it seems easier said than done to leave your past hurts behind too. I struggled with a lot of self-esteem and confidence issues that stemmed from my childhood and while I have made great strides to move past all of it there are still days that literally come out of nowhere, that remind me I’m not completely past it yet. Those are the days where feelings of self-doubt linger and grab hold of me and I start to replay the words my mother would say about me never becoming anything, about me not being smart enough, about me not being good enough replaying in my head. I start to feel the way I felt then and it takes me a minute to get out of that head space.

The past has affected me and had such a hold over my life for much longer than it ever should have and I do believe that it is a major reason why I have not been quite as successful as I should be at this point in my life. But I have resolved that I will no longer be crippled by the living in the past syndrome that had plagued me for so much of my adulthood. I have to consistently remind myself that the past is just that and that what I have built myself up to become is what my focus should be from this point on.

We all have a past that has impacted us but we don’t have to let it dictate how our future unfolds. We can use our past as a tool, a lesson, to learn from and to be motivated by. Our past doesn’t have to hold us back from the success that we are destined for. You couldn’t control your childhood, and your past mistakes have already been made and can’t be changed, but you don’t have to continue to allow your past to control your future. So leave the past where it belongs, in the rearview mirror, behind you!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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What to Do When the Investment Wasn’t Made

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”

~Henry Ford 

Yesterday I talked about parents needing to make investments in their children’s future and I spoke about the investment that wasn’t made in me by my own mother.  Well today I wanted to speak to those out there who were not supported by the people around them.  I wanted to make clear that just because you were not given the encouragement that you should’ve been when you were starting to realize your gift’s does not mean that your gift should be lost and never developed. 

This is where we now have to remind ourselves not to dwell on what was not given to us and focus on what we have to give of ourselves.  When we are not lifted up by the ones who are supposed to be there for us then it is up to us to be driven enough to enhance our own abilities.  It is up to us to believe in ourselves enough to make our dreams come true anyway, in spite of those who told you that you couldn’t.  

Now that you are at whatever point you are in within your career and your life, you can no longer play the blame game (yes that goes for me too).  Sure there will be days when you will naturally think about what could’ve been and that’s okay for about five seconds.  But then you have to (and this is going to be the hard part to do) get over it and move on.  

If you don’t make the choice now, to do whatever it takes to sustain yourself in your career, the blame falls solely on you.  Once you reach a certain age and point in life, it is no one else’s responsibility to lift you up and help you rise to the level of success that you want but you.  There will still be people along the way that can help you but you have to put yourself in the position to be in contact with those people.  You have to make all of the tough decisions.  You have to stop procrastinating and get moving.  You have to stop complaining about what never was and create what could still be.  Make your dreams count and know that you are worth the investment.  

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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Making Investments in Our Future

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”

~Graham Greene 

I watched the Oscars last night and I thought about all of the awards shows that we as writers and artists’ watch throughout the years and all of the acceptance speeches that we hear.  It is extremely rare not to hear an actress, actor, writer, director, singer, songwriter, or visual artists’ (graphic or otherwise) thank their parents for allowing them to be who they are and for not only encouraging their gifts but for also enhancing it by being supportive of that talent.  

I started thinking about the children whose gifts and talents are not acknowledged, let alone encouraged by their parents.  All of the gifts and blessings for the world that are not being realized because there is no one there to tell them that it’s okay to dream and dream big.  I was one of those children.  

When I watch those awards shows I can’t help but to think of whether I could’ve been one of those artists accepting an award for their brilliant talents if only I had a mother that encouraged or enhanced my gifts, or at the very least, acknowledged that I had any.  I know that I’ve mentioned here before that my mother was (to put it in nice terms) not very nurturing.  She never really believed in me and to this day it still hurts.  

I do feel that when she heard me singing around the house and heard other people who didn’t have to placate me tell her that I was actually good at it, that she perhaps could have invested in some voice lessons, or piano lessons for me.  Maybe when I wrote the class poem for my eighth grade graduation and my teachers all told my her that she had a very gifted writer on her hands, she could have put me in writing workshops that they had for children (and they had them, I checked).  Or maybe when I sent a poem to a songwriting contest and received a letter saying that they wanted to turn my poem into a song, however, they needed to deal with my mother contractually (because I was still a minor), she could’ve done what she needed to do as my mother to make it into a reality.  She could have actually invested in my gifts when I was younger but she didn’t.  

While I know that I can not jet off back into time and change what never was, I am left to constantly wonder what could have been.  Most days I don’t dwell on it.  But on nights like last night when I see people accepting their awards and whose parents clearly believed in them enough for them to get where they are now, I get a little resentful (as much as I hate to admit that) towards my mother.  

But that is when I just turn that resentfulness into a persistent desire to make sure that I am different with my daughter.  I want to make sure that I encourage her creative talents, enhance her gifts by supporting and investing in them, and empower her to believe that she can do and be whatever it is that she dreams she can be.  I want her to know that I believe in her and that I know her future is worth the investment.    

If we as parents do not invest in our children’s future where are they supposed to get the idea that their future is worth investing in to begin with.  It starts with us and if we see brilliance in our children it is our job and our duty to help them develop and cultivate their gifts.  They are our future and we have to make investments, not just in the stock markets and the next big business venture (not that our own careers are not important as well), but we have to invest in them too because their future is worth it.  They are our future Grammy, Golden Globe, or even Oscar winners and we have to help them get there.  Don’t wait until tomorrow to make an investment in your child’s future, do it today!       

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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From the Outside Looking In

It is funny how the people closest to you can see things in you and possibilities for you that you never even had in mind for yourself.  We plan things for our life and never count on the unexpected opportunities that pop up along the way.  You know those things that you never thought you would be good at but that somehow fit right into you niche that you are carving out for yourself.  

Ms. L has foreseen something for me that somehow fits right into my other plans for my Media Company and that might actually help elevate things to the next level but it is something that I never even thought about doing before.  I must admit (she’s going to say I told you so later) that her foresight could be quite lucrative if it is as successful as she thinks it could be.  But I am just afraid that because it’s something I could never see myself doing, that other people will look at me with that judgmental look and the lingering questions in their mind of ‘how can she possibly be successful at this’.  Why not, it’s the same question I have for myself.  

But I promised her that I would give it some thought (and I don’t want to say what it is until I’m sure that I would actually do it) and that I would stop putting that wall up for myself and telling myself that I can’t do something before I even try.  Sometimes Ms. L sees things in the bigger picture that I never even saw and it’s amazing what the opinion from someone on the outside looking in can mean to your projected future.  I think I like Ms. L’s view of my projected future.  Until tomorrow…What do you project for your future?

 

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

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