human, being

3,159 emails lighter
May 11, 2009, 2:41 pm
Filed under: divorce, love and relationships | Tags: , ,

It’s been a long time since I’ve cleaned out the sent box on my personal email. Since May 2005 long. 3,159 emails long.

My favorite photo of me and Steve

My favorite photo of me and Steve, circa Feb. '06. We're love-stoned!

Going through my sent box was an archeological dig into the past four years of my life. There were passionate emails written during my dating days before I met Steve, most sent to guys I don’t even remember. Correspondence to a woman I co-wrote a book with, to past freelance clients, resume writing clients, my best friends, my mothers. I found an attachment of the first seven chapters of the last novel I worked on, seemingly lost in a computer crash in 2007. I found my favorite photo of me and Steve, taken by his friend Greg two months into our relationship.

It was interesting to remember, for a short time, who I was back in 2005, not even a year into my divorce. But I’m not that girl. I hardly recognized my own voice in my writing. I was a mess and I didn’t know it.  I can see now that I was barely holding it together, but back then I felt like I’d conquered the world. I thought I was past it. I was actively looking for someone new, thinking I was ready. I wasn’t. Really. Not at all. And I think the collection of bad boyfriends I racked up during 2004-2006 is a great illustration.

I’m usually not an accumulator. I’m that person who purges her closets twice a year, who has just one box of sentimental objects, and it’s only half-full. I go through my personal inbox a couple of times a month and file stuff I think I’ll need later in folders. So it seems odd to me that it has been four years since I hit the delete button on my sent box.

I did go through the list first, and I pulled out all the emails sent to Steve and to my ex, anything with pictures in it (many also lost in the great laptop meltdown of 2007), anything else that looked important. That totaled about 250 messages, less than 10% of the whole.

I have a tiny niggling regret, because in effect I just wiped out a significant portion of my history, or at least documentation of my history. However, I feel lighter, freer, more nimble for having let go of all of that stuff that has no purpose in my life anymore.

You should try it.


1 Comment so far
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Oh yes. I have done this in both ‘real’ and ‘cyber’ terms and it is both so so scary and so so liberating! You just have to trust yourself that your memory is good and that is all you need. Sometimes difficult when you want to hide in the past and, by this post, you have done me a favour today. Thankyou. 😀

PS: I have only just discovered your blog and I truly adore it. More more more!

Comment by Squilla

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