1. The purchasing of a new pen.
I never remember that buying a new writing utensil gives me anxiety until I’m there in the stationary aisle, in front of an entire wall of pens. The entire moment pans out the same way every time. I turn the corner to walk down the aisle and stop immediately at the sight of the first pen. And then my eyes adjust to all of the pens around that pen. And then I refocus and see pens around those pens and before you know it I’m lying face-down on the floor in the middle of Target, left cheek to the linoleum, practicing shallow breathing. Which is like practicing deep breathing, except exactly the opposite. “Ignore me,” I would say to the common consumer who somehow manages to pick out pens within mere seconds and, seemingly, without the help of psychiatric care. “I’m just trying to start over and part of starting over involves doing better in school and writing in an actual journal and if I buy the wrong pen, a pen with jerky ink flow or ink that is too blue or a barrel too wide to fit comfortably in my hand, then whatever life I’m on at this point will start out wrong.”