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Ariana Grande reflects on ‘transformative’ year

Ariana Grande is leaving her worries from 2023 behind her.

In a recent Instagram story, the “Thank U, Next” singer looked back on her “challenging” year, which included a divorce and cheating rumors.

“One of the most transformative, most challenging, and yet happiest and most special years of my life,” she shared on her Instagram story.”

“There were so many beautiful yet polarized feelings. I’ve never felt more at the mercy of and in acceptance of what life was screaming to teach me. I’ve never felt more fulfilled by or present in my work, being able to cherish every moment.”

The past year featured many highs and lows for Grande, including the beginning of filming for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, “Wicked,” and getting divorced from her husband of two years, Dalton Gomez.

Soon after announcing her divorce in September, rumors began swirling that she was in a relationship with her “Wicked” co-star, Ethan Slater, who is known for starring in “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical.” Sources told People the couple had been separated since earlier in the year, however it only came to the public’s attention when Grande was spotted at Wimbeldon without her ring in July.

Along with the rumors that Grande and Slater were dating came speculation that the two began their relationship when they were still with their significant others. At the time, Slater was still married to Lilly Jay, with whom he shares a son. Slater filed for divorce in July.

“I have never felt more pride or joy or love while simultaneously feeling so deeply misunderstood by people who don’t know me, who piece whispers together and make what they want out of me and their assumptions of my life,” Grande wrote. “I have learned how much more important one of those things is than the other.”

Through navigating the tough times, Grande learned who is truly there for her, saying she has “never felt more tightly held or fiercely protected by those who love and understand me.” She has committed to “reacting to things that deserve my energy only, and removing and protecting myself from things that do not.”

Overall, Grande says she has learned a lot over the past year, not only from the speculation in the media, but also from “every brilliant, beautiful soul” she “had the privilege of creating art with.”

“I am so eternally grateful for all of the feelings I was lucky enough to feel so deeply this year. Mine and Galinda’s alike,” Grande wrote. “The unfathomably hard ones and the inexplicably happy ones. I feel more human than ever. I feel more deeply than ever. I feel softer and stronger, all at once.”

She ended her message by wishing her followers a happy new year, urging them if they “ever feel misunderstood or alone” to remind themselves “that it will pass,” and to know they are “so incredibly loved.”

Along with Slater, Grande is starring in “Wicked,” with Cynthia Erivo, Jonathan Bailey, Michelle Yeoh and Bowen Yang.

Part one of “Wicked” is set to be released in theaters in November 2024.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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