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I recently celebrated my 22nd birthday, and it was definitely my favorite birthday yet. Despite that fact, I ended up crying. Why?

Here was the lineup for my 22nd:

Birthday Eve: I ran errands with friends preparing for my birthday party later that night. My friends turned up in all white outfits (per the invite, I told them to dress like the beginning of Taylor Swift’s “I Bet You Think About Me” music video) and celebrated me in the kindest way I can imagine. We sang “22”, drank Shirley Temples, did birthday trivia, and had a great time. I got to see friends I hadn’t seen in a while and catch up; I adored the entire night. Went to sleep. Cry count: 0. 

Birthday Day: I packed for Thanksgiving Break and cleaned my house a bit. The plan for the day was to drive to Houston from College Station and go to the Yule Ball (a Harry Potter experience being hosted in Downtown Houston) with my three closest friends. I got my hair and makeup done prior to that, and I felt like a million bucks. It was a great night and ended with Italian food and presents from my friends. Cry count: 1. 

I ended up crying on the way to the Yule Ball because we were running late. It was NOT a big deal, but I freaked out and came close to ruining my night. My own expectations weren’t met in such a small way, and it brought me to tears SO fast. 

Birthdays can be hard, even if the events occuring are so far from being saddening. For me, I think birthdays commence a subconscious review of the entire past year: the good, the bad, and the ugly. While I may see this one day as a reflection of that time, it is also simply a day to celebrate with my friends. I cried, that’s a fact. But I also had an amazing day with my friends and family. What I realized is that my crying didn’t take away the overall happiness of the day. It was just an emotional time. 

I am constantly learning new lessons in my twenties, and this past weekend I learned that my tears are normal, even on a day that’s celebrating me. 

Susana is a senior Kinesiology major at Texas A&M University. She loves to travel and recently studied abroad in Croatia and Belgium with Mays Business School. Her favorite hobbies include volunteering at her local library, reading fantasy novels, and analyzing Taylor Swift's latest easter egg.