What to Do When a Role Model Lets You Down


He was always someone I looked at in exhaustive admiration for support, encouragement- a reason for existing.

Then he became just like everyone else

And I was the one who felt stupid.


We all have that one person we put on a pedestal, a race in our minds- they cross the finish line first. Not because they’re the fastest but because they have no competition. We have people in our lives we hold up so highly that we have to strain our necks to look their way. In our minds, when it comes to moral high grounds and perfected demeanor, there is our role model and there’s the rest of the world. Always detached, never fused into the same categories in our minds.

They’re perfect.

It’s the way they make us feel: safe, comfortable, validated. It’s the way they always seem to do the right thing, even when it isn’t easy. It’s the way that they always know what to say to calm us down, to make us feel special. It’s the way that when we think of them, we only know moments of inspiration, of sanction.

What happens when those ideals are shattered? What are we supposed to do when the person we look up to the absolute most in the world lets us down?

The answer is I don’t know. I didn’t anyway. This very moment materialized when I least expected it and honestly, I didn’t know what to do. Unfortunately, in my life, this moment has happened far more often than I wish it would and I was forced to reach inside myself and deal with it in one of the only ways I know how: making mental lists.

List making seems tedious, pointless maybe but it has helped me navigate these situations and keep what is important for moving on, in the forefront of my mind. So here it is.


The World is Not Against You


It’s a very world-shattering moment. At first, it’s so easy to get the sinking feeling where your heart drops to your stomach and it seems like the entire world is out to get you. Losing trust, confidence, and faith in the one person who was always an endless supply of all those things, can feel unjust. I often think of the feeling being as if I was walking across a long area rug and someone came by and pulled the entire rug out from under me, leaving me to fall and become injured on the hard floor. I think that’s why it’s such a common expression. It’s heartbreakingly unexpected because they were the one person you could always count on. It’s so easy to feel like: if this person can let me down, then so can everyone else. It’s even easier to feel like if this person isn’t here for you, the rest of the world could never be. It’s important to keep in mind that the entire world is not out to get you. Humans are supposed to be imperfect; it’s woven into their DNA. They are flawed, they make mistakes, they lie, and they disappoint- most of them will disappoint many people over and over again. Even if this person seemed like your entire world, seemed like your personal moral compass, they’re only human.


Don’t Get Angry


Even though I made this list, I find this one particularly difficult to follow. I think, at first, when the fall out begins to unwind, we get angry at them for deceiving us. It’s normal to feel this way. However, I felt angrier with myself. I felt stupid for idolizing this person who only treated me the same way that others who disappointed me had. I felt stupid for thinking that this person wanted what was best for me, that they were rooting for me when they weren’t. I felt stupid and that made me angry. I think the hardest truth to come to terms with is that I thought this person was different. I thought that this person would never fall under the category of people who have hurt me.

But they did.

Thinking that someone is “different” and realizing they’re not, can be devastating. When you give someone their own unique category in your heart, its destruction can create so much chaos. You find yourself asking who can I trust now? And even more devastating yet is the question of why wasn’t I good enough? It’s such a slap in the face to be wrong about someone who was so concrete in your life. It’s important to remember that their mistakes will never be your fault.  It will never be a reflection on your worth and value as a person. Don’t be angry with yourself, let that feeling go. It has no room in you open and loving heart.


It’s Not a Bad Thing to Open Your Heart


I remind myself that opening my heart to this person, leaving myself vulnerable for letdown, is not a bad thing. To open my heart and let someone in at all, to spread kindness and inspire inclusion, will never be wrong. I find myself again feeling stupid for opening myself up but the truth is, even after so much pain, I am still grateful that I did it. When I reach deep down within myself, I have realized that I would rather love the people I do and let them hurt me then to have never loved them at all. If I had to, I’d do it one hundred times again.

A role model, someone we look up to, their character can become so distorted by the lens of admiration that we look through. We expect the best from them, silently willing them to satisfy our need to feel important, validated. We want this so badly that even when they don’t deliver, we wish they would. We waste our efforts on people who, most of the time, will turn out to be just like everyone else anyway.


People Are Not God


Humans are not perfect. They never will be. The only perfect being in this universe is our God. He is whole and perfect and doesn’t ever make a mistake. Even though we understand this truth, we still sometimes expect humans to be perfect. Why? Why do we expect perfection from someone that we know fundamentally could never deliver it?

Mistakes are so expected, encouraged even. People will let us down and disappoint us. It’s their nature. We can’t expect perfection from anyone. As hard as it is to deal with, as heartbreaking as it can be, we must remember that having our ideals skewed and our morals blur in the face of our setbacks is one of the most natural parts of life. It’s unavoidable.

People are people. Even if it seemed like you held this person, this role model, to a different standard than most other people in your life, they can still fail you. It’s so important to be empathetic and look past your despair towards forgiveness. After all, we’re all human and just because you held this person up so highly, it doesn’t mean that they don’t still deserve your forgiveness.

We pick these people to be our role model for a reason. we admire something within them and even when they make mistakes, that something is still there. After such a letdown, things won’t be the same- I won’t lie- but it’s so important to remember all the things we loved about them in the first place. Remember how they made you feel- empowered, confident, special.

Remember all the things you love about them, go through this list, take a deep breath, and move on. Let all the anger, all the hurt, all the disappointment flee. Take back your understanding of the world even if your point of view has shifted.

Even if things are never the same again, you are a stronger person because of them.

We’re Not Broken




She walks around in a daze, blinded by her overwhelming love for the world until its people turned their backs on her and the fantasy was shattered.

She let the pieces lie.

We weren’t broken until the world said we were.



There’s almost beauty in rumors and lies, the elaborate creativity is enough to sell novels, fill up hours of screentime, and does not falter at the feet of ruining lives.

