Stink Eye

Monday, May 30, 2016

No, this is not a new tic, thank heavens! New things do happen, though. For example, sometimes I go new places, where no one knows me, or about Paula. The reactions are always so very different. Some fun, others not so fun, depending on how much I am able to explain or interact with the other person. On occasion, I am in situations where I am unable to explain or play with Paula. Times like this, I get a lot of stink eye.

For example, going to church in a new place. Once I was sitting behind an entire row of girls, and during the most quiet part of the meeting, Paula decided not to be so quiet. The whole row jumped. It was difficult trying to stiffle my giggle. All four or five of them jumped at least a foot up and all perfectly together. I managed to stay quiet, but when they all again, in perfect unison, turned to glare at me, I couldn't keep it in. I let out a few chuckles, which I'm sure didn't help their view of me. Lucky for me that I never saw them again I guess!

Not really, I would have liked to explain and make new friends. Paula is good at doing that for me. I'm not sure how much of it is them feeling guilty for judging me so quickly vs actually wanting to be my friend, but either way good things happen. Whether it's just awareness or an actual friendship. Either way is a blessing in my life and I'm grateful for the chance.

Stare Down

Friday, May 27, 2016

The musical I am in opens in two weeks. TWO WEEKS!!!! It's going to free up a lot more time for blogging and writing and all the fun jazz that goes with it once it finishes. I will be able to get out more posts! Except, it also gives me so many good writing stories. So, there's that... Like the first time I got to practice with the children's choir that is involved in the play. These adorable ones are elementary age, and not shy.

In fact, I am fairly certain the only thing not stopping some awesome comments was the distance I always was when Paula decided to show up and taunt the kids from across the stage. There was one cute little girl in particular who turned and just started at me. I waved. She kept staring. I turned it into a staring contest. I'm not sure who won (which probably means I lost- go figure) as the music started and dancing recommenced. Can't break character after all. The show must go on!!!

Paula Has Copycats Of Her Own

Monday, May 23, 2016

It's not secret, Paula loves rehearsals. She has made some wonderful friends. We both have. I'm a fan of these people! They are incredibly creative and hilarious and kind. They do some of the most random things and it just makes it so easy to play with them. Paula thinks so, too. For example, my friend William Kesler is a talented actor. He pulls the most random faces and knows how to make people laugh.

The other day, he made a noise and thought to himself, "Gee, that sounded a lot like Paula." (True story, he told me so later.) As cool as it would have been for her to echo and make the exact same noise, I can't control Paula. So the best I could do was yell, "That noise is copyrighted, William!" Paula made that noise long before he did! Now who is the copycat? Luckily, he thought I was funny. See what a sweet person he is? He even laughs at my weird jokes!

Stress- It's a Killer, Sir

Saturday, May 21, 2016

I don't often get stressed. I try to avoid it at all costs. Paula doesn't like it much. TS is typically agitated by stress or excitement. I have noticed I do both. Paula gets more vocal when she gets excited. It becomes this cycle of awesomeness. It's a great day, and Paula does something funny, and people laugh more, and she pops out more, etc.

However, when Paula gets stressed, things tend to cycle the other direction. I'm already stressed, then my shoulder tic gets more agitated. The more that acts up, the tighter my muscles get. It got to a point this week that I literally couldn't sit in my chair to get any work done. I had to take a 15 min break to lap the building a few times and loosen myself up. I had both of my shoulders going, which made my back muscles tighten and twitch as well. It was pulling my neck in weird directions as well. It was painful, not gonna lie. At least I know how to tone it down. Tone down the stress!

Paula Is A Teenager

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sometimes, all I can do is just sigh and shake my head at Paula. We've established pretty well that Paula has  mind of her own. She can be quite a brat sometimes. I mean, she is thirteen years old. No really, I started ticcing at age seventeen. I am now thirty. I have been ticcing for thirteen years! Crazy to think so much time has gone by since my first little peep while working in a public library. 

