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

I Can't Get Everything I Want on Black Friday

I still can't believe how some American shoppers act on Black Friday. I saw the video of people fighting over pre-paid cellphones at Walmart and the stampede at a Victoria Secret in Oklahoma.  What are they putting in the panties and bras at Victoria's Secret? While watching the chaos, I thought for people to behave like that, what they need can't be found in a Walmart bargain bin, like sense and manners.  And maybe better paying jobs or financial planning so they don't have to damn near risk their lives for a cellphone.

I won't lie to you.  I hit up the Black Friday sales. But I always wait until after the chaos. I took the train to the mall at noon. By then, the hardcore shoppers were nestled in their beds, with visions of Walmart bargain bins fights replaying in their heads. There was nothing really on my heart that I really wanted, aside for a pair of tall, flat leather boots. We scoured the whole mall and the only thing that made me whip out my wallet were button up, business shirts that were on sale at JC Penny for $12.  What I really, really, really want, I can't get on a shopping trip on Black Friday.

--I want to rent a nice one-bedroom apartment in a certain area SOON that fits my budget.
--I want to see the world and write about it.
--I want to make more money.
--I want my public speaking career to take off.
--I want this blog and my podcasts to take off.
--I want success, based on how I define it.
--I want to be a bestselling author.
--I want more time in the day.
--I want my dentist to have a change of heart and take my insurance.
--I want to own a flat in London and a house in Napa.
-- I want to have dinner with Oprah and the Obamas.
--I want to interview Janel Monae.

It's not just the material things I can't find at Target's electronic department.

--I want peace in the world.
--I want AIDS, cancer and hunger eradicated.
--I want the human race to take better care of our planet.
--I want the criticism of our president that has racist undertones to stop.
--I want more humanity in our world.
--I want child sex trafficking to end, especially in my neighborhood.

Then there's the nostalgia…

--I want to go over my late great aunt's house for Thanksgiving and eat her tamale pie again like we used to do every year.
--I want to watch my late grandfather make magic over the stove.
--I want my colleague who passed away recently to walk into my office, give me a hug and complain about his day.
--I want Whitney to get a second chance at life and heal from whatever pain that drove her to drugs.
--I want to eat dairy without getting sick. I miss milk, cheese and ice cream.

Then there are the really superficial things…

--I want to film and reenact Charlize Theron's J'adore commercials.
--I want to sunbathe in Europe on a yacht while wearing a white bikini with a cute guy stretched out next to me.
--I want to be cast as the next Catwoman.
--I want to fly to Vegas with my girlfriends, stay in a 5-star hotel and rent a limo. Then I want us to shop our behinds off, club hop, go to the spas and get front row seats to all of the shows. I want this to be an annual thing.  And I want us to do this in Paris, Spain, etc.
--I want to do photoshoots with David Bechkham and Trey Songz.

There are other superficial things I want, but I'll keep them to myself because you will think I'm off the hook.  Bwahaha.

This is not even half of my list of wants. My lack of desire for material things at the mall is a blessing. It means I have a lot. Despite my long list of wants, I'm happy that I have good health, a job, my family and friends, shelter, clothes and my car.  The last three years have been tough for me, but things are changing for the better.  After being unemployed for 2+ years, getting in a horrible car accident that thankfully didn't kill me and scraping by, I know how blessed I am. And those things make you realize what's important.  For that, I'm thankful.