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

Lots of Fun and Love:
Paul C. Brunson Stops in San Francisco on It's Complicated Live Tour

I did not expect to have so much fun at Bloomingdales on Saturday with matchmaker Paul C. Brunson and nearly 200 people (mostly women). I didn’t expect a Kool-Aid quiz or people getting their Caribbean wine dance on. But somehow it all tied into the love advice we were all seeking.

Paul is the author of It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love.  And he stars on the OWN (as in Oprah’s OWN) show Lovetown, USA. He’s dropping love knowledge all over the world with the “It’s Complicated Live Tour.” In San Francisco, the DJ was spinning good music while we sipped a yummy, orange drink out of flutes, snacked on chocolate treats, caught a fashion show and watched professional Chicago Steppers.

As you know I’ve received some off-the-walllove advice. So I was looking for tips I could apply in my life. I really need it since Paul informed us San Francisco has one of the lowest marriage rates in the country. We’re at 20%, compared to the national average of 40-50%. I interviewed Paul about my bad love advice and you can listen to that podcast below or here. Our discussion was a lot of fun and he even shared some breaking news on Cocoa Fly about a big project. For those who attended the event, you’ll appreciate it because Paul and I talked about things not covered at Bloomingdales.

Paul C. Brunson speaking to the Bay Area audience. 
Paul said the secret to matching yourself up with a special someone is to know your relationship vitals.

Values—What are your values? What are your guiding principles? What do you live for?

Know Your Personality Type (based on the Carl Jung and Meyers-Briggs personality theory).  Which one of these are you? Which personality is more compatible for you when it comes to a mate?
 Analyst—always wants to be right, are mindful of how their actions will impact
other people. (this is me)
Controller—task and results orientated, rigid, don’t always listen closely to other people
Supporter—loyal, patient, good listeners
Promoter—energetic, fun, motivators but don’t finish what they started.

Non-Starters—Things that impact the health or happiness of your relationship. For example, if your partner is okay with doing drugs and you’re not. Or if he/she believes in open marriage and you want monogamy.

Attraction – This is not the same as “He’s tall, bald, muscular and fine.” Attraction is different from finding someone attractive. Does the person share your values? If so, is there some romantic chemistry?


These people volunteered for Paul's attraction activity. I can't
believe they didn't know each other. They had crazy chemistry. 

Right before they got their wine on. These two were hilarious. 

Later Paul addressed broken hearts and how many of us feel like we can’t love again. We did this cool activity where he asked us our childhood crushes and how they made us feel. Mine was Christopher Reeve and in my childhood fantasy of flying with him over Metropolis, he made me feel like a princess and protected. He’s still my favorite Superman.

Next Paul asked us our adult crushes and how they made us feel. Mine is LL Cool J and he makes me feel sexy (FYI, Idris Elba name has been mentioned the most on Paul’s worldwide tour). The light bulb came on for us in the audience. Our crushes served a purpose for us at certain times in our life. And after we outgrew Superman, Al B. Sure, Usher, DeVante from Jodeci, we moved on to other crushes. The same goes for a broken heart. We can love again. Things change and what we’re looking for in love does too.

My heart has healed after being run over by a steamroller. I agree with Paul’s suggestions for working through a broken heart.

Work your butt off
Paul says appearance matters. My favorite look
from the fashion show. 
I had to work through my issues, figure out what went wrong and what I closed my eyes to in the relationship. It took tears, reflection, self-analysis, cherry chocolate- chip ice cream, a lot of flirting, working out after the ice cream and telling myself that I deserve the best.

Recognize everything you can control in your life.
When things spin out of control and you look up to find yourself single, it’s empowering to know what you still have control over. I knew I couldn’t control my ex, but I could control my reaction to the breakup. I knew I could steer myself back to joy.

 Identify what you can’t control
It may sound scary, but this can be very liberating. He didn’t want to stay. I couldn’t make him stay. He didn’t want to change. He left. I recognized that. And after accepting this, I eventually moved on and let him go from my heart.  It’s like the Serenity Prayer.

 Give it up to a Higher Power. Surrender.
It’s like that saying, “Let Go. Let God.” And once you let them go and let God or the Universe handle it, then you realize the blessing. And him dogging me, turned out to be a blessing.

I walked away with good info and a lot of laughs. Check Paul’s website to see if he’s coming to your city. And listen to my fun interview with him for more love 411. 

Paul greets a fan at the signing.

Chicago Steppers for closing entertainment.


  1. Great interview, Jenee! Paul is awesome.

    1. @Erika Thank you! Paul is great. I enjoyed interviewing him. He's a really nice guy.

  2. Being ready for and finding love can be a tricky journey but sooo worth it...Great post...Paul is awesome :)

    1. @Jackie-Glad you like the post. You are so right. I'm 30-ish and I'm still trying to figure out what I want in "The One."

  3. Heeeeyyy, that's me! I had such a wonderful time, I got waaaay more than i even bargained for. I never imagined I'd be dancing in Bloomingdales w/a Stranger in a room full of strangers, lol. It was Perfect!

    1. Raimone @PlayboyMone (Twitter/ Instagram)February 25, 2013 at 11:46 PM

      I hope just as many people asked you did you get my number that asked me did I get yours!

    2. @LaShonda--Girl you were working it out on the stage! I think it's awesome that you danced on stage, at Bloomingdales in front of strangers. That's called Living Life!

  4. Raimone aka @PlayboyMone (Twitter&Instagram)February 25, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Great Interview! Heeeeeeeeey, I had a great time dancing with LaShonda. Everybody kept asking me why didnt I get her number, but she disappeared after the show. I guess my 'WIND' was too powerful!

    1. @Raimone-Thanks for the photo and glad you liked the interview. Raimone don't come on here dropping excuses. LOL Maybe if LaShonda sees this, she'll holla at you.

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