Are We the Mistakes We Make?

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.”

~Matthew 7: 1-3

I swore I was not going to write about this issue and yet here I am getting ready to do just that. We all know (unless you are living under a rock) about the slap heard around the world that happened at the Oscars roughly two weeks ago. Well, I’m not going to say that I believe that Will Smith was right for responding to a tasteless and crass joke about his wife’s medical condition in the manner in which he did, or even that Jada Pinkett-Smith needed to be protected in that way. What I will say is that if you read Will Smith’s book or know anything about his childhood then you can understand why HE felt that he needed to be protective in that way.

Violence is never the answer, and he could have, and should have, handled it differently. However, I will not sit here in judgment of this man who has had a 30 plus year career without nary a blemish and who has been beyond an extraordinary example to all who are watching, over the one time he dared to show that he is in fact a human being and that he does make mistakes just like the rest of us mere mortals. He made a mistake. He is aware of that mistake, and he has since apologized multiple times for said mistake. There is no time machine, and he can’t go back and erase the mistake he made so what more is it that people want him to do?

We cannot keep throwing people away because they display that they are human beings. We get so caught up in the idea of perfection and in us admiring people who have maybe reached the level in their lives that we are seeking to get to that we tend to put them on this unrealistic pedestal. We hold them up as a model (which is fine until you take it too far) of the dreams and levels of success that we strive for and then we act shocked when they make a mistake. It’s almost as if we somehow forgot that just because they are a celebrity or someone in a position much higher than us that they are also human beings just like the rest of us.

I don’t know anyone who has not made a mistake and honestly far worse mistakes than Will Smith made that night. I don’t think that any of us are in a position to judge another man (or woman) by their worst mistakes because Lord help us if we are judged by ours. We don’t (or we shouldn’t) just toss someone aside simply because they disappointed us. We should instead show that person some humility, show that person some grace, show that person some forgiveness and do for them what we want other people to do for us when we mess up. I mean even Jesus got angry and flipped over a few tables (Matthew 21: 12-13) and if Jesus can be imperfect than who are any of us to expect perfection from any ordinary or even extraordinary human being. Be careful who you are tossing aside and make sure that you can measure up to the judgment that you are casting onto them.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeHumble #BeGracious

Jimmetta Carpenter


Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine


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 


Right Before the Wall Breaks

“You will be the most tempted to quit when you are closest to your calling” ~Steven Furtick

For the last, I don’t even know how long, I have been feeling like everything that I’ve been doing has ended in an epic fail. I’ve been striving towards this dream of mine, in one way or another, for what seems like forever and it keeps feeling like I’m never going to make it. So why do I keep trying to beak through that wall of success then? Because as I’ve mentioned here before, I don’t quit, and I am not going to be that person that gives up right before that wall breaks.

I think my biggest problem has always been the doubt that has not only been heaped on me by others but worse, the doubt that I have bestowed upon myself. I’m not sure why but somewhere along the way I had convinced myself that I wasn’t worthy of the success I craved and then when I felt this call for the purpose God placed in my heart I felt even more doubt, as if maybe it was too big of a call for me to handle and that I might not be equipped enough to see that purpose through and I would second guess that call.

Then a couple of weeks ago when my pastor started on the new series we’re currently in and he got to the lesson about seeing yourself through God’s eyes and not just seeing all of the flaws and the things within yourself that need to be worked on. He pointed out that while yes we all have flaws that need to be addressed, it doesn’t erase all of the good that is dwelling on the inside of us and that we wouldn’t struggle to see that good in ourselves if we could just see ourselves the way that God sees us.

I think that it’s one of the ways that we sabotage our own success and our progress. We tend to think of all of the ways things won’t work and make sure to highlight everything that we’ve been doing wrong or failing at when in reality that’s not where our focus should be. Sure you have to know where you’ve gone wrong in order to make sure that you don’t repeat those same errors, but just that fact right there makes the mistakes you’ve made worth so much more than you realize.

The fact that you get the opportunity to have that wisdom of falling (and yes I did say opportunity), getting back up and moving forward, but this time with knowledge that you didn’t have before so that you don’t keep stumbling into that same obstacle over and over again. The only thing is you can’t waste time beating yourself up for those mistakes because then you miss the clarity that they can give you. The next time that you start to doubt yourself or dwell too much in the mistakes that you’ve made along your journey to achieving your dreams just remember that those mistakes are also lessons. One’s that you might have had to learn the hard way, but one’s that you will definitely never forget and that will prepare you to take on whatever might try to trip you up next. Until next time… #BeGrateful #BeOpen #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter 



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Mistakes Don’t Make Us Who We Are

I need to get something off of my chest so this post may be a bit of a rant but it may also be something that you can relate to as well. A few months ago I was talking to a friend and we were talking about my current financial crisis that I’m in the midst of and she was giving me some advice on ways to start trying to dig myself out of this hole (because nothing I have been doing has been working thus far) and I started to point out a few mistakes that I have made in the earlier part of my writing career and basically my earlier adult years and she promptly stopped me and told me that there was no point in regretting those things because if I changed even one of those things it could’ve altered where I am now and that perhaps this is where I am supposed to be at this point in time.

