The Lesson That A Cinematic Genius In the Making Has Taught Me

I think that anyone who knows me knows that I don’t mind learning valuable lessons from children.  Sometimes the people who show us whether or not we are moving in the right direction or whether or not we’re just stuck standing still are the children that are a part of our lives, whether it be our own or someone else’s child.  

My best friend Ms. L has an 11 year old cinematic genius in the making.  It is amazing to think that at his young age he can make his own movies, cut and edit film, put together book trailers and produce graphic artwork as if it were as easy as breathing.  He is truly a gifted little boy and Ms. L told me last night that he has finally decided that he wants to make a go of it as a real official business so that he can make the money he needs to afford the more high tech things that he needs to go even further in his adventures of film making.  

I mean it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s so talented because his mom is essentially the most gifted writer that I know.  What amazes me even more is the fact that in one night he managed to make this decision, create him a website (a freebie one—he is a kid after all), create business cards and rehearse his spiel that would land him his first of many clients (which he got the next day by the way).  In one night.  I am 32 and have been working at making my dream a reality for the last decade or so and I am still not as far along as I should be.  It really made me (and Ms. L too) think ‘what the hell am I doing and why am I wasting so much time?’  

I keep getting in my own way, so much so that I’m sometimes not even able to recognize that that is what I am doing.  I tell myself that I will get rejected for an article before I even bother to try sending it off.  I tell myself that no one will like the story or characters I have created before actually giving it a real shot.  I constantly tell myself all of the reasons why I can’t do something without seeing the most important reason why I can, because it was something that I was meant to do.  

I believe that everyone is talented at something and even if there are a hundred writers out there who are just as talented as I am, it is only me who can write the stories that I was meant to write and who can tell them in only the way that I can.  I’m no Maya Angelou, or Terry McMillan, or Alice Walker, but I am Jimmetta Carpenter and just as I can not write the way that they do, they can not write the way that I do either.  

Ms. L.’s son has so much belief in himself that he is not letting the fact that he’s 11 and has no real money of his own to fund his business stop him.  He’s just diving right in and handling whatever hiccups happen along the way.  My God if an 11 year old can have that frame of mind about his business then why on earth can’t I.  My best friend’s son doesn’t realize the lesson that his leap of faith has taught me but one day he will realize that he just showed me that the only person that is really in my way, is me.  

 

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

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When Life Gives You Teachable Moments…

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” 

~Author Unknown 

In being a mother there are always those moments where you just sit back and let your child learn their hard lessons on their own, usually the hard way.  However, there are other times when you see your child going through some of the same things that you may have went through when you were around their age, and you want to just stop them and advise them with your experience as their guide.  The lessons don’t always sink in, but you still want to take that moment and make it a teachable one.  

While it may not make sense to them at that moment, much like you did when you got older, they will see the value in that lesson when they least expect it.  Every now and then, you will even teach yourself those same lessons all over again while trying to impart wisdom on them.  

Recently I have been trying to help my daughter deal with the issue of being teased and picked on and bullied at school by her classmates.  It’s been painful to see her go from loving to go to school and learn new things to hating the fact that she has to go because of those very kids in her class.  I try my best to help her try and find ways to deal with the situation but so far, nothing has really stuck.  

I even try to use my experience of having gone through the exact same things when I was in elementary school and having to learn the ways to deal with it the hard way and it seems to help her for about a week (if that) but then she started acting out in class (which is completely unlike her) in response to her classmates bothering her.  When she tries to blame whatever they did to antagonize her for the reason why she chose to act out in class, I make sure to let her know that no one else is responsible for her actions but her.  

I remind her that she is supposed to know what’s right and wrong and that no matter what someone else does to her, she knows the appropriate ways to respond and that acting out is not one of them.  She cries that she doesn’t understand why they are mean to her and because I don’t know why, I just tell her that she can’t control how people feel or what they do, but she can control how she reacts to them.  

I reminded her of how much she loves school, and loves to learn new things and that she shouldn’t allow the children in her class to have that much power over her.  As I was telling her this I began to remind myself of the very same thing with certain negative people in my life.  

I spent a lot of time in my youth worried about what everyone was going to say about me.  I worried whether people were going to like me and I went out of my way doing things (not extremely terrible things) that were out of character for me because I wanted certain people to like me.  It worked a lot of the times but then I never really knew if it was me who they liked or just the person I was pretending to be for them.  

