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

Cocoa Fly Works and Plays Hard in Atlanta during Blogalicous 5.

The city of Atlanta has always been good to me. And no doubt, did I have a great time again in “The A.” This time it was for Blogalicious 5, a multicultural conference for women bloggers. This year we celebrated the conference’s much deserved 5 year anniversary.  I highly suggest for any serious blogger to attend. Between the networking and informative workshops, you will definitely walk away with plenty of resources. And the people who attend are awesome. It's truly a community.  This was my first time back in Atlanta since being a Spelman exchange student in 2001. I was so excited to speak at the conference about awareness blogging or covering social issues in social media.

The first night was a Scandal viewing party. Our outfits were Olivia Pope inspired.  I kept it classy with a black dress. Xfinity sponsored the event. We were hooked up with a red carpet, champagne and gourmet popcorn. It was really nice. But I must say, watching the season's premiere with 100+ mostly black women was an unforgettable experience. There was a lot of talking back to the screen. HaHaHa!

The woman below won best dressed and her prize were these leather gloves. Can't you see Olvia Pope wearing these? 

The next day we heard from Ebony magazine's Editor Amy DuBois Barnett. She spoke about life and rebranding Ebony. They've been doing a lot of coverage on mental health over at Ebony, so props to them. One of my favorite quotes from her speech is, "Don't wait to live." And I'm so happy she signed my book, Get Yours: How to Have Everything You Ever Wanted and More. I've had her book for years and I still turn to it when I need encouragement. 

Then it was time for me to speak. I was on a panel with fabulous women about awareness blogging. Shout out to Christine Koh of and TheMissionList.coman online community of women with social media influence who want to use it for social good; anti-domestic violence advocate Rhachelle Nicol of and Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, founder of the award-winning blog We had a lot of information to share and received positive feedback. Thanks to everyone who attended our session. 

L-R:Rhachelle, Lisa, Christine, Jenee.

Later that night I took off my journalist and blogger hats, and replaced them with my Kangol. It was time for the McDonald's '80s Jam. I had so much fun dancing to good, old school hip hop. And I loved my b-girl outfit. My earrings were the size of teacup saucers. LOL! And wore my original African medallion from back in the day.  I loved it! I finally got to dress up like the girls I used to see in my neighborhood when I was a kid. All I needed was a Flava Flave clock.

And these guys were models at the party. I asked the one in the middle, "So you just get paid to walk around and be fine?" And he replied, "Yeah, there's worse jobs." Hey, I'm not mad at the brotha. I enjoyed being in the middle of this BLT (Brothas Lookin' Tight).

And lucky me again had the best roommates! These ladies are doing it on their blogs and they were a pleasure to room with. I learned a lot of from them.  Shout out to Jyl of Mom it Forward and Quiana of Harlem Love Birds. This is what happens when you get three women from Utah, Cali and New York together.

Saturday I went to more incredible workshops and that was the end of the conference. But it wasn't the end of fun times in Atlanta. I have a couple of more posts to come. Before I wrap this one up, look who I saw at Blogalicous, lifestyle TV personality Tanika Ray. She was rocking the curly look way before the natural movement. She is so sweet and so gorgeous. I can't wait to see her on TV again. She said she left the entertainment news show Extra because she wasn't feeling too hot about covering celebs and their private lives. I can dig that. I'm excited to see what she's going to do next.

This is the interior of the Hyatt Renaissance in Atlanta. My room was on the 11th floor. The conference ended Saturday night. But I didn't get back to my room until 4 a.m. A certain blogger kept me out way past my bedtime. And it was so worth it! I'll tell you who it is in the next post.

In the meantime, check out this video on Blogalicious. I speak at 0:55.


  1. Great seeing you as always ;-)

    1. It was great seeing you too! Congratulations and blessings to you on all of the new things in your life.


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