Can You Ever Really Succeed Without Learning to Fail?

Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of it.” ~Xavier Dagba

If failure is the pathway to eventual success than I must be well on my way because I have been failing spectacularly. Now obviously it is not ever my goal to fail at any of the ventures that I attempt or at publishing my books but perhaps it should be. I know that sounds crazy. Why would anyone actually want to fail? In a perfect world and in the best scenario all of the things that I put out there and am passionate about would not only do well but would exceed my expectations. However, this isn’t a perfect world and after thinking over it for quite a while I came to the realization that I might not have learned half of the things I know without having failed first.

Really think about it. If every single time we try something and we win, what do we ever learn? I mean sure we learn how to be gracious winners (hopefully anyway) and we move up to the next level of what we are striving for, but does that actually teach us anything in life. After all, if you’re not learning in this life then what are we really here for? The tough and valuable lessons are learned in moments of adversity and struggle.

If I had it my way, or the financial means, I would be what some would call a forever student. I would gladly take class after class, degree program, after degree program, to learn all of the things I desire to know. I suppose being a creative entrepreneur is not really any different because with each venture you go after, you learn new things. You learn what you did right, sure, but more importantly, you learn, through failure, what not to do the next time. This makes me look at the idea of failure a lot differently.

When you think that you’ve learned all that you can then you don’t see the value in the lessons life is trying to teach you. You can’t grow if you think that you’re done learning. I think that adversity is the ultimate teacher in life and perhaps we shouldn’t complain about the valley’s that we dip so low down into. We have to realize that without the lows that feel like you can’t get back up, you never truly appreciate the highs where you can see just how far along you’ve come. So, the next time you feel like the Universe has knocked you down and dealt you a really tough blow, think about what the Universe is trying to teach you. What lesson is there to learn in that particular failure? And then take that lesson into battle with you the next time you get up to fight for that dream another day.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeFearless #BeGrateful

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Let’s Not Play the Comparison Game

Comparison is the thief of joy” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

I try extra hard not to compare things happening in my life to the things that happen in the lives of those around me and in my circle. I would say that out of all of the days in a month, over half of them I succeed in that mission because I know that we can never see what someone else does in their everyday life to achieve whatever level of success they’re having at the moment. In reality the truth is that most of the time, if you are not succeeding at whatever dream you are chasing the problem isn’t someone else’s efforts on their journey but perhaps your lack of effort in your own, or it could just simply not be your time. Most days I remember that. Most.

There are some days, maybe a little over a handful, where you truly feel like you are doing absolutely everything that you possibly can, and you see someone on a similar path as you and everything seems to be working out in amazing fashion for them. Frankly in those few days the shit just feels unfair. You’re working your ass off, pouring everything you’ve got into this dream and vision you have, and sometimes pouring things you don’t have in the emotional tank and still…nothing. You think, how much damn adversity is one person supposed to go through before they just break. That whole notion where it’s just not your time and your time will come just seems like utter bullshit on those days and you’re just mad at anyone who is on the adjacent path and are just traveling along with no bumps or obstacles that YOU can see. Does any of this sound like feelings you’ve dealt with? No! Just me?

Well, I have had a few of those days already for the month of January and I’m telling you, sometimes it just makes me want to throw in the towel and give up on everything. But then I look at my vision board and see this quote I put on there for this very eventual moment. It says, “You didn’t come this far, to ONLY come this far”. I need the constant reminder that I’ve come so much farther than I have to go (at least I hope so because truthfully, I can’t see the entire road ahead of me) and that if I quit now, it will have all been for nothing. Honestly if I didn’t believe in my dream and my vision so emphatically, I probably would have given up on it a very long time ago, but I believe in this and I know this is what I was put here to do.

This is what I need to remind myself of when I start comparing my journey to the road that other people are on because the only thing that accomplishes is it makes me resentful of that person (and that’s not who I am) and it plants seeds of doubt in my own mind about my journey. I have different abilities and limits than the next person and I can’t map out my journey according to someone else’s level of effort and ability because, once again, their journey and mine won’t be the same.

