Sarah Weldon
December 14, 2017 AT 02:00 PM EST

Taylor Swift turned 28 this week and celebrated by posting a message to her fans on Instagram: “I love you guys so much. … I couldn’t have asked for a better year, all thanks to you. Thanks for all the birthday wishes. Can’t wait to see what 28 will be like. See you on tour.”

But as social media users were quick to point out, 2017 was viewed as a remarkably difficult time for many — and the daily news headlines this year were dominated by stories of strife, unrest, and tragedy.

Swift’s year, however, was marked by great professional triumph and personal victory. Her latest album, reputation, sat comfortably atop the Billboard 200 charts for weeks. The album broke the 1 million sales mark in the U.S. in its first week and she has a world tour kicking off in May. Swift also stood among the women who graced the cover of TIME‘s Person of the Year issue after speaking out and winning her sexual assault case against former radio host David Mueller.

“My advice is that you not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you,” she said to TIME about sexual harassment. “You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you.”

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