Tracee Ellis Ross is an actress and model who appeared on the popular show Girlfriends and who currently stars on the show Black-ish. Ross gave a rousing speech at Glamour’s 2017 Woman of the Year Summit, addressing the questions she frequently receives about being unmarried and not having children.

Ross said:

It’s really interesting to be a woman and to get to 45 and not be married and not have kids. Especially when you have just pushed out your fifth kid on TV. You start hearing crazy sh^t like: “Oh, you just haven’t found the right guy yet, what are you going to do, oh, you poor thing.” It’s never-ending and not helpful.

She goes on to discuss the dreams she had for her life while she was growing up. Like many girls, she dreamed about her wedding, but she also dreamed about winning an Oscar, being on magazine covers, and making a difference in the world.

She talks about the ways a woman’s worth is tied into two goals: getting married and having children. Our popular culture reinforces these goals at every turn. She reveals how she found her courage:

I got out my journal. I’m sitting there freewriting, maybe conversing with my inner child, and I write down: MY LIFE IS MINE. My life is mine. Those words stopped me in my tracks and honestly brought so many tears to my eyes…I have to put myself first and not be looking for permission to do so.

Of course, she faced challenges along the way. But she also found meaning in being the bravest version of herself.

Her message resonated with many women.

Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

We can all find courage in her words and in remembering that our lives are ours and ours alone. Check out her full speech and the video of her giving it!