Things I Wanted To Save When I Cleared Out My E-mail Inbox

A few days ago, I decided that I had to get my e-mail inbox under control. It wasn't as wildly out of control as some people's are, but I had about 375 e-mails sitting there, a couple dating as far back as 2007, and every time I signed in, there they sat judging me. I always wondered What have I left undone?

Over the course of the day, I took my inbox down from 375 to 12 e-mails, and my inbox has suddenly stopped haunting me with its perpetual message of my likely colossal failure. If you have an inbox like mine was, I suggest taking a day and killing it. It's been surprisingly freeing to my mind and my sense of well-being.

While I cleaned out my inbox, a handful of things popped up that I wanted to note, and the following snippets are little pieces of my life I didn't want lost to my Gmail archives, because they each point to specific points of time in my slow sea change over the last few years that I want to keep pinned down chronologically.

This is more like personal note-taking out loud.


MARCH 2009

(The following is my present response to an e-mail I was sent by a counsellor I saw briefly in 2008 but who continued to read my weblog and help me out behind the scenes without my knowing that I had a kind ally within the mental health system. It was a revelation, and she permanently altered the course of my life.)

Dear Bev,

I have no idea if you are still reading this weblog at all, since our last communication was in March of 2009, but I want you to know that I still think of you and the work that you did for me.

At the time, I was lost on waiting lists within the mental health system, too unwell to properly care for my own mental health but not unwell enough to land me in a psychiatric ward, and you heard me. You read my stories here and found me the help I needed at a time when the mental health system in my city seemed to be the least humane. Through a few sessions with a new counsellor, thanks to you, I was able to garner some skills to help me process some of my anxiety, and that has taken my life from barely livable to one for which I feel grateful. You heard me, you helped me, and you changed my life.

Thank you.


MAY 2009

A friend urged me to "...fill a pigeon with rice, glitter and hundreds of little notes saying I'm outta here... and push it into the HR office".



I wrote five blog posts for NBC Universal. I never saw my name attached to any of them published online, but I was paid for them, and that cheque bought us a couple of weeks of groceries. Eating makes writers happy.



The Palinode sent me video interviews he did of me talking about blogging and quitting smoking:



I went on CBC radio two or three times over the course of the month to talk about my experience participating in NaNoWriMo. I was a little freaked out, because I was still an anonymous blogger and was terrified to have myself outed so publicly. I ended up with my anonymity intact, but I had dreams that I legally changed my name to Schmutzie Pickles while wearing a big, red clown nose.


I had no idea that clearing out my inbox would free up so much of my energy or that it would be such a This Is Your Life type of experience, but it was, so take a few hours and give your life a good digital clearing. You might be surprised at what you find.

The Village Orchestra and Hugo Guzman. At The Artesian On 13th. With The Awesome.

My Eye!