Paula has a Conscience and a Friend

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sometimes Paula impresses me. She has a bit of a conscience. This is more of a story related by a co worker, as I did not notice this pattern. my awesome co worker pointed out to me the other day that Paula tends to yell at her when she swears. She has to apologize to Paula a lot I guess. Their conversations get to be a little drawn out. I don't always notice how conversations start, but Paula does love her conversations with Adelana. While I may not recall the exact phrasing of every conversation, they usually follow some pattern like this:

Addy: Can I get a little help over here?

Paula: *unintelligible squeaking*

Addy: No, Paula, I need a team lead.

Paula: *faster squeaking*

Addy: Don't sass me Paula...

Paula: *who knows at this point...*

At which point we both crack up laughing. The conversations may vary, but Paula and Adelana have become good friends and keep each other on their toes. Paula finally has a friend that will sass her right back when she feels feisty, and Adelana has someone to keep her in line at work. I think this is a good arrangement.

Paula Can Be Embarrassing...

Friday, January 22, 2016

I do love Paula. I really do. Sometimes, however, she can get me in to a bit of trouble. Like today at work... I got a few giggles from my co-workers. I'm glad they still think it is adorable!

First some background. Tourette Syndrome has no rhythm or pattern to when tics come. While they aren't something that can fully be stopped, if there is enough focus, they can be controlled for a time. This can only happen for so long before every single tic that was held back comes out overflowing in all it's glory. It's like holding back a small cough. You can stop it for a while, but be prepared to cough up a lung later.

I do not often try to hold Paula back. I just let her go and do her thing. Which means I don't try to stop or control any noise that comes out of my mouth... even when that noise isn't Paula. We had a potluck at work today, with lots of amazing food! After I had devoured my plate, I thought Paula was going to pay a visit. She likes showing up at work. Lots of attention from co-workers who love her! However, what came out of my mouth was not Paula... and I am sure I turned 100 shades of red! I am not one to burp often. It is really rare that I do it at all, and I have always tried to show some manners by covering it when I do. Today was an exception I guess... Tricky Paula!

Factual and Scientific-like Post

Monday, January 18, 2016

So my previous post was about Paula's imitations of various noises or phrases. This is actually a lesser known form of Tourette Syndrome, known as Echolalia.

Once I learned this was an actual "thing" I started to realize how often it actually happens in my life. Not only that, but how long I have been doing it, even before I realized I had Tourette Syndrome. If you have ever watched a movie with me, you would know that I repeat lines in the movie. A comment was made once, so I tried to make a conscious effort to stop. I thought it would be a simple habit to break. Then I started to realize how often I repeat things, not just movies. Even being aware of it, I still do it. Now I just make an effort to be more quiet when I do it. The weird part is that it is me doing it, not even "Paula." She does it in her own way, but during movies it is not Paula's voice, so it was harder to catch.

Echolalia is something Paula does as well, though. Paula evolves as time passes, she learns more "phrases." She mimics, "I know something you don't know" and can say "Thank you." Every time Paula "speaks," it's the word "meh" and very high pitched, but always to the right tone and rhythm  of how we would say a phrase. She has started saying words as well, from "Weeeee!" to "Whoa!" and even the occasional, "Yeah!" She even manages to stay in context, too.

When I tell people I have Tourette Syndrome, 9 times out of 10, I get asked, "So, you swear and stuff?" This is the form called Coprolalia. Out of all the people who have Tourette Syndrome (and really, how many do you know?), only 1 in 10 have Coprolalia. Echolalia is just as uncommon.These are the only forms of Tourette Syndrome that have a classification, as most tics vary so much in individuals.

So this is something that I do and can't control. I am a bit of a copy cat, and in my own oddly unique way. Good thing I have always been a fan of cats, otherwise, I could create awesome displays like this:

I need to live in a place that will allow pets...

Paula is a Copy... Parrot?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Oh Paula. Remember when you were five years old and you thought it would be fun to say everything your mom said? Maybe it was a friend? I guess Paula doesn't age, and her echos have expanded from more than just people. She echoes our machine to punch in at work fairly often. The other day she echoed an ambulance driving past. One of my favorite echos was actually a dying fire alarm. Let me throw back a while to explain why.

This is how I picture Paco

When I was in High School, I had a friend on the yearbook staff. My friend, Nia and I would get a little weird on occasion. I have always admired the energy and excitement this girl has for life. She is doing great things and I admire her so much! One day, we were in the yearbook room, and there was a beeping noise that was unfamiliar to me. Nia told me it was just Paco. He was the "parrot" that lived in the room. Apparently the batteries in the fire alarm died more quickly in that room than any others. Paco was almost always in there and almost never anywhere else.

Fast forward back to now. On occasion, Paula sounds like Paco. I can't tell if she missed Paco, or is trying to become a parrot herself. One day, I want to own my own parrot, just to see who imitates who. I will probably name him Paco.

