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"I am 33 years old today. And I am happy. And I say that so plainly because, well…it takes time. To be happy. To figure out how to be kind to yourself," Meghan Markle wrote

August 04, 2018 11:00 AM

In 2014, future royal Meghan Markle was playing Rachel Zane on Suits and was happily running her lifestyle blog, The Tig, as she approached her 33rd birthday.

In a short essay she wrote to her followers on The Tig on her birthday, Meghan got candid about her struggle to accept herself. Now, just four years later (on her 37th birthday!), her message is more powerful than ever, as the former actress is owning her new role as the Duchess of Sussex.

“I am 33 years old today. And I am happy. And I say that so plainly because, well…it takes time. To be happy. To figure out how to be kind to yourself. To not just choose that happiness, but to feel it,” she wrote at the time.

Meghan Markle
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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Meghan also delved into her challenging past, starting with her cliquey high school and her early years in Hollywood.

“My 20s were brutal – a constant battle with myself, judging my weight, my style, my desire to be as cool/as hip/as smart/as ‘whatever’ as everyone else. My teens were even worse – grappling with how to fit in, and what that even meant. My high school had cliques: the black girls and white girls, the Filipino and the Latina girls. Being biracial, I fell somewhere in between.”

Meghan Markle
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It wasn’t until she was 24 that she had a life-changing conversation with a casting director: “I must have been about 24 when a casting director looked at me during an audition and said ‘You need to know that you’re enough. Less makeup, more Meghan.’ “

Then, she addresses her fans, writing, “You need to know that you’re enough. A mantra that has now engrained itself so deeply within me that not a day goes by without hearing it chime in my head. That five pounds lost won’t make you happier, that more makeup won’t make you prettier, that the now iconic saying from Jerry Maguire – ‘You complete me’ – frankly, isn’t true. You are complete with or without a partner. You are enough just as you are.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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And last, Meghan asks for one birthday gift: “I want you to be kind to yourself. I want you to challenge yourself. I want you to stop gossiping, to try a food that scares you, to buy a coffee for someone just because, to tell someone you love them…and then to tell yourself right back. I want you to find your happiness.”

The Tig, which Meghan shut down in August 2017, was Meghan’s passion project. It mostly covered food and travel, but she occasionally dished out advice about life and love. She named her blog after the red wine Tignanello.

“Tignanello is a full-bodied red wine that I tried about seven years ago. In wine circles, it is nicknamed ‘Tig,’” she explained. “It was my first moment of getting it — I finally understood what people meant by the body, structure, finish, legs of wine. The TIG is my nickname for me getting it. Not just wine, but everything.”

Meghan’s life has changed drastically since her 2014 birthday post, and it seems she’s happier than ever now. She’s had a dozen royal firsts since marrying Prince Harry in May, and she’ll be spending this birthday with her husband and his family at the wedding of Charlie Van Straubenzee, a childhood friend of Harry’s, to Daisy Jenks.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at their Royal Wedding
Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth
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During last weekend’s polo match, Nacho Figueras, a close friend of Harry’s, said he and his new wife “they seem very, very happy,” and earlier in July, Priyanka Chopra, a friend of Meghan’s shared that “she’s doing amazing. It’s so nice to see.”

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