I guess, if I’m honest with myself, I get the appeal. Sometimes the details blur and the accusations fly but at least we’re getting original. Rumors are more exciting than the truth- it’s in their design, woven into every fiber of their sharp texture. It’s their purpose. If a rumor wasn’t grand in design, it wouldn’t exist. Its entire purpose is to incite shock and provoke gossip to sweep an entire community.

Or maybe that’s only how it works in mini towns where everyone is so compelled to have the world do their thinking for them. If you are ever so unfortunate to be in with these people, you’re in for life. If you’re not…..

People want to believe the rumors. Rumors are more exciting, dragging names and reputations into scandal just to feel better about ourselves. We believe the worst because its almost riveting when other people’s lives go to chaos and for a moment, we can feel better about ours. Or maybe it’s just to feel cool.

I’ve never tasted that side of understanding.

But, a feeling I have tasted, is one that I couldn’t place for a very long time. I was regularly looking over my shoulder, waiting for the next colossal gossip wave to crash over and drag me under. Sometimes I drowned.

Sometimes I swam. For a while anyway.

The feeling was of brokenness. Of severed ties to my life preserver. Of a relationship fragmented over words.

Words, stories, tales, rumors.

For a long time, my relationship felt broken. Not because it was but because other people said it was. Rumors don’t hide in the way that some of us skirt the outer walls of the parties we’re never invited to anyway. They make themselves seen, heard, and interpreted in the worst ways.

Knowing that the rumors were flourishing faster than I could resurface for air hands me the worst restlessness I’ve ever known. It’s exhausting to constantly defend my relationship, my person, my best friend. It’s useless. No matter how great our love, to others it’s concealed by the ever more appealing fabrications. The truth is bland in comparison.

What did you hear? That my fiancé is charming, sweet, and has been in love with me since we were sixteen?

Of course you didn’t hear that. Why would you? When compared to lies, secrets, and sex, why would the truth even interest you? Two people are in love- how overwhelmingly dull. Cheating? That’s intriguing. Lies? Tell us more.

In the end, I ended my defense. I let the rumor garden swell and become fields of collapsing optimism. People were no longer authentic in my eyes. Rumors painted the faces of friends ugly and turned me eternally guarded, cold. Rumors ripped trust from my bones and guaranteed I would never feel safe to open up again.

You can give all of your love to a place, to people and get nothing in return. Sometimes I just want to shake them, beg them to believe the truth. I wanted to plead with their understanding even though it never wanted honesty anyway. My mind made everyone into an enemy, assuming they thought the worst of me, of us.

We must be broken because I was broken.

For a long time, I was enveloped with the idea that I must deserve it. I must deserve to be silently mocked for… what was it again? Letting my boyfriend cheat on me? Or was it knowing that he did and still agreeing to spend a lifetime with him? I don’t know which makes me feel worse.

But the truth, that my fiancé and I have been in love since we were sixteen and  have grown up together working hard on our relationship because forever together is all we’ve ever dreamed of , that’s never uttered. Never shared among the crowds of gossip.

So for a moment, I thought that he and I were broken. I held this feeling in my heart for such a long time because I couldn’t let go of the ache that now surrounded the best thing that has ever happened to me. Because the stories came from the mouths people I love, I felt trapped in an endless loop of rumor suffocation. I will never allow myself to feel that level of agonizing betrayal.

People don’t take feelings into consideration, that’s the funny thing. Actually, I guess it’s not that funny. Feelings drive everything we do yet mine were heaved aside for someone else to get the feeling of… well what is the feeling you’re searching for? Satisfaction? Triumph? A sense of accomplishment?

I  had let people who will never care about me make me feel broken. I had let the overwhelming anxiety cave into every crevice of my exterior that I was trying so hard to hold together.

It cracked.

It was so easy to feel out of place in a world of people that would never accept us. It’s confusing to feel so right when deception rears it’s ugly head and manufactures such heartbreak. But we’re not broken just because people say we are- even if it’s the whole world.

We’re still us, the same us we have always been. The same us that falls in love more and more with each new day. He is my dream in a person.

I hate that rumors have ripped the optimism right out of my soul and forced my heart to be even more guarded than it already was. I can’t be that girl anymore who walks around blind to the slander and the bruises that it brings.

I hate that the truth goes silent because, as far as truth goes, it’s a pretty great one.

22 Things I’ve Learned in 22 Years


Hello hello hello beautiful reading people!

It has been a hot minute (or couple of months) since my last post. I was randomly thumbing through my diary yesterday looking for literally ANYTHING to write about because I’ve been disconnected from this space for so long,  I was low on inspiration. I came across the entry I made on my 22nd birthday where I shared 22 important things that I’ve learned in 22 years. If they were just dumb life tips, they would never find their way into my blog, but as I read the things I’ve learned , I was almost in tears. I think the things I shared on that day are important and so, as this blog is a reflection of my life, I wanted to share them here.

So here we go, exclusive access to Cerena’s diary 🙂

(Yes I know, writing a diary is the most lame)

1. )  Life does not always go as planned- and that’s okay. I will defiantly not be graduating college in the spring and as upset as that used to make me, I now know that plans change. The path for my life will probably change hundreds of different times and as heartbreaking as that can seem, it is important to remind myself simply: it is okay.

2.) If you let yourself stray from your close relationship to God, you will feel it. It will be so prevalent that it will affect every single thing in your life. I sometimes find myself becoming “lazy” essentially in my relationship with God, taking advantage of the fact that no matter what, He will always be there for me. This past year alone, it  has become so obvious that I could never do anything without Him. He quite literally has carried me most of the time.

3.) Everything happens for a reason- trust in His plan. When you think things are falling apart, just remind yourself that they are not. They are about to fall into place so get ready!

4.) Do not listen to sad songs when you’re sad, they will absolutely make you more sad. 

5.) Life will always be worth living. You have greatness to achieve and so many lives to touch.

6.) Not everyone is going to like you.  This is so hard for me to accept because I am a libra and also need so much validation from others. Yeah……I am working on it.