Even though I don’t bother pretending for anyone anymore, there are certain people, one in particular, that I still find myself wanting their approval.  But having to try and teach my daughter to not allow other people to dictate what she does or who she is, I realize that that lesson is not just for her, it’s one that I am still not finished learning.  

A person’s negativity only has power over you if you allow it to and you should never, no matter who that person is, allow someone to have that much control over what you do or how you feel.  No matter if that person is the closest of friends or even a family member you can not allow that person’s actions or words dictate yours.   

We are all responsible for our own actions and choices, and yes, our inaction as well.  If we allow someone’s hurtful words or behavior to keep us down and keep us from doing something that we know in our heart is right then we can not place the blame on them.  No one can have that kind of power over you unless you give them that power.  

What we do or don’t do; the dreams we carry out or don’t carry out; are our own responsibilities and no one else’s.  It may be wrong for someone to purposely try and tear us down but we are the only ones that can allow them to succeed.           

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

Somewhere Hidden In the Scraps

“Miracles always begin with recognition of what you have; if you don’t recognize what you have, you can never multiply what you have not recognized.”

~Bishop T.D. Jakes 

There are some writers that will always tell other aspiring writers that they are never supposed to throw anything away.  That whatever you create should be held onto.  There are those scraps of paper that you set to the side whenever your idea doesn’t pan out the way you thought it would.  

There’s that opening scene that you decided that you weren’t crazy about once you had completed it.  Even the novel that you, for some unknown reason, stopped working on halfway through it and have just set to the side never to be seen again for years, possibly decades.  I firmly believe in never throwing things away but not just for the sake of holding onto things and not being able to let go but because you never know what treasures lie in those scraps of paper that you are thinking about throwing away.  

Those scraps of paper may not have been right for what you initially intended it for but they might be perfect for some other project down the line.  That scene may not have fit that particular story but could find a home in the next one.  That unfinished novel that is still sitting and collecting dust may just be waiting for the right time for you to be ready to finish it and it could be the next great novel the world is waiting to read.   

Last week I wrote a post that mentioned some segments from a sermon given by Bishop T.D. Jakes that was featured on a particular episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter.  I had only captured certain pieces of that sermon on the show but this morning I went back and listened to it in its entirety and got so much more out of it then I did before.  His specific message was on saving the scraps (our past burdens) and it was centered around a passage from the bible taken from Mark6:42-52.  

In his sermon he said that “The miracle is not in what you lost, the miracle is not in what you have consumed previously, your best days are not your yesterdays, your miracles are in what you have left.  If you discard it, ignore it, don’t use it, don’t value it, don’t learn from it, don’t understand it, you will lose the battle before you because you did not learn from the battle behind you. – That which remains is more valuable than that which was lost.”  

He talked about us taking our scraps and using them to enable us to power through and forge ahead.  To use them as our learning tools that eventually become our blessings.  “Your power is not in where you are, your power is in where you’ve been” and if you don’t recognize and hold onto the place that you were once at you can not truly appreciate the place where you are now.  

Bishop T.D. Jakes closed his sermon by saying to those who have been broken, that the problem is that you have not considered the scraps that God has given you.  If you had considered the scraps then you would already know and trust that you are safe.  That it is not what you go through, but rather how you perceive what you go through.  

I am very aware of the fact that I need to learn how to appreciate the scraps of my life instead of continuing to try and bury them.   True gratitude comes in the appreciation of the fact that those scraps have been the reason for more than my fair share of blessings. Like it or not those scraps are what makes me who I am.  They’re what make you who you are too.  

When you look back at the things that you have been through and on the lows that you have been in, you have to know that God would not have put you through those things if he did not have a plan to bring you to higher ground.  Your blessings are hidden in what you’ve already experienced and been through, in the lessons that life has already been teaching you.  Your blessings are hidden in the scraps of it all.  

 

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

Being Broken Down To Be Blessed On the Way Back Up

“God never intended for you to go through something and get nothing out of it.”

~Bishop T.D. Jakes 

Sometimes I have days where I feel encouraged and empowered.  My writing flows, my productivity is better then average and I feel like I am going to get to my destination.  Then there are other days when my writing is not going as smoothly, there is no productivity and my destination seems further and further away.  Those are the days that I just feel broken down.  I try to think of the wise people who tell me that it’s not going to always be that way but the message never came across to me as clear as it did the other night when I was watching Oprah’s Next Chapter where she did a sit down interview with Bishop T.D. Jakes.  

