The 28-time Grammy winner turned 40 on September 4.
Beyoncé is feeling introspective. On Thursday, the singer —who turned 40 on September 4— penned an emotional letter to her fans, in which she reflected on her growth throughout the years and all the wisdom she's gained so far.
"This is the first year that I really understand what it means to be alive and to live in the moment", she wrote on her website. "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", Beyoncé wrote before explaining that she's been able to soak up joy on a deeper level as she continues to grow 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", she shared. "I'm finally giving myself permission to enjoy the seeds I've worked so hard to plant my whole life."
The 28-time Grammy winner also slammed the notion that life goes downhill for women after they turn 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", she wrote. "I'm so grateful to be GROWN, GROWN!"
Beyoncé concluded her letter by thanking her fans for the birthday wishes and their support, adding that she hopes her art "can continue to bring a little joy" into their lives as her fans bring joy into hers.
Beyoncé rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the all-girl R&B group Destiny's Child. Following the band's hiatus in the early 2000s, Beyoncé dropped her first solo album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003. She has since become one of the highest-grossing artists of all time.