"What Liam and I went through together changed us."
Cyrus covers Vanity Fair's March issue and, in both a personal essay and an interview with the magazine, reveals how she came to be at this "very complex" point in her life, fresh off the heels of her December wedding to Hemsworth.
Last November, Cyrus' "whole f**king life changed" when the Malibu home she shared with Hemsworth burned down during the Woolsey fire, but it wasn't the things she lost that pushed her relationship forward, it was the act of going through the traumatic experience together.
"My relationship is very special to me, it is my 'home.' I feel less misplaced when we are in the same room, no matter where that is, but just because something changes in my relationship doesn’t mean something has to drastically change in my individuality," she writes. "What Liam and I went through together changed us."
"I’m not sure without losing Malibu, we would’ve been ready to take this step or ever gotten married, who can say?" she continues. "But the timing felt right and I go with my heart. No one is promised the next day, or the next, so I try to be 'in the now' as much as possible."
Through the devastating fire, Cyrus and Hemsworth managed to find "a new bond underneath all that rubble."
“When you experience what we experienced together with someone, it is like glue," she explains in the interview. "You’re the only two people in the world who can understand.”
"Going through a natural disaster, the grief you experience is really unlike any other loss. No more, just different," she adds in her letter. "In our position it feels or looks like everything is replaceable and you can start again, but you can’t buy spirit."
Cyrus and Hemsworth's home wasn't "filled with expensive, meaningless sh*t," but was chock full of things that were important to them.
"[It was full of] art, a lot of which I made on my own, and by others, including personal letters and drawings from Heath Ledger, John Kricfalusi, Joan Jett, Murakami, David LaChapelle, and so many others that I respect including our lovely photographer Ryan McGinley," she writes.
Losing their home wasn't just upsetting because of the mementos that were destroyed, but also because of the loss of the house itself, which had played an interesting role in their relationship.
“You couldn’t make this up. The first record that I ever made as myself -- not as Hannah Montana, the first record I ever made as Miley Cyrus -- I did most of that record in that house,” she tells the magazine of the home that was once owned by music producer Matthew Wilder.
Years later, when Cyrus and Hemsworth were on a break from their relationship after filming The Last Song, Hemsworth purchased the house without knowing its history.
“And then [Liam] shows up, ready to move in. And the old owners are cleaning out the garage and getting out all these plaques and sh*t with my face on it. Liam showed up and was like, ‘What the f**k?’" Cyrus recalls.
Despite the fact that losing her home -- which she describes as "center" and "peace" -- was "unsettling," Cyrus tells the magazine that the experience made her feel "more connected to being human again."
"It feels like there were weights tied to my ankles and I was in the ocean, and someone just cut those ties, and I was able to float and be free ‘cause I didn’t have all this sh*t attached to me," she says. "Anger, relief, sadness. A feeling of: I’m never going to get over it, this is never going to end. But, we heal up and our brain gets used to imagining a worst-case scenario happening over and over again.”
Following the loss of their home, Cyrus and Hemsworth tied the knot in an intimate ceremony. Though the fire may have moved up their wedding date, Cyrus is clear that their decision wasn't "putting a Band-Aid on a bad situation."
"A lot of people use marriage I think maybe for a cure. But like my favorite woman in the world, Hillary Clinton, says, 'We’re stronger together,'" she tells the magazine. "That’ll make me get emotional. That’s what she meant by it. Like, who gives a f**k if he’s a guy, if I’m a girl, or if he was a woman? Who gives a f**k? We really are stronger together. One is the loneliest number.”
Cyrus, who calls herself "a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community," says the reason she and Hemsworth made it official is "kind of New Age."
"We’re redefining, to be f**king frank, what it looks like for someone that’s a queer person like myself to be in a hetero relationship. A big part of my pride and my identity is being a queer person," she tells the magazine. "What I preach is: People fall in love with people, not gender, not looks, not whatever. What I’m in love with exists on almost a spiritual level. It has nothing to do with sexuality."
"Relationships and partnerships in a new generation -- I don’t think they have so much to do with sexuality or gender," she continues. "Sex is actually a small part, and gender is a very small, almost irrelevant part of relationships."
Though she "takes such pride in individuality and freedom," Cyrus didn't let outside factors influence her wedding day decisions.
"I wore a dress on my wedding day because I felt like it, I straightened my hair because I felt like it, but that doesn’t make me become some instantly 'polite hetero lady,'" she writes.
Life as a newlywed is "zero percent different" than life before, but no less wonderful.
"I would say that losing the house changed us much more than getting married changed us,” she says. “We’ve worn rings forever, and I definitely didn’t need it in any way. It actually is kind of out of character for me.”
At the end of the day, Cyrus reveals in her letter that she wants "to live a long life full of love, music, and adventure."
"I believe balance will get me there. Balance and moderation. (Which sometimes is like a foreign language to me.) But I am practicing," she writes. "In that practice will come mistakes but it’ll shape me and I can’t wait to see who it makes me."
Watch the video below for more on the happy couple: