Your (email) Life in Review
New name, new email, yes?
Gmail makes it fairly painless to merge one email account into another. I set it up so Helena.MaidenName imported into Helena.MarriedName. This process starts with your oldest emails and slowly moves them over to your new “dominant” account.
This meant that I re-received every email I’ve gotten since late 2004.
Sure, I could have set up a filter to auto-archive them, but I got some enjoyment from re-living those years, in a sense. I mean, I had emails from Friendster. Classic. Also, “The Facebook” informing me that people had added me as a friend.
I left grad school in 2005, so there were emails to friends and family announcing my new Chicago address and clamoring about how fun it was to dress up for work every day. One cousin quickly informed me that business casual would get old. She was right.
So many Amazon orders! And Zappos!
Emails planning trips – to Norway with my sister, West Virginia with my friends, Maine with my family, Colorado for a wedding. Emails from trips – talking about how Dubai was not my scene but I’ll always love India. Train ticket confirmations. Reminders to check in for upcoming flights.
A chain letter concerning a recipe exchange that just about everyone sent me in 2009.
Emails concerning my time spent Online Dating were interesting – mostly benign. Messages between younger-Helena and bad-news-boys (note: NOT the lovely fellows I met whilst online dating) were quickly deleted. SO much agonizing over idiots. Oy. Helena Swyter doesn’t need to know about Helena Butters’s foolishness.
I re-lived my friends and families announcing pregnancies and children born (and my sister adopting her cat).
Evites reminded me of birthdays, Christmas parties, Halloween events. Pictures shared from a Marie Antoinette-themed party reminded me that champagne should always be enjoyed slowly.
I have emails from family members who have since passed away. While one such relative will always be remembered for her fantastic handwriting, seeing her email – never in standard-issue Arial font – brought a smile to my face.
I’ve finally caught up with this onslaught of almost 8,000 emails. It was overwhelming…but fun.