Paula's Got a Temper!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Paula is great. I promise, most of the time it's pretty awesome having her around. However, on occasion, she can get pretty upset. It never ends well, and it is not pretty. There was a day at work when I got particularly frustrated on the phone with one of our contractors. As soon as I got off the phone, Paula went off, venting before I got the chance. Then, the shoulder tic started. The first one caught me so much by surprise and was so strong, that my entire arm got thrown forward, missing my computer monitor by only an inch or two. Paula almost punched my work computer!! She almost damaged company property!!! And she kept going!!! I was a little more prepared though, and was able to keep most of my arm under control. But oh how that shoulder ticked! This went on for the rest of the day. It hurt every time. I am fairly certain she threw my back out of alignment and the next day I was very sore. Luckily, I had already scheduled a chiropractor appointment which helped immensely. However, I certainly learned that Paula is not one I want to upset. She doesn't get upset often. She will chew out the occasional co worker that doesn't see her side of a discussion, but it's all in good fun. She likes to debate, especially since she tends to have the last word. She has plenty of those stories. Only one, however, that almost damaged company property and sent me to a doctor! Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Paula is Polite

Saturday, January 9, 2016

This will be a very short post, as it is a very short story. I was touched by Paula's thoughtfulness the other day at work. A co worker of mine sneezed, and before I had a chance to say, "Bless you," Paula decided to jump in and say it (in her own language, of course) before I had the chance. What a sweetie.

A Post NOT About Paula

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Paula might not be very happy about a post not being all about her, but I feel this needs to be addressed.

I have some pretty awesome parents.

Some background before I chat about my parents... I do some pretty crazy things. Often. I bite off more than I can chew. I move across the ocean where they can't keep an eye on me. I often speak too quickly, without thinking. I jump fully into ideas that I don't follow through on. Not only that, ideas that I have had for years, I never act on!

Lucky for me, 2015-as rough as it was- came with a shift. I have found things that are changing my life and allowing me to finally follow through on ideas I have had for years! I am improving my health, I am reading more, singing more, learning more and becoming more healthy. I am taking control of my life. I am (trying) to pace myself and follow through in projects I am passionate about and want to follow through on. For example, my book. It will be published by June 2016! Hopefully sooner, but I want some leeway, because, life.

The best part about all of this is how lucky I am to have the parents who have always supported and encouraged me. Not always in the way I wanted. I was grounded from books for an entire summer (worst summer of my life!), because they saw that I was losing touch with the real world. I was very different from my siblings, and my parents punished (or rewarded) accordingly.

I honestly think part of the reason my Tourette Syndrome is as mild as it is was because they pushed and stretched my brain. I have always leaned to the side of book smarts, but lacked the common sense my parents had. I understand that it may not work for everyone, but my favorite theory is the Brain Balance Theory. This is a side note however, and is a story for another day.

The part that really amazes me, is with all of my crazy ideas and theories, my parents still stand behind me and support me. They may be shaking their heads, but they support and encourage. For example, I got several Christmas gifts from them this year that simply moved me to tears. It was just a book and a few little pieces of jewelry. But all with a very clear message of, "You are going to do great things." They each had a message of support and encouragement.

 Above are two bracelets, the two photos to the right are of a necklace that I have worn every day since I got it and below is a book. "Never Give Up" "Be Brave & Keep Going" "Accomplishing the Impossible" "You Are Braver Than You Believed, Stronger Than You Seem, and Smarter Than You Think."

These are just so uplilfting and perfect to keep on hand when the going gets rough. These are just the gifts for this year! My parents tell me every day how much they love me and are proud of me. I am so grateful to have such awesomely supportive parents.
 There have been many times where they have watched me fall flat on my face. I have been unsuccessful and have had my share of disappointments. They have always allowed me to make my own choices and face my own consequences. They have helped me to be strong. I can't imagine having a better set of parents.

On top of it all, as I grew older and Paula started to make appearances, they have done everything in their power to help me. At first, it was sending me to several doctors to figure out what was going on. They had to be sure it wasn't anything that was going to hurt me in any way. Then I ran away for a few years as I ran off to college and the like. During that time, Paula really developed, and she took some getting used to. However, she now gets the attention she seeks and is treated the same as if I were around my peers. They love watching the reactions of my nephews and love hearing my stories. They are excited about my book and constantly ask about it's progress. 

Yep, I'm a pretty lucky girl. 

Happy 2016!

Friday, January 1, 2016

I can't tell you how excited I am for this new year! This is the year I will finally have a published book! That is my #1 resolve for the coming year, and the process is well underway!

I also wanted to take a few moments to share a few other resolves in an effort to maintain some accountability and follow through. This will also be the year I practice consistency. This is the overarching theme as I sat down on the last day of 2015 to go over what I have accomplished and what I hope to accomplish for the coming year.

I resolve to be more consistent with my health goals, my financial goals and with my book and my blog. I will end this year with 50 blog posts! A far reach from the average I have completed in years past. I plan on expanding my blog by 5 times! In posts, and hopefully in reach as well.

I, for one, am excited about 2016. Hope it is good to each one of you!

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