7.) You will never lose weight/ get the body you want unless you do it in a healthy way. Everyone is different but for me, I have always struggled with body image. I have tried so many incredibly unhealthy ways to “get skinnier” without realizing how much I was damaging myself both mentally and physically. It was recently, actually after I turned 22, that I decided that I was going to change my whole entire lifestyle and live in a way that promotes a healthy body image.

8.) You can’t keep a close friendship with someone who doesn’t believe in God. As hard as it can be to cut off friendships, I’ve come to the realization that someone who doesn’t share my desire to be in relationship with God isn’t someone I could ever truly be close with. When it feels like you’re friends with someone but the friendship’s not going anywhere and feels shallow, it’s because you cannot connect with them on a deeper level when they don’t share your same beliefs. This isn’t to say that you can’t make strives to lead them into relationship with God but when they explicitly express that they are not interested, sometimes it’s best to not peruse a deeper friendship. They can anchor you down and limit your growth in your own relationship with God.

9.) Don’t regret the decisions that have gotten you to where you are today. It’s so easy to regret decisions that you’ve made that maybe didn’t work out as you originally planned. The way I look at it, I may have regrets but each decision I made brought me to this very spot today. Maybe I regret where I decided to go to school , maybe I regret not studying for a test, but I will never regret meeting the people I have met along the way. If not making mistakes meant never meeting some of the people in my life, I would make the same mistake a million times again.

10.) Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. This goes for anything and everything you want. Follow your dreams and remember that you deserve the world.

11.) Friends will come and go. I’ve learned that when friends decide to leave your life and it seems so sudden and tragic- you will try to blame yourself. I’ll pick myself apart and wonder why I’m such a terrible person that nobody wants to be around me anymore. I’ve done a ton of soul-searching and now know why I don’t make friends easily, or keep the ones I had. But instead of focusing on how I can ruin relationships, I choose to focus on how I can use what I’ve learned to be a better friend in the future.

12.) Time Flies. Time really does fly by like it’s nothing. I feel as if the older I get, the faster time goes by. Or maybe, I’m just old enough to understand how precious it is.

13.) Be grateful for everything. Remind everyone in your life how much you love and appreciate them and do it often. Be grateful for the little things, the things you take for granted constantly-your home, the food you eat, the ability to spend time with friends and family. Be grateful for the life God has given you every single day and don’t forget to thank Him for it.

14.) Don’t compare yourself to others, especially on social media. I have recently fallen into the trap of constantly comparing myself and my life to the life of someone I know based on their Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. This is so unhealthy because you are comparing your whole entire life, the highs and the lows, to their highlight reel, to what they choose to put out into the world. As cliche as it is, you can’t compare your chapter four to someone else’s chapter twenty. Life isn’t a race.

15.) Go after the things that you want fearlessly. When I set my sights on something I want, I put it out into the universe that I will have it. Anyway, anyhow, I will achieve the things I want to, will accomplish the dreams I have. This helps me to not worry about whether or not these things will come to pass because I have all the confidence in the world that they will.

16.) Do what scares you. I’ve learned, especially lately, to get outside my comfort zone and whenever something seems scary, I take that as a sign that it might be a good thing to try.

17.)  It’s okay to be an adult who is still young at heart. I will never apologize for being one of the world’s biggest Disney fans.

18.) Everyone is fighting their own battle. You will never know what someone else is going through mentally, it doesn’t show on the outside. Be kind to everyone, with your words, actions, and the way you treat others. Choose to spread only kindness and positivity to those around you.

19.) The sadness will end. It’s so easy to get sucked in by depression or even just a deep sadness from loss, heartbreak, or suffering and think that it will never end. It’s so easy to feel like it’ll be this way forever. But it won’t. Sadness is a season, it may come to stay a  while but it won’t last.

20.) It’s okay to miss people who are not in your life anymore. I remember telling someone I know that I think it”s unhealthy to think about old friends almost everyday. They looked me in the eyes and said that is completely normal. Time really does heal all wounds because the more time you put between now and when it happened, the better you will feel. Everyday gets easier and it’s okay to miss people.

21.)  Love your big heart. I have learned to love my big heart and my love for other people. I fall in love with every person that I meet. I used to feel like getting so easily attached to people was a curse, I would blame myself for all the pain I cause myself by becoming so invested in other people but the truth is, I would so much rather feel every single thing so deeply than feel nothing at all.

22.) It’s okay to not be okay. Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned in the past 22 years is that it is so important to put your mental health first. It is so important to prioritize your feelings and feel validated by friends and family. It’s also important to not be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Losing a Best Friend

Hello hello hello hello beautiful people!


So I skipped a week or so or a million, do not come for me! I finished this post Monday night and was sad that I had to wait 4 more days to post it! 😦

But I’m tryna be a consistent content queen 🙂

Like I have said before, I will randomly get super inspired for a blog post and just start typing away….

(that’s me right now, my fingers are literally flying across the keyboard 🙂 )

And this idea just came to me the other day and I thought:

What an interesting topic to discuss in my blog.

Because, you guys know, that I love to share my personal experiences on this blog. It seems like lately I have been sharing the more unfortunate things that have happened in my life than positives.

I should really stop doing that …

But if my own experiences, situations, and the story of how I dealt with them can help one person going through something similar, then my job is done.

And if not, you have helped me by allowing me to share these personal stories and allowing me to feel these feelings without judgement.

Anyway, the topic of losing friends is one I think most people can relate to. Especially new adults like myself who are basically growing into their adult life.

That is such a weird way to phrase that but its the only way I can think to describe it. You’re growing up and quickly and everything seems to be changing so fast.

People naturally grow apart and even the closest people find themselves  acquiring different interests, different desires for their life, and just in general, no longer fit in each other’s lives. It’s a completely natural thing. I always stress that this is completely normal. Sometimes, losing people in your life can feel like it is the end of the world.