So, when you have those bad days where everyone’s road starts to look so much easier to you than your own, just remember that while it’s natural to have those feelings, you have to put into perspective that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. As the quote says at the top of the post, comparison is the biggest thief of joy and I for one want more joy in my life, I don’t want to be the one stealing joy away from myself. Don’t you allow yourself to be the thief of your own joy. Just make sure to keep watering the grass on your own side of the fence.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeBold #BeMindful

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Be The Example

I wanted to say something in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today and I was looking over my posts from previous years and it’s sad that things still seem to be in the same state in terms of the world. It always astonishes me when I hear powerful people, politicians in particular, use his quotes and it is evident that they have no idea the message that he was trying to convey. Either the true meaning goes over their head completely or they make a conscious decision to go in the opposite direction of the words he says.

The picture above is one quote I had actually never heard before as one of his, but I can’t think of one that fits the time we are in better. Our leaders in this country are so busy struggling for power and trying to do anything to hold on to that power that they seem to have forgotten that they are only there, in office, to be of service. They are supposed to be there to serve the people of this country.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of service, not just in the fact that he served God as a preacher, but in his service of people and trying to seek justice for all of humanity. He wanted everyone, everywhere, no matter what color you were, no matter what culture you were from, what social status you held, what profession you practiced, to be treated equally. I never understood why it was such a hard concept for some to grasp, but I did understand that for some reason, it was. For some reason I would always be treated differently in some way because I was born with darker skin and because I am from what most would consider a poor status. I am technically considered below the poverty line; I pretty much always have been. But does that mean that I matter any less?

The people in power always proclaim to be for the people but there are certain members of public service who most certainly do not care about the people in this country that they are supposed to be serving, at least not past the campaign stage of things. I think the quote above is something that they all need to keep somewhere in their offices and anywhere they go really because then maybe at some point they will remember that public servants are supposed to serve the public, not their ego, or their wallets, or their professional resume. It would do well for people to remember, on this day in particular, that serving the public is one of the greatest things you can do in life, but only if you are truly serving the people, and not just yourself.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeCourageous #BeHopeful

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Breaking Through the Darkness to the Light on the Other Side

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to the Year of possibilities! I am more than ready to leave 2022 in the rear-view mirror because, well, to say that 2022 did not go as planned for me would be a massive understatement. Apologies for having been gone for a little while (or at least it feels that way) but I have been having some struggles with life in general thus my mental health has been greatly affected and it has been a lot.

Going into this new year I want to feel motivated to make it better and to get to a point where I’m not just surviving but rather, thriving. I want that for all of us. It would shock no one who knows me that I have some lofty goals for myself this year, although I do think that they are a little paired down from last year’s goals (that did not come to fruition) but I am more about giving myself grace this year for what I don’t manage to achieve. As the realization set in during the month of December that I was going through a state a depression (and honestly had been for months but I was in denial) it was evident that my focus in the New Year truly needed to be on self-care and taking better care of myself.

When I say taking care of myself, I don’t just mean physically but also mentally. In fact, one of my personal goals is to find a therapist and start the counseling I’ve most likely needed for years now. I’ve seen the good that therapy can do for others and while I was never against therapy for myself, I still had not managed to take that step but that changes this year.

Now while my focus is going to be taking better care of myself, I definitely have plans to publish this year. I have two poetry books already finished and that I now have covers for so those will definitely be released this year. I also will be prepping my second novel for publication in the Fall. I have always been one to push through whatever adversity comes my way (admittedly with a little meltdown along the way) but one of the quotes I have on my digital vision board (pictured above) says that stars can’t shine without darkness so if I’m going to shine that just means I have to break through those dark moments and shine brighter than even I could have ever imagined. That brings me to my word of the year, which is Breakthrough. I am long overdue for a breakthrough and that is what I’m working towards this year. What’s your word for the New Year and what’s motivating you going forward? I hope you are having an amazing start to your year and that you will stick around and come along on my journey.

Until next time… #BeMotivated #BeCourageous #BeBright

Jimmetta Carpenter

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It All Depends On How High You Bounce Back

If you never know failure, you will never know success” ~ Sugar Ray Leonard

I haven’t written here in a few weeks, roughly about a month and I just want you to know that it wasn’t because I suddenly ran out of things to say. Aside from the fact that NaNoWriMo is this month and I tend to be more singularly focused on writing a brand-new novel in November, the last few weeks have just been inherently hard. I have been feeling like the Universe has just singled me out and said, ‘nope you can’t get any wins right now because you just don’t deserve to win’.

