Ariana Grande is reflecting on a year defined by “unfathomably hard” and “inexplicably happy” feelings.
The actor and singer described 2023 as “one of the most transformative, most challenging, and yet happiest and most special years of my life” in a lengthy note shared in an Instagram Story post Friday.
“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.”
She went on to note that she’d be “reacting to things that deserve my energy only and removing and protecting myself from things that do not,” but remained noticeably cryptic with regard to specifics.
Though Grande didn’t mention anyone by name, media outlets were quick to interpret the post as her response to the online frenzy that erupted this summer amid reports she’d begun dating actor Ethan Slater, with whom she co-stars in the forthcoming film adaptation of “Wicked.”
News of the relationship broke just days after Grande split from her ex-husband, Dalton Gomez, after two years of marriage. Though reports of their separation timeline vary, Slater and his ex-wife, Lilly Jay, had maintained the appearance of a committed couple until then. He reportedly filed for divorce in late July, shortly after he was romantically linked with Grande.
To date, Grande and Slater have not spoken publicly about their relationship. However, the pair attended a performance of Broadway’s “Gutenberg! The Musical!” in November, and happily posed with the show’s stars, Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells, for photos backstage.
Grande is ramping up for what’s shaping to be a banner 2024, with “Wicked” slated to hit theaters in November. Earlier this week, she also hinted that a new album ― her first since 2020′s “Positions” ― is on the way.