Meet Missy.

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I feel like Missy is the type of person who wakes up every morning and gives the whole world a big hug. She embraces each day with a steadfast optimism and she is just delightfully pleasant. She is well prepared for anything, too. She has a heart of gold and will welcome you into her life with open arms.  Not only is she loving, kind, optimistic, she is intelligent. She has a degree in Political Science and a double minor in International Development and Communications. She cares a whole lot about people.  She served an LDS mission in Fort Worth, Texas – learning and speaking Spanish, and  she also lived abroad in Jordan interning at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Institue of Diplomacy. She’s quite the impressive woman. Meet Missy.

What is the first life lesson you remember learning?
When I was a child, I was SO timid. I wouldn’t even try new foods because I was afraid I might not like it. But I loved to read. Reading was my passion. When I was 11, I came home from school, I don’t remember what had happened that day but it must have been monumental, because I told my mom, “I am tired of being afraid.” I wanted to actually live and have adventures like the people that I was reading about. That was the first time I recognized how much my fear was holding me back. From then on, I’ve made an effort to get out of my comfort zone, try new things, travel to new places, and not be ashamed of who I am.

You are one who fully embraces life, it is apparent in every thing that you do, how have you been able to do this?
I really just try to be present in the moment. Sometimes that means leaving my phone at home when I go out. It means I have a timer on my Wi-fi that turns off at a certain time. I still like holding books. Smelling flowers. Eating chocolate. Chalking up the sidewalk. Blowing bubbles. Giggling. Turning off all the lights and lighting a candle. You know, enjoy the simple things! I also think it’s important to learn to accept negativity in life and not take it personally.

In your life experiences, what have you learned about people?
There are two very powerful lessons I’ve learned about people:

First- freely forgive. I had a supervisor at work once who taught me to “always assume that people are doing their best.” That assumption alone changed the way I interacted with people. It means I never have to be upset with people. We all make mistakes, there’s no reason to be angry about it.

Secondly- never underestimate the forgiveness that other people are capable of. I remember talking to a woman whose hometown had been bombed for 3 years, and when I asked how she felt about the country that bombed them, she responded with so much compassion and understanding. I was surprised. I had expected her to be full of loathing, anger, sadness, regret and fear. And while she had felt many of those things, she didn’t dwell in it. She embraced the reality of war, but she never became bitter. She was ready and willing to build bridges, even though her people had been unjustly attacked. It is easier to forgive and be forgiven than to constantly be at war with people.

You are incredibly easy going, have you always been this way? What are some things a “high strung” person can do to ease into that kind of mindset?
Becoming more easy-going is a process that has taken me literally over a decade. haha. I’m still working on it. Travel forced me into letting go of my uptightness. Time in the outdoors and with people I love has taught me that life is made up of moments, not things. It’s also taught me (sort of like Jurassic Park did) that “Life finds a way”–i.e., the sun will rise in the morning, regardless of my GPA, my embarassing moments, or stupid mistakes. Stressing about things not in my control is just not worth it. I never look back and think “Sure wish I was more stressed that day.” haha. Better to just let go of the stress- ride out the hard times, and enjoy the good ones.

You and your husband are hilarious; you have a great dynamic and it oozes off the people around you, what do you think of the sentiment “just be yourself” and how does it play into your marriage and relationships?
The only dynamic that we’ve got in our relationship is that we take things at face value. For example, if my husband answered this question I’m pretty sure he’d have something witty to say about how anything that oozes off people should probably be avoided and those people should see a doctor. Anyway, to us “just be yourself” means accepting everyone for who they are. We don’t expect anyone to be perfect, not ourselves, not each other, not our family and friends. We like people just the way they are. Plus we both believe, “just be yourself” means loving yourself, not beating yourself up, not spending time wondering what others think. We’re all just humans being awkward, quirky, beautiful, incredible, and struggling through life together.

If you could change ONE thing about the world we currently live in, present day, what would that be? Why?
I would like to live in a world where the media exposure was an accurate portrayal of life instead of being so overly focused on the negative. Yes, there are negative things that happen, violence, war, crime, famine, drought, horrible plagues- it’s necessary to acknowledge they exist. But it’s equally important to acknowledge that in this world there is more peace than we realize, more forgiveness than we can comprehend, and more friendship that we can all partake of.