Are We Going To Just Stare At the Wall or Find A Way To Climb Over It?

I’ve been staring at a wall lately and that wall has time written all over it. Time is not my friend. There is never enough of it and yet it feels like the time I do have can’t be adequately balanced in a satisfactory manner. I’ve been struggling lately with this balancing time thing with taking on something non-creative in order to pay the bills and having the creative side of me, that being writing which is like air to me, suffer drastically.

I mean I won’t say that I’m not able to write ever, but it’s a far cry from the amount of time I was once able to put into my writing and as I said, writing is like air to me so right now I quite literally feel like I am not able to breathe. I feel like I’m suffocating and all I can think about is writing but it’s the one thing I’m unable to do as freely as I need to. But I think that I’m looking at this the wrong way.

I’m staring at the wall and instead of figuring out a way over or around that wall I am just stuck, looking up at this massive road block, and wondering what the hell am I going to do. I’m not going to pretend I have the answer for this problem at this exact moment but I do know that giving up is not an option. We spend so much time staring at the wall rather than climbing over that wall and that is tantamount to giving up. I say we because I can’t be the only one who gets stuck at the road blocks that you come across.

Your wall may not be writing. It could be whatever you’re most passionate about and have been struggling to weave it into your schedule. If you are struggling too then I want you to know that you’re not alone and that we are going to climb this wall together because quitting is never an option when your dreams are waiting for you beyond that wall. We may need some time to assess the wall, to make a plan of action on how we are going to get over or around that wall, but one way or another, we will overcome the wall that is blocking our way.

Until next time… #BePatient #BePersistent #BeDetermined

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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I Want To Learn To Love Dancing In The Rain

There’s this saying (pictured above) that life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, but rather it’s about learning to dance in the rain. I absolutely love this saying, but I think I’ve only recently realized that I am the person who waits. I am that person that will stand on the curb and wait for dozens of cars to pass before just taking the chance and running across to the other side of the street. I am the person that once the sky opens up and the rain begins to fall, I immediately run indoors to keep from getting wet. I am that person who is scared of what’s coming if I don’t already know what’s going to happen.

I would like to think that if I was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime that I would just take that opportunity without over analyzing every single aspect of what could go wrong but I know myself a bit better than that. I just turned another year older last Friday and it got me to thinking of, not just the things I wished I had gotten to do by now (as most people did, I had a 30 by 30 list of sorts), but also, I thought about the things I would put on a bucket list today as I inch closer to 45. I thought of all of the places I have yet to go and the things I want to try, things I would do if money were not an obstacle. Things I want to just throw caution to the wind for and just take the leap and jump. I stopped short of compiling yet another list for fear that once again the items on it will go unchecked.

On the flip side, if I keep waiting for all the money I need to do these things, or for the right time to do them, essentially for all of the stars to align, so to speak, then I could be waiting forever, and it’s possible that it would never happen. I don’t want to let another decade of my life go by without having done something, anything, that wasn’t completely mapped out and analyzed to death. I have yet to ever get on a plane and travel anywhere and I don’t want to have never left the country. I’ve never even been to New York, which is sad considering it is the one state that I have always dreamed of living in. So what do I do with all of these desires and so many real or imagined obstacles standing in my way?

That is when learning to dance in the rain comes into play. Now I can’t say I will never over analyze a decision ever again because, as I said before, I know myself a bit better than that. But I think taking chances and risks in life, particularly for someone as analytical as myself, requires a conscious effort. It will require me to get out of my own head every time an opportunity arises for me to do something that I want to do. It will require for me to just live a little and stop worrying about all of the unknowns. Most importantly, it will require me to remember to bring my umbrella with me even if the forecast doesn’t call for rain because I never know when the sky will open up and give me the opportunity to dance. If you should have the opportunity to dance in the rain or run indoors for cover, I sure hope that you decide to dance!