It’s not.

And sometimes it’s inevitable. Remind yourself that the people who are meant to be in your life will always be.

But for me, I find it so incredibly weird that someone who was once your other half, someone who you were completely inseparable from, is now a complete stranger that you make awkward small talk with. Someone who knew all of your secrets, all of your dreams, and supported you no matter what, is gone.

Which is where the inspiration for this topic came into my brain because I lost a best friend years and years ago and I actually ran into her a few months ago on campus.

And it was that strangeness of just talking about small insignificant things while also knowing very very personal things about them. And them about me.

I guess we should give this person a fake name in case they read this blog post (unlikely) and also, I like giving people fake names because it’s kinda funny.

Had to be there I guess.


Let’s call her Susan.

Susan was my BEST friend. And by best friend I mean BEST BEST BEST BEST friend. She is the closest friend I have ever had. I have never been this close to anyone in my life besides Hunter (obviously) and my family.

I think we all have a soulmate in the form of a husband, partner, lover but I also think we have friends that are our soulmates as well. Like a soul sister.

She was mine.

We were friends from, I wanna say, the 5th grade to the end of our freshman year of high school.

Susan came from a family similar to mine- good parents, good siblings, Christian based home with rules and good morals. We had a lot in common- which we all know is basis for a good friendship.

And when I say we had a lot in common- no, I do not mean that we both like Chipoltle and swear by Starbucks frappecinos. We had deep and intellectual things in common.

We both wanted to write books. I remember we used to text each other excerpts from our respective novels. We would literally critique each other’s work over the phone. We would make suggestions on what to add and which parts needed to go where. It was so weird.

We both cared a lot about our grades and about school. This is so weird for two girls that were so young but we used to do our homework when we hung out. Like we would finish our homework, discuss it, and then do whatever else we had planned for the day.

We both were very religious and put our relationship with God above everything else. We used to go to church together and pray together. Praying isn’t something that  I even do with Hunter that often. I don’t know if you realize how comfortable you have to be with someone to pray with them.

So our friendship was a deep and meaningful one. In the best way.

We had different personalities. She was more outgoing in places where I was more reserved. She was much more outspoken than me, she had an easier time talking to people than I seemed to. I can’t think of an example now, but I know that I brought out a different side of her too.

Our personalities complimented each other.

I even later found it hard to be outgoing and talk to people and get outside of my little shell when she wasn’t around.

But she was my best friend, like I said. She was my soulmate. We did everything together. She was basically another sister to me.

We spent A LOT of time together. At the time, I didn’t know much of the world outside of our little friendship bubble. As quickly as we became best friends, I also became very dependent upon her.

I felt like I could’t do homework without discussing it with her, couldn’t buy an outfit without asking her opinion, or couldn’t talk to my other friends and peers without her by my side.

It was like this for awhile, well into our freshman year.

But as high school usually does, it forced us to grow apart.

We no longer played on the same sports teams-she played basketball and ran track. We no longer had every class together and couldn’t do our homework together in study hall.

She made new friends, just as I always knew she would. I mean, why wouldn’t she?

She was outgoing and bubbly and had this way of making everyone she talked to feel special. She was beautiful and all the guys seemed to like her for that even though, I always knew it was because she was such a sweet and kind person. She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.

She made boys feel special too.

So in the presence of this newfound space between us, in walks jealousy and spite. I was jealous that even though we still made the effort to be friends, I wasn’t her only friend anymore. I felt like I was slowly losing my best friend.

The people she became friends with weren’t the best. They didn’t share her morals, they didn’t make the best choices.  I always knew that she wouldn’t follow in their footsteps or let them influence her but it still made me angry that she chose to spend time with them. I was thinking: what about me?

To add some more drama, there were boys. There were boys that I liked that obviously chose her. There were arguments, petty fights, you know the drill with 15 year old girls.

I honestly cannot, for the life of me, remember what incident went down that ultimately led to us deciding to call the friendship quits.

Isn’t that crazy? You build this special friendship around mutual love and support and can’t even remember what led to its fallout.

That right there proves its insignificance.

The small and insignificant things, details, feelings, even relationships that mean nothing can tear two people apart- if you let it.

There were boys, other friends involved but ultimately, it was her and I who let the friendship slip.  I’m not placing any blame on her, or myself for that matter. It was a group effort- or lack of.

It was her and I who let the pettiness, the drama destroy our bond as sisters. It was us who let the little things come between us.

And if you ask me now at 21 years old, I am still the QUEEN of losing friends. Of letting old bonds fade and friendships be severed over nothing.

Also I’ve learned that it’s because I am THE WORST at reaching out to people. Hands down. But that’s a discussion for a whole nother blog post.

But just as quickly as we fell into our deep friendship, we were falling out. I knew I didn’t want our “goodbye” to be forever but I would later learn that it was.

I was too shy to reach out to her,even awhile after things cooled down and it seemed safe again. She never reached out either.

For me, it was because I was too afraid that  I would bother her with my attempts. I figured she never wanted talk to me again, never wanted to be friends again. I let the fear of being rejected keep me from reaching out to a friend and possibly save a really good friendship.

We later would be on the same sports team again for a season and there was a flicker of possibility that things could go back to normal. We hung out a few times, we talked like we used to.

But too much time had passed and things would just never be the same.

For us, that’s where the story ends. Two friends close as can be through middle school and early high school and now- complete strangers.

So here is where the life lesson comes in- grab your popcorn 🙂

I would love to meet the guy who has never lost a single friend (and like get his secret 😉 )

I wish we could be close to everyone we once were, I wish I could have kept all of my closest friends from middle school, high school, college. But the truth is, we can’t.

We’re constantly changing and just as quickly as you’re changing, so are your friends. Sometimes, friends grow in opposite directions, their visions, interests no longer align. The bond between them simply falters at the hands of these differences.

