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

Switch It Up!
Live Like a Tourist in Your Home Town

"Switch It Up" is a Cocoa Fly series encouraging women to step out of the box, break it down and put it in the recycle bin. It's time to have fun and live it up!

Girl, what did you do this weekend? Did you have fun or was it the same ol place and people? Last time we "Switched It Up" I suggested traveling abroad. But if you're wallet can't even stretch to Paris, Texas then try living in your city like a tourist. I don't mean a "Staycation." That's not adventurous enough for me. Go places you've never gone before in your city or region. Check out online travel sites, look up your city and see spots they suggest for tourists. If you live in a big city like Chicago or San Francisco, you may discover new places or activities. When my mom visited LA we did the usual like go to the Getty Museum (see picture above). I also sought out events that were new for me. I had no idea the Los Angeles County Museum of Art hosts free jazz concerts every Friday night until I looked up tourists activities. The concert was a first time for Mom and I and we were grooving.

Another way to discover new spots is through I love, love, love this website. You join different groups of your interests--hiking, concerts, book clubs, sports etc., and go to events organized by the group leader. I've seen a group for lesbians who play poker, roller skating for adults, atheists, Glenn Beck name it. It's a great way to explore activities you're into but your friends may not dig. Since I've joined Meetup I've learned about so many other places in the LA area. I was tired of going to the same spots, seeing the same people, doing the same thing zzzzzzzzzzzz. BORING. Earlier this year, I channeled my inner college girl attitude, decided to explore LA from a different angle and Switch It Up! I've had a lot of fun and made business connections too. Once my back fully heals I'm ready to take on hiking. I'm a girly-girl but I'm willing to break a nail to get in touch with nature.

Photo Credit:
Darden/ waterfall at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles


  1. is a great way to discover different things in your city. I joined a dinner dining group and have gotten to eat at restaurants that I'd either never heard of or always wanted to go to but couldn't find anyone to go with me. I also suggest taking walking tours. Many cities have neighborhood or culturally specific tours that are relatively inexpensive. I did a walking tour of U Street, a historically African-American neighborhood in DC, when my cousin came to town and learned so much about the city's history.

  2. Joining restauant groups is a good idea too. There's all kind of stuff to do on Meetup. I've been wanting to do a tour of downtown LA. I haven't been to Washington since 2003. I know U Street has changed a lot since then. Thanks for the suggestions!


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