The Picture Isn’t Always Perfect

Nothing is Picture Perfect 2

Oftentimes we like to paint a picture for people that things in our world are running smoothly. We like to put a smile on to pretend that things are perfect even if they aren’t. We like to highlight the things that are going well and leave out all of the mistakes that we have been making as we go. It’s the whole fake it until you make it syndrome. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have positive self-talk and to tell yourself that you can do this or that, even if deep down you are unsure of your capabilities. But to leave out the things that went wrong in your journey sometimes does a disservice, not only to you but to the people that you hope to inspire along the way.

If you think about it, there are no real mistakes in life. Everything that happens to us or even for us is by design and has already been mapped out by God. Even the slight detours we take are to teach us something, to show us what we are made of when we start to lose sight of the true depth of our purpose. It is in the failures that we truly triumph because we learn perseverance and it forces us to get back up again even when we don’t feel like we can.

I’ll admit that it feels good when you are presenting yourself to people as if you have everything all together and figured out. Particularly in the instances where you want to impress someone who impresses you, you want to seem like you can make all the pieces to the puzzle fit perfectly. Sometimes you fake it so well that you may even start to believe it yourself and it kind of gets you motivated in a way you may not have been otherwise.

The problem with faking it is that in leaving out the mistakes that you have made you also tend to leave out the lessons that you have learned from those mistakes as well. The people that you want to inspire and who may be looking to you for guidance are being mislead by this false perception of what success looks like and that really isn’t fair to them or you. There is no such thing as a flawless road to success and trying to pretend that there is only makes things look pretty on the outside, but it doesn’t change the reality of how messy the journey really is.

Stop trying to make everything look easy to everyone else because by doing that you diminish all of the hard work that you have likely put into your journey. Your path has more substance because of the obstacles and failures that you have had as you have walked along it. All those times you fell that you would like to instantly forget are important because they taught you that you are not a quitter and that you can get back up again. The detours on that straight and narrow road that you had planned to take likely gave you something that you needed at those particular times. Don’t leave out what you believe are the bad parts of your journey because odds are the good that came out of it wouldn’t have happened any other way.

 

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

Writer/Editor

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The Warrior Within

The Warrior Within

Lets talk American Ninja Warrior! I know, what does the show American Ninja Warrior have to do with writing and taking care of yourself creatively and spiritually. Well that’s the thing about inspiration, it literally can come from anywhere and anyplace and at any time. I am just as surprised as you might be because if you know anything about me, aside from finally implementing a gym workout into my lifestyle, I am not a very athletic person. Other than football, and perhaps the basketball championships, I don’t particularly watch that much in the way of sports.

So when I turned on a rerun episode of American Ninja Warrior one day, it was kind of just on and I wasn’t paying that much attention until this young woAmerican Ninja Warrior 1man came on the screen named Kacy Catanzaro (pictured to the left), and it was the episode where she became, at five foot two (possibly shorter), the first woman to ever make it up the warped wall and from that moment on I was hooked. Now I’m late to the Ninja Warrior game so I’ve been watching the reruns every week of older seasons but they’re all new to me so I am just gaining such a huge appreciation for this show, these athletes, and their stories.

It’s the stories behind these athletes that fearlessly run a course of seemingly impossible obstacles that I think are the most motivating for me. Most of these athletes are coming back from injuries, from others sports careers that were prematurely cut short, and from life altering struggles that would make the average person curl up in a ball and just give up, but not these athletes. They show their grit, and their tenacity, and their strength and it’s just amazing to watch it and I’m usually left in awe of these players.

The struggles that they’ve overcome and the things that they are able to accomplish is just remarkable. They are able to put all of their focus and energy into tackling the task immediately in front of them, being the obstacle course, and finish it, and in some cases not finish it and have to get back up again and prepare for the following year to do it all over again. It takes a hell of an individual to do that and in many cases to fail in completing the course and have to come back the following year to do it all over again, not knowing if they’ll end up failing the course again or if they will finally complete it. Some of these athletes took several years before even being able to complete the course one time and they kept returning with such enthusiasm and vigor. It’s a level of courage that I wished I had and makes me question ‘who am I to be afraid to go after my dreams despite the many stumbles and falls? It just inspires me to be better, and to do better.   What inspires you to do better and gives you courage?

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Now That the Fog Has Lifted… Back to the Business of Writing!

 

Fog lifted

It’s been so long since I’ve written to you all! My hiatus was definitely not something that I had planned on but nevertheless I am back now. I suffer from random bouts of depression. I get in this funk and sometimes it takes a longer period of time than others to pull myself out of it. I should probably seek out a therapist but I hate the idea of talking to some random stranger who doesn’t know me or anything that I’ve been through in my life sitting there judging me and writing notes about me. It’s not that I don’t believe that they would be capable of doing their job, I just have a thing about telling total strangers extremely personal things about me which is probably what makes the bouts of depression last longer than they should.

Ordinarily writing would help with that but part of the depression was that my writing career wasn’t exactly going the way that I had envisioned it going. Perhaps it was a midlife crisis and realizing that what I had mapped out for my life many, many, many years ago was totally off track and I couldn’t see a way to get it back on track. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel that I was in. This depression that I was in led me to an unintentional hiatus seeing as though one of the issues I was having was a lack of confidence in my writing. That’s hard for me to admit to because that’s the one thing over the course of my life that I have never had a lack of confidence in was my writing. I’ve always known that no matter what no one could take that away from me but over this last year and a half I’ve been feeling like maybe my writing just isn’t good enough.

