Evan Rachel Wood celebrated her 30th birthday on Thursday, and took the opportunity to open up about what getting older means to her, and what major life lessons she's learned along the way.
The Westworld star wrote a guest piece for Nylon where she addresses her divorce, motherhood, and the importance of trusting your gut no matter what.
"I very easily could have been dead in my 20s," Wood says. "I think a lot of people can relate to this. I did not think I would make it this far. So every second is a gift."
The actress admits that although her 20s were a "wonderful nightmare," she has chosen to let her past empower her rather than define her. One of the most defining moments of her 20s was her divorce from Jamie Bell in 2014, which she describes as an "out-of-body experience" and "the worst heartbreak" she's ever gone through.
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"The hardest thing I had to learn and accept was that sometimes, despite what we have been told, love is not enough," she says. "But when I look at my life now and imagine how things would have been different had I stayed married, I can’t say I would have the heart to change anything."
She continues, "I rest easy knowing that I had love, real love, for a short while."
Although her marriage with Bell didn't last, the pair did have a child together, a 3-year-old son. She admits that being a parent is the "hardest, most amazing" thing a person can do in their life, and becoming a mom made her see her parents in a completely different light.
"Becoming a mom is the best thing I ever did with my life, but it’s not for everyone," she explains. "It’s harder than you think and you are never ready, but it will open up your heart in ways you never thought possible."
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Finally, Wood explains why finding your truth and trusting your intuition are a few of the most important things you can do for yourself. She insists that you must "learn to say no, without guilt," and to follow the wise words of Dr. Seuss, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
"Don’t play games," she says. "Don’t make people guess. Don’t expect them to know what you need, we can’t read minds… yet."
"Trust your intuition," she continues. "After asking yourself the important questions, know when the problem isn’t about you. Learn the red flags for toxic people. Sometimes you learn by falling into the trap. If you are feeling drained of your life force, that’s a red flag. If you don’t know who you are anymore, that’s a red flag. If you constantly walk on eggshells and make yourself smaller to please someone else, that’s a red flag. If your self-worth is placed on another person’s opinion of you, that’s a red flag."
For more on Wood, watch the video below.