We Can’t Always Be In Bloom

It is impossible to be continually productive, every single minute, of every single day, in every single year. With that knowledge, I’m wondering why I keep beating myself up when a few minutes go by without me being productive on something. I haven’t been doing so great with my writing these last few weeks, mostly because my schedule changed due to taking on things to better provide financially for me and my daughter who has just entered college. The problem with doing things you have to do to survive is that the things that feed your soul (in my case, writing) fall by the wayside and that is literally killing me.

I’ve said it here many times before, but writing is like breathing for me. If I can’t write, then I am not a very happy person and probably not pleasant to be around. Writing makes me happy; it helps me think, it allows me to expel emotions that I would otherwise hold onto, and it just centers me. I have not found the balance yet and it is making me depressed and anxious and extremely overwhelmed and unhappy.

I shared some more about these struggles in a video I posted on my YouTube channel last week for Mental Health Awareness Month and I go more in detail about what I’ve been struggling with and just how much it’s been affecting me. It did make me realize (along with a really good friend of mine) that I am not a machine, and I cannot always be in the doing phase. Sometimes I just have to be in the phase of simply being and I have to be okay with that. It’s hard for me because so much of my identity is tied into my writing. I mean I’ve been writing since I was little (like 8 or 9) to get all of the emotions I could never verbalize out so to not be able to find the balance to do what I love is hurting.

I am going to try and work out a schedule to see if I can figure out a way to balance it all out without losing sleep (which was my initial plan) and have even crafted a schedule that I am crossing my fingers and praying it works but even in saying that I know that to protect my mental health I am going to have to be okay even if I don’t figure it out. It’s okay if everything I want doesn’t happen all at once.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeReflective #BePatient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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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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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

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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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

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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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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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

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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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

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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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

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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In a World of Leaves and Branches, Make Sure You Know Who Your Roots Are

I saw a social media post this morning that got me thinking about the thought process we have sometimes behind creating our circle of friends and the standards or boundaries we set, or often times don’t set. The post was essentially about not putting too much of our burdens on our friends, particularly if we aren’t reciprocating and allowing them to cast some of theirs on us as well. Now obviously our friendships should never be viewed as a burden but so many friendships are rarely fifty-fifty. There’s always a little lopsidedness going on at different points in the relationship.

I suppose the question lies in how we distinguish between friends and associates. Then the question becomes do we limit what our friends can put on us and to what extent because the shoe can always be placed on the other foot. This brings up that Tyler Perry play that I saw once (can’t remember the exact name at this moment) where he gave advice about knowing people’s place in our lives and comparing it to a tree of life scenario.

There are some people who are just the leaves on our tree of life, those acquaintances that we wouldn’t really classify as friends, but they are not without their added value in our lives. They may have very well come along just to show us something about ourselves that we needed to see through someone else’s eyes. Then there are those branches, those friends who are there for just a season. They are there to get us through something, most likely they are equipped with something that we are lacking just a little of so they can help us get through. They are necessary and they are most certainly a blessing, but they aren’t meant to stay and sometimes it can do more harm than good trying to hold onto the branches of a tree that have long since served their purpose.

Then there are those roots. Those friends who have a firm place in your life and who hold you up when you are collapsing and who, without them, you wouldn’t be who you are. They are the ones who ground you and remind you not only of who you are, but of whose you are even when you sometimes forget. They don’t have to necessarily be friends you’ve known all your life either. Sometimes you can just have met someone who does so much in a short period of time to change your life and your perspective that it can feel like you’ve known them for a lifetime.

In creating your circle of friends don’t get hung up on how many friends you have around you, going for the maximum number possible. It’s not the size of the circle that matters, but rather the quality of the people within that circle. It’s whether you have a whole bunch of leaves that you have not yet swept away. It’s whether you have far too many branches that need to be removed. It’s whether you are watering and nurturing those roots in order to sustain the tree itself.

You can have just three solid root friends and still have the best circle than that of someone who has 20 friends who are leaves and branches. It’s not about accumulating a massive amount of people around you. It’s about having the people around you be the best ones to add value to your life, and you to theirs. The roots are where the value of the tree lies. Get yourself some roots and make sure that you are someone else’s root!

Until next time… #BeMindful #BePatient #BeKind 

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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