I finally just did one of those little tasks that you have on your brain but never do. You know what I mean? Usually pretty insignificant stuff, like vacuuming out the car, oiling a squeaky door hinge, things like that.
This task in particular was to delete excess contacts in my phone. You know, the people who you know you realistically will never see again. Believe it or not, I haven't lost my phone since the second one I had, my sophomore year of high school. So, every time I partook in the modern ritual of phone upgrading, I had my contacts transferred so as to not lose phone numbers. Pretty standard stuff. So when I need to look up someone's phone number, I have to sit there and scroll through, scroll, scroll scroll STOP til I find the person's name in alphabetical order. (I know I could search, but my way seems lazier. Habits.) Sorry, I know this is probably boring each person and cyborg from the Ukraine that apparently keeps tabs on our blog. (Blogger tracking statistics don't lie, Ukrainian bots, I know you are out there!)
Anyway. I finally did it. At least, I selected each contact I would delete, but I haven't yet pressed "delete." And you know what?
It made me really sad! Really, kinda-tearing-up-at-my-desk-while-procrastinating-at-work, sad. There were 130 names and places that I deemed unlikely for future contact, and they got a little red x by the name. With each x, I thought of high school cross country, of college parties, of Alternative Spring Break, of being a Key student as well as being a mentor, of brief but meaningful friendships with Naturalists at Large, of Bellingham acquaintances, of good times on Catalina Island, of friends' home phone numbers from high school whose parents have either surely moved or surely discontinued their land lines, among other odds and ends. I thought of pool parties, of scuba diving, of themed Friday holidays. Rock climbing adventures, study groups cramming to pass an exam, terribly awkward dates, and so on. You get the point.
Sometimes I'd get a little memory flashback right away, and there were a few that I just outright couldn't remember who they were and where I knew them from. Obviously, by the end of the alphabet, I had a hard time pressing "delete," because I still haven't done it! Dah. So what did I do? I went back, un-x'ed a few numbers from people who I wouldn't mind serendipitously calling or running in to again, despite highly improbable odds. Then, I wrote this silly blog post about it!
It was like having a mini flashback of the last 10 years of my life. It also made me realize what a terrible job I have done keeping in contact with so many friends, and I felt more than a few pangs of regret. It's weird to me, and probably to you, if anyone is still reading, that pressing "delete" is worthy of such emotion and a blog post. In this age of information, of cameras attached to our phones, our computers, our hands, and our faces, I have surprisingly few records of my life. But I guess I relish the opportunities life gives me to reflect, and this was one that was entirely unplanned and unexpected.
I'm pressing delete now. I thought about not doing it, preserving the tiny bits of data that reminded me of where I came from, but I think this activity is only good once every ten years. I think I'll set a Google Calendar reminder for January 13th, 2024.
(should probably get back to work now...)