Paula Scares the Doctor

Friday, April 29, 2016

So remember how on not so awesome days, my shoulder tic causes problems? Well, the other day, I heard my neck pop and decided Paula just sent me to the doctor. I went to visit my chiropractor, Dr. Matt Wood. PS, he is a miracle worker. If you live in the Salt Lake Valley, I highly recommend him! I explained to him what happened. He knew about my TS, and he knew about Paula, so he just went right to work.

After he did the adjusting, he uses a small machine that pounds on my back. I wish I knew what it was called! As he is using this machine, my shoulder decides to go off again. Luckily, this was a small one and did not completely undo everything he had just done. It must have scared him though. He turned off the machine and I could feel him step back and put his hands in the air. He must have thought he broke me or something. As often as I see him, he had never seen Paula and still has not heard her.

I was so touched by his concern though. When Paula doesn't make me laugh, she at least knows how to make me feel loved and cared for. He asked if I was ok. He asked if I needed to start over and get re-adjusted. He asked several more questions along the same lines as he pretty much walked me out of his office.

On the not so nice days of Tourette Syndrome, it's good to know I'm not alone in my fight. Not only do I have the support of my amazing family and awesome friends, but I have the support of people I barely and casually know. Yet another reason Paula is a favorite.

Paula's Interview

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I have some really wonderful friends! I love how much they love and accept Paula, despite the problems TS can sometimes cause. I will post more about that soon, but today is a fun story. So I have been blessed to become a part of the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It has made me several new friends and lots of great new stories as my new friends discover Paula's personality.

One such attempt happened last night. My new friend Kirstin decided to interview Paula. It was the perfect time to do so, as she has been incredibly active the past couple of days. The interview went something like this:

"What are Paula's thoughts and feelings on.... Trump?" *Silence*
     Guess she doesn't have any. She must not be one for politics. That's ok, I'm not a fan, either.

"What are Paula's thoughts and feelings on... worms?" *Silence*
     Oh wait, Paula decided rather than speak her feelings, she would show them. My shoulder jerks forward. It looks like a shudder. Paula must not be a fan...

By this point there are so many laughs that we don't have time to finish the interview. However, at least we learned one very important fact about Paula.

She does not like worms.
Not even cute cartoon ones?

Accountability and Passion

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Below is a copy of a letter I sent to a couple of friends as a weekly check-in. I started telling my accountability partners about my week and about any progress I had made on my book and I got a bit carried away...

My New Year's resolutions this year all funneled into this idea of consistency. This is my overarching goal for the year. (New Year's is kind of my favorite holiday and I tend to celebrate at least at the beginning of every month) This is something I realized I have slacked on in the past few weeks. As we approach month #5 of 2016, I realize how off track I have gotten. I have lost the resolves I felt at the beginning of the year. I may still be going through the motions, but I question if my own resolve is really behind the actions.

I want to place a thought in you. I'm not going all Inception on you, I promise. It is however, something I have been thinking about. Remember when we first signed up for SPS? When did you sign your contract with yourself? I was looking at mine taped to my closet door today. I signed it in August. I was so excited to finally do what I had been telling myself was, "someday." Sadly, I think I have fallen back into this mindset. Complications arise and I have no clear set and solid date for publishing. I have gotten lax. 

This week, staring at that contract, I remembered. I remembered I am a writer. I am going to live like one. We just had a guy at work have his last day. I am incredibly jealous of him. Not because he left, but why. He managed to save enough money to have at least two months of living expenses. That was two months he would not need a job and could focus solely on his art. Drawing. Painting. His passion. Again, SUPER jealous of him! While not everyone may have that luxury, it is no excuse. He is an artist and chooses to live as such. I can do the same, even if it is on a smaller scale. I like my job, and I still need to work. But I am a writer. 

Coming back to my love of the New Year. I did not just set a goal. I was resolved. I made a promise to myself on New Year's of what I was going to do and who I was going to be. If I want to be a writer, I need to be consistent. I need to write.

