Single & Slaying: Tracee Ellis Ross Talks Forgoing Marriage And Kid Expectations For “Choiceful Solitude”
One of the most refreshing things about Tracee Ellis Ross is how self-assured she is. She can wear anything, say anything and do anything and you can’t help but respect it. She’s confident in herself and what she brings to the table, so she approaches everything with conviction. That includes everything from the fight for equal pay to the belief that women aren’t missing out in life if they don’t do what society expects of them.
She addressed such topics as the cover girl for the latest issue of the UK’s Sunday Times Style. Inside the pages, the 45-year-old waxed poetically, yet again, about living a fulfilled life sans the long-held belief that happily ever after ends with a husband and some babies.
“I’m constantly asking myself questions, reminding myself, ‘Are you making that decision for you or someone else?'” she said. “The husband and the babies are the expectation of what’s supposed to happen at a certain point, and people fall back on, ‘Well, that’s the point of the human species, procreation.’ And I’m, like, ‘I think there are a lot of babies, isn’t that part of what’s going wrong, there’s too many?’ Some people could be working on the world being a better place, or just being happy.”
And the older she gets, the more comfortable she’s become with herself and the life she’s created.
“Being 45 is fascinating. It’s this extraordinary journey of time passing, and getting to this place where so many of the trappings aren’t there, and yet there’s so much other rich, fertile stuff happening in my life,” she said. “It’s all a choice. Which is incredibly empowering and can be extremely lonely. My work as an adult has been making friends with the loneliness, and actually coming to terms with the fact that I love it. And I now call it choiceful solitude.”
This is a topic Ross has addressed in the past, doing so openly while on the stage speaking at Glamour’s 2017 Women of the Year Summit last fall. It was at that time that she initially broached the topic of embracing loneliness.
“The key is you ask yourself, What do I need right now?” Ross said. “I’ve cultivated a relationship with myself where I know I have choices…. I have a toolbox of ways I can find support; journaling is helpful, or meditation.
And I have had to really make friends with loneliness. And know the difference between choice-ful solitude and lonely. [I find comfort in] being able to name it, to say I’m feeling lonely, then to have a tribe of people I feel safe enough with to share: This is how I feel.”