Marissa is quick to see the goodness in others, and careful to pay considerable attention to both those she’s known her entire life and those she has just met. Her focus on showing kindness to others fuels her progression, abilities, and influence, which expands far greater than she openly recognizes. This is her story:
Life Plans and Expectations
Marissa has never been one to seek attention. She does not flaunt her abilities, her intelligence or skills. Instead she has chosen since childhood to provide quiet guidance, constant comfort, and enduring encouragement. These aspirations led her to one desire stronger than any other: to be a nurturing mother.
With the goal of becoming a mother in mind, Marissa started into the medical field, a career option she hoped would allow her to be a mother as well as work closely with children. Radiology was the first path she assumed; yet after a job shadow early on she decided on another route.
Her dedication and commitment are shown through her work and diligence. She found a better career fit through her hard work in dental hygiene. After working hard in high school, maintaining a perfect grade point average, she was accepted into a competitive dental hygiene program on her second attempt.
She feels she has had little setbacks in her endeavors. “There have been times when I didn’t always get what I was hoping for,” she said. “But it seemed to always lead to something better.” Her positivity in dealing with challenges leads her to an admirable outlook on trials. She possesses a big picture or “eternal” perspective that in an age of instant gratification is a rare and valuable virtue. Simply put she is in control of her happiness, not external forces.
Trust and Influence
Marissa explains trust as a willingness to just “be there” for someone. She learns to trust people who she can open up to, who she has developed a special relationship with or are willing to show how much they care. She talks of the special connection sisters have to trust and share with one another. “They help me out with everything,” Marissa said referring to her sisters.
It is only natural then to see her greatest source of influence is without hesitation: her family. “They are always believing in me and encouraging me,” she said. When she thinks of an example of someone she has always wanted to be like she thinks of her grandmother. Her work ethic showed her that regardless of the hard things that come her way, she would be able to handle it. Her grandma influenced her to continue and not give up when things are not immediately and easily falling into place. She taught her not to be passive, but active in life. Marissa used the example of her grandmother to fight and work to accomplish her goals.
Family and Relationships
“When I think of my childhood, I think of vacations with my siblings,” Marissa said. She talks of her sister as the person she has the closes relationship with. She feels because of their similarities, her older sister was able to guide her through many of the challenges she had experience herself. In that way, Marissa was often more prepared to handle life’s challenges, with her sister showing the way through.
As the youngest in her family she discussed the challenges she faced as her older sisters started to move out, get married and, now, having children. She explained that she now had to determine who she was going to be and how to do things on her own.
Yet a regret Marissa expressed was she was too timid to “put herself out there” in high school. She feels like she could have connected better with people had she got more involved in clubs, sports, arts, anything. Her regret reveals her greatest focus as well: developing relationships with others. She understands the fulfillment a life can achieve by simply interacting in an uplifting way with those around you.
Her constant care for others gives her a distinct advantage in the dental hygiene degree she is currently working towards. Her love of family, focus on motherhood, and constant, yet quiet attention to the needs of others will lead to not only success, but also happiness.
Marissa has found a deep hidden secret most in our world are too busy or self-centered to discover: that happiness comes from our decisions to care about and be kind to others. With such a unique and empowering perspective, her influence will be long felt by those with an eye to see.