Now of course I know, logically, that that’s a little ridiculous because everyone deserves a win in life. It’s just not feeling like I’m going to get one anytime soon. It’s kind of like getting a couple of steps ahead for once and then getting knocked fifteen steps backward. It’s hard to feel optimism in that scenario. Yet, I am reminded of the fact that each time I think I’m not going to survive through the week, somehow by the time the end of the week gets here I’m still standing, and I have survived to fight another day, another week, another month, another year.

We’re getting close to the end of this year and that’s about the time where I usually reflect on the things I didn’t get accomplished and the plans that didn’t come to fruition so that I can figure out where I went wrong in my planning and plan effectively for the following year. However, it feels like my best laid plans don’t seem to ever materialize the way that I think they will, if they materialize at all. I thought for a moment that maybe I just shouldn’t plan anything, maybe I should just go with the flow but trust me, if you know anything about me by now, you know that my little planner heart would literally break without having a plan in place. So, what then? If the plans seem to not be working but I can’t just not plan, what do I do with that?

I don’t think I’m the type of person that could just not plan for success. Maybe the key is just to manage my expectations which could then manage my disappointment. Perhaps it’s just as simple as knowing that failure is the very life blood of success because how can you truly succeed without failing a few times (or in my case a few dozen times) because failure is the very proof that you are trying, that you are going for your dreams, and that you are not giving up on them, ever. As much as I may sometimes want to throw in the towel, it’s just not in my nature to give up.

I know that I want to be purposeful in everything I do in this life. I want to inspire others with my gift for words and motivate those who may also be struggling with big dreams and crushing defeats. You can’t do any of that if you’re just going to throw your hands up and say to hell with it, I give up. I’ve never been a quitter, and that’s not to say there haven’t been moments when I tried to quit (both at life and my dreams). It’s also not to say there won’t be moments in the future where I’ll have really hard days and want to quit again but I’m made of stronger stuff than that, and so are you! We’ve got this and no matter how many times life tries to knock us down we will keep getting right back up because that’s what success is truly about. It’s about continuing to get back up no matter what and no matter how long it takes to achieve the dream!

Until next time… #BeFearless #BeTenacious #BeDiligent

Jimmetta Carpenter

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To Pretend or Not to Pretend…That is the Question?

I did a lot of pretending when I was younger. In elementary school I had to pretend the home I went back to everyday wasn’t broken and abusive. In high school I had to pretend I was not crumbling on the inside and like I wasn’t constantly thinking of ways to just end it all. In college and early adulthood, like most young adults, I had to pretend that I knew what the hell I was doing. With people I came in contact with back then I would pretend that I was outgoing and like I thrived on being around lots of people when in reality people drained me and any creative energy I had, and I really just wanted to be left alone. Not alone in some lonely, woe is me type of way either, but rather in a way that actually refilled my creative well.

I mean that’s what life is mostly isn’t it. Pretending! Going along to get along. Trying to fit in with people you probably don’t actually like just so that they don’t classify you as difficult, weird and awkward or just think that something is wrong with you altogether. You pretend to understand things you really don’t because you don’t want to appear like you aren’t knowledgeable and capable. It gets to be a little tiring to pretend all the time. To always have to be “on” and faking that you feel something you don’t or faking that you’re happy if you’re not.

When you get to a certain point in life you just want to be surrounded by people and live a life where you can just simply be. Where you can express how you feel about something or someone without having to hide your emotions and feelings. Where you don’t have to apologize for being a person who wears their heart on their sleeve and whose emotions show up all over your face. You want to not have to explain yourself to people who you thought you didn’t have to explain anything to because it was thought to believe that you were accepted just the way you were.

The simple truth is, at least the truth that I’m coming to realize, is true acceptance doesn’t really exist. No matter what situation you find yourself in, no matter what circle of people you surround yourself with, there is always going to have to be some manner of pretending. Sometimes it hurts to realize that but it’s best to live in reality than to have blinders on and think something is true that isn’t. Even those that are closest to you, that are your closest friends, aren’t going to always accept everything there is about you. We are all deeply flawed, and sometimes vastly broken individuals and that means we have things about us that others just can’t come to terms with and that they would rather adjust or change about you than just simply accept without question.

