I decided this somewhat randomly about two weeks ago. I was at The Writing Center and no students had come in for walk-in tutoring. I had around 17K emails in the the gmail I started in college. This isn't that much maybe. I also have a junk account, two school accounts, and a professional artist account. Maybe I'll deal with those sometime too.
So, first, I used the search bar to weed out advertising junk. I deleted all the "Groupon," "Twitter," "Jamba Juice" hits etc. After destroying as many spams as possible I started working through my cache starting with the oldest messages to the newest.
Right now I have 7,881 emails in my inbox. I have lurched from my freshman year to my first year out of college. It's been weird to my life snippets in a vertical list. That year seems so foreign to my life now, but it was actually incredibly foundational. A flurry of student notes from the Writing Center, navigating a weird boss for an after school program, running my first marathon, all my grad school statements of purpose, a community theatre musical rehearsal emails, indie improv team volleys. Some of it is embarrassing--advice I gave in a very knowing way, hatching my sense of humor, I had no fear, and I substitute taught an English 100 lab for free on Valentine's night.
But, oh, there are precious moments. Long chains with friends who were still friends, pictures from Dusty, and the most charming: a lesson plan for the first improv class I ever taught. The usual teacher for the Level One class at the comedy theatre I performed at couldn't make one week. He asked this other girl and I to cover. We were PUMPED. We went out for pizza beforehand and freaked out about everything we wanted to teach the class. The place was called Suds or something and we sat at a countertop and just gushed about all we loved and hated about improvising. We practically ran to the theatre screeching in excitement. We had both just broken up with our boyfriends.
When we arrived we found only ONE PERSON there for the class--a middle age woman who was pretty nervous. No idea why she took the class, but it was only her second attempt at improv ever. The other girl and I were not deterred. We went full-ham on our plan and took turns being in the scene with the woman. Toward the end of the three hours, I think we were both so eager to act, we just did a ton of three person scenes. We laughed and laughed in that shady, bunk basement room for rent.