Changing the World

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

When I was a little girl, back in my bookworm phase (that I never really grew out of...), I loved reading about the heroes and heroines in exotic and local places. no matter where they were or what kind of book it was, they all managed to save the day and do amazing things. I wanted to do cool things. Yet all I did was read about them. I wasn't talented enough. I knew I was smart, but not that kind of smart. I wasn't brave enough.

Or so I thought. I had so many excuses. They masqueraded as anything but excuses though, that's what made them so tricky. They were my entire belief system and understanding of who I am. I didn't think I was anyone important. That thought was important because it is what helps me be humble. I wanted to be humble. You know what? Who says you can't do big things AND be humble? Ever heard of Mother Theresa? Nelson Mandela? George Washington? What about the Pope? Just a few humble people who did BIG things.

I was content to stay in a small town, living life the way I was "supposed" to live. Have I told you yet how much I loathe the word "supposed to?"

Don't get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with this kind of life. I still aspire to this. I want to live in a small town and raise a family. At the same time, I've learned that I can still make a BIG difference. In fact, I've seen people living the life I dreamed of AND still making a big difference.

It's amazing what technology and a global society can do. We have so much ability to reach others and be the master of our own story. I'm amazed at the things life has been throwing at me since I tried to stretch my wings just a little farther. Since trying to be just a little better.

Because here's the thing. We can leave the world the same way we found it, we can make it worse or we can make it better. I can make me better. This alone makes all the difference.

I had to stop hiding behind the very things that make me, me. I had to use those just a little bit better. I'm still learning how to do that. In the process, a few things have changed. Once I had a roommate, Laura, tell me that she always stopped to listen to what I had to say, because I rarely spoke, so when I did speak, it must be important.

I do have things to say. Now it's kind of hard to get me to stop talking. I just get so excited and passionate about things. I want to balance these two traits. My shyness and my passion. Both so important, so necessary. I can't choose just one or the other. Both have their time and place.

Recently, my friend Andy told about an incredible experience he had while reading something I had written. My initial reaction was to apologize for any pain I might have caused. I didn't even know if I had caused any- I just assumed I would have hurt someone. He then thanked me for the profound impact it had on improving his life and the steps he was taking. Truth be told, this was a few weeks ago and I'm still reeling over it. I'm still in shock.

I want to help people. I want to change lives for the better. So why am I so shocked that I actually did that? Partially because it wasn't all me. Andy is the one who actually read it and thought about things and let it change his life. My writing was just a catalyst. But what an awesome experience.

I did something good. I have the ability to change the world, one person at a time.

FYI- You can, too. Start with you.

What are you doing to change the world?

Help Me Out Here, Paula!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I've mastered this awkward thing, don't' you think? No? I don't think so either. It's funny sometimes I absolutely love awkwardness, other times it can be so hard. Paula tends to make everything better. It's always easy with Paula around. Here's the thing. Paula isn't always around in my awkward situations. Sometimes, it's just me. And it doesn't always end well with a funny story. Sometimes, it's just... awkward.

I had a friend ask me if I was interested in a call to discuss marketing. I'm always up for learning new techniques, so I agreed to a time. Once we started the call, we were joined by another person and it turned into... awkward. They tried to sell me a product that I was essentially already using, though they never asked what I was doing with this particular area of my life. The third person in trying to get to know me asked essentially if I had a family of my own or if I was single. I tried to say I do have a family, I mean I have parents and a brother and sister and nephews. Afterward, they asked if I had any siblings. I felt really listened to...

The only other question that was not led and wanting only a yes or no answer was what I would do with additional income. I had to think for a bit, as I'm pretty good with my money and take care of things and make them last. I finally decided I would probably pay for editors and try to get more books published. They took this idea of furthering my writing and somehow turned it into a cabin in the woods or on a beach for inspiration.

I can't even tell you how much I wished Paula would show up and we could change the topic of conversation. I can do awkward fairly well. But this call was more than just awkward. It was painful. No one wants to feel like they weren't listened to, whether selling or being sold to. So when they wanted a follow-up call, what did I do? Did I politely tell them I wasn't interested? No, I set another appointment. Then sent an incredibly awkward text later saying never mind.

Sometimes, there is just no way around the awkward.

First Thing

Monday, May 22, 2017

So yesterday in church, a new member of the bishopric was announced. He was asked to speak to the congregation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Paula, however... she had to be her bratty self as always. Not only did she have to introduce herself during his address, but she had to get snarky while she was at it.

He referenced the classic Sarah, Plain and Tall and how we typically describe ourselves by our appearance, but how much more there is to a person. He said that as he meets each of us, the first thing he will notice is what we look like.

Cue Paula.

Nice and loudly, she proclaimed, "NUH-UHHHH!"

I didn't even get a chance to speak with him after and explain, but the rest of the ward got a good giggle out of it. I look forward to actually having a chance to speak with him.

Obsession and Sheep

Friday, May 19, 2017

I've discovered a new thing. I mean, Netflix isn't exactly new, but the content always surprises me. I also have this tiny problem with being... slightly... well, kind of obsessive. Ok, really obsessive. I binge when I find things I like. Which is often. New songs? Never get old to me, no matter how many times I play them. New show? Have to watch the whole thing- TODAY. Movies? I may have worn out a few VHS tapes when I was younger and pretty sure I had Tangled scratched within a week from pulling it out and watching it so much. In fact, by the time that one came out on DVD, I already had it memorized to the point that Aaron* asked if we should turn it off and they should just watch me. Oops.

