I Am My Hair

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Being upset over cutting your hair is so high school.

 

Hey. Hello. How are ya today? My name is Cerena and I put all of my self worth into my hair.

Okay let’s begin.

Cutting your hair, styling it, coloring it, whatever floats your metaphorical boat- can be so dramatic. So life changing. And yet the rest of the world is like:

Yeah, cool you’re missing eight inches of hair. Nobody cared.

For me, I have always had long hair. Long(er) hair at least, depending on what you consider to be “long.” For as long as I can remember,  my hair has gone slightly past my chest. It has always been this length. I have been this person, this long and dark haired girl. It became who I was. My everyday look, my go-to, my favorite way to wear my hair was in big loose curls. I associated this hairstyle with who I was. There became this underlying, subliminal link between my hair and who I could be as a person.

I have always thought that if I cut my hair, I would lose the person I was. I would have to let go of that girl. I know I sound crazy but that was the connection my brain made between myself and the literal dead tissue that’s attached to my head. My hair was an embodiment of myself, like a security blanket I just couldn’t quite yet ditch.

Does this even make sense?

I have obsessed over the way I look since I was in middle school. I think that can be attributed to many, many factors but to be honest, that’s another blog post itself and we won’t even get into that now. Point is, I’ve always  put all of my self worth into my physical appearance. There were days where I would feel ugly and know that I can’t change the way I look, but I can fix my hair the way I wanted. My hair was my best feature because I made it that way. I was in control.

I lived for the moments when people would compliment my hair. My hair was my constant. She got messy sometimes but I would always fix her. We were a team.  I had her back, she had mine.

**Side note: how crazy do I sound right now?

My hair made me feel beautiful and sometimes, gave me the confidence I so badly needed. I always felt like, without my hair, I would never feel that way again. I would feel nothing but the absence of the thing I liked most about myself, physically speaking.

Guyyyyyyys I was voted best hair at the end of my senior year of high school and for some reason that gave me enough validation to last years. If that tells you anything about me as a person.

I keep validating all of my excuses for obsessing over my hair by appealing to my logic. I just can’t get over it. Even though I hardly did anything special to it- it had no layers, highlights, or low-lights- I loved it. I loved the color because it was my natural color and I’m sure it’s boring to some people but to me, it was how I preferred it.

The idea of cutting it has always been floating around in my mind. I actually wanted a pixie cut for the longest time but I could never wrap my head around such a drastic change. When short, shoulder-length hair became trendy the past few years, I began to wish that I could make that change. I knew I couldn’t.

And I love ALL hairstyles. Trust me. Your girl wears wigs- she enjoys every color, cut, length, and style of hair. I just never saw my hair any other way. I couldn’t picture it. My identity was so deeply rooted in the way my hair looked that I couldn’t see past it to any other alternative.

I’m sure you’re waiting for the dramatic moment, the life- altering truth behind why I decided to cut my hair. Or most likely, you couldn’t care less. But to be honest, I just wanted a change. I wanted something that made me look less like myself. I wanted a small change to make myself feel new and excited and different. I feel like there was so much psychology in this decision but I try my absolute hardest not to look into it so deeply.

The truth is, I felt free. I felt a weight lifted. At first, I felt guilty to be so excited with my new hair as if I was betraying my long hair, the person I used to be. It felt wrong to not immediately regret my decision. To not wish that I hadn’t cut eight inches off of my hair. I thought for sure I would miss my long hair over time but, here we are, two months later, and I still love it.

I guess the point I’ve been trying to make this whole time is that the truly beautiful things, the things that make us who we are, are not on the outside. You could grow your hair to your toes or shave it all off and it still won’t take away the best parts of yourself. The parts that make you, you.

It’s okay to try new things and even if I hated it, that would be okay too. How could we ever know if we never try? It’s okay to jump, leap outside of your comfort zone.

Even though this was such a minuscule change in the timeline of my life, it was major in the moment. Sometimes, most of the time really, I feel like I am my hair. I am the way my hair looks, I am the way I’m dressed, I am the way that I appear on the outside. I’ve since learned, that could not be further from the truth. Your heart, your soul, the kindness you throw around and give so freely, all of that is on the inside. Your thirst for knowledge, your passion for exploring new ideas, lies inside of your brain. Your beautiful memories and the core of what makes you unique can’t be seen on the surface.

