The Struggle to Find the Balance

What is balance these days? I’d like to think that I know how to balance things pretty well but then I have to remind myself that multi-tasking is not really the same thing as balance. Then again, I guess that depends on what I mean by balance. I don’t mean balance in the sense of juggling all of the many tasks that you have to do on any given day. I mean knowing when you’ve taken on too much and you need to just sit out a few rounds and pick up where you left off later. That is the type of balancing act that I struggle to conquer.

I am an all or nothing type of person most of the time. I don’t like to do anything half-way, it’s either I throw my whole self into whatever task it is, or I would just rather not do it at all and wait until I can give it my full effort. The problem with that way of thinking sometimes is that you can very easily end up with a lot of things not getting done or burning the candle at both ends trying to make sure that everything does get done.

Last week I got really lazy (at least it was lazy in my mind) and while I didn’t just throw all of my projects and work to the side, I certainly was not nearly as productive as I know that I could have, or should have been, if I were giving it my full effort. I was just tired. I was mentally tired. I was definitely physically tired (given quite a few physical issues that have been aggravated over the last few weeks) and quite honestly, I was emotionally tired.

I’ve been stressed about a couple of different things, not just creatively (or should I say writing business wise) but financially as well. I hadn’t even realized just how stressed the financial thing had me until it looked like there was finally going to be some resolution on that front last week and I just breathed a heavy sigh of relief and the realization of just how stressed that had me hit. I just didn’t feel like doing much of anything last week and I allowed myself to lean into that feeling.

Now going into this week, I know that I can’t be the same amount of unproductive as I was last week and frankly, I feel a little more refreshed, so I am ready to get back to the creating of things. But I think that having that balance of allowing myself to lean into the “lazy” feeling last week helped. I think every once in a while, it would be okay to just not put quite as much pressure on myself to get everything done. It was just far too much.

We have to know when to stop juggling all of the things in the air and to just let a few of those tasks fall by the wayside. It’s not as if putting off one or two things is going to completely throw everything off course (and if it would then those are the tasks you absolutely should not drop) and you won’t be able to get back to them the next day. We have to find the balance between being able to do it all and not draining ourselves physically and mentally actually trying to do it all. You’re not alone in trying to manage everything because I haven’t got it all figured out just yet either. We can learn how to balance together.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeMindful #BeKindtoYourself

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Do We Always Have to Be “On” to Prove We Showed Up?

Last week was a rough week and I tried extremely hard not to show it. Now it was supposed to be a really exciting week in terms of my YouTube channel because I was doing a collaboration with one of the biggest AuthorTubers on there and it’s someone who has motivated me and inspired me through her own channel so that part was very exciting. And believe it or not it went well. But I had to mask a lot of pain that I was in to make it seem as though everything behind the scenes (for me anyway) was okay.

I woke up last Tuesday morning in excruciating stomach pain that is looking like it may be a hernia but that explanation for the pain wasn’t considered until near the end of the week and after the exciting collaboration happened. But I did what most of us creative entrepreneurs who are also moms have to do. I smiled my way through the pain and pretended everything was okay. The only way you would have known anything was wrong (at least until my first week of May vlog comes out later today) was if you happened to be close enough to me for me to confide in.

We often have to be “on” sometimes even when we don’t want to be. Even when we may be in pain or, for some, grieving, or depressed, or when you just plain old don’t feel like putting on a mask. If we want to succeed, if we want to get to a point where we can truly thrive, where we can enjoy what we’ve built and have the luxury of being able to say no if we want to, there are oftentimes pieces of ourselves that we have to sacrifice.

There are far too many instances where we find ourselves amplifying the performance we have to put on just so no one sees us struggling and my question is why. Why is it wrong, or weak to show when we are struggling. Why is it that we feel like we would burden someone else by telling them that we may not be okay, or that we need some help. It’s a question I think that we should all ask ourselves because I sure hope that I’m not someone that other people feel that have to put on a show for.

