How "Thank U, Next" Impacted Ideas of Self Love

“I’ve loved and I’ve lost, but that’s not what I see…”


          In case you have been living under a rock or avoiding the entirety of Instagram for the past month, Ariana Grande’s now ICONIC music video for “Thank U, Next” dropped, and I have absolutely no words to say besides that she is such an inspiration to us all. This song is the self-love anthem I needed, as some seriously crappy things have happened to me over this past weekend. When the music video dropped, however, I immediately took such inspiration from Ariana’s strength and resilience.


          Her new song highlights the importance of self-forgiveness, loving yourself first, and being able to treat yourself with the respect that you truly deserve. As a college woman, I’ve had my fair share of heartbreaks over the years, especially this past weekend. I can’t begin to explain how badly I needed this powerful anthem of self-love and respect, in order to begin to pull myself out of the dumps.


          People think that the only way that they can be loved is with a partner in their lives, and I thought that too for the longest time. In high school, it didn’t matter how the guy acted, or if he slept around, or anything like that. My broken teenage heart just wanted someone to make me less lonely. From emotional abuse, to physical, and everything in between, I’ve seen it all and been through it all. I thought, “maybe if I could just keep one man around, then I’d mean something to others and wouldn’t be that quiet, nerdy freak that is weirdly obsessed with pugs and screaming Panic! At the Disco on the playground.”  As an introvert, I have maybe one or two people I talk to daily, and until just recently, I thought that the opinions of those one or two people would become everyone’s opinions of me. What is even worse is when that one person decides to break your heart into millions of pieces, and stomps all over it with Instagram posts and other indications of him not really giving me the love that I thought I deserved. When you see the person you loved love another, you become lost, broken, scared, and just this giant mess of emotions I never thought I would experience.


          Once I found out about the scenario that I just mentioned [I’m not going into details out of respect for privacy] I instantly broke down. I didn’t know what to say, how to act, where to go… Suddenly, the one extrovert I clung to and loved like I’d never loved before had decided to love someone else and wants to keep me around as a friend. This one person who I hinged my entire self-worth on for nearly a year had finally broken me. They were able to get the best of both worlds with her as their partner and me on the side to fall back on. When the unexpected happens, it’s usually a difference between what you hoped in your head and the reality. I saw my extrovert’s true colors this weekend, and to say that I hurt is the biggest understatement of the year.  That’s the issue with expectations: We expect more than we are likely to ever get.


          However, I’ve also come to the realization that one person’s actions don’t define how I am. It is okay to have loved and lost, so long as you take the lesson out of that. With Ariana’s new music video, she highlights the reality of her relationships, and how they combatively have come together to teach her how to love herself, and honestly that was JUST the inspiration I needed to begin to pull myself out of the dumps. Yes, I’m hurt. Is it going to take time for me to heal? Absolutely.


But that’s okay, because ultimately today you are you. Nobody can change that, and it’s enough to be yourself.


          So, in the end, if you decide cuffing season isn’t for you, maybe “thank u, next” just might be the thing that you need to pull yourself out of the dumps.