Paula's Purpose

Monday, July 31, 2017

So this post is about to go deep, guys. I've been doing some serious soul searching the past couple of days. I've come to realize just how much Paula has helped me with some of my biggest insecurities. I mean, they are still there, but she's made them a little less prominent. I'm suddenly completely overwhelmed with gratitude for this trait that some call a burden, disease or problem.

So here's the thing. One of my biggest fears as a human being is being forgotten. The worst part is, this has actually been something that I've dealt with, and more often than I like to admit. Growing up, I heard things from people I considered friends, "Oh, I forgot you liked this," or "Oh, yeah, you were there, too, weren't you?" Yes, yes I do like that and thanks for remembering I was standing right next to you.

I'm fairly forgettable. Which is quite tragic. No one should be forgotten. Everyone has purpose and talents and skills and stories. And it hurts when you are, you know? Time and time again, I heard similar phrases growing up. It's now deeply embedded in me that I'm forgettable and unimportant. Which is not true, I know that now. It was a long road, though, and sometimes it still gets me.

As I look back on this process though, and how far I've come, there was a defining moment that started to change things. I can't even remember who it was, though I wish I could and find them to thank them profusely. The only thing I really remember was that someone I didn't know all that well, upon our second meeting said, "Oh yeah, you're the girl that makes the funny noises." I was undiagnosed at the time. I was just so impressed that he even remembered meeting me once. I didn't care about the comment about the noises, that he didn't remember my name... he still REMEMBERED ME!

Then it started to happen more often. And people started to remember my name. They remember the girl who stood out. The one who makes noises and she can't control them. They remember the girl with Tourette Syndrome. And it changed me.

Even this first concept of an idea that I'm someone people can remember, made me want to be someone worth remembering. I've worked hard to do so much more with my life. My life really started once I started making noises. Sure, my family always knew and loved me, weird as they thought I was. Sure, I had friends and people who spent time with me. But it was Paula who started to make the statements. I guess you could say my Tourette Syndrome is kind of like my role model in a weird way.

I'm now making statements right along with Paula. I'm doing cool things, too. I want not only to be remembered but to be someone worth remembering. I want to make a difference. I want to do great and big things with my life. In the simple way that Paula changed mine, I now strive to be that same force for others.

This is why I love my Tourette Syndrome so much. She saved me from my greatest fear. She gave me a voice. She gave me confidence. She gave me an identity. I would not be who I am without this quirky trait in my life. It is almost painful to me to see others with it who hate it so much. It can do SO much if you let it.

It's NOT just TS, either. It's any part of you. It is part of who you are and what makes you, you. And how wonderful are you! Now I want to hear your story. Who are you? What makes you, you?

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