This week, since I am unable to progress much farther on my current project due to insufficient funds (something I have accepted and am working to remedy), this does not, I repeat, DOES NOT!- allow me the excuse to stop writing. To stop doing something that I am passionate about. This week, I had a dream. A really weird dream... that actually would make a fun idea for a novel. This week, I started to write again.

I am writing, and I tapped back into that passion and the words are flowing! Sometimes, it's not even for my novel! The words are flowing and I am again writing. And it Feels. So. Good. 

It is coming out in my journal. It is coming out in letters to friends and family. It is coming out in books. It is coming out even in notes that I leave in work. They are long and detailed. It is such a release for me to get details out! I notice details. I see them, I hear them. I feel them. Sometimes it is overwhelming how many details I take in each day. 

But as I sit, with whatever medium I have on hand at the moment, the details come, flowing like water. Cool, clear, refreshing water. And I feel good, despite stress at work, despite exhaustion, even despite weighty matters on my mind like finances. I feel good doing what I love, being consistent and moving forward towards my goals. My Dreams. 

I may feel stuck in many areas of my life, but I still have those dreams. I still have my passion that I can hold to. It lights me. It fuels me, getting me through each day. No more excuses. No more saying I am working on my book, when in reality, I am on social media. Despite my best intentions to be trying to promote my book, it still feels a waste of time. 

I don't want to be a marketer. I understand it is important. The reading articles and books on business and promoting my book and platforms and how to use social media.... They are good. They are important. They are even necessary. But they are not essential. My writing is essential.

What is the difference between necessary and essential? They sounds the same, right? Not so much. Necessary are things like going to work. Eating. Sleeping. Surviving. Things that can put us in a grind. Essential are the things that make the essence of who we are. What we love. What motivates us. Essential are things like family relationships, and for me, writing and music -dancing and singing. Without these in my life, I lose the essence of who I am. I survive for a time, but never fully live!!! 

I was offered several times this week large amounts of overtime at work. In response, I quote the words of my dear wise friend Sid the Sloth when I say, "No sthanksth, I choosth life." (Ice Age- great movie. Very underrated) While the funding may be helpful right now, it is not worth the added stress, frustration and distraction from the things that are essential in my life.

Work revolves around and funds my writing, my writing is not a side project I work on around my work schedule.

Going forward, I want to check in with where my resolve is. I do not need to check in with my actions, if I keep my resolve in place. I want to continue to feel the passion that flowed from my fingers for the past hour in writing this. This is who I am. If I want to be a writer, this is what I need to remember through ups and downs. This is the life I choose.

Paula is Curious

Friday, April 22, 2016

Well, here is a trait we share in common! I have always been the curious, studious type! I love learning. If I could afford to go to college for the rest of my life, I probably would. It took me six years just to get a Bachelor's degree! Yesterday, Paula showed her inquisitive side. She reminded me of a five year old actually.

At work (where else?) Paula decided to pop up and mutter some jibberish. My dear friend Kimber said, "No Paula." To which Paula not only used a new word, but asked an innocent, "Why?" I have never heard her use this word before, and has yet to use it again, but I wouldn't be surprised if she did. I would also not be surprised if she continued to use it in context. She still uses "what" quite well... but that is another post for another day!

Paula is the Extrovert

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I have been reading a great book lately about being an introvert. I am an ambivert, but I am pretty sure at this point that Paula is the extrovert and I am the introvert. I am a writer and a reading and I love people watching. I was always a shy, quiet kid who never interacted much with my peers.

When I got to high school, like most teenagers, popularity suddenly became important. The older I got, the more I loved being around people and I suddenly could pass as an extrovert. However, every once in a great while, I need a retreat. I need to hide from people, as much as I love them. I am almost exactly half and half of both these worlds.

I find it interesting that around the time I started making attempts to pass as an extrovert is about the time Paula came into my life. She certainly loves being the center of attention and is really good at getting that attention. 

