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.
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