My 21 year old self doesn’t have anything in common with the people I was friends with at 17 years old. Not to say that I don’t love them and wish we were friends but as I keep growing and changing so do they.

I’ve learned from this situation alone that you lose friends- simply put.

Never in my dreams could I have imagined losing this person and yet here I was doing exactly that.

It happens. We grow up and naturally, people grow apart. It’s all a part of becoming who you are. Sometimes we outgrow friendships, we lose that common interest, that special bond.

That is completely normal. It’s so weird when you think about it but you don’t have to stay close to someone out of obligation. You move on and do your thing.

However, sometimes it can be quite the opposite. Sometimes it’s not about growing apart mentally, it’s about being scared to reach out after so much time has passed.

If you’re feeling like maybe the friendship shouldn’t have ended, maybe there was still potential there that you could start over and be close again, I encourage you to reach out to that person.

If you feel like maybe all you need is someone to make the first move and reach out, be that person. I guarantee it will almost always be mutual.

If it’s not, at least you were the one who tried, you were the one who gave it your all.

I think, for me especially, what gets in the way of mending broken friendships is fear. Fear that if you do reach out after all this time, you’ll be rejected, you’ll be ignored, you’ll be bothering them.

I would say that in most cases, that won’t be true. Nobody minds hearing from an old friend even if it’s to catch up for only a moment.

I honestly haven’t thought about Susan or our friendship in years and when I was reminded of it now- as an adult- it opened my eyes. I’ve changed so much from my middle school/ high school self and I see my own past experiences with new clarity.

At the time, I didn’t see the situation as  I do now. I was blinded by the pettiness, the drama, and honestly- feeling like  I had to hate her just because we weren’t close anymore.

But now that I’m not such a teenager, I’ve realized that the friendship was always there, just not the effort. That’s on me.

Losing friends isn’t the end of the world. It feels like the end of the world, trust me, I know. Losing a friend is worse than a breakup and way, way, way, way messier.

Friendships hurt because they matter. They”re important.

Even as you do grow up and grow apart from old friends, don’t carry any bitterness, jealousy, hatred in your heart for them. After all, at one point, they were everything to you. You can’t un-love someone.

The people who are meant to be in your life will be in your life. Cherish them, thank them, be incredibly grateful for them. Don’t ever think it’s not important to tell your friends how much they mean to you.

If you’re one of f those people with the same single best friend since birth,  I admire you. Truly.

But if you’re like most of us and you do lose a best friend or even several along your journey, just know that you’re not alone and it always gets better!


Love and hugs,

Cerena 🙂

We Make Our Own Fairytales Here

Hello hello hello beautiful people!

I know, I know, I KNOW I am back at you again with inconsistent blog posts after I told you I was making more time for this…

I’ve decided that I will be posting a new blog post every Friday now! I know, I know you will be waiting in anticipation every Friday from now on 🙂

I thought if I set aside one day to come out with a blog post every week, I could stay more consistent so here’s hoping!

Today’s post is something that I have been thinking about for a really long time and has been on my mind for awhile now.

And it’s this:

People don’t understand you if you’re different. Most people anyway.

Some people find your differences endearing and know that it’s what makes you unique. Others see differences as being “weird”, “off”, or just dumb.

I can be honest here-that’s what this blog is for- and say that  I am defiantly not normal. I’ve always been one of those people terrified to conform, scared of fitting in. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to stand out. With my clothes, my hobbies, the way I talked and treated people. I wanted to leave people thinking: “hey, she’s a little different.”

I remember people saying:

Why would you wear that?

Why would you post that picture?

Among other hurtful things that only reinforced that I was different. But it was always intentional. The differences that make me who I am  never embarrassed me, never made me want to act like everyone else. The negative comments, the people with the intention of hurting my feelings by saying I dress weird, I look weird, I talk weird never made me want to change.

And that’s important.

Because I think there is incredible weirdness inside of all of us. We all have creative ideas, huge dreams, and are drawn to romanticize everyday life.  But for the most part, it’s just easier to get through high school, to get through life, by adapting to the normal and trying our hardest to blend in.

But not me.

I’m 21 years old now and I still love Disney movies, I still want to be a mermaid , I still love to read fantasy books that take me to another world. I still sometimes pretend that I go to Hogwarts, I still obsess over all the animals at the zoo, and now- I make weird Youtube videos.

And this is all okay by me. I fear the day that I wake up and don’t know all the words to the latest Disney song or I don’t remember where I put my mermaid tail. To me, these things make me feel special. They make me Cerena.

But all of this, to other people, sometimes comes across as being childish.

Okay really childish.

I’ve been told to “grow up”, “act your age”, “be an adult for once”

And these things make me very incredibly sad which brings me to the whole point of this post:

We make our own fairytales here.

This is earth, this is America. There is no magic here. There’s no guaranteed happily ever after for every character. There’s no breaking into musical songs after experiencing a hardship-there’s just hardships.

What may come across as being childish or caring about things I shouldn’t, is just how I keep the magic real in my life.

I’ve always been more on the creative side of things. I know that growing up means giving up the power to create and fantasize in my own mind.

I’ve given up so much of it  already.

But if growing older and becoming mature and becoming an adult goes hand in hand with giving up my imagination entirely, then I’m not sure that I ever want that for myself.

I never want to lose the part of me that is childish because that is the same part that allows me to dream, that reminds me to believe in myself, and reminds me that it’s okay to be different.

Over the years, in moments of doubt, I found myself wondering if it would be easier to just try harder to fit in. Rather than having to defend myself, justify my creativity, and explain to those  who will never understand why I do the things that I do.

In high school, middle school, elementary school I was made fun of ALL THE TIME. It was always for being different, for thinking differently, and for caring about things that my peers did not.

I remember this like it happened yesterday….. I had become inspired by a photo shoot I watched on America’s Next Top Model (don’t even lie you watched it too) where they modeled with their bodies covered in paint. I thought paint would be such a cool thing to work with, mind you- this was at the VERY beginning of my journey in learning photography so I was very inexperienced. But basically I got the idea to paint my own face and take a picture of it.