On the other hand, after spending all day talking to people at work, talking on the phone to contractors, going to rehearsals for the musical I am in, my weekends tend to be gloriously empty and I pretty much don't even leave the house if I can help it. I need to recharge and have some time for me to think and ponder and to allow the introvert in me to recover. She certainly brings a sense of balance to my life!

Homing Pigeon

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Remember how Paula loves Adelana, my coworker? There have been more changes at work. No big surprise, it's a start up company. Things change all the time. However, it meant that my department- including Adelana, who sits next to me, had to receive some up training. As she was sitting in another room for training, Paula showed up. All of a sudden, I have a message pop up from Adelana. "Paula! Shhh!! I can hear you all the way over here!"

I got a good chuckle out of this. Paula has quite the range as far as distance when it comes to being heard. I responded with, "She just misses you! She just wants you to come home." She quieted down once Addy came back. Paula sure loves people and keeping them close!


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I watched a video today. It broke my heart. It was a ten minute video a guy with Tourette Syndrome posted about his life. There were so many times when I absolutely related to what he said. There are other times that I couldn't. His case is so much more severe than mine. It almost makes me feel like I do not suffer enough with my Tourette Syndrome in a weird way. Like I am less because I don't have to deal with as much as he does. I understand this is not true, but the heart and mind don't always match. The video is just so honest and raw.

Don't get me wrong. I do love Paula. I do enjoy having Tourette Syndrome, but there are some days that really are hard. There are something that terrify me. I hate driving. I don't mind it if I am on a freeway I have travelled a lot. I am terrified of stoplights. Every. Time. I hate being on roads I am unfamiliar with. Getting lost makes me tic more. When I tic and drive... my tics get more physical than vocal. Which is why I hate stoplights. I need to blink more. Blinking is not the right word. My eyes clench. Or I have to rub my eyes. They need pressure. How they get that pressure is irrelevant. Problem is, I am then terrified the light is going to change while my eyes are not on the road. I try to keep them open til I am past the light, and as much as possible. It's not easy by any means.
I love my car. It takes good care of me.

I still drive. However, any chance I get, I will hitch a ride with someone else. Especially when going to a new location. I am also willing to offer rides as well, it's only fair after all. Doesn't mean I like it much. I am however, glad to know I am not alone in TS affecting my driving confidence. 

End of an Era

Monday, April 11, 2016

When I first started to make noises I thought I simply had the hiccups. They were certainly the cutest hiccups I ever had and they didn't hurt like normal hiccups did. I was ok with having hiccups that didn't hurt! A few months after my first noises appeared, I got a normal case of the hiccups. The painful kind that were also not near as cute as little baby Paula was. Ever since that first case of the hiccups, I haven't done them again. I haven't had hiccups in over a decade!! I am certainly ok with this!!!

Today, that streak has ended. My 13 year streak without hiccups is sadly over, and I now have to start from scratch. Today, I got the hiccups. The really frustrating part, is it was only five of them before they disappeared! So I guess I can also be thankful for that detail. Normal hiccups hurt. It was still oh so sad to see 13 years get wiped clean and I have to start over again. Here is to another 13 years without hiccups!!!

Old Friends, New Noise

Saturday, April 9, 2016

I went to the wedding of one of my first college roommates from my Snow College days. Back in those days, my Tourette Syndrome was undiagnosed and had not evolved to the present state of noise that currently exists. So, at this shindig, there was a sort of mini reunion going on. Chelsie's wedding brought Kendra down for a visit as well. Kendra is now married and has an adorable and happy 5 month old girl. We got to catch up a lot as Chelsie had her big day.

Back at good ol' Snow College!
During the luncheon, Paula just would do her thing. It was a fairly mild day, as far as the type of sounds she made, though they were often. Back at Snow, they were not that frequent, so this was new to my former roommates. There were several people who came over to our table after telling Kendra how much they loved having the sound of a little baby during the luncheon. Kendra couldn't help but laugh, as her little daughter had slept through most of it. There were no baby noises. It was all Paula. Large portions of my catch up time was talking about my Tourette Syndrome. In the passing years since our little roommate escapades, I had received a diagnosis and learned a lot about myself through that diagnosis. I am still amazed at how many people still do not know I have it, despite receiving a diagnosis 6 years ago.

