Selena Gomez knows it's impossible to fully outrun your past.
It's been over 10 years since Wizards of Waverly Place—the show that really put Selena on the map—aired its final episode on Disney Channel, but the Selena + Chef star admitted that while she mostly manages to focus on the future, it's not always possible.
"I definitely feel free of it," Selena told Vanity Fair in an interview published Feb. 15. "Sometimes I get triggered. It's not that I'm ashamed of my past, it's just that I've worked so hard to find my own way. I don't want to be who I was. I want to be who I am."
Selena explained that growing up as a Disney star—she was only 15 years old when Wizards of Waverly Place premiered in October 2007—led to a very specific, curated upbringing.
"I wasn't a wild child by any means, but I was on Disney, so I had to make sure not to say ‘What the hell?' in front of anyone," Selena said. "It's stuff that I was also putting on myself to be the best role model I could be. Now I think being the best role model is being honest, even with the ugly and complicated parts of yourself."
In her 2022 documentary My Mind & Me, Selena got candid about her mental health journey and how she's managed to get to a place where she's not so concerned about what everybody else thinks.
"Now I don't feel like I'm lying to people," Selena said. "It's not that I was lying…I was scared of what people would think or that people wouldn't hire me. Now I don't think that way. I understand that if it doesn't feel good to me, then I need to step back and evaluate."
Selena continued, "Is this friendship giving me something? Is this project a really good one?"
Given the fact that she earned her first Golden Globe nomination in December for her work on the second season of Only Murders in the Building, the process seems to be working.