Beyoncé celebrated a landmark birthday earlier this month, as the iconic performer turned 40. But the big day itself couldn’t hold a candle to what she’s been celebrating since then — the truth about growing older.
This week, the singer penned a handwritten letter she shared on her website to mark the end of “Virgo season” and to explain the lessons she’s learned now that she’s “GROWN, GROWN,” lessons that might help other woman approaching the same age.
“This is the first year that I really understand what it means to be alive and to live in the moment,” the 28-time Grammy winner wrote. “It’s the first time that I have an understanding of how fragile life truly is, how hard life can be at times, and therefore how important it is to stop and smell the roses during the good times.”
However, until she hit 40, she assumed she’d already learned all of that.
“I thought I knew that at 21 or 30 ... but I didn’t,” she continued. “The more mature I become, the more I understand and the deeper my joy grows. There’s a freedom and liberation knowing that I’ve made it to the other side of my sacrifice. I’m finally giving myself permission to enjoy the seeds I’ve worked so hard to plant my whole life.”
She’s hoping others give themselves that permission, too, by seeing that 40 doesn’t have to be what they’ve been told it is.
“Whoever tried to condition women to feel that we are supposed to feel old or unhappy when we turn 40 got it ALL THE WAY F’d UP,” she insisted. “This has absolutely been the best I’ve felt in my life. I’m so grateful to be GROWN, GROWN!”
The mother of three is also grateful for her fans, whom she explained did their part to make this year’s birthday an extra bright moment in her life.
“I’m so thankful for every inspiring human who took the time to send me all the beautiful messages,” she wrote. “I cried tears of joy and was covered in chilly bumps. Your videos, your posts, your countdowns, your playlists and your well wishes, I will cherish forever.”
In closing, she wrote, “I love you deep,” repeating that last word 40 times, before signing off with a drawing of a signature bee for her Beyhive.