Take it from me, if you want to cut your hair-cut it. If you want to explore new places-explore them. Put yourself out there, put yourself in a new situation . You may fall but you could also soar.

The Inside Jokes Hit Different

I always attribute losing friends to growing up. I guess it’s because as we grow so tremendously as a person, we outgrow the life we once lived. I hate saying “losing” friends because it sounds like someone died or left when really, you’re just not in each other’s lives anymore.

I would never say that losing friends is easy because it’s not. It’s especially not easy for me because I get so emotionally invested in people that it is so hard to let go. My incredibly optimistic self wants to hold on to hope that maybe in the future, we could resume our friendship. It’s hard to accept but after talking about it extensively, I now know that I would, above all, never want to hinder someone else’s personal growth because they were holding on to a friendship. I would never want someone that I care so much about to limit their growth and potential as a person because they were trying to stay in a friendship that they had long since outgrown.

One of the most beautiful parts to a friendship is your shared inside jokes, secrets, and moments of just being yourself around someone that you feel the most comfortable with. Looking back on friendships, it’s these things, the foundation of your relationship, that you miss most. It’s not the places you went together, or the things you could give one another, but the feeling you had when you were together.

That is what makes it so hard to let go. When you think of this person, you don’t think of the arguments you had or the disagreements you challenged. You think of moments spent laughing until you cry. You think of nights spent talking for hours about everything that was on your mind. You think of a time where you did something crazy and didn’t get caught.

Inside jokes: can we just take a moment? Nothing in the entire world is funnier than an inside joke. There’s so much history attached to it. It was a funny joke to make at the time but when it is brought up later, it’s even funnier. And it makes no sense to outside people which makes you feel even more connected to your best friend. It’s like speaking another language.

 

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My best friend and I had a longtime inside joke that involved a third person, an adult that we both knew. I happened to run across this person in passing a few days ago and it tugged at my heart and effected me more than I thought it would. I was immediately drawn to text my old friend and tell her that I saw him and mention the inside joke. Seconds later, I decided against it because it would’ve been so random and out of the blue. That is when I realized that all of our inside jokes were dead. What is an inside joke if you can’t share it with the one other person who would get it?  

This got my brain thinking about all of the other inside jokes we had that now became just an inside joke with myself.

It’s hard when something that used to bring you literal tears of laughter, now makes you feel a little sad. For me, it’s the little things that bring me back to a moment of true connection with old friends.

(moment of silence for all the jokes that no longer exist)

This friend and I had hundreds, maybe thousands, of inside jokes. I could never possibly remember all of them. It’s so crazy how just seeing this random person I don’t even know very well, could bring back so many moments of shared laughter between us. It made me miss her and our friendship. 

I just didn’t know that the last time I made a joke about this person with my friend, it would be the last time. I didn’t know that I would see this person years later and have become such a stranger to my bests friend that I couldn’t even text her about it.

Inside jokes hurt because they come back to you so unexpectedly that, at least for me, a wall of emotion hits. They bring you right back to the moments you were in when these ideas could brighten your day. They were always there to lighten the mood and now their use goes silent. So many memories of this person come flooding in so quickly all because of the small jokes they’re attached to. They hurt because they embody your friendship and some of the best parts of it where you were laughing and bonding as friends. They’re lighthearted in nature and remembering them delivers flashbacks of the absolute best moments of your friendship.

They hurt because, in a way, they no longer exist.

Inside jokes solidify the idea that you and your best friend were a team. There was always more than just laughter there. There was connection. There was understanding. There was a sense of belonging. I think this is why they hurt more than any other type of memory.

But I appreciate our inside jokes, even long after their use, because they allow me to remember old friends in such intense fondness. I can remember old friends in only the very best of moments.

And above all, they will always make me smile.

 that   we can’t expect to grow so tremendously ourselves and not grow apart from the lives we once lived. 

What to Do When a Role Model Lets You Down

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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

 

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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

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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.

Anywayyyyyyyy

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 🙂