Vanessa Hudgens is right where she's supposed to be.
"For whatever reason, I wasn't meant to be in that place any sooner," she said of her recent career opportunities, from attending Paris Fashion Week for the first time to hosting the red carpet at the 2022 Met Gala. "I'm so grateful to have it later in life because I'm more comfortable with who I am as a human being."
This period of self-discovery started when The Princess Switch star turned 27 and realized she had virtually no idea who she was.
"I woke up at 27 like, 'I have no idea who I am, what I want, or what I stand for,'" she said. In effort to gain some much-needed perspective, she began practicing a form of therapy called shadow work to connect with her deeper self by asking difficult questions.
"What are the things I actually don't like about myself? What are the things that I put on a mask for? I realized how much of myself I gave away to others, when I actually was giving away and turning off pieces of myself," Hudgens explained, adding that through this, she was able to reimagine what personal and professional limits looked like for her and just how much of her life she chooses to share with the world and when. "The public only sees so much. I've also been through two very long life-changing relationships, and no one really knows what happened except for me. When I write my memoir, it'll be amazing."
This active choice to share her life one her terms has come with age.
"When you get older, the sexier boundaries are," she said.
This has also afforded her a new level of self-assuredness that has left her unfazed by the opinions of others.
"You either f*** with me or not; it's cool with me either way. But I f*** with myself, so that's all that matters,” Hudgens said.
In addition to shadow work, Hudgens, who has not been shy about her connections to the other side, says she travels with a "spiritual entourage," which she maintains is not as spooky as it sounds.
"Honestly, when you live with it, it's a casual thing. It's not like they're some ominous foreboding thing hovering above you. It's like you see them and they literally look like people," she said.
She is also a fan of meditation, as it was the backdrop for her virtual meet-cute with her boyfriend, baseball player Cole Tucker.
"I'm not going to call it a celebrity Zoom, but it was a Zoom meditation group that Joe Jonas put together, yes. I did not expect it at all," Hudgens explained of how she met Tucker. "I don't think if I entered a meditation Zoom, I'd be like, 'This is where I’ll meet my person.' I just showed up and I was like, ‘Who the f** is that?'"
In true alignment with her divine timing, Hudgens isn't locked into any strict timelines concerning marriage and kids, but it is on her radar.
"I always thought I would be married at 25, because that's when my mom got married, and then when that didn't happen, I was like, ‘Oh, OK, So we’re just going to shift everything back a bit,'" she said. "I always thought that around 36, 37 is when I would want to have kids, and that still plays. I don't feel panicked about it."
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