Now anyone who knows me well enough (either personally or through this blog) knows that I am spiritual but I am not necessarily terribly religious.  Meaning I don’t necessarily believe that I have to go to a building (i.e. church) to get the word that God is trying to communicate to me.  But every once and a while I will see and hear a Pastor, Preacher, or in this case Bishop say something on television that will make me wish that their church was within my reach so that I could go get that message in person.  

On Oprah’s Next Chapter when Bishop T.D. Jakes told his congregation that “The blessing is in the breaking; that, which refuses to be broken refuses to be blessed; It is the breaking of life that produces the blessing of life.” I felt as if that message was meant for me.  Now I know I wasn’t even there, and this was after all a repeat on TV so it wasn’t even live, but yet I felt like I was directed to watch it for a specific reason; because it’s what I needed to hear.  

I always see my breaking points as my own little personal failures but I suppose the truth is that they are the foundations for my future successes.  They are the models of what I need to look at so that I know not to repeat the same process that got me to that point in the first place.  They are lessons for me to learn from, not mistakes for me to forever regret.  

Bishop T.D. Jakes also said “The most blessed people I have ever met in my life have gone through something that broke them.”  In essence, adversity breeds success and a multitude of blessings.  If you look at the most successful people, they didn’t get to that place without having to be broken down at some point in their lives.  Why should I be any different?  Why should I expect to get to the level of success I know I am destined for without having to go through the trials and tribulations to get there?  

The words I heard him speaking were so powerful and so profound and while I realize this is not the first time I have heard that message, this is the first time I have believed the words as I said them to myself.  Building up any business that you want to have takes a certain amount of tenacity and drive.  However, when it comes to building up a business that is centered around your love of writing and your sense of purpose, it takes guts, and courage, but most importantly belief in yourself and in the very words that you speak.  The words you say are very important and you never know who your particular message might touch, giving them the strength to not stay broken so that they won’t miss their blessings.    

 

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

A Lesson in Life that Skating Reminded Me Of

Today I took my daughter skating.  I thought it was a good way to end her spring break and I thought it would be good fun for her.  I hadn’t intended on skating as well, I just wanted to sit on the sidelines and watch her hold onto the wall as she made her way around.  Just as she did the last time I took her skating, which was two years ago for her birthday, she asked me to skate with her.  I told her no because truth be told my knee was really bothering me.  I sent her out into the rink and watched her take about five minutes (maybe more) to make her way around the first time.  

After her first trip around she came to me and said she wanted to go home, that it was harder then she remembered.  I reminded her that we don’t quit on things just because they seem hard at first and that the only way to get good at anything was to keep going back out there and trying.  I assured her that she would get better at it just like she did the first time we went skating and the time she went skating with her class at school.  It inspired me to go get a pair of rental skates myself (I hate putting my feet where others have been) and make my attempt to skate with her, as she requested.  

Now I used to be a really good skater back in my teenage years but other than the attempt I made two years ago I haven’t really skated and with all of the aches and pains settling in within my body I get nervous at the thought of skating (or at least the part where I fall).  I was truly terrified to get out there on the floor of that skating rink but I did it and pretty soon I was even able to let go of the wall, at least some of the time.  

I believe that seeing me get out there and not giving up even inspired my daughter to let go of the wall a few times herself.  I even noticed her gathering speed a couple of times, but she didn’t want to quit anymore.  In fact when it came time to leave she didn’t want to go.  I made a promise to her that we would go skating more often now.  I had actually started to have fun myself and I forgot just how much fun skating was.  

The thing about skating that I can relate to real life experiences sometimes is that it has a lot to do with being resilient.  With skating, especially if you haven’t done it in a long time, there is always a good chance that you will fall (in fact unless you are a pro it’s kind of expected), but you don’t have a choice but to get back up again.  You can’t just sit there and give up because you have to, at the very least, get back up if you want to get out the skating rink.  

Much like skating, in life when something or someone knocks you down, maybe even literally knocking the wind out of you, you have to get back up.  More importantly, you have to realize that you are going to fall many time but you have to keep getting back up again.  It’s amazing that I got all of that out of skating but sometimes it’s the little things that you underestimate that have some of the biggest lessons for you to learn from.  I can’t wait to get good at skating again and to help my daughter get to that point where she can let go of the wall and go it alone.  Won’t that be something?  

By the way I did, in fact, fall, but I got back up and skated around a few more times.  It was so much fun! 

 

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

Banishing the Age Old Excuse

“Dreams are renewable.  No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.”