The crazy thing is, sometimes she does act like a teenager. a few years ago, while working at Dillards, we had a new assistant manager come to our store. Everyone was so excited to see how he would react to Paula. Funny thing was, she NEVER showed up when he was around. We figured she was shy around him. She was a few years younger after all...

I mean really, who wouldn't? Look at these guys!
However, this teenage ticcer has suddenly lost her cute little shyness she once had around new boys... Rehearsal, Again. Maybe now I know why she likes the play so much. As a group of guys were practicing their number "Those Canaan Days," Paula decided she would cat call to them. Her nice loud "Whoo whoo!" got a few giggles from several others in the cast. Can't say I blame her though!  

Paula's Hobby

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Paula can be pretty creepy. We've already established the phantom aspect, but she is just so good at it. She pulled another phantom today. At work, I have been moved to the top floor. My friend Kimber works in the room just below mine. We both get into work pretty early, so it tends to be a little more quiet. I was upstairs working, and Paula decides to say good morning. Nothing too loud, she didn't have a lot of people to grab attention from. Pretty mellow, no big deal, right?

WRONG! I suddenly have a message pop up on my computer screen from Kimber. She told Paula good morning. I giggled thinking she didn't realize Paula had just popped up. To my surprise, her next message said that Kimber had indeed, heard Paula. It was like she was reading my mind!!

Kimber then went on to explain she turned to Kayla and asked if she heard it. Sadly, she did not. Kimber would have thought she was going crazy if she didn't know that my shift had started. There has to be a vent or something that allowed her to hear such a quiet noise while being on a different floor! That or Paula learned how to throw her voice really well. Maybe she should become a ventriloquist...

Who Will Volunteer?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

My ward recently had a talent night. I go to church with A LOT of SERIOUSLY talented people. In between the entertainment, our emcee asked for four volunteers. Specifically those who were good at history. I like history, but I am by no means an expert. I used to be, but I have gotten rusty, I admit. I had no plans on volunteering. I was just happy to be there and thoroughly entertained. Between Paula and I, we had the cheering section covered.

I guess Paula didn't think it was enough to cheer. Remember how she likes being the center of attention? There were three volunteers, and the emcee was asking for just one more. So Paula yelled. Apparently everyone took that as a volunteering cry. The emcee called on Paula and several audience members tried to cheer for her. It took a while to convince them that Paula does NOT speak for Jessica. Good thing, too. Instead of a history quiz, it turned out to be a hula hoop competition. No talent there, thank you very much! At least not from Jessica. I would be very afraid to see what Paula comes up with should she really end up in a hula hoop competition!

Probably something like this.

Show Stopper

Friday, May 13, 2016

Paula really loves rehearsals. They give her a chance to really shine and show off her talent (insert eye roll here). After running act 2, we were gathering around to go over notes. Being the festive crowd we are, everyone was still chatting as we gathered.

Well, Paula likes being helpful, so maybe she was just trying to quiet everyone down. That or she is trying to take over as director. I can't tell. Never can with Paula... I assumed the former at the time.

She let out a loud screech and the room silenced. This is unusual as most of the cast tends to just ignore her; unless she is stealing lines again. I was not expecting the entire room to turn my way, so I was playing back with Paula, and made a motion like I was cutting off music. As I realized all eyes were suddenly on me, I sank to the floor as a few chuckles rolled out. Paula doesn't usually embarrass me, but this sure did! I'm sure I was red as a stop sign. Thanks a lot, Paula!

Paula's "Yellow Bird"

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

We know by now how much Paula likes attention. She loves going to rehearsal and stealing lines from the narrators of the show, as well as the lead. Sometimes, I think she just wants to be the whole cast  and crew herself! During Benjamin's Calypso, there is a line about a yellow bird. Normally her timing is on par. However, she was a little late on this one. We had even jumped to a different scene.

The rest of us had gone back to the beginning of the act in Egypt, but she jumped back to the islands, doing a bird call. She received orders to do this during the show (sorry Mary-Martha) during the line about the yellow bird from a few members of the cast. Guess we will see how well she obeys! Though her track record would suggest not normally.