Until next time… #BeAdventurous #BeOpen #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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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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Note to Self

I saw this picture this morning when I was trying to figure out exactly what words of inspiration I was going to bring you today. This made me think about all of the days (which to be honest is almost every day) when I feel like I’m just not doing enough. I hear people tell me a lot that I’m doing so many things or they will comment on my writing vlogs (on my YouTube channel, you should go check it out lol) that they don’t know how I manage to do so much and I swear sometimes I think they’re just being nice because I constantly struggle with feeling that I’m not doing enough. I can’t multi-task as well as I was once able to so that definitely makes me feel like my pace has slowed down when there is still so much I need to get done.

However, when I go back and look at the vlogs or look at my checked off to-do lists I can see, in physical form, that I have in fact done a lot. So why, I wonder, is it that it seems most days like I’m just not accomplishing anything at all? It’s on those days where messages like the one pictured above come in handy because it reminds me that even if I’m not doing everything that I think I should be doing, that even if I’m not moving fast enough (according to the internal time table that I set for myself), that even if I never accomplish everything that’s on my life goals list, that I’m doing the very best that I can and that’s just going to have to be enough.

I am an overachiever that continuously feels like I am underachieving. I haven’t mastered how to be okay with not completing tasks on my to-do lists yet. I can’t seem to stop beating myself up over not being a person with the ability to do about twelve things all at once. Even though I know that I would tell someone else to go easy on themselves and to have grace with themselves and to celebrate every single little (or big) thing that they have been able to accomplish I can’t seem to heed my own advice. It’s a problem I wish I could fix with the snap of a finger, but I know I can’t.

I think it’s a thing with people who want a lot out of life and not just simple things either but rather, very complex things. If the dreams were smaller I suppose they would be more manageable and attainable even. I don’t dream small though, and there in lies my desire to get so much done in what I consider to be a reasonable time frame. I have to start remembering to have joy in what I do achieve. There are some moments that I need to just take the time to celebrate and revel in instead of completely dismissing them as not being productive enough. Productivity isn’t all that matters. Sometimes doing the best you can, putting forth your best version of yourself, is truly all that matters. I’ll try and remember that the next time I’m feeling like I’m not doing enough if you will.

Until next time… #BeMindful BeFocused #BeGrateful

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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The Misconception Of What It Means To Be Strong

Let’s talk strength and its many forms. As I watched the Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination hearings last week and watched certain politicians (their names aren’t even worth mentioning) try and bait her into playing into the angry black woman stereotype that plagues every black woman who simply desires to make something of their lives, I heard everyone remark about her grace and her strength to sit there so unbothered. I too recall myself commenting on how strong she was because my actions would have been a bit different. But if you are a black woman, hell most women, know that her face said all of what she was feeling but she had to play up her strength because falling for their bait was not an option.

It made me think of why it is that strength is equated with just sitting back and taking whatever is thrown at you no matter how much you might be breaking down on the inside. Why isn’t showing your vulnerable side, your humanity, why isn’t that considered strength. Why do people try to hide their tears when all they need is a good cry?  It’s a shame that in a world that tries so hard to break you down, you can’t even show your hurt or else you will be thought of as weak. 

For most of my life I’ve been an extremely emotional, empathic, person and I feel things at a really deep level. I cry almost instantly when made aware of other’s pain. People have always called me too sensitive, too emotional, and weak because I cry when I’m sad, or upset, or even if I’m really angry. My wearing my emotions on my face has not been an easy thing. I used to hate when I was called all of those things. Now I embrace them. Now when someone says I’m too sensitive or emotional I just say thank you because allowing yourself to feel emotions and express them doesn’t make you weak. Crying when you need to doesn’t make you weak.

Showing that you are vulnerable and that you can be hurt, that you can be broken, makes you stronger than the ones who are still hiding their humanity. We have to get away from what is perceived as strength in this world because oftentimes true strength is revealed when we let our guards down and display our real emotions. We shouldn’t have to act like nothing gets to us just to come off as strong. Strength is surviving in a world that wants nothing more than to see you fail, by any means necessary.

Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BeBold #BeFearless

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 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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It’s Not in How You Failed, It’s in the Way You Keep Trying

“My greatest concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

~Abraham Lincoln

Feeling like a failure is inevitable. At some stage in your life, depending on how ambitious your goals truly are, you will repeatedly try new things and while some of them will work out brilliantly, some of them won’t. Trial and error is a very normal part of life but sometimes those errors just seem like they keep coming, one after another, after another. To put it plain and simple, failure can be, at times, relentless and exhausting. Last week I felt like I was failing at life in general but specifically in the area of my writing business.

However, I was reminded last night when I was watching the History Channel’s Documentary on Abraham Lincoln just how much failure is ultimately a part of eventual success. After all, Abraham Lincoln had a lot of losses and he suffered from severe depression after a lot of those losses. But what he never did was give up. He never gave in to those losses and he kept trying.  In the end he still won the ultimate goal he was going after, being the office of the Presidency.

I suppose I keep thinking about failure in the wrong manner. I tend to think of failure as this immovable boulder that just abruptly landed right on my path to my goals and me not being strong enough to lift it out of my way or to even work around it.  Therefore, it leaves me stuck right where I am, most likely feeling weak and incapable. Of course, that’s not the way that failure should be looked at.

What failure really amounts to are mistakes that can and should be used as lessons to navigate us through the rest of the journey forward so that we, provided we actually learn from those particular failures, can avoid making the same mistakes again. Failures allow us to know what we are doing wrong so that we can course correct and get things right. I know I’ve written this before and perhaps I repeat it because I need to keep reminding myself as well (because on the really hard days I tend to forget) but if you are failing it generally means that you at the very least, tried to do something in the first place and as long as you are trying you are not failing.

It’s all about mindset and the ability we have to change ours. Instead of seeing the obstacle on the road, we need to see the multiple paths that lead us around that obstacle. They are detours from what you originally had planned but they are alternate paths that still can lead you to where you want to go with knowledge you didn’t have before. You will still have that lesson that you learned to carry with you into the next stage of the journey and with each mistake you may make, you will pick up even more knowledge. The key is seeing the mini failures along the way as opportunities and not necessarily as obstacles that need to be dodged. Just remember, when you are feeling like everything is going wrong and you aren’t getting anywhere, that you are not alone and that trying is what matters most.

Until next time… #BePersistent #BeResilient #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Pride Can Derail the Journey

“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but He who does not ask remains a fool forever”

~Chinese Proverb

I was having a conversation last week with a friend of mine in which I opened up about some personal issues I’m having and their first question to me was why haven’t I asked for help? The only response I had (which admittedly is not a very good one) was that I am too embarrassed to ask for the help that I know I need. They returned with the question of what I could possibly have to be embarrassed about and I took a moment because I knew what I was going to say sounded silly. My answer: That I’m not exactly where I should be in life at my age, and I shouldn’t have to need any help at all.

You know what’s telling. When you can hear the answer, you’re about to give someone and in your head, it made sense but logically when the words actually leave your mouth you realize it makes absolutely no sense. Now I’m not going to get into what my situation is in this post, except to say that it does boil down to financial setbacks, but I am a person who hates having to ask for help. I am typically the one who likes to figure out ways that I can help other people so to turn that around and have to admit needing the help myself is a bit touchy for me.

Nevertheless, my friend was absolutely correct in saying that having a setback of any kind in life is not and should not be embarrassing. Life comes with all kinds of roadblocks and things that just knock the wind out of you, both physically and emotionally. It shouldn’t be something that we are afraid to talk about or seek help about. Pride is not a bad thing when you’re talking about having pride in your job or career path, or something your child or family member does. However, pride that just keeps you stuck in a bad position, or even worse, makes your bad situation that much worse, is not something to cling to.

If you are having a hard time and going through a setback, you are not alone. If you need help to get through your setback then please don’t be afraid to ask for it. Don’t be so strong and proud that you end up putting yourself in an even worse position. There is nothing wrong with experiencing setbacks in life. In actuality, setbacks can very often become the set up and the building blocks for the next level that you are on your way to. Don’t let your pride be the hill that your dreams die on.

Until next time… #BeCourageous #BePatient #BeResilient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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