Paula is a Romantic!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

This is a topic that Paula and I can agree on. I have always been a sappy romantic for sure! See my numerous pinterest boards if you aren't convinced. Sometimes the real life dating thing gets so frustrating. Especially as I grow older and watch all of my friends get married, so I find a new group of friends, then they all get married... it's actually quite amusing in some ways.

I just think this is the sweetest thing!
 So of course, dating tends to come up in my conversations. From family, from married friends, and with other single friends in the same boat as myself.
Love the shadows!
 Of course, Paula has to join in the fun in the conversations when we discuss dating. For example, my friend Kayla and I were discussing our recent dating escapades. She had a particularly cute story and Paula jumped in with, "Oh lala!"

He was such a great date...

First of all, sweet. Secondly, I do have a love for Korean dramas...
My thoughts exactly Paula, my thoughts exactly.

Oh Mondays...

Monday, April 4, 2016

I am actually a huge fan of Monday. I like them. It's a chance to start a new week fresh, just like the beginning of the year, or beginning of the month. Paula seems to have a very different opinion than I do on this topic. She seems to be of the general opinion that most have when it comes to Mondays and sometimes even work in general.

A few weeks ago, Paula seemed to be very... shall we say active? She was quite rambunctious if we are being perfectly honest. Then one of my bosses walked past. She cut off mid-squeal. True story. Kind of a weird experience for me. She then murmured a subdued, "meh-meh" which can be interpreted as either "sorry" or "uh-oh" though either seems applicable!

Today, she was unusually quiet most of the day. Once I got home and started book work (and some playing around with various music and internet shenanigans), she suddenly popped up. It also wasn't her usual cheerful antics she does at work. She sounded more like a contented child babbling to itself as it plays. I just can't help but chuckle and shake my head. Oh Paula Jean.

Construction Workers and Opera Singers

Saturday, April 2, 2016

I've mentioned before I work in a pretty great place. It appears I am not the only one to think so. We have been expanding and growing at an incredible rate and we can barely keep up. this means lots of new employees, as well as trying to make space for them in our tiny building. We are going through a bit of construction work right now trying to tear down walls and add more desks... It's quite an exciting process.

With all of the construction workers around, it gives Paula plenty of opportunities to be her creepy self. Halloween is her favorite for a reason, right? One particular worker was so confused as to what was going on. I just happened to be hidden behind a beam, so he couldn't see my face, or really identify where the noise was coming from. Once he learned it was me, he confessed to thinking it was some kind of phantom that we had gotten used to in the building! So Paula has now become the Phantom of TaskEasy. Good thing I can trust her not to break any chandeliers. I think. She can get pretty high pitched...
Paula might even give Gerard Butler a run for his money!

Where's the Bird?

Friday, April 1, 2016

So right now, I work in a call center. I like my job and I work with some great people, both in and out of the office. I deal with calls from the contractors partnered with my company, and some of them I deal with on a regular basis. Being in an office setting, we work in cubicles and in close quarters. You also know Paula can be quite loud when she wants to be! I don't do it often when I am on the phone (though it has happened once or twice), but she has popped up a few times while co workers are on the phone.

Every once in a while, I will hear a co worker crack up right after and explain to the contractors that I have Tourette Syndrome. Once they are off the phone, we have some good laughs about the various reactions. One contractor asked, "Do you guys keep a bird in the office?" Another simply wondered, "What on earth was that*?" Just like in person, sometimes they don't believe my co workers. It's kind of fun to watch them be the ones to tell my story for a change and to have them "walk a mile in my shoes," if you will.

*censored version. ;)
Best. Coworkers. Ever.
That cake was HUGE!
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