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

Speak On It! Iyanla Vanzant and Essence blogger Jai Stone Call For Black Women to Get it Together Part I

OWN's Iyanla Vanzant schools black women in this Madam Noire

Last year I picked up my friend from the Oakland airport. We were going to celebrate my birthday in Napa. I was wearing a Spelman sweatshirt. I stopped off at the gas station to fill up and clean my dirty windows before hitting the road. When I pulled up to the gas station, the 3rd spot on the end was empty. Two other cars occupied the pumps in front of me. While pumping my gas, the other two cars left and a raggedy, white car pulled up behind me. There was no pump behind me, but the two in front were empty.  The driver was a black woman. A few minutes passed and I hear the driver saying something about, “This bitch needs to move her car.” Long story short, I figured the woman was talking about me. By then most of the station’s pumps were available. I kindly said, “Sista, you can pull around.” But she wanted me to move. She follows me into the store where I got my change and called me a “stupid bitch.” She kept calling me “stupid” and mentioned that she couldn’t move her car far because she was out of gas.  I didn’t know if she had a gun, but I could tell she wanted to fight. I think the real reason why she was angry with me was because she saw my Spelman sweatshirt, UCSD alumni license plate frame and my car looked better than hers. She tried to get a rise out of me by calling me “stupid” because she knew I wasn’t (My friend in the car is a lawyer and witnessed the whole thing. So if she attacked me, who would’ve been the stupid one? ). I ignored her which made her angrier. So I walked away, got in my car and went home to change for Napa. I thought about that woman at the gas station and other sistas after watching Iyanla’s interview with where says black women are “out of order.”

“We dishonor, betray and defile one another,” Vanzant said. And she’s right. Sadly, so many reality shows like the Real Housewives, Basketball Wives, etc. make money off of black women acting catty and bitchy with each other.

“We live in a society now where women are commodities, “ Vanzant said. “Where women are demeaned, diminished, demoralized in ways that we accommodate. And if we really understood who we are, as feminine representation of the Creator of the Universe…we wouldn’t be so apt to let other people define us and confine us. We are out of order. “

Amen Iyanla. WE ARE OUT OF ORDER. And we don’t know who we are. Sometimes I see younger sistas in the store talking loud, cussing, talking about their boyfriend and some girl that wants him, etc. And if they only knew their greatness and their ancestry… if they only knew they are more than their hair, their vagina, their breasts, their extensions, their acrylic nails, they’re boyfriends, they’re baby daddies and husbands, their cars, their man’s car, their designer bags and clothes. Like Iyanla said they wouldn’t allow others to “define and confine us.”

And finally Iyanla hits another homerun when she said, “There’s no reason for us to continue to have children with men who don’t honor us and don’t take care of their children.”

Sometimes I see mothers talking so bad to their children. I’m talking about the one’s that you can clearly see are abusive. And parts of me wonder if they’re taking out their anger for the child’s father on the child.  Sometimes people change. And maybe there were no signs that the father would turn out to be a deadbeat. But some women get plenty of signs that the men they’re with ain’t shit and still get pregnant by him anyway. Many of us probably know a woman who settled with a man they knew, and everybody else knew, wasn’t a good man or a good father. Sista stop settling for the sperm!

Iyanla’s video wasn’t the only thing on point this past week. Essence magazine’s “Emotional Nudity”blogger Jai Stone had me shouting AMEN too.  I'll tell you why in Part 2


  1. Wow. Interestingly, I just posted my video about this very subject. We need to learn how to tap into our divine power, so we don't settle for the "fake power". Thanks sis, for ignoring that sister on that day. She just may have went home and thought long and hard about the encounter you and her had. You ROCK! :D

    1. Thanks! I hope she went home and thought about her behavior, but I would be surprised. Acting a fool seemed to come naturally to her. I agree with you that such an attitude is really "fake power."

  2. That was so true! Black women today are out of order. I love that Iyanla took a stand to say something about it. I'm glad you shared this.

    1. Iyanla has been getting a lot of flack from sistas for her message. I think many of us are out of order. I guess the truth hurts.

      I just saw your post about you going to your 10 year high school reunion. How was it?


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