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

Who the F*ck Do You Think I Am?: Feeling Your Anger After a Breakup

When you hurt me, you hurt yourself 
Don't hurt yourself 
When you diss me, you diss yourself
Don't hurt yourself 
When you hurt me, you hurt yourself
Don't hurt yourself, don't hurt yourself
When you love me, you love yourself
Love God herself

Don't Hurt Yourself

When Beyonce's Lemonade dropped, I prayed to God I don't ever again experience what she's singing about on this album. So many of the songs remind me of someone I dated 10 years ago. But low and behold, I got my heart broken last week. Someone treated it like a hockey puck, a soccer ball. Someone treated my heart like a piece of meat they cut with knife, pierced with a fork, chewed up, swallowed, digested in their stomach acid,  pushed out into the toilet like a piece of shit and flushed it into the sewer. 

I'm not repressing my feelings. I'm feeling them. I'm letting them move and flow.  The sadness, confusion, fear and even the anger. Yes, the anger. And I know anger is an unacceptable emotion for women, especially Black women. We're supposed to just put up with shit and smile. F*ck that. I ain't smiling and I ain't sorry for not smiling. 

Which leads me to this Beyonce's "Don't Hurt Yourself." I love it because it's angry. She yells, "WHO DA F*CK DO YOU THINK I AM???!!!"to her cheating husband. She got some criticism for having angry songs. But like one sista told me, "I'm an angry Black woman and I got a lot of shit to be angry about." When someone does you dirty, don't you want to say, "Who the f*ck do you think I am?! What the f*ck made you think it's okay to treat me like this??!!!" If you're hurt, your anger is justified. 

Anger is just another form of pain. It's okay to feel anger, let it pass but be careful how you handle it. You don't act on anger, you have to channel it. A Buddhist man I interviewed who lost his wife and child in a genocide said, "Suffering is like fire. It can cook the food or burn the house." I think the same goes for anger, especially if it's making one suffer. Don't let that anger make you do a Left Eye (rest in peace). 

The last time I got my heart broken, I was much younger and suffered in my emotions. I'm not doing that this go around. It's a waste of time. Life is too short to let someone who doesn't appreciate you rent space long term in your heart and mind. 

I'll let them stay in my heart and mind a little while longer, because that's part of the grieving process. Then I'll evict them, sip on my lemonade, middle fingers up as they pass by. And I'll resume loving the God herself in me. I still believe there's a great man out there for me. A broken heart won't make me give up on love.