I worked incredibly hard on this photo, editing it just right, just perfect. I remember feeling nervous to post the photo to my Instagram page since- let’s’ face it- it was a little extra. Back then anyway. But I was so happy with the way it turned out and I was excited for the rest of the world to see it (okay just my Instagram followers 🙂 ).

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And I remember my friends making fun of me,even my boyfriend thought the photo was weird. And that’s one of the moments when I really realized that my ideas, my thoughts, weren’t even in the same ball park as the people around me.

But I was okay with that.

I don’t owe anyone an explanation.I don’t owe anyone an apology for all the things that make me who I am.

I wanna paint my face, I wanna dream a new dream everyday, I want to take photos in front of my green screen and photoshop Hogwarts in the background. I don’t want to live a boring and mundane life. I try my hardest to put magic in every single thing that I do.

In my relationship with my fiance, Hunter, he now willingly participates in any weird thing I want to do. Whether it’s dressing up as the Tune Squad for Halloween, or taking Tangled theme engagement photos before our Tangled themed wedding.

My biggest dream in life is to be a mom someday. I hope that when that day comes, I won’t have lost all the magic. I want my children to grow up visiting Disney world, reading the Harry Potter books or whatever great adventures will come out, and I want them to know, first hand, the magic that comes along with loving yourself exactly the way you are.

I wanna be the mom who watches every Disney movie with her kids 1,000 times (and knows every song), who dresses up for fun-not just Halloween. I wanna play the soap opera that is Barbies with my daughter and take them to my favorite place- Disney World. I wanna read the books they’ll read, about adventure and magic and love.

I want to wear my Mickey Mouse ears to the grocery store and not even care.

I have done that before.

I cannot stress it enough that it is UP TO US to make our own happy ending. There is no writer with his pen to fix all of our problems and ensure our happy endings. There is only you to make sure your life is full of magic, creativity, and imagination. Do not let what other people think discourage you.

Live your life the way you want to live it, mouse ears and all. It will always be okay to act a little childish for as long as you live because we truly do make our own fairytales here.

Love and hugs,

Cerena 🙂

Dear Mom,

Dear mom,

We met, face-to-face, for the first time 21 years ago. Actually we met 21 years 6 months and 21 days ago because this is Mother’s Day.

Wow. I bet you can remember when you were 21.

All young and carefree and smiles because you were probably thinking about marrying my dad.

You probably were not thinking of me.

Maybe you were thinking of me though. Maybe in a nameless, faceless kind of way. Like when you thought of how happy my dad made you sometimes maybe your mind would wander to the thought of children who looked like him. Or like you.

Maybe you thought you would like a son, or maybe you knew you would love whatever you were given. And then shortly after, you let your mind wander to the thought of having a daughter and that was me.

Well it wasn’t me yet but it would be.

Maybe you were scared because you didn’t know how to be a mom. I mean, nobody teaches you that. But you knew already that you would love me unconditionally my entire life.

I was loved when  I was only a thought.  I was loved before I had a face, a name, before I even existed, I was loved.

My brother would make you a mom. And today you’ve loved him for 23 years, 1 month, and 12 days.

You were already a mom when I came along. You already loved me but after I was born,you finally got to hold me in your arms.

I have a face now! And a name!

And I didn’t know, the day that we met, that you would become my best friend, my biggest hero, and the greatest love I’ve ever known.

You were  always there when I needed you. Always.

Do you remember, when I was four years old, I told you that I wanted to stay that age forever?  I said I never wanted to grow up because I just wanted to hang out with my mom everyday.

I still feel that sometimes.

You and my dad brought me to church and introduced me to Jesus Christ. I remember because I was too young to really understand who Jesus was and what His role was in all of this but I always knew that He was a friend.

The love I experienced throughout my entire childhood was overwhelming. I can remember more of my childhood than most people can and it was an endless stream of love, laughter, and whole lot of forcing you to play Barbies 🙂

We drifted apart, not too far, but a little when I became a teenager. Doesn’t everyone though?

I most defiantly tested your unconditional love by being very annoying. I can remember getting into arguments and looking back, I just know they had to have been over the silliest of things. Like not being allowed to go to someone’s sleepover, being out past curfew, to name a few.

When you got sick, I always knew we were all going to make it through together. I had so much faith in my friend Jesus because He knew I couldn’t live without my mom.

He knew there were 5 children who couldn’t live without their mom.

It’s weird because I always looked to you when I needed strength and there you were, through everything, still strong, still hopeful, still amazingly unfaltering.

And now as I grow into adulthood, you’re not only my mom but my closest friend.

I tell you everything. You give me advice, you laugh at my jokes, you listen to me. You really listen to me and care about what I have to say (even if it’s just about what happened in the last book I read).

You bring out the very best in me. You’ve always taught me what it is to have morals, to know right from wrong.

We’re all tempted to make the wrong decisions, I’ve made wrong decisions before, we all have. But I always found myself feeling guilty when tempted to do the wrong thing because I love you and my dad too much to not respect the way you raised me. You can’t unlearn integrity, you can’t delete your morals.

I remember ditching the plans I had with you once to hang out with a friend. I still feel bad about it sometimes because here you were, eager to spend time with me and I made you feel like I would rather hang out with my friend. After all those years, I never hear from that friend anymore but you still want to hang out with me all the time.

I am always growing, I am always learning, but I am glad to have realized that you are my best friend forever.

You’ve always been my biggest fan, supported even my wildest of dreams. I was never afraid  of dreaming too big because no matter what my latest fantasy was, you were always there to shower me with noting but love and support.

You’ve never once been selfish for as long as I’ve known you. You have always put my siblings and I first. Always.  I always knew that all of my needs would be taken care of and that’s only because I have such selfless parents who were always willing to do anything for my well-being.

