Other than height and love for doggos, who would’ve guessed Ariana Grande and I share something else in common.
I have been a huge fan of Ariana Grande since she showed up the first time on Nickelodeon’s Victorious. I always find her hilarious and somehow genuinely kind – even though I only knew her from her character, Cat Valentine, but it showed in the way she acted that she is a genuinely happy, kind, talented girl. I have been following her since, and I absolutely love her first album. Despite the fact that I do not listen to her songs as often now (Her new music style is not something I listen to too much, and I am so bad in moving on that I still binge on Honeymoon Avenue), I still follow her social media and watch her old shows every now and then.
It came to my mind that she actually has been an inspiration for me, most probably unconsciously. In one way or another, she has taught me many things in life. It has never crossed my mind that an idol can do such a thing to their fan. I have never been to her concerts, I have never met her by chance, I am not her friend either, so I do not know her personally at all. This is just my thought from what I have seen through my lenses and my phone screen, obviously. Maybe the first thing I learned from her is also the case with most child celebrities who become a big star – that talent and passion plus persistence and hard work equals ikigai. Now, I do not want to use the word success since everyone has their own definition of what success might be. Thus I chose the word ikigai instead. Ikigai is a Japanese term to explain the concept of being in a content state or fulfillment from doing what we love and good at and from which you can fulfill our needs and what the world needs. Somehow Ariana portrays that she loves what she is doing, she loves her team, and she just sparks joy with what she does.
She also taught me to put family and friends first. I mean, having Elizabeth Gillies, Daniella Monet, Troye Sivan, and Matt Bennett in her videos is definitely not a coincidence. I am a huge fan of Liz as well (my God she is my girl crush!), so every time Ari and Liz hang out and post on their social media, my 13 years old me screams inside with joy. Like most people, not all of her friends stay (online and offline), but she is great at embracing the friendship she has at the moment that is now, even though I bet she knew that some are not meant to last. Also, whenever she posts her moments with her Nana, Mom, and brother on her Instagram, it just shows that there is so much love. She travels the world, but never forgets her family and friends. And I guess by the time the Manchester incident happened, it shows that she is just a person with full of love. She coped with it in the most humane way that I have seen from a celebrity, confident enough to show how fragile she was, too.
Her love life is something that I do not know so much about, but when her engagement with Pete Davidson did not work out, she was so strong and creative that she even bounced back with a smashing song. I do not want to talk about her experience when Mac Miller decided to end his life, it was too sad. In any case, both of her latest experiences with love has been inspiring and somewhat empowering, too. Additionally, Thank U, Next hits me in right in the heart whenever I listen to it. I did learn much from my past. If you know me well enough, you might know how my love life had been difficult as well, but moving on is the best thing to do. Somehow this song did help me, so much more than I thought a song could. I have the feeling that she wrote this song with the intention of empowering herself while appreciating the people who have been in her life.
She taught me love
She taught me patience
How she handles pain
That shit’s amazing,
– Ariana Grande, Thank U, Next
I mentioned earlier that I do not listen to her latest songs that much in comparison to her old ones, but she also shows that she is brave enough to change her style in regards to her musical style and her look. This to me, shouts out that what defines yourself is you. Now, this might sound dumb for some people who have so much freedom. However, in my eyes, there are many people who live up to someone else’s judgment, pressure, whatever you want to call it – I am sorry to say this but especially in the culture where I came from. Ariana might be a lucky girl whose family and friends are ultra supportive with what she does – but we do not know for sure. Maybe she has been in a tough situation too where she did not have such support. But from where she is standing now, she shows that she has been working hard and standing up for herself. I must remind you, dear readers, that all of these are based on my thoughts from what I have seen and thought about Ari. I am just glad to share with you, that one person that I don’t even know can be this motivating in my life.
Maybe you have that one person, too?