I just want to be a light, and some sort of inspiration and motivation for as many people as I can. I suppose that’s why I sometimes feel like I have to contain my struggles. I hate the thought of pulling anyone down or not being able to inspire someone. But sometimes I need a break from being “on” too and that’s okay. Striving as a creative entrepreneur should never mean having to put on a mask to hide our pain. I like to think of it in terms of a phrase that I used to hear in the church I grew up in. They used to always say that all were welcome to come as they are. When we come into any space, creative or other, no matter what we are struggling with, we should always feel as if we can be free to come as we are.

Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BeThoughtful #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are You Watering Your Past or Your Future?

I saw a post on social media that posed this very question and it made me really think and start to mentally check off some boxes in my head. I spent a good portion of the beginning of my adult years (really into my early thirties) regretting things I didn’t get right as I grew into my adulthood. There were so many things that I would’ve gone back and changed and done again if only I could have. At the time I didn’t see anything wrong with playing the “what if” game, but now I think I was really doing myself a disservice.

Now I can see, that while I will admit that I have made some mistakes and some moves in my life that took me off track a lot and some decisions that changed the entire trajectory of my journey, they have also made me who I am today. I’m not perfect but I think that I’m a pretty good person who has done some good things with my life and those things from my past helped me get here. Now I have a lot more good things I would like to do in this world for lots of people as I’m sure we all do which is precisely why we can’t keep reaching back in our past for the things we didn’t get right. Our past is the history that made us but definitely not where we should live in.

We have to remain focused on the here and now so that we can steadily move forward towards the future we are making for ourselves. I know that it’s easier said than done to not live in regret and constantly wonder but to do so would be watering the seeds of the past and not the seeds of the future that we are journeying towards. Yesterday has already happened so today and the future, are really all that we have.

As we are going forward on our own paths to the purpose that we are striving to fulfill we have to be careful that we don’t start to nurture resentment for things that have already taken place. It’s true that those are the things that shaped us into the versions of ourselves that we are now. However watering the seeds of the future is going to shape and mold us into the versions of ourselves that we have yet to become, most likely the best versions of ourselves. In a garden it would be meaningless to continue watering dead plants, dead things don’t grow. We water the seeds that have yet to sprout because that is where new life breathes. Don’t keep watering the dead things in your life when there are new seeds just waiting for you to tend to them so that they can grow.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BePresent #BeFocused

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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It’s the Steps We Never Take That Hold Us Back

The only difference between where you are and where you want to be is the steps that you haven’t taken yet.”

~Rigel J. Dawson

There are a lot of things that I’ve dreamed about doing in my life. Some things I have done, some things I probably will never get to do, and some I’ve barely touched the surface of but have somehow convinced myself it was out of reach. It’s that last thing that keeps me up late at night (okay I’m just a night owl that gets nagging ideas late at night lol) wondering what it is I could have done differently to achieve those things that I still have it in my heart to do but seem so unattainable. Some of the things are career related and have to do with areas of the industry I have wanted to write in since I was a child and at some point just got knocked off the trajectory of that course. Some of them are things that I always said “if I ever become rich and famous I would do this, that, and the other with my money to help other people”. Both of those areas are something I am wondering constantly is it too late to still do those things.

Now if I’m being honest with myself (truly honest) being a traveling media journalist is probably something that I have passed the point of being able to get into because, well I’m not young and adventurous anymore and journalism is typically for the young and daring when you’re just starting. Only if you’ve already been in journalism for a while can you still be past a certain age and doing it. However, writing for television (soap operas in particular) has always been something that I have wanted to try and am thinking that perhaps it is not too late. Now I’m just wondering what steps I could be taking, what more could I be doing, to get someone to open the door when I knock on it. Unfortunately that answer would be not enough. Largely in part because I had just convinced myself that my time had passed in that area too.