Let’s be honest, you probably have some things that you would change about the people in your life as well. I suppose the real question is who in your life are you willing to make adjustments for and who are you willing to pretend around? Can you really ever go through life without having to pretend something? Is there ever going to come a time in life where you can remove the mask and just be yourself without having to rationalize who you are to those you love and call friends and found family? I thought it was possible but now I’m not so sure. I guess the jury is still out on that one and only time will truly tell.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeFearless #BeYou

Jimmetta Carpenter

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On the Other Side of Time

So often we find ourselves in a place in our lives where we just know that we should be somewhere that we just aren’t yet. We have the trajectory planned out and feel that if we are truly doing everything right then of course our plans would fall into place. It would be really nice if the plans we make could be seen through without any bumps along the road. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out the way that we planned.

However, maybe it’s not unfortunate because there are times when beautiful things happen along the way to the plans that we originally made. Sometimes we find things that make us grow as a person and people that help us become better than who we were before we headed out on our journey. There are moments that we sometimes miss looking for what was supposed to be.

Life is about growing and becoming better versions of ourselves with every passing day. Staying true to a plan that has outgrown us isn’t necessarily beneficial to you or the people whose lives you are meant to touch and impact. We can’t always fit in to a place in which we no longer belong and trying to continue to do so just hinders our growth. Growth isn’t always going to be as beautiful of a transition as is one from a caterpillar to a butterfly but if we keep in mind that the uneasy and uncomfortable parts of change make for beautiful results in the end then it makes all of it worthwhile.

The beautiful things that we are expecting out of life, they aren’t just going to magically appear. They aren’t always going to have some alluring transition into this masterpiece of a result without some twists, turns, and uneasiness. There is a process we must grow through in order to get the life that we truly want, the life we know we deserve. What we truly want for our lives comes on the other side of time.

Until next time… #BeDiligent #BeMotivated #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Can There Be Grace In Failure?

Last week I felt like I was failing on multiple levels. I couldn’t seem to get anything to go right or work out right and I wasn’t saying all the right things to the people around me. It was just not my best week. However, when I go back and look at my footage for my writing vlog on my YouTube channel that I filmed all last week I see that while yes, everything didn’t go as I had planned it or wanted it to go, I also didn’t completely fail at everything. And what I did fail in, I learned some lessons from what I didn’t do right. I guess that’s the thing about the way we perceive things and how it may be seen to the outside world.

The thing that I can’t seem to get a handle on is how to have grace with myself. I try and sometimes I think I have a handle on a good self-care routine that allows me to have that grace. But most of the time it’s my own expectations of myself and my abilities that make it hard for me to cut myself any slack. I don’t typically worry about the expectations others have of me and that is because my own bar for myself is so unattainably high that I can’t seem to get over or around it. I want big things out of life. I want to leave a big legacy for my daughter and in this world. I can’t do that playing things small and yet I constantly feel like that is what I’m doing.

It seems that I’m always having to adjust my goals because I simply can’t seem to reach them, at least not in their entirety. It’s like I come close but fall short on so many levels. When I saw the above quote, it made me think about the fact that even in my losses perhaps there are still some wins in the lessons that I am able to take away and apply towards the next attempt that I make. It reminds me that as long as I at least give it a solid try and truly put in the effort to achieve the goals I set out to accomplish then I haven’t really failed because there are so many people who just don’t try at all.

I suppose the point in all of this is to say if you too struggle to allow yourself grace, if you also beat yourself up for the goals that you don’t get accomplished, that you are not alone in that mental tug of war. Try to remember, as I will also, that it’s not about how many times you get pushed back from the goal line or get knocked down. It’s about getting back up and pushing through towards that goal line. It’s about not giving up and letting the doubts in your mind win. it’s about taking the lessons that you learn from the initial blow and applying them to your next attempt. Make sure that you are taking some mental breaks from the pressure that you put on yourself and remember that taking care of yourself is also a win. It’s a win for your mental health.