Of course now that I can feel the fog lifting and I have recently felt a sense of peace even in the midst of the storms in my life I am starting to regain that confidence in my writing that I once had. I’ve been recently planning out my writing goals again and submitting novels to agents, outlining new novel ideas, planning new content for the Magazine, planning out new posts for this blog, and even mapping out an idea for a television pilot I want to write, and the more that I focus on those writing goals I have, the more I start to get some of my writing confidence back. I’m starting to feel like myself again and I love feeling like me because it took a long time for me to love the person that I have become. Writing is a sort of therapy for me and I hope I never lose that.

Any-who, I’m back and I hope you’ve missed me because I sure have missed writing for you. Here’s to new ideas, new opportunities, and many more words that hold purpose and power!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Getting My Creative House In Order

Creativity 2

The space that you have to create in is very important to a writer, or to an artists’ in general. Sure it is said and has been proven that a writer can pretty much write anywhere, whether it’s just in their head while their driving around, or at a coffee shop in the hustle and bustle of everyday strangers. However, the space that a writer has at home or at wherever they choose to call their office, I’ve come to realize is incredibly important.

Looking over at the corner of my room that is designated as my office I am shocked at how out of order I have let it get. There are so many initiatives that I was supposed to take to spark my creativity on a daily, or at least regular basis but my working are does not depict that. My desk is cluttered, far more than I would like it to be, and my bulletin board contains lists of things to get done that just simply haven’t even been halfway accomplished. My vision board that I was supposed to have created by now, well the items to go on the vision board are scattered across my desk somewhere so clear it’s not displayed as it should be. Maybe that is why I am struggling with keeping my eye on the vision that I have and not veering off into the land of self-doubt.

You know how people get when it comes to Spring cleaning and emptying out their closets and getting their house in shape. Well that is how I feel when Fall rolls around about my writing space. I think that I need to take some time in this month of getting back to reigniting my creativity and refresh my creative space. I think that this is definitely something that I have to tackle during this month in order to truly get my creativity going strong again.

If your mind is already cluttered with ideas then there isn’t really a benefit to having a cluttered space in which you are supposed to create in. In a career such as being a writer where ideas and projects can be all over the place, you need something about your creative process to be focused and organized. So this weekend that is going to be one of the many things that I try to put into perspective. I am feeling the surge of creativity flow again, stronger than it has been in recent months, and I want to guard this surge with everything.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

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A Dream Worth Sustaining

Dreams Wroth Sustaining

I will admit that when the going gets tough I want to get going. I don’t mean that I want to push through and hang in there either. I mean I literally just want to say I’ve had enough, I can only try so much, this must not be meant for me. However when my dream of being a writer comes into play, while I have had those feelings of giving up, my heart, my passion won’t let me.

There is nothing more rewarding in a writer’s career then to have business be doing great and everything is going the way that you want it to. The point where it is hard to be a writer, where it’s almost like you want to ask yourself what the point of it is, is when business is not going as great as you want it to be, or as great as you always envisioned it would be. You always get this picture in your mind, especially when you think of yourself as a pretty awesome writer (in which I do) that everything is going to go smoothly and fall into place just the way that it should. You imagine a booming business in which you have to turn work away because you are just so in demand. When the reality doesn’t match the vision it is difficult to deal with.

My reality, lately, has certainly not lived up to the vision that is in my mind and at times it is almost disheartening and quite frankly almost impossible to push through and keep moving forward. Nothing is going quite the way I planned but I guess if it were easy then it wouldn’t be worth it, right? This weekend I have to work out some ways to readjust my strategy and to think of other ways to turn things around. Maybe all the extra sleep I’ve caught up on this week was to allow me to spend my weekend strategizing until I find something that works. I don’t know what that will be but I know that I haven’t come this far to give up now.

No matter how many steps forward I feel I should be, one thing is for sure, I am much further along in my journey than I would be if I had given up a long time ago. I found this inspirational video done by Morris Chestnut on declaring your dreams that I think will help motivate me through my weekend. Hopefully it will help motivate you through yours as well. Take care and hustle hard!

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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Don’t Put a Ceiling Where No Roof Should Be

no ceiling 2

I was told once (okay well more than once) that I was inspiring. I was told that my words inspired others. I suppose if I weren’t a person who had become accustomed to believing that everything someone says to me is usually a lie, I might believe them. Or at least maybe it wouldn’t have taken me so long to believe them. I got to thinking this morning, if so many people that society considers ordinary because their names are not up on billboards somewhere (yet) can inspire me and get me motivated, then why isn’t it possible that lil ole ordinary me can do the same for someone else.

It makes me more mindful of the work that I am doing, of the words that I am saying and of the persistence that I am putting into getting my goals accomplished because if I can inspire someone, anyone else, to believe in their dreams and to live by their own standards and not the standards placed on them by society, then I will be making great strides in serving the purpose that God put me here on this earth for.

I grew up being told by the one person who was supposed to always believe in me, that I was never going to be able to accomplish anything, that I was never going to reach my destiny because society was never going to let me, and because I wasn’t good enough. I had to somehow keep myself motivated and inspired, to even have the courage to go after my dreams. It’s a lot harder when you don’t have anyone inspiring you or at the very least, cheering you on. So I am glad if there is anybody that I can be an inspiration to and I embrace that responsibility with open arms.

So for any of you out there who is thinking that what they are doing doesn’t matter to anyone and that no one is watching or paying attention. Trust that there is someone that is being inspired by what you are doing, by the persistence that you are showing, by the dream that you are building up. It might even be someone like me. Never underestimate yourself, or the power of your vision, or the effect that you may be having on others. I have been underestimating myself for far too long and it is time that I stop doing that. It’s time that you stop doing it too. Stay inspired and stop putting a ceiling where no roof should be!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

My Write 2 Be is…

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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