I’ve suddenly become very busy.

Which is odd, since I’m not really sure where all my time as gone. I’m racking up this list of things that I need to get done; lost of anxiety-making tasks.

I often feel like I’m not really in control of my life–at least for the past few weeks–I’ve been in a low place and it’s been hard to be present and purposeful in a lot of the things I do. Partially, that’s because of business and lack of time alone. Some other things are just the conditions of the work that I’ve been doing. I encounter some difficult situations, especially with the students that I teach. I’ve been trying to walk a fine line between authority and non-authority, and I’m not sure I’m always succeeding. I’m really growing to love the kids, though, and I enjoy talking with them. I just wish their situation was more fair. In so many ways, they’ve been dealt the short end of the stick. It’s exhausting to keep going up against it. There’s something peculiar about it, too; it’s different from the exhaustion that I felt in India and Korea. Obviously, things are always a little bit different: you’re a different person every time. What’s so particular about this situation, though, is that this is America; we all speak English; I understand everything that goes on around me–at least linguistically. It’s often just a bombardment of information. It can be daunting, and I often feel like I don’t have support. I don’t know if that’s because I don’t seek it out (or don’t notice it when it’s offered) or if it just doesn’t exist.

Anyway, there are a lot of things hanging over my head that I want to get together, so that I can feel more in control. It makes good sense to list them out, at least to me, so that I can have them better organized. (And check them off when they are done.)

1. Get a new, working, phone and ipod
My  beloved ipod is about to bite the dust–I thought I’d already killed it a month ago, but then it rejuvenated itself. My phone has been working extremely poorly for the better part of a year. I just discovered that I’m not as tied to my contract with Sprint as I thought. So, I’ll be buying an iPhone with a new contract, on a network that works! Finally.

2. Transfer to a new bank
I’ve been needing to do this since I moved to Chicago. USBank is a really good bank, but there is only one branch, downtown, and it’s only open from 9-5 M-F. Every time I need to deposit a check, I have to make a trip downtown. While I like getting out of Hyde Park, this is really just too obnoxious. I’m looking at the University’s credit union, and (eek) at Citibank. The University’s credit union is logical and probably the best deal, however I don’t think they have great ATM service. I’m looking at Citibank *only* because they have an atm in my building.

3. Set up my new room!
I moved a couple weeks ago into the extra-large room on the corner of the hall. I’ve got a great view, a queen sized bed, and enough space to spread out. It feels so, so much better and it really feels like a good place to stay for another year. I’ve still got to get everything together, though. I’m decorating and cleaning and sorting things. Plenty to do.

4. New computer!
I told myself that I would buy a new computer over the summer, when I have enough time to set it up and get things going. I’ve got cold feet, though. Should I drop the money? Should I go for what I really want? Especially when I’m buying a new phone, and switching to a much more expensive plan? What about my increased rent this year? I know exactly what I want, but I also have fears about that, too. What if it ends up being too big to take to class and take notes with? What if all my new graphic capability gets me super addicted to video games and I fail out of school?? What if my art changes drastically? Lots of whatifs. The most important one, though, that circles through my head when I think about this is: What if I don’t really need one?

5. Go to the Dentist
This should definitely not be #5 on the list. This should be #1. Right there. At the very beginning. I should not even be typing right now because I should be making an appointment as we speak. But I’m really scared of going. I know I have thousands of dollars worth of work that needs to be done in my mouth. I know that I probably need a root canal, and I’m scared of that drill. (In High School, a dentist attempted to do a root canal on the same tooth, but was unable to sufficiently numb the tooth, and he drilled into a live nerve. Since then I have been… apprehensive about such procedures.)

6. Find a permanent, real doctor.
I have been seeing various doctors, all over the place, here and there, with very little trust and a whole lot of frustration. I feel like I’m constantly going through hoops just to get what I need, and even then I never really get it. I really need to find a long-term physician that I will see, that doesn’t work out of the student health center. I’ve had a number of bad experiences there and I’d really like to have access to a doctor who isn’t swamped, dismissive, and impossible to reach. (Though god knows if such a thing exists.)

7. Re-do this site 
This is actually what I’m working on most of the time now. I have a new idea for a layout which is simpler, focuses more on the art, and I think will streamline the site a lot more. I’m pretty excited about it, but php can get me pretty worked up when it isn’t working the way I want it to. Hah.

Anyway, that’s a list. Some of it is scary and some of it is good, but kind of worrisome, either because of big money decisions or time. But I know that once I finally get it done, I’ll feel more in control. Probably more in control that I’ve felt in a long time, without dentistry and doctordom hanging over my head, a reliable phone, a nice get-away room, and a new, beautiful painting machine.

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