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

Right or Wrong?
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' Husband Will Go on Space Mission

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 4: Mark Kelly, astronaut and husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), talks about his plans for the upcoming shuttle mission at the Johnson Space Center February 4, 2011 in Houston, Texas. The Endeavour space shuttle commander plans to resume his training and take part in the mission, which is scheduled to launch on April 19. Rep Giffords was shot in the head by a gunman at an appearance in Tucson, Arizona in January. (Photo by Eric Kayne/Getty Images)
 Astronaut Cdr. Mark Kelley and husband of Gabrielle Giffords recently announced he will blast off for an upcoming  space mission this April that will keep him away for a few weeks.  Right or Wrong? I say WRONG. Before I explain why I disagree with Cdr. Kelly's decision, I must say that I admire his strength and composure since that horrible shooting in Arizona. I'm not arguing  Cdr. Kelly is a bad man. He's been with the congresswoman since the beginning of this tragedy. And my heart goes out to him. But do you mind if I keep it real?  This man's wife was shot point blank, close range in the head by a gunman popping of a 9mm Glock semiautomatic.  Miraculously Rep. Giffords survived, while six others did not. It has taken a team of good doctors and her fighting like hell to live. And she's still fighting for a full recovery. So why leave?

Kelly said in a press conference, "I know her very well and she would be very comfortable with the decision that I made." The public isn't fully aware of her condition, but saying "she would be" okay with the decision sounds to me like she doesn't know what is going on.

Cdr. Kelly is not new new to space.  He flown in space three times already. If I was laying in a hospital  bed recovering from a bullet soaring through my brain I would want my husband by my side. If the situation was reversed, I would be at my husband's bedside. Cdr Kelly said he wanted to go to ensure his crew has a safe and successful voyage. I understand he and the astronauts have been training for more than a year for this trip. What if Gabby's condition takes a turn for the worse and he's up in space?  Or what if she looks for him and he's not there?

SOUND OFF What do you think of Cdr. Mark Kelly's decision to board the space shuttle and be away from his wife for a few weeks?

I have to bring gender into this. Do you think a woman is just as likely to make the same decision as Cdr. Kelly?


  1. Cmdr Kelly will realize later on if he had made an unwise decision. This is a turning point in their lives .. a fork in the road.

    If I am Rep. Gifford and I woke up with him in space, it will let me know that his career is more important than her life.

  2. So, I'm going to go to the other side and say that I would not mind my husband going on a space mission, while unconscious in the hospital. I know it sounds harsh. But personally from my experience with the aerospace industry, I understand the expensive complications of any space mission. Any space mission delay/change costs hundreds of millions of dollars, (which essentially is a taxpayer's cost). I'm not placing monetary or mission value over human life, but knowing and ensuring that she is safe and well taken care of is his first responsibility. I believe he has done that. I'm also sure he knows the emotional needs of his wife, and knows how she would feel about his decision.

  3. @Burbank and Hadiyah--Thanks for your diverse opinions! Hadiyah I don't think your opinion sounds harsh. That's how you would feel if you were in the same situation as the congresswoman. I would feel more like Burbank. Especially since he has been in space three times. Plus you have worked in the space industry Hadiyah, so you're looking at it from a different angle than I am. Giffords might be okay with it becuase she may see his space voyage as a service to our country. Who knows?


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