The other things, the one’s more on the charitable side, the things I’ve always said if I had the money I would do, now that is a bit trickier. I have charities that I want to donate to that I’m sure wouldn’t care how big or small the size of the donation is. Then I have organizations and charities that I would like to start to help other people that I just don’t have the money to start yet. Those are the things that I’m really struggling and working to achieve success for because if I can become successful, and yes wealthy, then I can do some good for other people. Then I can really get to the heart of where all of this purpose in me is headed. I want to make a difference in this world, and not just with my words, not just with me motivating and inspiring others, but with the ability to actually be able to help others.

I wonder sometimes if we’re just so convinced of something not working that we just talk ourselves right out of trying. Do we cut ourselves off at the knees with telling ourselves what we can’t do, what we will never be able to do, instead of just actively going for what it is we want anyway. I mean we could fail and fall flat on our faces. But we could also succeed beyond our wildest expectations. Isn’t taking those steps towards where we are trying to get to worth the risk? If we don’t just go for it and take those steps, then won’t we fail anyway? How much do we derail our own journey by refusing to take a step forward and instead remaining still? It’s the steps that we don’t take that I feel we will regret the most because even if those steps don’t get us to our goal, they still move us forward.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCourageous #BeDetermined

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Rest If You Need To But Just Don’t Quit

The journey to fulfill your dreams is not going to be a road without obstacles. In fact, it often feels like the closer that we get to those dreams that we’ve been striving towards for so long, the harder they seem to be to reach.  I’ve said it here before, but anything worth having, any goal worth achieving, is going to require hard work and tenacity to attain.  However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be days in which you will want to quit.

I know it doesn’t seem like it here or if you follow me anywhere on social media (particularly my YouTube channel) but I grow exhausted with the amount of effort I have to put into this dream of mine. I grow increasingly weary at times with the fact that every time I take two steps forward, it seems to be followed with three steps backwards. I get frustrated at the fact that I’m not anywhere near (at least in my mind anyway) where I think that I should be with my career or life in general. I have wanted to quit so many times that I’ve lost count. But I can’t quit so I just rest.

We all have our moments where things get so hard that we just want to throw in the towel. You think to yourself sometimes that if this is something that you were meant to do, if this is truly your calling then it shouldn’t be this damn hard. You think about all of the people who, things seem to come so easy for them, and you have that quick thought questioning why it’s not that easy for you.

The truth is that we have no idea what someone else’s journey has been like. While it looks like they might have had an easy go of it, their journey could have been just as rough as yours seems to be now. We should never compare our journey to someone else’s because each of us has a different hill to climb. Nothing worth having is ever going to be easy so if it’s something that you really want, that really matters to you, then be prepared for the hard road ahead. I believe it will make actually accomplishing your dream that much sweeter.

When you get weary and grow tired and feel you’re stuck in reverse, don’t quit, simply rest. Rest so that when you have sat with those frustrations and feelings of doubt, you can then get back up and keep climbing up that hill. Eventually you will reach the top, but only if you keep moving forward. Our dreams are worth holding on for.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeTenacious #BeSteadfast 

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are You Willing to Be Corrected?

I remember saying to a friend a long time ago that if I could continue to go to college indefinitely and earn as many degrees as I could stand, I would definitely do that. I would be, what she called, a forever student. She laughed at the thought and assumed that I was joking but truly if money were not an issue, I don’t think there is enough information out there that I could immerse myself in that I wouldn’t choose to do so. I like to learn, and I am a person who never feels like I know enough of anything. That’s not to say that I’m not smart and I don’t already know a lot, but I’d like to think that we are never really done learning, at least not until we are dead and gone.

Two times last week I was reminded that we have to be willing to be corrected, to admit we have to do something better than we thought we were doing, in order to stay on or get back on track. Not only did my Pastor on Sunday preach about whether we are willing to stop what we think we are doing right in order to learn what we’re doing wrong and remain open to being corrected. Days before that I had sought out a consultant regarding my business and the social media marketing part of it to see what I was doing wrong so I can do it better. The consultant was hesitant to tell me everything I was doing wrong because I can be pretty stubborn and set in my ways at times so they weren’t sure I could handle hearing that even the one thing I thought I was actually doing right, I was not. I told him I’m here to learn so whatever it was I wanted to know because I can’t fix it if I don’t know the problem.

