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

Back Up Off the First Lady

Say what you want to say about the Obamas they know how to work it! I was extra proud to be an American this week during the G-20 summit in London. The world showed the President and Mrs. Obama love. They are such a handsome couple and they represented our country well. Our FLOTUS looked great. I loved her hair, the clothes and her arms were banging as usual. The world is beginning to like America again, and I'm glad global leaders came together to map out how to fix this global finance mess.

While many of us enjoyed the spotlight on the Obamas, especially Michelle, there were those getting drunk off the Haterade. And one of their targets was our First Lady. The haters were looking to criticize her for something, anything. Then their opportunity came when she touched Queen Elizabeth II's back in a friendly gesture. Ooooh, she breached protocol. Actually, she didn't. Buckingham Palace released a statement today.

"It was a mutual and spontaneous display of affection and appreciation between the Queen and Michelle Obama," the Royal Press Office said in a statement Thursday. "The London Summit reception at Buckingham Palace was an informal occasion," the statement also said.

You can read the rest on CNN.

Okay so she didn't offend the Queen. That didn't stop Mrs. Obama's critics from ordering another round of Haterade. What about the hair and her clothes? Some said her hairstyle was too high and poofy. I thought it looked just fine. Over at the Huffington Post, Bonnie Fuller ripped the First Lady, saying that Mrs. Obama's choices turned her from a fashion icon into a "fashion disaster." She described her forehead as a "landing strip" because she found it "huge. Fuller also advised her to break out books on Jackie O and hire a stylist. Ya'll know I shook my head and rolled my eyes after reading this article.

Lady O rocked the U.K. Calling her a "fashion disaster" is extreme especially since it seems most people gave her rave reviews. I will admit that I was not feeling the blue sweater she wore to London's Royal Opera House. Yet the sista is no where near a fashion disaster. And I appreciate that her outfits aren't over the top flashy during these harsh economic times. As for the comments on her forehead, are we in grade school on the playground? And finally, Michelle Obama is NOT Jackie O. I'm tired of folks saying, "Jackie Kennedy wouldn't do this. Jackie Kennedy wouldn't wear that," when Mrs. Obama does something people don't like. Michelle Obama is making her own legacy and Jackie Kennedy is not the current First Lady. Last time I checked my calendar it read 2009, not 1962.

But comments like Fuller's aren't what I take serious issue with. People have talked about Lady O's looks, called her "angry," "militant" and "unpatriotic." She was even called "trash" and "bitch" by pundits. I was so frustrated when I heard the "trash" and "bitch" reference. It makes me angry because there are racist undertones to some of these comments. Would they call her these things if she weren't black? I've never seen a First Lady so criticized, attacked and disrespected. I didn't always agree with the way Pres. G.W. Bush ran the country but I never thought to call Laura Bush vulgar names or Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, Nancy Regan, etc. SOME people can't handle seeing an intelligent black woman who is poised and living a luxurious lifestyle. They probably think she should be cleaning the White House like in the "good ol' days" instead of residing in it. I wonder if they'd be more comfortable if she was out of shape, ignorant and ended all her sentences with "you know what I'm sayin.'"

Keep holding your head high Mrs. Obama. Hold it up high all the way to Buckingham Palace, Air Force One and your 132-room mansion.

And to all the ladies out there who are doing the right thing, but are getting hated on by classmates, teachers, family members, co-workers, "friends," enemies, ex-boyfriends, strangers, you name it--remember this:

" But my description cannot fit your tongue, for I have a certain way of being in this world, and I shall not, I shall not be moved."
---from the Maya Angelous poem "Our Grandmothers"


  1. Cocoafly you've penned it "write-on" once again. Those negative words are from people who can't stand to see a sista in a position where she is much loved. They might as well sit back and enjoy the ride because the love will continue to flow. You Go Mrs. Obama.


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