She does her own thing at all times. In fact, her bird cry might pass for a yellow bird, but it sounds much more like a peacock.

Paula's Super Hearing

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I am partially deaf in my right ear. I can hear upper and lower registers and everything in the middle, I can only hear at about 50% making it a lot quieter. Apparently she does not share my ears with me, as her hearing seems to be quite on par.

I didn't even realize what had really happened. I was just sitting at work, I must have ticced, because I suddenly heard laughter from the aisle over and my friend Brandon yelling, "That was perfect, Jess!" I don't know what noise I made, even! I asked what was so perfect. Apparently there had been a conversation going on and whatever noise she made fit in perfect with what they were saying.

It's kinda sad, but I felt a little left out! These are my noises, but now she and Brandon share an inside joke. We share a brain, shouldn't I be in on this too?!? They are both lucky I like them both so much!

Paula is Growing Up, Maybe I Am Too

Saturday, May 7, 2016

My little Paula Jean spoke her first sentence! Of course, it was to Addy, one of her favorites at work. It was a very short sentence, but none the less, it was more than her now normal screech of "What." Not only that, but she stole one of my phrases.

Adelana went on a 15 min break. When she returned, Paula cried, "Welcome back!" It's like she missed her or something.

As I was telling my mom this story, she got a little concerned. She was worried about me developing split personalities by referring to my TS as Paula. She is becoming so individual and almost becoming her own person. I had to explain to her that this is not why I call it Paula. I refer to my TS as Paula to show that this is NOT ME doing this. I do not choose the noises I make or when I make them. I don't choose the actions that come from my TS. I did not choose to almost punch my computer at work, but it happened none the less.

Sure, I get along with Paula, but these are not cognitive choices I am making. It has been hard on my parents watching me "grow into" my TS. Most start young. Some grow out of it. I know my situation is unique. I still count myself as one of the lucky ones.

I once read a story about a man who had gone to a TS conference, and met a woman with an even more unusual tic than I had. She started to undo the buttons on this man's shirt! I watched a documentary of a girl, who would strangle herself. Tics are hard. They take a life of their own. Referring to my TS as Paula allows me to see trends. Almost like a personality. I call it Paula to show that these are not my choices.

I. Do. Not. Choose. This.

It happens the same way a normal person would cough or sneeze. It is uncontrollable. Unstoppable. Paula is a force to be reckoned with. I do not choose this, but I do have to deal with it and work with it. I do make a cognitive choice to enjoy it as often as I can.

I like Paula. I would not be who I am with out my TS. I can't picture life without her anymore. She has given me a new perspective and a fresh view of my life in relation to the world around me. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Stealing Lines

Monday, May 2, 2016

Paula can be such a ham. She enjoys being the center of attention a little too much! For those new, I am currently rehearsing for a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Paula has made herself known to the cast. She has made several new friends and loves to sing along with several of the songs during rehearsal.

This however, she may have taken it a bit too far! My friend Will was singing one of Joseph's solos (and doing quite well I might add!), but our director yelled for a pause to give some instruction to the cast at this point. Paula wasn't about to miss a chance to take center stage. So she decided to keep singing for Will. After singing his line and creating quite a ruckus of laughter from the cast, she finally decided to quiet down. At this point, Will yelled, "Hey, that's MY line!!" Provoking even more laughter from the cast.
I sure love these people!

I can't even express how much I have missed being a part of a musical, singing and dancing and all the new friends I make. I get so excited to go to rehearsals, Paula has to show my excitement for me. I couldn't do it justice. I am all the more grateful for her ability to express joy above what I am capable of.

Sometimes she can get carried away, but I feel a constant joy being around these people. It can be exhausting most days. That brings out the not so fun tics, like my shoulder tics. It is oh so worth it though. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. I had a few people ask what happens when I get on stage for the performance. For the record, Paula gets stage fright. She may love rehearsals, but does not show up on stage. I am ok with that! It gives me the best of everything!
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