thank u, next

As I continue on with my year off after post-secondary and before I venture off into college, I find myself reflecting on the past four years of my life. I’m dwelling on everything that’s occurred to me from the moment I stepped into that building on the first day of freshman year, up until the very last second of my graduation night. Every friendship I’ve made, every hardship I’ve lived through, every tragedy that has struck, every heartbreak I’ve felt. Everything that I had gone through during my high school years has made me into the person I am today. Without a shadow of a doubt, high school has left me scarred. Up until now, I was ashamed of those scars. I was ashamed of myself for letting my guard down and letting myself get so torn apart. I was ashamed of the pain. But on November 3rd, everything changed.

This year I’ve become a major fan of pop princess Ariana Grande. I was already listening to her popular and catchy hits such as ‘Problem’, ‘Break Free’, ‘One Last Time’, just to name a few. But it wasn’t until the record-breaking singer released her fourth consecutive studio album titled Sweetner this past summer that I completely became obsessed with the songstress. The second the album dropped, the whole world came to a standstill, for one album, for one woman. As I said, the pop album was record-breaking. In just the first week, it logged the largest streaming week for a non-hip hop album by a female artist. F.Y.I, the songs were streamed 126.7 million times. The second leading single from the album titled ‘God is a woman’ received early radio support upon its release and earned 25.1 million streams in the U.S.  Long story short, Ariana Grande is basically the ultimate goddess of the music industry, bringing thunder down on charts and streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. Then came ‘thank u, next’.

Big Sean. Ricky Alvarez. Mac Miller. Pete Davidson. These are the names that are dropped in Grande’s most recent single ‘thank u, next’ which released on the third of this month. In between the release of Sweetner and ‘thank u, next’, the world mourned the loss of rapper Mac Miller, who previously dated Ariana Grande for two years. Following his passing, Grande and Davidson called off their engagement, but have remained on good terms, wishing the best for each other. In this song lies a powerful breakup anthem. Rather than doing these men dirty, the artist actually takes the time to thank her exes for the lessons they taught her. As she puts it, ‘one taught her love, one taught her patience, and one taught her pain’. Not only has the commercial performance been a success, but people all over the globe are announcing ‘thank u, next’ the ultimate breakup anthem, and I can see why. This song is filled with love, gratitude and empowerment. All the the things that I have needed for a long time now.

I am finally done feeling hurt, sad, and any other feeling that corresponds with pain. I am done feeling sorry. I am over the drama. And I am finished with the long list of regrets. From here on out I release myself from the shackles which keeps me tied to grief. Instead of wearing my tragedies as shackles, I choose to wear them as armour. One taught me love, one taught me patience, one taught me pain. I have loved and lost. And I’m grateful for that. To the person who stabbed me in the back, thank you. To the person who abandoned me when I needed them the most, thank you. To the person who at one point I loved more than anything, and suddenly left me without any given warning, thank you. To the person who made me a tougher human being through the hard lesson and experience of loss, thank you. Because of these people I have been able to transform into a better, stronger, more resilient, more capable person. Instead of looking at hardships as pain, I look at them as strength. But most importantly I’d like to thank myself. I am thankful that I let myself to get to this point of strength and motivation. I thank myself for never losing sight of what truly matters and staying true to who I am. And for that I say thank u, next.

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