Vanessa Hudgens may be a Disney alum, but her current place in life is better than any magical dream.
The 32-year-old High School Musical star, who graces the cover of Shape's November issue, revealed in the outlet's cover story that she always assumed she would follow in her mom's footsteps when it came to love—which included walking down the aisle at age 25.
"Where I am now is better than I could have dreamed of," Vanessa said. "My relationship with myself is something I value deeply, even if things don't always go the way I expected. For instance, my mom got married at 25, so I always thought I was going to be married at 25. That didn't happen."
The actress, who split with actor Austin Butler in January 2020 after almost nine years together, confirmed this past Valentine's Day that she is currently dating MLB player Cole Tucker. Vanessa went on to share that despite the timeline she originally envisioned, she realizes that ultimately, everything happens for a reason.
"I'm in such an amazing, healthy relationship, so it doesn't matter," the "Say OK" singer continued. "What I've discovered is that we all have these ideas—and if they don't happen, then there's a reason why. Learning that has been extremely helpful to my growth. I'm very grateful every day for where I am in this moment of my life."
Vanessa, who released Caliwater, a line of hydrating cactus water, in May and has a slew of projects debuting soon, including Netflix's The Princess Switch 3, explained how she's developed a newfound sense of self in the last few years, adding that she's "really come into [her] own."
"When you're fully accepting of who you are, and you stop trying to suppress pieces of yourself, you can conquer the world," she said. "I love how silly I am. I love how excitable I am. And I love that I'm finally at a place where I can access those things."
"Even the quirky stuff that might have been shut down by other people in the past, like being ridiculous with my friends," she continued, "Those are things I'm now allowing to thrive. For some people, I'm way too much. But I love who I am, and there's such power in that."