Olivia Cerci: The Beauty of the Little Things in Life

By Jacey Gould

A Photographer at Heart

Olivia Cerci, a sophomore at Wheaton College and an avid writer and photographer, got her first DSLR camera as a freshman in high school when she split the cost of it with her parents.

That was when Olivia really started to get into photography. “I just love taking pictures in my spare time,” Olivia told me.

“I’ll just, like, take my friends out and we’ll go to [rooftops] in Boston, or, like, different woodsy areas and just hang out. I play music, we walk around, find cool things and just get to take cool pictures.”

Someday, photography may become more than a hobby to Olivia.

And now I’ve actually gotten the chance to start doing more family photos, [and] special events and stuff. So now it’s like something that I’d probably do on the side as a career, but yeah. It’s just something that [relaxes me] after, like, a long and stressful week.”

Writing her Life

As for Olivia’s love for writing, it has only increased over time.

“My writing is very much faith-based–or it has been, over the past couple years. [In high school], I would do [a lot of], poetry [as] creative writing. I haven’t done as much of that. [A year and a half ago] was a big turning point for me faith-wise, and I started reading a lot of Elisabeth Elliot, and she is very much a writer that I aspire to be in the ways that she’s very upfront about communicating what truth is, and [who receives truth], and, like, the ways that can impact your life.”

A Lover of Winter in New England

Olivia is very attached to her hometown, Waltham, Massachusetts.

“It’s about 15 minutes outside of Boston. I was born there; I lived on the same street as my grandparents. My grandparents lived next door, and then, my cousins–three of them lived down the street. So, I’ve grown up with my mom’s extended family, so that’s been really great. I spent a year in Virginia when I was about four years old–my dad is in the Army so he was stationed in Alexandria for a year, so my family moved down there. [But], for the rest of my life I’ve been in Massachusetts.”

Olivia loves New England and is especially fond of its beaches. ”I actually enjoy going more in the winter than the summer, just because there’s no one at the beach, and [the colors] seem to be more beautiful in the winter, and there’s snow, and you just get to wear your jacket at the beach. So, it’s a different feel, and I just–yeah, I love it.” New England in Autumn is another favorite thing of hers. She spoke to me about why she loves cool weather so much.

“Over the course of my life I’ve gotten a lot of head injuries, and [after one of them], the heat started to be a trigger for my headaches, so when it’s hot outside it’s just uncomfortable and, like, painful for me. So in the fall, when, like, everything starts to cool down, It’s actually a really big relief on my body–like, physically– so I’m just able to enjoy everything more and I think the sunsets are prettier in the Fall too. So, yes, I love fall.”

Family and Friends

Olivia and her family are very close. Her parents adopted her brother from Moldova, and they are only a year apart in age, so throughout their childhood, they were playmates. Although they drifted apart over time and now attend different colleges, they still are still best friends at the end of the day. Olivia loves her brother’s passion for airplanes and for the Air Force.

Olivia’s family loves board games–especially word games, and they play them during almost every holiday and birthday. Her mom also used to organize block parties for her street. But one of Olivia’s fondest memories with her family was from a trip they took to find moose.

“I have always wanted to see a moose–like, always wanted to see a moose–and, because we’re in New England, and [New Hampshire and Maine have moose]. And, like, with the amount of times that I’ve been there, you would think that I would have seen one by now, but I haven’t, so it’s like my life aspiration is to see a moose!’’ She laughed as she said this. “But, two times that my family has been up in New Hampshire and Maine, I’ve, like, very much pushed for a “moose hunt” trip–like, late at night.” They didn’t find any moose she said, “but, like, it’s pitch black, like, we’re on this mountain, and, like, we’re like, [on] the edge of a cliff thing. Like, the road’s getting really dangerous, but we just, like, kept driving in order to find a moose. And we [were] playing moose calls, like, out of, like, the window, and it was just–it was very fun.”

Encouraging to Women

I took the time to talk to Hannah, Olivia’s roommate, last week, and she spoke highly of Olivia. She described her as adventurous and thoughtful, and said, ”She is very good at coming up with fun, quirky things to do. Like, if you’re bored, like, she can come up [with the] weirdest thing but will make it incredibly fun.”

“I want to write a book at some point in my life–I don’t know when that will be, but for right now I’ve focused a little bit on blogging,” Olivia said of her future. “Most of it–or a lot of writing I just keep [private]. But there are some things that it just strikes my heart as people would need to hear this–this would be beneficial for other people. So especially writing geared towards young women–like, females in the church.

“[There are] some Christian writers that will write topics that are [geared toward] non-believers, but I think there’s a big avenue [of encouragement] that’s needed within the church, especially for women who are dealing with things like insecurity and anxiety and identity And [I want to write] a lot of things that are able to support people in that.”