Since leaving rehab at the beginning of 2014, Selena Gomez has steered clear of work to focus on herself (of course, that doesn’t mean she left on-again boyfriend Justin Bieber behind). In a new interview, the singer dishes on why the time off has been so important.
“It’s been such a transitional year for me — I moved out of my parents’ house this year and into my own place,” she says. “I also took my first break ever and have been using the time to really concentrate on what makes me happy. Sometimes, I’ll be honest, I don’t handle all of this as well as people think, so it’s been important to really figure out what makes me feel grounded.”
Indeed, this is the 22-year-old’s first major amount of time off since she started on the Disney Channel at just 14. “I thank God for that show,” she gushes of Wizards of Waverly Place. “It gave me a legitimate family. The whole cast and crew were all there before anything started, they saw me at my best and at my worst, and could call me out on my s—. People ask how I feel about having such a young fan base because of that show — I’m proud of it! Sure, it put me in that box of being a Disney kids, but I wouldn’t change that for the world.”
Of course, she’s come a long way since the Disney days, and adds that these days, she’s really starting to notice how important being a woman in the entertainment industry is. “I think that’s what I’m most excited to share in my music and performance now,” she admitted. “All the stuff that I’ve been living, because it’s been beautiful and awkward and authentic.”