Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

Cocoa Bits:
Jennifer Hudson, Rafael Nadal,
Kelly Rowland

I've only been away from my blog for a few days and there's so much to talk about. First, thanks to all those who listened to me on NPR's "News and Notes" Friday. I enjoyed talking about Pres. Obama's stimulus plan, bipartisianship on Capitol Hill, unions and former Illinois Gov. Blagojevich.

Jennfier Hudson Super Star at the Super Bowl
Wasn't it great to see Jennifer Hudson on Sunday night? J Hud did a phenomenal job singing the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. Watch out Whitney! MTV and other news outlets report that Hudson lip synched the song. I could tell by watching her that it wasn't live. The producers say they made the call on J-Hud and Faith Hill, who sang "America the Beautiful" to perform a recorded track. That's disappointing because both ladies can sing. If I paid $1,000 for a Super Bowl seat I'd want a live performance in addition to a good game. I have to call out the media on their coverage of this lip synching story. For a while I didn't know that both J-Hud and Faith Hill lip synched. Most of the headlines I saw read "Jennifer Hudson Lip Synched Performance." I didn't see Faith Hill's name until I read the subtitle or the body of the article. I know people were probably more interested in Hudson's performance because this was her first public appearance since her family's tragedy. But the media should've been more fair. Hudson has a lot of things to look forward too. She's up for 4 Grammy awards, 7 NAACP Image Awards and she' going on tour this spring. None of those things can bring her family back but maybe doing what she loves best can help her some.

Nadal Unstoppable at the Australian Open, Makes Opponent Cry
I know very, very, very little about sports. I get baseball. But I can watch a whole game of football, basketball and tennis and still be unclear about the rules. Remind me again, what's the purpose of a safety in football? I know I'm pitiful. However I do watch sports, especially tennis. One of my favorite players aside from Venus and Serena is Spain's Rafael Nadal. I missed the Australian Open last weekend where he beat Swiss tennis great Roger Federer from Switzerland. Federer is ranked second in the world and Nadal is number one. They're both good players and when they go against each other it's like a battle. So why did Federer, a grown 26-year-old man cry after he lost? Federer was number one for three or four years until last year and some consider him one of the greatest tennis players in history. I imagine going from being number one to chasing the number spot can be hard on the ego. Remember that Nelly song--"I am number one. Two is not a winner and three nobody remembers." I don't agree with Nelly's theory. I have a little bit of advice to Mr. Federer. Next time save the tears for the locker room and wait until the cameras are off.

Kelly Rowland tells manager Matthew Knowles PEACE, I'M OUT

FINALLY!!!! This story came out last week but I'm glad Kelly Rowland left the Knowles Empire. None of her singles made me want to buy her albums. Her songs got little airplay. I think Mr. Knowles was putting more energy into his daughters Beyonce and Solange. I always liked Kelly and saw potential so hopefully her career will really take off now. Kelly and Mr. Knowles both released statements saying they're still like family. Hope so since Kelly lived with the Knowles family during most of her childhood. Kelly is blowing up in Europe and now lives there. She has not released any news of who is her new manager. Kelly has a lot to prove with her next album. Maybe her former Destiny Child's group mate Michelle Williams will jump ship next.
A few years back I produced a NPR interview with Mr. Knowles. He and I spoke afterwards. Nice conversation. I knew he didn't grow up with a lot of money so I asked him does all this success surprise you sometimes. He told me he always envisioned being big in the music world. He constantly saw his goals in his mind and believed he could achieve them. That was his key to success. The conversation to this day inspires me to dream big. And Kelly's move reminds me that sometimes you gotta make changes to turn your dreams into reality.


  1. I had no idea how talented Jennifer Hudson is until i heard her sing the National Anthem (lip synched? oh well...)


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