Sometime in the next three months I have to spend my own money on living room furniture.
Not having anything to wear to an event considered “business casual.”
Lately my phone has been producing ominous pop-up messages like “process.android is no longer working” and “System UI is not working. Would you like to close it?”
Decisions about a new phone, and about housing, and about my future.
I went to visit one of my best friends and it was magical and then we had to drive eight hours (which turned in to ten hours) back to graduate school and I had terrible food poisoning and I couldn’t call my mom because she’s a seven-hour time difference away.
I got home from the aforementioned trip and had no food in my fridge, so I had to eat cereal and souring milk for several unpleasant meals as my stomach regained function.
The price of flights from Boston to Seattle.
I spilled Powerade on my computer and the upper right hand corner of the screen is now bright and splotchy.
How long it takes to commute by public transportation.
Having to get out of bed.
I realized, a few weeks ago, that most of the people who have given me vocational advice have a fairly weak concept of the job market for people with graduate degrees in English and cannot guarantee me a job as a professor, should I complete another five years of formal education, my many charming qualities notwithstanding; unfortunately, I have internalized their encouragement to the point that I very likely will consider myself a colossal failure if I do not obtain a terminal degree.
Because my phone is dying, I have failed to receive phone calls, and even when they come through, I fail to return them because I am selfish and easily distractable.
My headphones only play music out of one earbud, which I think is the result of me 1) dropping my phone while they are attached to it or 2) shoving them in my backpack or 3) tripping over them when I set my laptop on the floor and get up for a snack.
I have no experience in shopping for used cars.
In July I am getting married to the best person in the world to whom I am occasionally and inexplicably mean, and I don’t know how to stop.
The process of changing one’s state residency.
The doctor asked me if I eat a balanced diet and exercise and I had to answer no on both counts.
The sense of responsibility I feel toward future generations and the utter powerlessness I experience in the face of climate change and the refugee crisis.
The energy required to respond graciously and thoughtfully to offense or difficulty or heartbreak, even when it’s not my own. Especially when it’s not my own.
My health insurance coverage.
Sometimes, when the people I love are unhappy, it guts me that I can’t do anything about it.
Katie is a doctoral student in English and education at the University of Michigan. She loves the New York Times crossword puzzle, advice columns, oceans, and dogs of all kinds.