Not Funny, Paula...

Friday, December 30, 2016

Paula likes to shake things up a bit every once in a while. She tends to push me to be more adventurous in that way. Like it or not, I'm always doing new things anyways! I think she is trying to tell me something with this new tic, too.

It's no secret that I like my sleep. I don't function very well if I get less than eight. Seven is doable, but I sleep a bit longer on weekends. Longer if I'm on vacation... However, Paula seems to dislike this particular trait in me. I do, too, to be honest, but my body just doesn't agree with me on this, I've tried.

She may or may not be mocking me with this new tic. It's hard to tell. However, she has started to crow like a rooster. I did it several times yesterday morning, and all before the sun came up. Someone turn that thing off, I'm going back to bed!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Paula's been pretty quiet today. Yesterday was a different story. Those will have to come later. I'm with family right now. Priorities. In the meantime, Merry Christmas!

Paula's Secrets

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I don't think she has any. She is kind of terrible with them. Then there is the fact that we share a brain. It's a little nerve wracking at times. It is Christmas, after all. I was trying to do a Secret Santa type surprise for a friend of mine. We work together, and while she is looking around trying to figure out who left it and seeking any possible hint, Paula lets out one of her songs. It happens to be "I Know Something You Don't Know." Yeah, that wasn't a big hint. Good thing she was in the other room.

Not helpful, Paula, and not cool.

Long Time No See!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sometimes it's nice to know that people actually like me just as much as they like Paula and that I can be just as memorable, even on my own. Its kind of validating, you know? Sometimes it gets hard to distinguish. After all, we tend to run together fairly often... This is so often how I meet people, this is something that is often discussed in conversation. Sometimes, I do wonder if Paula is more popular than I am.

Here is how I can tell people actually like me, despite being so well known for my tics. This occurrence has happened more than once, but it's slightly different every time. And every time I smile.

Once when I was a missionary, we had a meeting where we were all spotlighted with something special about us that everyone loved. When it was my turn, the leader said, "OK, everyone, what's our favorite thing about Hermana Smith?" At which point, everyone let out a loud squeal. Paula. They loved Paula.

However, as I go to mission reunions and run into these same missionaries, they are excited to see me. We start reminiscing about old times and catching up on each other's lives, when Paula (who at this point is not getting ANY attention-which is apparently a problem) gives a loud scream in protest. At this point in the conversation, my mission friends say, "OH! I forgot you did that!"

Jessica: 1 Paula: 0

Take that, you attention hog!

Out to Lunch

Friday, December 16, 2016

Paula really likes attention, but sometimes, we can't all have what we want. I don't think she believes it though. Paula seems to know how to get attention really well. I was lucky enough to be chosen for a lunch recognition at work. It's nice knowing I did something good... Paula was excited for me, too, I think. That or she was having a diva moment. Sometimes it's hard to tell.

So there I am with a large group of people from work at a public restaurant. Mimi's Cafe, to be exact. Paula lets out a nice loud cheer for me... and no one at the table bats an eye. Conversations continue, jokes are shared, no one even looks my way. Take that, Paula. No attention for you today! Oh wait, there is an entire restaurant full of very confused people.

Suddenly I see other people at other tables looking our way with the funniest confused looks. Some whisper. The waiters buzzing around are trying to be polite, but are also stealing glances any chance they get to find out what is with the strange noises. Paula wins, yet again. She is good at what she does.

What a Jerk!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sure, Paula may be cute and all, but she can really be quite mean. She likes to pick on innocent victims, especially when it's quiet. Last week, I was sitting in church. I was happily listening to the speakers and minding my own business, as was everyone else around me.

Paula, on the other hand, was not so much minding her own business. She was simply hiding out until the right moment to pounce. Luckily, that was not literal. It was a decent sized scream though. Even people who know me and know this happens, still get some pretty good jumps in. The girl in front of me in particular. Good thing we're friends already...

