Monday, June 8, 2009

17,585

It's my last week at my job, and I'm busy doing all the stuff you do when you leave your place of employment. Sending out farewell letters (awkward), eliciting pity from co-workers (unwarranted) and completing last minute assignments (annoying).

The one task that I've been absolutely dreading since my departure was made official is cleaning out my e-mail. I've been working at this company for 8 years. Over the course of those 8 years, I wrote a lot of e-mails. Some of them were work related, but many of them were personal. Anytime I got a message that made me smile or made me angry or basically elicited any reaction aside from extreme boredom, I put it into my little "Lisa's Mail" folder for safekeeping. After all, you never know when you're going to need...evidence.

But now I'm left with 17,585 e-mails. 17,585 documents describing my life's work over the past 8 years. Ranting e-mails to my boyfriend, which over the years turned into ranting e-mails to my husband. Crazy postpartum e-mails after the birth of my two kids when I was low on sleep and high on hormones. Sad e-mails, happy e-mails. Congratulatory e-mails, conciliatory e-mails. E-mails about our book. E-mails about my life.

The thing is, I love these messages. Back when I hadn't dared to start writing blogs or books or anything creative, I wrote e-mails. Really entertaining e-mails. The kind of e-mails that made people say, "You know, you should really be a writer. What are you doing working at a consulting firm anyways?" Those kinds of e-mails.

And tonight I deleted all 17,585 of them.

Time for a clean slate and a new e-mail address.

16 comments:

Little Ms J said...

Wow. 17,585. My goodness.

I'm excited for you and your journey. Think of purging those emails as if it was an emotional enema. New life, new email address and 17,585 more emails to come.

Congrats on leaving Corporate America. Cocktails on me when I see you.

Yunaleska said...

That's a lot of emails! I have nearl 2k in one email box. I never read them. One day I'll be brave and get rid ofthem.

Are you going to pastures new? Or taking time out and not working (to work on a novel?)

Lisa and Laura said...

Yeah, I'm feeling very ready for this to be my last week at work. It's still a little scary to be unemployed, but thankfully my husband has a great job. So, for the forseeable future I'm going to be just another desperate housewife.

This ought to be interesting...

Grey Street Girl said...

Wow! Big step! It's so exciting to start with a clean slate though. Kudos to you!

sraasch said...

Couldn't you have transferred them to a new email address? Sad you had to delete them all :( But clean slates can be good! Very metaphorical!

jessjordan said...

*stands up
*gives big round of applause

(I'm a bit of an email horder myself, but you are impressive!)

WTG, and I'm sure you've already started re-accumulating the big 17,585 :)

Lisa and Laura said...

Sara - My work won't let me forward anything for business security reasons.

Eva - I do feel sort of free having deleted them all. I was really dreading actually deleting them, but now it feels sort of good...

Jess - E-mail horder is the PERFECT term. You know this is totally going to be a topic on Oprah next year.

christinefonseca said...

Wow. I am impressed. And what a great way to start fresh. Good luck with whatever the future holds (writing, of course). Remember to enjoy the ride!

Kimberly Derting said...

The really good stuff is always the scariest/hardest/saddest...it's what makes it worth doing. Announcing your book deal will make you forget all about those 17,585 emails. Trust me!

Tess said...

That's a serious number, but look at the numbers ahead of you...

number of books published....

number of editors bidding...

number of runs for that best seller...

number of fans in line at your books signings...

all great numbers :)

Solvang Sherrie said...

Oh, I sympathize. That would be so hard for me to do! I still have notes from friends in elementary school. I'm a bit of a pack rat.

Congratulations on all that's ahead you "desperate" woman :)

Sarah said...

Whoa, 17 875 is a lot of emails!
I have such a hard time deleting things, but I agree that it is symbolic. A new email address for a new chapter:)

Danyelle said...

You are a brave woman! I'm a pack rat, I don't think I'd have the courage to do that! >.<

jdcoughlin said...

Don't ask me how I found your blog. i'm sure it had nothing to do with strippers. But best of luck with your new move.

Joanna said...

So you get an agent and now you're all too cool for school, Ms I-Don't-Have-To-Work-No-Mo??!

Sweet.

Lisa and Laura said...

Christine - We're all about the ride....let's just hope it's a good one! Ok, that unintentionally came out really dirty sounding. Eew.

Kimberly - I would happily trade every e-mail that I've ever written in my life for that moment.

Tess - I like your numbers WAY better than mine.

Sherrie - I'm so glad I'm not the only one who can't get rid of this stuff. It's so hard to hit that delete button!

Sarah - It does feel very symbolic. I'm such a drama queen!

Danyelle - Believe me, I never would have done it without knowing that some random AV guy would end up reading every single thing I've ever written. Humiliation is a good motivator.

JD - I was really hoping that you found us via Justin Bobby or strippers or even writer porn. No one who has found us this way has ever commented. So close....

Joanna - I was laid off. You are so heartless! Way to really rub it in.

Ha! Seriously, I'm hoping maybe it's a blessing in disguise? We'll see...in the meantime I'll be busy terrorizing all of the other stay-at-home moms. Hold onto your playdates ladies, because there's a new mommy in town and she can't create scrapbook to save her life.