Ariana Grande Shares She Felt ‘Deeply Misunderstood’ During ‘Challenging’ 2023

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On Friday, Ariana Grande shared her year-end review with her fans on Instagram Stories, reflecting on 2023 and how it was one of the “most transformative, most challenging, and yet happiest and most special years of my life.”

She also said that she felt “deeply misunderstood.”

This has been a year of big change for the musical artist. This week she shared that fans can expect her 7th studio album in 2024, and that she had been working hard on it recently. She has been filming the screen adaptation of the musical Wicked, which has a pretty demanding schedule. And she recently divorced her former husband, real estate agent Dalton Gomez, and began dating Broadway star Ethan Slater.

“One of the most transformative, most challenging, and yet happiest and most special years of my life,” she began. “There were so many beautiful and 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.”

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She continued, “I have everything I could have possibly given of my heart and of myself to the projects I was fortunate enough to be a part of and learned so much from every brilliant, beautiful, soul that I had the privilege of creating art with and crossing paths with…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.”

She also said she felt “fiercely protected” by people who “love and understand” her, including “friends, family and fans alike.”

“I feel safe, even amidst so many things I’d usually be afraid of. I am listening to and trusting myself, even when fear or trauma tells me not to,” said Grande. “I am reacting to things that deserve my energy and removing and protecting myself from things that do not.”

The star continued, “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. 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 concluded, “I am wrapping you all in a cocoon of love and wishing you a very happy, healthy new year. If you ever feel misunderstood or alone, just remember that it will pass and you are not. Take a deep breath and know that you are so incredibly loved. I cannot wait for next year.”

Grande also shared that she and Wicked co-star Cynthia Erivo had gotten matching tattoos, writing the words “For Good” on the palms of their hands. In the film, Grande plays Glinda, while Erivo stars as Elphaba.

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Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.

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