~Dale E. Turner 

This morning as I was watching the news they started talking about baseball (which is my least favorite sport, next to golf) and I started to go into my usual mode whenever I heard baseball mentioned, ignore mode.  But this time something caught my attention, enough to actually make me sit and listen.  

They were discussing the oldest major league pitcher to have ever played baseball.  Jamie Moyer is a 49 year old pitcher who is now playing with the Colorado Rockies after suffering an elbow injury in 2010 that caused him to lose an entire season of playtime.  The injury required him to have reconstructive surgery (Tommy John Surgery) with an estimated recovery time of at least a year.  

The word throughout the sports world was that his career was most likely over because this was not his first injury.  However, Jamie Moyer had other things in mind then letting go of his career, although his career has already surpassed many of the people he came into the league with and he was now playing with men of the next generation of baseball.  

All he wanted was the chance to prove to all of the people who said he was too old or that he didn’t throw hard enough anymore that he could in fact do this once again.  They gave him his chance and he proved them wrong and now he could potentially be making history as the oldest major league baseball pitcher to ever win a game.  

It got me to thinking about all of the times that I doubted continuing my efforts as a writer because I was starting to feel as though maybe I was getting too old to be starting out in this career.  I mean in my mind I should’ve already done so many great things within my career by now and I have, instead, been stuck going around in circles.  Watching that story on the news this morning taught me something.  The age factor is only in my mind, not anyone else’s.  

Jamie Moyer commented that “as long as you have an opportunity you can succeed, but you have to be willing to put the time and the effort into it.”  Essentially as long as the opportunities keep presenting themselves to me, I don’t have a reason (or rather an excuse) to not go after them.  

People often tell me that I waste a lot of time watching TV and watching the news, but I never listen to that because I know what I get out of it.  I get inspiration and I get motivated.  I hear other people’s stories and experiences and I receive the wisdom and lessons that they try to impart to those that are watching and listening.  

Today, just in those five minutes that I watched that news piece I saw someone who wouldn’t let people tell him he was too old to continue on with his dream.  I saw someone who didn’t use his age as an excuse to just give up.  I heard something that motivated me to give up my last excuse for not going after every single opportunity that comes my way, especially the ones that are a pathway to my dreams.  

I will only be too old when I can’t write anymore and my fingers can’t translate the words from my mind onto paper (or computer screen).  As long as I have ideas in my head and the ability to convey them, I will never be too old.  Hell even in my senior years (I mean really old-80’s old), I can still dictate my thoughts into a tape recorder and (if the arthritis has really set in) have someone else type up my work.  Age really is just a number, not a dream killer! 

 

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

Complaining Never Solves Anything

“Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses.” 

~Proverb 

The other day my daughter was having a particularly moody day and she seemed to be complaining about everything.  I was really tired of hearing her complain but she gets it honestly because I am also a big time complainer and whiner (still working on getting better at that).  So I decided to convey to her what I had learned over the years of my life and am still in the process of learning as I struggle to curtail my need to complain on a regular basis.  I told her that if she stops complaining and whining about the things that she has no control over, she could actually start to realize and appreciate the benefits of what it is she’s complaining about.  Essentially if she changes her attitude about things she may find that she actually enjoys them or at the very least can learn from them.  

I only wish that I had realized that a long time ago.  Even now, while I don’t complain about things nearly as much as I used to, I still have a problem with feeling the need to complain my way through a hard time.  At the end of the situation the only thing that I really managed to do was waste a lot of time that I can’t ever get back.  I took so much extra time that I didn’t have to work my way through whatever problem it was that didn’t need to be thrown away and it didn’t erase the problem, it only made it take longer to get through.  

Being a mom teaches you so many lessons that sometimes never really sink in until you are having those teachable moments with your own children.  More than likely your parents tried to have those same teachable moments with you and they just didn’t stick.  Attitude has a lot to do with how situations are managed and how you deal with them.  If you can change your attitude, you can ultimately change your situation.    

I have discovered that complaining about any given problem only gives that problem power over your life and over your circumstances.  So in order to take that power away from the problem, you’ve got to stop complaining about it and in a sense dwelling over it.  Once you do stop and change your attitude about the situation you will find that you can get through the problem in a more positive and productive way that won’t waste a whole lot of time that you don’t have.  My daughter said that she understood what I was trying to say (but she’s 8 so I believe it went in one ear and out the other) but even if she didn’t get it while I was saying it, I hope that it will sink in eventually.  Until tomorrow…Don’t complain your way through your struggles, smile your way through it and it will be over before you know it.  

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