If you are looking for some suggestions of some things you can do to show yourself some grace and maybe take better care of yourself, I just did a video last week, mostly for writers, but it applies to anyone really, about ways to better take care of your mental health in high stress periods of time. I hope that you check it out and I hope that you make just as much of an effort to show yourself some grace.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeHopeful #BeMindful

Jimmetta Carpenter

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We Have Reached the Writing Holiday Portion of the Year

It’s a new month and we have now entered a Writer’s favorite season, or at least this writer’s favorite season. It is Prep-Tober which is the month that we take to get ready and organized for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) in which writers challenge themselves to essentially fast draft a novel in only a month. To people who aren’t writers it sounds absolutely crazy to take on this challenge but to a writer this is our holiday season, and we get totally hyped up for it.

Now the secret that I’m not sure a lot of writers will really tell you is that it’s not really about whether we can finish the novel, in actuality it is about the community of writers that we have built up and the support that we give to one another throughout the entire month. That’s not to say that we don’t support one another every other month in the year but during Prep-Tober and NaNoWriMo that community outreach and support is multiplied times a hundred because it’s the one time a year where all of our goals are pretty much synced up in the same way.

I love this time of year because typically it is when I get to map out a brand-new project (I have done a couple of NaNo’s as a rebel before though) and I get to flesh out one of the many shiny new ideas that plague me throughout the year. I’m excited to get back to writing in my mystery series as I will be writing the fourth book in that series. Mystery is where my heart really is in terms of writing, well mystery and contemporary fiction, but mostly mystery. I do want to also write a historical fiction romance book but I’m not mentally or emotionally ready to write that one just yet, maybe next year.

If you too are writing a novel this November, I hope that you will come join the AuthorTube Community over on YouTube and perhaps subscribe to my channel (link is below) and some other wonderful channels over there to get your dose of community and, if you need it, help with your stories and overall motivation for the task at hand. Writing is not an easy feat, and it is inherently a solitary act, but it doesn’t always have to be. I hope that you all have a wonderful first week of October and if you are also a writer and are joining in on the excitement of our season, that your Prep-Tober kicks off in spectacular fashion.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeMotivated #BeInspired

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Never Give Up On You

In case you missed the talk of the Emmy’s last week, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph won her first Emmy at 65 years old for supporting actress in a comedy series. Only the second black woman, with the first black woman having won 35 years ago. Now the fact that she finally won an award that she is overqualified for and should have won a long time ago isn’t the takeaway of the night for me. Her acceptance speech, in which she sang a song about being an endangered species and knowing where her voice belongs as an artist, and then went on to tell the audience that that moment was what believing looked like and that if you ever have a dream, you should never give up on yourself. I think I replayed that speech about a dozen times that night and probably another two dozen since then. It was something that I didn’t even realize I needed to hear.

The last couple of weeks I have been feeling quite defeated and a bit kicked around by the universe. It’s been making me question my talent and my abilities, and even someone with as much faith as I have can get bogged down by self-doubt. I’ve been wondering with all the hard work that I put into writing and being a creative individual why success seems to continually elude me. Now my definition of success is not the typical fame or fortune, which I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want just a little bit. Rather what success looks like to me is accomplishing what I set out to do in this world, fulfilling the purpose I truly believe I’m here for, and taking care of people who need to be cared for. Success to me would be having an impact on others in some meaningful way.

I have never had an easy road on this journey we call life. Things have definitely been rough at some points, damn near unbearable at others, with a few bright spots along the way. Sometimes I forget that just because things don’t happen as quickly as I want them to, or think they should, doesn’t mean that they are forever out of reach. I also tend to forget that what I do does matter to some and acknowledgment can come from even the most surprising places.

I don’t think that I have ever quit at anything in my life. Not anything that meant anything to me anyway. I may have had moments where I took a break, had to recharge my drive for just a bit, get my bearings together after a big letdown, but never have I quit. I’m just not made that way. When I heard that acceptance speech from Sheryl Lee Ralph, it just reinvigorated me and reminded me of what I already knew deep down inside. That I can never, ever give up on me. So, if you need someone to tell you that it’s okay to rest and recharge but don’t stay down. If you need someone to remind you of what you’re working towards and to keep pushing through. Then let me tell you, get up and look in the mirror and say to yourself “Never give up on you.”

Until next time… #BeDiligent #BeRelentless #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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