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

Janelle Monae's New Video

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 27: Singer Janelle Monae attends BET's Rip The Runway 2010 at the Hammerstein Ballroom on February 27, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
"Cold War" is one of the songs I keep on repeat when I'm jamming to futuristic funky diva Janelle Monae. The song, from her ArchAndroid album, is about the struggle of being an individual and not following the crowd.

So you think I'm alone?
But being alone's the only way to be
When you step outside
You spend life fighting for your sanity

This is a cold war
You better know what you're fighting for
This is a cold war
Do you know what you're fighting for?

"Cold War" is kind of along the lines of the "Group Think" theory Erykah Badu addresses in "Window Seat." I recently turned 31 and the great thing about getting older is the less I care about what others think. And the more I realize I can't make everyone happy. When I first decided to name this blog Cocoa Fly, some people thought I should name it something else. But I followed my heart and most people tell me they like the name of my blog when they first hear it. And I'm so happy I ignored a professor at my journalism school who told me I didn't have the right voice for radio. Thank goodness I had enough sense to do what I KNEW was right.
That's not to say I don't take others feelings into consideration. I know my actions, big or small, can affect many. But as my grandmother says, "Child, you can't always listen to folks because they'll have you running." Think about it. What if Prince, Barbara Streisand, Terry McMillan, Cosmo magazine founder Helen Gurley Brown, Jospehine Baker and others followed the crowd? Ask yourself are you living to please yourself or others?

Check out the "Cold War" video below. The whole video is closeup of Monae. She actually dropped the tux in this one. I wish more people would look past her signature tuxedos because she's really beautiful. Notice her rich brown skin and the angles of her facial bone structure. Makes me want to use my Mary Kay mask tonight ;)


  1. I totally agree about Janelle...most people are too stuck on how they think she looks than how flawless she actually is. Her bone structure and eyes are ridiculous! And the girl can sing.

    Anywhoo, I also agree with you about the name of your blog. I was told the same thing about my blog (The Broken Brown Egg), by friends, but now when readers send me private messages, their liking it(the name)is usually the first thing they say. And I love yours!

  2. @ Mrs Tiye-- Thanks for your comment and I love the name of your blog. I also love the subject. What a great concept. I think b/c of the way black people have been racialized and sexualized, you rarely hear about us have fertility challenges. Usually you hear stories about us having too many children we can't care for. And sometimes we as black people are not comfortable disucssing fertility challenges. I wish you and your husband luck in conceiving. One of my relatives had the same issue. After giving up on the idea of a baby and having a bit too much Patron tequilla on New Years Eve his wife became pregnant. You never know what may work :)

  3. Sorry for the typos, it's waaaaayyyyy past my bedtime.


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