Beyonce's 40th birthday was this month, and both fans and celebrities paid their tributes on social media. Queen Bey in turn shared a heartfelt handwritten note on her official website. Though the lives of celebrities often seem removed from anything a "real" person would experience, her note really does offer some tear jerker insights that are completely universal.
Loving everything about this. As Virgo season ends, #Beyonce writes a personal heartfelt (and rare) note to everyon… https://t.co/wMmNPGf2NZ— YBF CHIC (@YBF CHIC) 1632442797.0
The letter starts out with a genuine, yet expected thank-you to her fans:
"I'm so thankful for every inspiring human who took the time to send me all the beautiful messages," she wrote in her note. "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. I'm grateful to everyone involved, especially the fans, for the time and level of detail it took to organize such beautiful tributes. I admire and respect all of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart."
But here, Beyonce's thank-you takes a more sentimental turn as she looks back on her life. Notice what's NOT mentioned: career, fame, world tours... some of the things you might expect her to consider/ponder/contemplate. Instead she writes:
"This is the first year that I really understand what it means to be alive and to live in the moment. 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. I thought I knew that at 21 or 30 . . . but I didn't. 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."
Be it through a pandemic, or growing older, or both, I think we can all relate to this discovery. Grammy wins or not, many of us are hitting a point in our lives, where everything we thought was so crucial, is not actually the source of our joy. That bliss comes from simplicity, from appreciation, and most of all, from time.
Then the real kicker comes in when she debunks the notion that happiness and self worth somehow have an expiration date, especially for women.
"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 wrote. "This has absolutely been the best I've felt in my life."
Beyonce signed off her note with a bumble bee daring and an "I love you deep" (with the word "deep" being written out 40 times, a clever touch).
It's an important reminder that no matter how successful, wealthy, or prestigious anyone is perceived to be, we are all navigating through life for the first time. Sometimes we think we have it all figured out. Sometimes we fear our best days are behind us. And sometimes, as Queen Bey has eloquently put it, it might take a while- and some deep reflection- before we realize how much we've "GROWN GROWN."
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