Apparently, that's a side effect of Tourette Syndrome. And not the point of this post. My roommate Megan suggested watching an episode of  The Great British Baking Show. Little did she know. I'm actually kind of proud that I've stretched season one over 4 days! It's a glorious show. It's hilariously punny and the food looks amazing- it makes me constantly hungry. The accents. Oh, and they show beautiful scenes from the English countryside.

I've even seen a few sheep pop up during the show. The sheep would go, "Baaa-a-a-a-a-a." I would imitate the noise. Megan would then imitate the noise. The Paula decided she would take a turn as well. Maybe Paula just likes sheep? That or the Echolalia is really coming out strong today.

*name has been changed


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

As alluring as Paula is, I'm not talking about the mythical creature. She on occasion sounds like an actual siren like you would hear on an ambulance or police car. You know the ones you move out of the way for because you can hear them, but can't always see them. Not only does Paula imitate the noise, but apparently the overall feeling as well.

At work today, I left for my break. However, as I started to turn around the end of my row, the team on the next side were blocking the exit having a meeting. I had not yet seen this when Paula let out a nice loud siren.

So I come around the corner to see the crowd, slowly parting. A few didn't see me coming, so the cry came, "You are supposed to move when the sirens go off!" The path was suddenly clear as I ran to my break. I have some very important reading to do, you know. I don't have time to swim through a crowd.

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!!!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Please tell me I'm not the only one who sang that in my head. Although I wouldn't be surprised, I do stuff all the time by myself...

Paula has decided to follow this movie quoting theme it seems. This time, she decided to follow one of the most iconic characters, um, ever. In case you couldn't guess, she pulled a Mickey Mouse. When Paula speaks, she speaks in a very high voice. So when she got excited as I was leaving work and said, "Oh boy!" she sounded exactly like the master mouse himself.

Of course, the entire room erupted in laughter. Paula really has that effect on others. Then again, so does Mickey. What a heavenly combination.

The Hills Are Alive

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Anyone who knows me, knows that I speak fluent movie quotes. I'm not necessarily good at impressions, I just steal phrases because movies just say it better than I can. That and the fact that my brain works in GIFs. I was so glad when GIFs became a thing, I can't even tell you how wonderful it was to be able to share EXACTLY what was on my mind (since many of them come from movies, anyways).

See that look in Rapunzel's eyes? The next 5 seconds after this has been playing in my head for a couple years now. I couldn't find a GIF of it already made, and I'm not tech savvy enough to create one...

Remember how Paula and I share a brain? Apparently she also speaks movie quotes and possibly even better than I am, since I didn't quite catch this reference. I've had this tic for a while, too. Maybe it's my roommate, Becky is the one who is better at movie quotes than I am. She heard it before I did and I don't think I can ever unhear it now...

Remember how Paula likes to say, "weeeeeeee" like she is riding a roller coaster or something? Remember how Leisl says this exact same thing at the end of this song? Exactly. The. Same. Sound. 

Except she was actually 23...
It must be said, this is not my idea of romantic... I kinda found this creepy.

She has a tendency to do this when things get exciting. Which is often. Guess my life tends to be as exciting as a 16 yr old girl getting her first kiss or something!

Professional Voice

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Seriously, most of my good stories come from work. I essentially work in a call center, but lucky me, I don't take incoming calls. I call out and make sure things are flowing smoothly. Ever notice how when you are on the phone- especially for work- you sound different? People have a "professional" voice they use when talking to strangers to make a good impression. I use mine fairly often.

The other day, Paula was doing her thing, and often. I heard Danielle, who sits across from my cubicle giggle in between instructing a new hire. At which point I asked if the newbie knew what was going on. Danielle responded that they probably didn't. We had an entire conversation around the topic of Paula without ever actually explaining what was going on.

After a while, I figured I was only fair to explain to the poor soul what was going on. So, with the voice I would have used in an A.A. Meeting (which is sometimes what it feels like when I explain I have TS. It's like it's supposed to be a confession or something), I announced, "Hi, my name is Jessica and I have Tourette Syndrome."

As soon as I had spoken, Megan leaned over asking who I was speaking to. When I responded, she was surprised. "I thought you were on the phone with a contractor!"

At this, the entire room burst into laughter. Does this mean I should start doing some kind of comedy act? Too bad I'm not that funny!

Cat Called

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I guess with Paula growing up I should have expected it sooner or later. Most women get it at some point in their lives. I'm not catcalled often, but it certainly has happened. I'm not particularly a fan of it, but I did rather enjoy watching it happen to Paula. I also quite loved her reaction.

Here's the thing. Paula can't exactly be catcalled the same way others can. I mean, she's mostly just a noise. If I hadn't experienced it today, I don't think I would have thought it was possible.

Today Paula was quite active. She was having her conversations with Adelana again, she was singing up a storm and quite likely terrifying the new guy at work. (Don't worry, we told him. He still jumped.) Sometimes when she was singing, Kimber would whistle a response. Paula would then chirp back. These conversations were hilarious.

Well, after a while, Paula grew silent. I was enjoying a much-needed break from all the ruckus when I hear some whistling coming from Kimber. She did it a couple of times before Paula came out of hiding. This gave everyone a good laugh. It seriously sounded like she was being catcalled and she really showed up in response.

Who would have thought she was so easily provoked?
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