Interview with U of M Student: Josie Wilde

Josie is a dear friend of mine. We met last year while lost in Murphy Hall looking for our classes- which we later found out we had together. During the class, she constantly inspired me with her design skills and was always stopping to help me with my projects. She has such a fun and bubbly personality. I am so happy we have class together again this semester. 

So, these interview questions were somewhat improvised which resulted in a beautiful conversation that helped me learn a bit more about Josie and what experiences made her who she is today. 

Josie, before college what kind of work were you interested in doing?

In high school, I wanted to be a news anchor and a part of me feels like maybe I’ll go back to that. I’m in the strategic communications track, but I wouldn’t be opposed to going back to it. I love public speaking and ever since I as young, I wanted to be on WCCO.

I could see it. So, how do you stay involved on a big campus like the University of Minnesota?

I am a campus ministry bible study leader. This is my biggest community here at the U. I live with seven girls from this community. I also love my major and what I’m learning which is super important. It makes a huge difference actually liking going to classes!

 So when I first met you, one of the first things we talked about was travel, can you tell others about some of your travel experiences?

Yes! In the past year, I went to Israel. It was important to my faith and to understanding the political aspect of Israel. The culture there was a complete 180 to American culture. I feel like Europe was kind of similar to the U.S., but Israel felt like a whole different universe.

In the spring, I went to Boston to visit a friend- it was beautiful.  I fell in love with the East Coast. It was my first time flying alone and I’d never been there before. It felt so good doing things by myself! I felt like I could do anything.

Then this past summer, I went to Glacier and Banff in Canada. This trip was the first time that I had ever gone camping. It was so different but so awesome. I was nervous for this trip intially. Honestly, I didn’t really want to go but did anyways. I’m so glad I did because here, I learned much more about perseverance. I had to learn to change my mindset. The hikes were difficult. I would begin to think negative thoughts and would have to stop myself.  I realized while feeling bad for myself, I was overlooking all the beauty that surrounded me. Just breathe I would tell myself. One step at a time. Everything was fine. Getting to the top was so rewarding especially knowing how hard I had worked to get there. This experience taught me that mindset is huge in anything I do. 

It sounds like that trip really changed your perspective. On the topic of mindsets and perspective, is there anyone you look up to and strive to see the world in the way that they do?

Bob Goff. I just read his book called Everybody Always.  I also read his book called Love Does. His philosophy is adding love into everything you do and using love as an action. He talks about the importance of trying to love others who are different from ourselves. This has influenced me to think about how I can be positive and love others more- even people I don’t get along with.

His books have helped me realize that it’s not all about me. They help me understand that we’re all different and because of that, I now think more carefully about how I treat other people.

He has also helped me work through differences with my family. They really care, but sometimes we have to realize we are coming from different perspectives. It’s better when we work to try to understand them. When we disagree, I try to think “how can I react positively to this?”  

Life isn’t always going to be easy. I try to keep the mindset of “let’s get it done” and trying to be the best that I can be. 

I truly see this attitude coming through in how you show up everyday. So what’s next for you? 

I’m going on a mission to Paris! For this trip, I have to ask for support letters- which is like my biggest fear. My dad was not super excited about it, so I wasn’t expecting contributions from my family, but they donated over 500 dollars. I am incredibly grateful. I believe this is a testament to the lord and that he wants me there.

I love that. I truly believe that when something is meant to be the universe comes together to make it happen, can you explain this a bit more?

My whole life the lord has led me. It’s so funny because sometimes I will want something really badly. I’m like “lord please!! I want this oh I know this is good for me”- and then I look back and I’m like that would have been the stupidest thing ever. This has been the case for so many things even relationships that haven’t worked out- I look back and just say thank you.

Sometimes not giving us something is the greatest gift the lord can give. So now, I have changed how I pray. If I want something, I won’t just pray for it, but I ask god to give it to me if it is in his will. 

What a beautiful perspective. I feel it on so many levels. Outside of church and mission trips, what do you like to do for fun?

Social media. This sounds bad, but I love communications! I love editing pictures- even decorating my room. I love aesthetic and organization. Weddings too. I love them. My pinterest board has so many wedding pins it’s ridiculous. I love watching wedding youtube videos too. In another world, I would be a wedding planner.

I’m for it! Do you have any specific goals pertaining to your social media? 

Not mine specifically, but I would love to do social for a corporation. I would love to take one that has a horrible presence so I could make huge improvements to it. 

Any other big life goals or places you want to live in the future?

I love Minneapolis! I would love to stay here and work here. Obviously, I want to get married at some point. I love where I’m at right now, but I’m not opposed to going somewhere else.

It’s crazy that I will graduate in a year and have a job hopefully. I am really open and flexible to what happens. Again, I know the lord leads me. I know I will be where I am meant to be. 

Yes. Yes. Yes. I am so excited to see where the future takes you. I believe you will continue to do incredible things. With that, is there a quote you would like to end this interview with?

This quote is from Everybody Always:

“God doesn’t just give us Himself. Sometimes He gives us a few other people in our lives whose voices we can trust.”

Thank you Josie and everybody who read this. 

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

When a Stranger is your Soulmate

Have you ever met someone who just changes your perspective on life?

You talk to them and instantly you feel your whole body fill up with energy and inspiration. Every part of your conversation with this person feels spiritual in a sense.

Have I known this person my whole life?

These encounters happen to me often. When I travel, I tend to meet these types of people.

How wild is it that you can have a deeper conversation with someone you’ve known for less than an hour than with someone you’ve known for years?

Have I met this person in another life? I know we are here at the same time for a reason. 

When these conversations come to an end, I tend to think to myself: I’ve made a new life-long friend. How are we going to keep in contact? What will our relationship develop into going forward?

Often times- nowhere. A week later and I still think about this person and our conversation.

Only recently have I realized this: Not every person you meet needs to be your life-long friend. Maybe in essence, but sometimes these one-time encounters are all they are meant to be in your life.

This has been hard for me to swallow, but it is also a beautiful realization.

How wonderful is it that life sprinkles random encounters that have the power to change our lives?

 

 

Why You Need to Do More Story-Telling

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Okay funny story- are you ready?

I used to work at an elementary school- and boy if you don’t know what roasting is you will learn a thing or two while working there- okay that’s besides the point.

So, do you remember being in elementary school and always trying to act cooler or more mature than you were? Yes you do- don’t lie.

Anyways, in the classroom we had a book shelf filled with books that I never once saw a kid touch. Very sad, I know. One day, I decided to pull out a few of my childhood favorites and read them out loud. I just sat at a table by myself and began. No fair -warning- nothing.

At first, the kids were all snickering. “Why is ms. Coco just reading out loud randomly?” They started making jokes about the books, but then something funny happened.

Within five minutes of me reading, half of the classroom was sitting by me. They began to truly listen. No jokes- just engaged fourth and fifth graders. While the other half wasn’t gathered around, they were still listening as well and would occasionally run over to look at some pages as I told the stories.

Funny right? I think so at least. It’s because we all love a good story.

What teachers did you like the best? The ones that made connections through story-telling or the ones who just read off the bullet points and left you wondering “what’s the point”? I think it’s a pretty easy question to answer, right?

Story-telling draws people in! That’s why we love movies, hearing other people’s experiences, etc. It connects us to one another.

They also help us remember things better. I am much more likely to remember new information if it’s told in story form versus just having to memorize words and definitions.

Tell more stories! It makes people want to listen more and it makes it easier to connect with others.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk LOL.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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