Living life on our own terms; it sounds so simple. As Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true.” But in reality, it’s a lot more difficult to get where we think we should be. After all, many of us didn’t get the jobs we dreamed about as we were tossing our caps in the air!

Some of us are struggling in nine-to-fives where we don’t feel fulfilled. Some of us are thinking of going back to school. And some of us don’t even know what the next step is. Many of us aspire to be world-changers, but we don’t know where to begin.

While catching up with a couple of friends at a local restaurant recently, I noticed something interesting. We all looked like we had it together on the outside, but we were individually struggling with numerous things: singleness, coupledom, job status, and general fear of the future. Despite diverse backgrounds and our seemingly relaxed outward appearances, we were all dealing with issues that were taking a toll on our joy. In discussing our uncertainties about life, relationships and the future, I realized we were all really struggling with something deeper: living life on our own terms.

Sometimes it seems like the world won’t play along with our plans, like all the barriers to our dreams are causing us to lose sight of the way we want to live and the terms we want to live by. Work days are long, some days are lonely, relationships take a lot of work, and all the dreams we hold deep down seem like they are struggling for survival.

At the end of the day, many of us wish we were at liberty to do more: travel, experience adventures, or change the world in a way that current finances and responsibilities won’t presently allow. Despite all of the setbacks we face, the joy in our lives will run deep if we just change our perspective.

It’s okay to come home from work a little cranky or bury ourselves under the covers once in a while! As we grow into our womanhood, it’s okay…not to be okay. These storms will pass. Despite this feeling that our lives and dreams are millions of miles apart, there’s a bigger story at work. Michelangelo once said, “I live and love in God’s peculiar light.” Even when things are dark, the right perspective can illuminate our journey and give us hope for breaking down the barriers we face; it can show us the light.

We have extraordinary bodies, minds, and souls that have the ability to take us very far. We’ll find ways to break through trying times, and our future will be waiting for us. Present troubles will eventually pass.

Even if life doesn’t feel like it’s being lived on our terms right now, we can be confident that the story isn’t over. And with that perspective, it suddenly looks like we’re living life on the best possible terms! If you aren’t where you thought you’d be right now, perhaps it’s for a reason. Let’s take it as an opportunity to learn, and continue to seek hope for the future when our dreams just might become reality after all.


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