Now I get that and I understand the whole not living in regret thing because it’s essentially pointless but I feel like I just needed to get some things off my chest at that time and I wasn’t allowed to. Granted saying those things out loud won’t change them but I feel as though saying them, acknowledging where my missteps were, will allow me to see where I may have taken a left when I should’ve went right and where I may have gotten off track at. So since I couldn’t say these things that day I am sharing them with you guys because I need to acknowledge them so that I can begin to correct certain things.

The very first mistake I made, not counting all of the dumb teenage stuff I did when I thought I was grown like getting a credit card at 18 with no job and no way to pay the bill (yeah, don’t do that), was flunking out of the first college that I attended and not working my way to get back in there immediately. Now note that I’m not saying that flunking out was the mistake (I mean it was but I digress) because that came with trying to adjust to college campus life and living on my own, being my own keeper, and trying to fit in and get my work done (obviously the school work part did not win out in that scenario).

However, I should have never just let time keep passing by without working my way back into that school, and finishing up my dual degree program when I was initially supposed to because then I would have had internships lined up and been able to get right into my field of work straight out of college. Now I did eventually go back to school and get my degree (well two degrees), but it was much later and I was definitely not a spring chicken and they don’t give internships to people who aren’t still in their early twenties.

The second and arguably the more damaging mistake I made that I now regret is when I left the “regular” work force and thought that I was somehow ready to do freelance writing full time without a proper safety net and financial cushion to fall back on. I mean I did well at first but as any of you freelance writers know there are pitfalls that are just inevitable with doing writing full time and not only did I not have enough multiple streams of income set up to make this work but honestly I didn’t know enough about what I was doing on the marketing end of things and that naiveté cost me.

Okay now that I have acknowledged those two major mistakes I feel better. I can see where I went wrong and what I should’ve been doing in those areas and I can make any adjustments that I need to make to change the trajectory of the course I am on. I don’t think that we should dwell in the mistakes we make and on the regrets that we have but that doesn’t mean that we can’t acknowledge those mistakes and regrets so that we can actually move pass them. If we never say where things went off track at, how are we truly supposed to correct the problem and get back on track? If you have a friend or just someone that wants to vent to you about some things that they need to express, just let them. It may be exactly what they need to do to get themselves going back in the right direction. Until next time… #BeEncouraging #BeaListeningEar


Jimmetta Carpenter


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




The Questions We Ask Ourselves, and God (Part 4): How Do I Know I’m On the Right Path?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

–Jeremiah 29:11 

It’s hard to know if the direction you are headed in is the right one.  It is even harder to know if the path you are on is the one you are destined for when it seems you continue to make so many mistakes (some mistakes repeatedly).  You want there to be some way to know if that dream that you are chasing, and have been for years now, is the right one for you.  You want to make sure that when you get to the destination that you are seeking, that you won’t regret the choice you made in picking that particular location.  The thing is that you already know, deep down inside of you, if you are on the right path or not.  

For a long time I questioned whether being a writer was really my destiny.  I still question it sometimes when things seem to be hopeless.  But what lets me know that this is my purpose and that I am on the right path is the fact the no matter how many mistakes I have made, they have somehow still all led me right to where I was always meant to be.  I am making a living (admittedly lower then what I would like it to be at the time) doing what I love to do more then anything in this world.  I am doing what calms me and what heals me.  I am doing what God put me on this earth to do, and I am doing it with all of the mistakes I have made included.  

Along your journey sometimes you get diverted, redirected, and turned completely around.  You go in different directions then you originally saw yourself going in.  But are those diversions really unplanned or were they just not a part of your plan.  We make plans but our plans always get rerouted when they are not the same as God’s plans.  This doesn’t mean that your destiny isn’t what you thought it was.  It just means that the mistakes you think you made along the way were God’s way of getting you back on the right track.  

The path you take isn’t going to be all on the straight and narrow, nor will it be without experiencing some bumps (and bruises) along the way.  That doesn’t mean it’s not the right path for you, just that the right path is not going to be an easy one.  You have to remember that you are on the path that God has chosen for you, for whatever reason.  Don’t try to reroute God’s path with your own.     

Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

No Excuses Allowed (Anymore)

“Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.” 