You taught me to respect myself and that is something I can never thank you enough for. As a young woman, I demanded respect from boys and I always knew that I didn’t owe them anything, not my body, not any part of me that I didn’t want to give them. You taught me that I didn’t need validation from anyone but me.

You’re so kind. You’re the kindest person I have ever met and you have been this kind for as long as I’ve known you. You treat everyone as if they were a friend and you go out of your way to make anyone and everyone feel special. I always strive to treat everyone with kindness and I know it’s only because I have seen you do it over and over and over again.

You know that I never say I want to be like anyone else because I like to be different, but I’ve always wanted to be like you. I’ve wanted to be beautiful just like you, know God just like you, treat others with nothing but kindness just like you.

I know that someday I’ll move out. I won’t be your 4 year old little girl anymore who just wants to spend every day with her mom. I know the future is exciting but I’ll miss the nights that  I  can come into your bedroom after a long day and just talk about anything and everything. I will miss having my best friend just down the hall. I will miss you and your influence over me, but I know that it will be in my heart forever.

My biggest dream, what I want most out of this life, is to be a mother. I know because I have those nameless, faceless children in my mind too. And I know that I want so badly to be a mom because I had such an incredible example of what a mother should be to watch my entire life.

I have a mom who is strong, who beat cancer, who inspires me to be kind, who shows me the way to Jesus Christ, who listens, who supports me, who teaches me, and who is my very best friend.

I have a mom who has loved me without pause, without question, with no hesitation, no conditions, just has completely and perfectly loved me.

I have only God to thank for giving me such an incredible mother. He really couldn’t ask for a better follower. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t deserve the parents I have been given.  I don’t deserve the endless amount of blessings you have poured into my life. I could never repay you for everything that you have done for me.

I wanted you to know how much you mean to me not only on this special day, but for everyday for the rest of our lives. I wouldn’t trade a single moment with you for anything in the world. I love you so much! Happy Mother’s Day!

Love you forever,

Cerena 🙂

How I Survived 6 Weeks Without Social Media


Hello hello hello beautiful people!

This blog post today, WOW, I have been working on this forever. Do you ever have like a really good idea and you spend so much time on it because when it comes out, you want it to be just right?

That is me with this post right now. I have been grasping at the right words to say, the right ideas to share with you guys. I want to do right by you in this post, so here is me trying my best to do just that….

Where do I even begin?

I guess I will start at the very beginning…

What is social media?

To me, I sort-of grew up alongside what we now call social media. I was in early middle school when sites like Facebook and Myspace became popular. I was in probably late middle school to early high school as places like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat came onto the scene.

I was in that mix of people who were old enough to make an account on those websites, apps, etc… as they were coming out. I was learning to use them alongside the people learning to create them.

And okay, I wasn’t actually allowed to have a Facebook or Myspace in middle school but I defiantly did anyway….

Sorry mom and Dad.

I remember deleting my internet history after logging onto myspace before anyone would see what I was doing.

My bad.


As the years went on, slowly but surely, social media was woven into my everyday life. It’s so strange but I couldn’t imagine living my life without having places like Facebook and Instagram to post pictures, highlighting my everyday life. I can’t imagine what it was like before we could see what everyone was up to in their picture sharing and posting.

And I eagerly joined in on them.

Did it even happen if you don’t post about it?

Did you really get asked to homecoming if you didn’t post a picture of it?  Did you get into that college, make the team, join the band if you didn’t post about it? Did you really go to prom unless you upload hundreds of pictures to Facebook?

The constant urge to chronicle our everyday lives is so weird when you really think about it.

And I am in no way bashing those people who post everything on the internet because, I am one of them. I think it is great that we can share our personal experiences with our Facebook friends, followers, etc…

But I do, at times, think about how it takes away from just living in the moment and being happy making memories. We are too worried about taking that perfect Instagram-worthy shot.

Or at least I am that way.

So to make a long rambling story short, social media has become, since its creation, a big part of my everyday life.

But there’s a downside to it as well.

I love Instagram. Surprise, surprise. I am a photography enthusiast so I enjoy a platform where we can share photos we’ve taken. I love the idea of a social media page that centers around just posting photos because, in all seriousness, that is what I am most passionate about.

But I became so obsessed with this app, so transfixed with not only the photos other people were posting but about my profile as well. I became OBSESSED with what my personal Instagram feed looked like. I wanted all my photos to match or have a theme to them and look good together on my feed. I began (and this is when you just know you’re a psychopath) to plan out what I would post so that they would match the photos next to them.

It was important to me.

So in a very real way, my Instagram was actually taking up time in my life for such unnecessary things. Like MATCHING YOUR PICTURES.

I’m sorry. I just can’t get over that. That is so crazy.

Do you ever want to punch your old self in the face?

As far as twitter goes, I love twitter. I love the connection that Twitter gives us to people all over the world. We can follow our close friends, family, and keep up with their funny tweets and life updates in the same place that we can follow the President, Ellen Degeneres, J.K. Rowling, to name a few. There’s such a sense of connection with the world there. I follow people from Australia, Europe, Hawaii, New York City, and other places all over the globe.

Somehow, following these people on Twitter makes me feel connected to them, like we are friends. Makes the world feel like a smaller place. And I love Twitter for the single fact that it’s hilarious. So many funny people, funny tweets, and they’re making more hilarious content by the hour.

If you want a laugh, go to Twitter.

But it has its drawbacks.

There’s a thing called sub-tweeting that should’ve just been left in 2014.

Subtweeting (n.)
Indirectly tweeting something about someone without mentioning their name. Even though their name is not mentioned, it is clear who the person tweeting is referring to.

And most of the time, okay all of the time, subtweeting is done with pretty malicious intent.

But hey, I’ve done it, we’ve all done it.

But I am grown now and I don’t see the point in creating pointless internet drama with other people. I’m 21 years old and I am trying my best to be an adult and follow my dreams and yet I still encounter subtweeting and I just don’t get it.