How many times are you aware that a problem exists but unwilling to allow anyone who might be willing to help you correct the problem actually do so? Are you unable to be taught when you think you’ve learned all there is to learn? You will never be able to know everything about everything and even if you know a lot, there is always someone out there that will know more and that can help you do more, but only if you are open to learning.

There’s this saying that I love that says you should never be the smartest person in the room. That the moment you become the one in the room who knows the most information then you need to move on to the next room. Not only would that allow you to be in more rooms with a broader spectrum of people. It would also ensure that you are always learning and that you are always correcting what needs to be corrected. You can’t get to where it is you want to go thinking that you know everything, that you’ve somehow learned all there is for you to learn. So be open to the things that you need to be corrected on, and when you’ve learned what you needed to learn then move on to the next room and keep learning.

Until next time… #BeOpen #BeMindful #BeTeachable

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Are You Willing to Play the Long Game?

 

For any individual who decides to become a creative entrepreneur, the phrase consistency is key will be one you will often hear. That’s because as a creative, unless you get super lucky or you know all of the right people you are most likely playing the long game. It will also not be an easy journey as you make your way along either. There will be a lot of no’s and not nearly enough yeses to balance out the scales. Some days your passion for whatever artistic gift you have decided is going to be what you do with your life is going to be the only thing keeping you going.  Hold on to that passion because you are definitely going to need it.

I don’t say any of that to be discouraging. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. I say that because on the really hard days, the days when it just seems like no matter what you do nothing is working, it will be your passion that carries you through and whispers to you to keep going. For me and my writing career it has been a really long road and while it has been fruitful at parts, it hasn’t moved nearly as quickly as I thought it would or would have liked for it to. Honestly, if it wasn’t for my passion for the words themselves, I probably would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.

I recently took David Baldacci’s Master Class and one of the things he said was that if you really want to make it as a writer with longevity you can’t just see writing as a hobby or even just a job. Rather you have to see writing as a lifestyle. For me that’s exactly what it’s always been. I’ve known that writing was what I wanted to do with my life since I was 10 years old (really and truly it was 6 but I started producing actual material at 10) so my heart has always been in this. I have at times wanted to quit because it’s hard seeing the potential outcome and never being able to achieve that reality. However, when passion is the driving force it’s kind of hard to quit because the passion won’t let you.

So, I’ll leave you with this. If you are struggling and you’re having more and more days where you want to just quit, don’t. Anything worth having is never going to be easy to attain and if the life of an artist is the one you want, you’re going to have to be prepared to work really hard for it and stay consistent. Consistency really is the only guarantee that you won’t fail because one thing is for sure, if you don’t keep trying and working at it then you won’t ever get there. If this is something you are passionate about, something that is really in your heart to do for the rest of your career and your life, then you can’t give up now.

Until next time… #BeConsistent #BePassionate #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Give Yourself Some Grace

The mind is a funny thing. Sometimes you can find yourself slip back into old habits and old ways of thinking without even realizing it. I try to maintain optimistic because my spirituality has been a way for me to be assured that everything is going to work out the way that it is supposed to in the end. However, lately I have heard myself sink back into my old ways of thinking and have found myself saying things like ‘I know that the other shoe is going to drop soon’, or ‘when it rains, it pours, or just yesterday I said ‘the Universe is working against me’.

Now instinctively I know and believe deep in my heart that God is going to make sure that I’m okay, even if things don’t go as I planned them to, or even remotely the way that I want them to. But my old anxiety and self doubt creep in and I realize I still have some work to do to get rid of that self-sabotaging nature. Without realizing it, I have been, once again, giving power to fear and doubt about what I am capable of achieving.