~Don Wilder 

I was in the gym this morning and one of the guys in there (who hadn’t been there for about two weeks) strolled in to a barrage of questions from everyone else in the weight room.  In our gym we look after one another and we definitely hold everyone accountable to what they say they want to accomplish by coming there.  So this particular person constantly comes in the gym speaking about how he plans on being more consistent and then he will disappear for about a week.  When he comes back in he talks about all of the things that threw him off of his plan to be consistent and the mistakes that he made in his diet that made him feel too guilty to come back to the gym on a regular basis.  We tell him the same thing time after time.  That it doesn’t matter the mistakes he made in his own plan, or that he got off track.  What matters is that he corrects the mistakes and gets it together.  In one ear and out the other our words go every time.  

Today, for every excuse he gave me, I simply said to him “this is the year for no excuses”.  He responded by saying “but I fell off, I messed up”.  I told him that it doesn’t matter that you ‘fell off’ or that you made mistakes in your own plan, what will make those mistakes matter is if you give those mistakes power by never correcting them.  He asked me “well haven’t you ever made mistakes in your diet and messed up and then felt guilty about it?” and I said ‘sure I mess up in my diet because I’m an emotional eater, and I’ve missed more than one or two days at the gym but I don’t feel guilty about it because I know that I am going to correct it and eventually I do’.  

Now this conversation may just be in reference to going to the gym and maintaining a healthy regimen but the message applies to everyday life as well.  We all make mistakes that we feel guilty about and we sometimes think that we can’t come back from whatever mistake it is but the reality is that we can and using those mistakes then becomes more of an excuse.  Not one person walking this earth is perfect or goes without making one single mistake.  Sometimes what makes the mistakes worse than what they really are is the fact that we keep repeating them and never do what needs to be done to correct them.  

I think that sometimes we should celebrate the fact that we are imperfect beings because it will be those imperfections that strengthen our character and our determination to do the things that we were put here to do.  Those imperfections allow us to realize that while we may fall down, we most certainly have the strength to get back up.  So for the year of 2012, let’s try to take the attitude that we won’t make any excuses, nor will we accept any.  If we make a mistake, don’t let that very mistake be a reason that we don’t correct our actions.  So you fell down, so what.  Sit up, get your bearings together, dust yourself off, and get back up again.  It will only stay a mistake if you don’t do anything to correct it.  Until tomorrow…Rejoice in your imperfections, they are apart of what makes you who you are!


Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

The Importance of Finishing

“Winning isn’t always finishing first.  Sometimes winning is just finishing.”

~Manuel Diotte 

Earlier today I was reflecting on how good I felt about completing National Novel Writing Month yesterday (50,002 words) and I began to think about the fact that if I finished everything as strong and with as much determination and staying power as I did those 50,000 words I might be further along in my journey to being successful.  Looking at my list of what I was supposed to accomplish in this entire year I ran over the things I started and just didn’t finish.  For whatever reason, be it frustration of it not working fast enough (I admit I need to work on my patience), or just pure self-doubt that I wasn’t good enough to have the success I was trying to carve out.  There is something to be said for finishing what you start and not giving up halfway through the mission.  

I was listening to the news earlier this morning and they were discussing the whole Herman Cain controversy and there were claims that he was “reassessing” his campaign, which of course people automatically took as him contemplating dropping out of the race.  Now before I say this I want to make it clear that I am not a Herman Cain fan, neither of his politics nor how he chooses to govern his personal life, however, having said that, if he is in fact considering dropping out of the race, I do NOT think that he should.  Yes he is struggling right now on so many fronts but no person is perfect and the person running for the President of theUnited Statesis not going to be an exception.  He started something, and I believe that he should finish what he started.  If he doesn’t I am almost certain he will forever wonder what would have been and what could have been if he had just finished. 

Now no one likes to lose or have that feeling of defeat.  But isn’t it defeat if you have a continuous pattern of starting these grand missions and then never finishing them and seeing them through?  I have a notebook full of a lot of things that I got really excited about and jotted down all of these notes and ideas for projects and how I was going to put those ideas and plans into action and then I would hit a snag and it would seem impossible to envision me being able to complete that project.  I got it in my head that because I hit that snag, there was no use wasting time on an idea that could never really go anywhere.  I just wouldn’t finish.  

When I look back on several moments of my life that is where the majority of my mistakes have been.  That I didn’t finish.  Here’s what I’ve learned from all of those unfinished mistakes.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve started something if it never gets completed and put into action.  Even if you finish and find it not to be a success, at least you’ve finished.  This month I will be making my lists for what I want to accomplish next year.  I can tell you that no matter what, I intend to finish whatever it is I start from now on.  No more unfinished business for me. 

Until next time…Always, Always, Always, finish! 


Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”