You’re my age and you’re subtweeting-get a life.

Months ago, before the social media cleanse, there was a person subtweeting mean things very clearly about me and I don’t know why but as stupid as it sounds, my feelings were very hurt. I cried. I was upset. Mostly because it was from someone I used to consider a close friend.

But I remember saying that’s it! I’m done! I’m never logging back onto twitter again (that lasted like an hour 🙂 )

And this is where I was just over social media. I started to see all of it in its most negative light.

What even is subtweeting? That is literally so stupid..

Insert fancy transitional phrases because I don’t know what to say before we get into this part……

The religion that I consider myself, at this stage of my life, is Catholic. I was raised Catholic by my two Catholic parents. As the Easter season approached, we celebrate what is known as lent.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of it but just in case you have no idea what I am talking about, it’s a period of 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday (a week before Easter) where we are made to give up something  we like- chocolate, soda, alcohol, meat, fast-food, whatever we like a great deal as it is meant to be a sacrifice.

For Catholics and most Christians,  Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. It is a time to be thankful for the sacrifice He made in giving up His life for us.

He made the ultimate sacrifice and that idea was very near to my heart as I started to think of what I wanted to give up myself for lent.

I realized one  the hardest things to give up for 6 weeks would probably be social media. It would be Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook. They have become such a huge part of my everyday life, it seemed so difficult.

Jesus is my best friend. I can’t even  put into words the amount of love He has for us. He gave His life so that we may spend forever with Him in the kingdom of Heaven.

Wow. No social media is a pretty measly feat.

I wanted to use this newfound “free time” I had to get closer to God. I wanted to prepare my heart for the celebration of His resurrection. In the spare moments I had, sitting in waiting rooms, trying to relax on my lunch break, I would say a prayer. Instead of using free moments to check Instagram, send a snapchat, I would say a little prayer for someone.

And I used to check these apps several times a day.

So after Valentine’s Day, I deleted the Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter app from my phone.

**Real quick side quote: I know I  did not give up Youtube and that is still considered social media. I don’t want people to think I was lying or invalidate what I am sharing in this post because I didn’t give that particular form of social media up. For me, I didn’t see Youtube as an app that I was addicted to or that I found myself caught up in drama on. Before about a month ago, I was not a Youtube creator. I watch videos from other creators on the app pretty regularly but wasn’t making posts of my own. I did decide to start my own channel in this time period (mostly because it was just something I have always wanted to do and like always, I got super inspired randomly). Anyway, even after posting myself I still didn’t lump it in the same  category as other forms of social media because first of all, my mom is the only person whose ever watched those videos (hey mom). Second of all, it still wasn’t this place of hatred or cyber fights that I often experienced on Twitter and also wasn’t obsessing over photos and which ones I should post like I experienced on Instagram. Basically, taking away Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter was where I really struggled and I really made more room and time for God.

I guess after getting over the initial shock of just having no connection to the people I follow on social media, I was always wanting to check things. It was like my fingers had to be constantly opening apps on my phone and checking them. So, when I ran out of social media apps to check regularly throughout the day, I found myself checking my school email just to satisfy that urge.

I never check my school email.

And as far as I can tell you, in regards to how this break from social media has helped me, it changed my entire perspective on how I have been living my life up to this point. When I was forced to see that social media is not reality, my whole world was kind-of broken. I was faced with some tough questions I had to ask myself.

Who am I doing this for? Am I still posting content on the internet for me? Has it become about someone or something else?

Does it still make me happy? Or does it pressure me into presenting myself in a way that is photogenically pleasing?

I have reached into myself and learned that I do not have present myself as wholesome, put-together, aesthetically appealing on the internet because it is not and will never be, a real place. The internet, your Facebook wall, is not reality. How you present yourself online means very little in the real world.

In the world outside of the computer/phone/tablet screen.

This whole experience has literally been a reality check for me. Social media has evolved into almost this bubble that is easily intertwined with reality. Sometimes, it is difficult to tell one from another. It was a wake up call to dissect and separate the two. I hope that going forward, I can keep them that way.

And this experience has also been incredible for my mental health. As someone who has struggled with this, I cannot stress to you how important it is that we take care of our mental health. Taking a step back and evaluating the toll that social media had on my mental health was very insightful. I was allowing negativity, conflict, hatred, judgement in the various forms it can take on through social media into my life without realizing it.

And it all means nothing. At the end of the day, the likes, the comments, the heated debates, the arguing doesn’t mean a single thing.

I am creating, for myself, a new attitude going forward and taking everything I have learned over the past six weeks with me.

If you don’t like someone, don’t agree with the content they are posting whether it is starting arguments, spewing hateful opinions, or just in general putting a negative twist on the world around them- UNFOLLOW THEM.

You do not need that kind of negativity in your life. People will understand. Your mindsets and what you want to spread to the world and share via social media just don’t match up. And that is okay.

Post whatever the hell you want to post. And I mean that. Your pages, your feeds, they are yours. One of the best things about social media (in my opinion) is that they are almost always free sites and apps for anyone to make their own. It’s your place, your digital space, make it exactly how you want it and don’t apologize.

To close (because this post is so long I apologize already 🙂 ):

If you ever find yourself in a situation where social media seems to be doing more harm than good in your life-people are painting the walls with their negative opinions, attacking you personally, or making you feel pressured to present yourself in a different way, I encourage you to take a break. You can always come back to social media when you are ready, whether it’s been 3 hours, 3 days, or 3 weeks. It is always okay to take a break. Sometimes, it is the best thing you can do for your mental health and well-being.

Just remember: God loves you just the way you are. He can see the positive light you are trying to shine on the world and He knows your heart. That will never be based on likes, comments, or the way you present yourself to the world via social media.

If you are still reading this, thank you so much for not ignoring me because I took a little break fro social media for awhile 🙂

Love and Hugs,