On September 4th, Beyonce celebrated her 40th birthday, and she surprised her fans with a heartfelt letter on her website, reflecting on her personal growth and the lessons she’s learned so far.
“This is the first year that I really understand what it means to be alive and to live in the moment,” Beyoncé said. “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.”
She said, “I thought I knew that at 21 or 30…but I didn’t.”
In 1998, she published her first album with Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, and LaToya Luckett, and in 2003, she released her first debut album, Dangerously in Love.
Beyoncé says she’s been able to soak in joy on a deeper level than before as she continues to grow and change as a person.
“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,” the 28-time Grammy winner explained. “I’m finally giving myself permission to enjoy the seeds I’ve worked so hard to plant my whole life.”
In her letter, she also threw shade at the stereotype that women’s lives deteriorate after 40.
“Whoever tried to condition women to feel that we are supposed to be old or unhappy when we turn 40 got it ALL THE WAY F’d UP. This has absolutely been the best I’ve felt in my life,” Beyoncé said, adding, “I’m so grateful to be GROWN, GROWN!”
The mother of three also expressed gratitude to her Beyhive fans for their birthday greetings and continuing support.
“As Virgo Season comes to an end, I hope my fellow Virgos had great birthdays,” the “Gift From Virgo,” she said.
“I’m so thankful for every inspiring human who took the time to send me all the beautiful messages. I cried tears of joy and was covered in chilly bumps,” she continued. “Your videos, your posts, your countdowns, your playlists, and your well wishes, I will cherish forever.”
She concluded, “Most of y’all met me when I was 15, and we have grown up together. You bring sooooo much joy into my life. I hope my art can continue to bring a little joy into yours.”
The singer signed her letter “I love you deep,” a total of 40 times with a small drawing of a bee.