I Can’t Control What I Can’t Control

The world has gone crazy and everyone is losing their mind. Well not everyone but you get it, you know what’s going on. More recently things have just gotten even more unbearable for the vast majority of people and there are a lot of people who are completely stressed out. I’m not saying that I don’t feel the frustration or the stress and worry but I will say because I have tapped into more spiritual sustenance I am not pulling my hair out (like my sister is lol) and panicking. I stay reading my devotionals and the Bible, praying and talking to God and I know that it sounds a little simplistic but it has been working for me and I feel an incredible sense of peace.

Someone asked me recently how am I not freaking out and going crazy and my response was simply “I can’t control what I can’t control” to which they replied “huh”? Basically there are things that I can control but there are far more things that happen in this world that I just have absolutely no control over. Those are the things that I can’t control and I just am not going to worry and stress about what I have no control over.

When it comes to what is happening in the world of politics right now, which my sister is literally freaking out over and reacting to every news sound bite and news story that comes out about you know who and this election, while I am also worried and concerned for the state of this country I just can’t give that amount of energy to worrying about something in which the only bit of control that I have is to be at the polls on November 3rd (COVID be damned) and stand in line for however long it takes to cast my vote. That is the only thing I can control unless I had any plans on running for some sort of political office (which I don’t).

However, this mantra that I’ve enacted for myself I am now trying to also apply it to my writing as well. I am really hard on myself when it comes to all things writing because I want things to be perfect, or as perfect as possible, and there are so many things that I want to be able to do and I don’t want to have to give up any of the project ideas I’ve had for any reason. That said, when it comes to the ever present procrastination that I have done and am currently doing, it stems from things that I just have no power over.

I hesitate on putting my work out and sometimes stall the process, yeah because I want things to be as perfect as I can possibly make them, but more so because I’m afraid if they are not perfect in the audience’s eyes that they won’t buy my work and I won’t become the success I’ve dreamed of becoming since I was a little girl. The fact is I can’t control whether someone purchases my books or any products I might put out and when they do purchase it I also have no control over whether or not they will like it. If I query to agents and publishers I can’t control whether they will like or buy into my work.

I can’t allow myself to stress about those things any longer because the only thing that worrying about it has done was kept me from actually attempting any of it. People certainly can’t buy my work or products if there are none that are out there to buy. Agents and publishers can’t even have the opportunity to reject or accept my work if they never see it. I have to work hard at the things that are within my grasp to control otherwise I will drive myself crazy, like really crazy, all over what is not in my power to change.

So all of that was to say I know that things are hard right now, and not just in the world of politics but probably in your normal everyday life, with your job or career. Don’t let the fear of what may or may not happen consume you. Don’t let the anxiety that you feel over things that are out of your control, take time away from focusing on the things that you do have control over. Be careful where you put your focus right now and let God take care of those things that make you a little restless. Until next time… #BeMindful #BeOptimistic BeGrateful

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Moving Away From the Comfort Zone I’m Stuck In

Hello all!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. This year has been a very trying one so far and I have truly been struggling with a lot of things financially and with my writing. The things I’ve been going through lately have brought on another bout of depression and along with it a layer of anxiety as well. It has become a bit of a hindrance to my writing on many levels which is frustrating to say the least. The past two weeks in particular had left me in a place that I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen, I simply just had to pray about it, ask others around me that cared about me to pray for me, and leave it up to God.

My mother made a statement questioning why God would allow me to go through what I’m going through and why would this be happening right now and my only response was that HE has a reason for everything and honesty the situation was probably more of a result of all the times that I tried to do things my own way and not HIS way. In fact, I think that’s what this particular feeling of rock bottom left me with. I was trying to gain understanding as to what the reason was and I figured it out, or at least I believe I figured out what HE was trying to get me to understand.

I have all of these gifts and talents and plenty of ideas as to the ways to put them to use in order to provide the things that I need but I keep waiting for things to be perfect before making any moves to attempt any of those ideas. I have books that could have been published but for this reason or that I didn’t feel like it was perfect enough to put out there. I have an idea for a line of T-shirts that I have been told by multiple people would be a great idea and that they would love to get one when I put them out there but because I can’t get one thing perfect for them I won’t put them out there. I’ve been told and have had the feeling several times that it’s time to take this blog and my magazine to the next level and start a YouTube channel or Podcast but because I don’t consider myself camera friendly (mind you that’s my assessment, not others assessment of me) or because I have a fear that people won’t listen or that it won’t be helpful to others like I want it to be I haven’t even moved towards making that idea a reality.

All of these things that God has placed on my heart to do, quite frankly because they pull me out of my comfort zone, and I haven’t done them because I keep having this notion that they’re supposed to be perfect. I think that this most recent situation has made me realize I have to stop ignoring what I know I’m supposed to be doing and moving towards because it’s uncomfortable and because things won’t be able to be perfect because logically I know that nothing is ever going to be perfect and if I’m really honest with myself, some of the most beautifully constructed things are made beautiful by the imperfections that they possess.

Now I don’t enjoy rock bottom by any means, but I have to say that this experience has taught me something about myself and just reaffirmed my faith in God and the path that HE is getting ready to take me on. I’m not out of the woods just yet (in terms of the current situation) but I truly believe that I can see HIS footsteps much clearer now, guiding me out of troubled waters. Until the next time… #BeFearless #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Perfection Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Perfection Is not what its cracked up to be

Let’s talk about perfection! I think everyone, at some point in their careers, wishes for things to go perfectly. Even when logically people know that the best things that are worth having almost never come easy and that the things that come easy almost never last, people still want a smooth road to their destination. When we allow that need for perfection to keep us from going after our goals and achieving what we ultimately want it becomes more of a hindrance than a help.

I know all about striving for perfection but when I look at where that has honestly gotten me thus far, I don’t particularly like what I see. I have so many projects, books, concepts that are formulated in my mind. I plan them out, then re-plan them, and then outline the ideas to map everything out about two or three times. Then, because things still don’t seem to be fitting perfectly together just the way that I want them to, those plans, books, and concepts get stored away somewhere in a file cabinet where most ideas go to die (or get dug up years later). I think I’ve had at least two ideas of television shows that I never fleshed out and actually developed because I couldn’t get the ideas to perfectly come together in my mind and then years later I see television shows almost mirroring those ideas already created by someone else who probably didn’t wait for their idea to be completely perfect to get it done.

This is what happens when you wait on perfection. Someone else has a similar idea and they just simply get it done, perfect or not. I’ve been working really hard lately on not having to have every idea that comes to mind be perfect for me to get started working on it. I realize that perfection is not always the best thing because nothing can ever truly be perfect. There’s always going to be a tweak that could be made here, and possibly another minor adjustment there, and as a writer even when you hand over your masterpiece that may be perfect in your eyes to an editor, there is undoubtedly going to be something that that editor will see that won’t be perfect in their eyes and will need to be changed anyway.

So if you are sitting on an idea for a book, for a program, for a brand, for a song, or anything that you’re passionate about, stop sitting on it. Just say to hell with perfection and get started on it. No one will ever see it anyway if you don’t just put it out there, perfect or not. Odds are the less perfect the better!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Trying to Be Perfect Does Not Always Amount to Perfection

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that fear is something that I struggle with on a consistent basis.  Being afraid of failing has been something that has kept me from doing a lot of things that I have wanted to do.  Too often I have been afraid that I wasn’t good enough to make it, or good enough to even risk trying.

I guess it stems from my childhood being told by my mother on an almost daily basis that I was never going to be good enough.  After a while of hearing the same thing repeatedly from someone who is supposed to shape how you think and feel about yourself, you start to believe that it’s true.  It is that fear of not being good enough that has always made me feel that I couldn’t take certain risks if the preparation wasn’t perfect.

When it comes to query letters for articles, or pitching a novel to publishers or agents, or even sending out a resume to newspapers and magazines I want to work with or for, I have always held back if I didn’t feel that the package that I was sending off was perfect.  A lot of times this resulted in me taking months just to send one thing off.  Trying so hard to make everything perfect only really results in a lot of wasted time and lost opportunities.

It has taken until I was an adult with my own child for me to realize that those voices telling me that I wasn’t good enough were the voices that I needed to tune out.  That the voice that I should have been paying attention to all along was the voice within that whispered that not only was I good enough but that I was going to be greater than even I expected.

In a sense I have failed at being perfect because I’m not ever going to be perfect, and certainly not everything I do or write is going to meet the standards of perfection.  However, if I just continue being the best version of me that I can be, that is good enough.  It’s good enough for me.  It’s not always the loudest voices that deserve all the attention.  Sure they’re loud and extremely difficult to ignore but often times the loudness is just a distraction from the whispers of what we should really be listening to.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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