I think that it gets lost on some, those who don’t struggle with mental health issues or constant anxiety and overwhelming and crippling fear, just how hard it can be to stay in a positive mindset. I constantly get from people how positive I am and I don’t mind that at all but make no mistake, it is work to try and keep a positive frame of mind. Some days are astronomically harder than others and the good days can start to feel like they don’t happen often enough.

I’m writing this post today because I want people to give themselves grace, as I am trying to give myself some. Grace when you’re not feeling at your best. Grace to make the mistakes you need to make so that you can do it better the next time. Give yourselves grace to let yourself cry when you feel like it. Allow yourself some grace to just be honest when you’re not doing okay to be able to say so without any feelings of guilt. Give yourself grace to, on those days when things are just too overwhelming, simply do nothing but be.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeCourageous #BeKindToYourself

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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When Life Hands You Obstacles…

It’s always the moments when you think you’ve got a handle on everything and that you are just getting back on track when those curveballs get thrown at you. Sometimes it seems as if life can throw so many obstacles at you that it leaves your head spinning. By now you would think that I would be used to knowing that when things are going well the other shoe is probably about to drop.

I’m more geared to being optimistic these last several years and trying to find the positive in everything. I’ll be honest and say that it is a lot easier said than done at times to be positive when things feel so negative, but I always try to remember that it could always be worse (for so many others it is worse) and that it will get better as long as I don’t dwell in the messy, hurdles and keep moving forward.

The thing is that if you aren’t being hit with obstacles, odds are that you might be in that overly comfortable place where you will be content with what you weren’t able to get done. The thing about that place is that you won’t really be growing in your purpose and your gift. That’s the place that you don’t really want to be because the magic can never truly happen if you aren’t growing.

Growth is messy. Growth is uncomfortable. Growth is hard and grueling. When you’re in that growth period, I mean really in it, it doesn’t feel rewarding, it just feels challenging. Growth can be a constant test to see if you’re really ready to fulfill your dreams and your purpose. The question is are you going to remain in a place of simply being content or are you going to push yourself to grow further than even you thought was possible?

Until next time… #BeBold #BeFearless #BeUncomfortable

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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Whatever Will Be Will Be

I am an extremely anxious person. I worry about the little things about as much as I worry about the big things. Even when there is nothing to worry about, I still worry that I should be worrying. It’s something I’m working on and believe it or not I have actually gotten better about it over the years, and I have my spiritual growth journey that I’ve been on these last several years to credit for that. As anxious as I can sometimes still get, I do now understand and enjoy the peace that I feel when I just accept things as they are and don’t stress over everything that a situation is not.

At some point we have to accept things, not just as they are, but also as they come. Life is hard and if it were easy would it really be worth living. I think that it’s ingrained in us from when we are young to always be worried about something. If you think about it, unless you have been fortunate enough to have lived the ultimate privileged life where everything is just made easy for you, then you have seen your parents struggle and worry about nearly everything. Your parents more than likely saw their parents do the same. It is instilled in us that somehow if you’re not worried about it then you must not be concerned with whether things will work out okay or not. 

We have to train ourselves to not over think every single little thing because it’s not something that we inherently do. We are not accustomed to just letting things be whatever they are and trusting that however they work out is the way that it is intended. I mean sure if you grew up in church then yes you have that faith but you still worried. You’re human and you don’t have a crystal ball and clearly, you’re not God, so you still worried. However, when we let our worries consume us to the point where we make ourselves sick (which I used to do) that is not a habit that we should maintain.

We have to learn, even in slight worry (emphasis on slight), to let our Faith comfort us and provide us with the knowledge that things will be okay, in whatever way they turn out. What is meant to happen is going to happen, with or without our worry, so why waste the energy and time that we put into worrying when we could be using that time and energy to buckle down and push through those rough times and move toward the goal. We may not get to the goal line on a straight road. There may be curves and detours, and even some U-turns along the journey, but ultimately you will get there. There’s a saying that says it will all be okay in the end and that if it is not okay then it is not the end.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeFearless #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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