Then after I stifled my giggle and put a hand on her shoulder, Paula decides to laugh in her face. Again, nice and loud for everyone to hear what a jerk she is. Sometimes I just don't know what to do with Paula...

The Best and Worst

Friday, December 9, 2016

I am part of several Tourette Syndrome support groups on Facebook. I wanted to speak with others like me, to make sure I'm not completely off in left field with things that I'm trying to say and do for TS Awareness. I was so nervous as I got ready to publish my first book that everyone with TS would hate it and think I was crazy and I had gotten nothing right. I was terrified of backlash. While I haven't gotten any yet, I'm still a bit scared of that.

However, in joining these groups, I find myself moved to tears as I read post after post of struggles and trials. Some may be self inflicted, which is why I chose to move forward with publishing, hoping to help some one. One post I saw pop up more than once, usually by the same person was the complaint that the worst part of having TS is the people who don't have TS. This absolutely breaks my heart every time I see it.

In my case, this would be almost every single person I have ever met. In my 30 short years, I have met so many people, and three of them had TS. Two had even grown out of it and it was a thing of the past. Now I understand that all people are very different, and there have been reactions on the entire spectrum, positive to negative. I suppose I have been fairly blessed to not have run into anything TOO terrible (aside from getting kicked out of the social work program), but I know they are out there and people have to experience them.

However, at the same time, there are some wonderful people and responses. These always give me warm fuzzies and restore my faith in humanity.

For example, this past week at church, I let out a few noises (funny story on that later). After the meeting, a new gentleman in the ward stayed behind, waiting for me as the crowds began to disperse. When I got carried away chatting (like always), he jumped in, asking if I was ok. It took me a couple minutes to realize what he was talking about, then I got the opportunity to explain. He was very sweet and understanding, and actually apologized for bringing it up. He shouldn't. You know it's my favorite thing. He was just so sweet about it all though.

It touches me every time I see someone going out of their way to ask about me and their genuine concern, and to watch that turn to advocacy as they help me explain to others what is going on. It's different, I know that. It takes some time to understand. More importantly, it takes me explaining to others what is going on.

For me, people are the BEST part of having TS. I have said it before and I'll say it again. People are the BEST part! It teaches me to be more compassionate and understanding as others come to me with care and concern. It lets me feel smart explaining something they have never heard of. It helps me accept myself hearing others refer to me as "charming" and "memorable." And it's not just Paula! They say this about ME! How do I know? That might have to be a blog post in and of itself, but it's a great story. Watch for that one.

Point is, yes people can be frustrating and I can see why they can be considered the worst part. Just don't let them overshadow the good ones that provide the best moments.

Third Wheel

Monday, December 5, 2016

It's been a crazy week. Holidays are fun, but they get a little busy. I may not have written in a while, but that doesn't mean Paula hasn't been up to her antics. She always has a story. Sometimes it's hard to keep up, especially when my own life gets crazy. We shall see what happens as we roll into 2017. Come next year though, great things will be happening!

Anywho, back to the story! So remember how Paula will sometimes participate in stories I cannot hear? Well, she did it again, and rubbed it in my face to boot! Not only did she participate in a conversation I didn't hear, but when I asked about it, my friend said, "Paula knows." You know what that cheeky little Paula did? She said, "Yeah!" Way to rub it in my face...

Party Animal!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

So I'm sure I've mentioned before I always manage to find the coolest friends to hang out with. They have great ideas and love getting together to play. Last night, my friend Rachel decided to have a birthday party to kick off a birthday weekend. I didn't take any photos to show you the awesomeness, and for this I apologize.

Last night's plans included a mocktail party (like a cocktail party, but sans alcohol. We had sparkling cider and soda mixed with different syrups, etc) and dancing. Now I love dancing. A lot. I guess Paula does, too. She gave out a few loud cheers and even heckled a few people who sat down on the couch, goading them to get back up. She might be more of a party animal than I am. I was even one of the ones she heckled when I sat down for a bit. I wish I had her energy...
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