Today I did something I thought I would never do. I’ve mentioned before that I’m kind of a hoarder because I never throw anything away (my room is so filled with stuff, sometimes you’d have to do some acrobatics before you can open the closet). But it’s not just with physical things that I “hoard”. I also get very very attached to virtual things like digital photos, a particularly well-written blog entry, and, well, text messages.
I am so attached to some text messages in fact that I am still refusing to upgrade my SIM card (even if it’s nearly 10 years old and can’t work properly) because if I do, the text messages saved in it will disappear. And I don’t want them to disappear. Some of those text messages I’ve saved from when I first got my phone in 2001. But you know what, I can copy all those “Good Morning” quotes down so, the messages that I really didn’t want to disappear were the ones from, well, him.
It’s stupid, right? The first thing anyone ever tells you to do when you say that you want to get over someone is for you to delete that person’s number from your phone book, un-friend him from all your social networks and erase all his text messages and e-mails. But I’ve never done any of those things because I always think that no, memories are precious. Good or bad, memories are important and you shouldn’t just delete them from your life.
Well, I still believe in this, but… it can really be very poisonous when you hang on to things that can hurt you.
E has already deactivated his Facebook account (or at least, the one that I was aware of. Maybe he’s created a new one, but I don’t know about it anymore (and I shouldn’t want to know)), but his Gmail e-mail address is still the same. It’s the one he uses for work so he can’t just delete it like he did his Facebook account. Anyway, because he’s still actively using it, I still see his name pop-up in the Gmail chat box whenever he’s online. And it takes a lot of effort from me not to send him a message whenever I see his name there. But again, like his text messages, I couldn’t bring myself to “block” him because I know there’s nothing to block anyway, he will never send me a message, or delete his name from my Contacts in Gmail because, well, I know his e-mail address anyway (it’s just his full firstname.lastname@example.org, how can I forget it?) so I figured that it’s pointless to delete him from my Contacts. So for these past several weeks I’d been torturing myself, seeing his name, reading his status, and stopping myself from sending him a message. But today, his status was, “enjoying every moment”. And it just made me so sad. I mean, I know that he’s of course happy, because I’m no longer annoying him, but I just never felt more bitter about it ’til now. I just couldn’t bear to read it so I finally moused over his name on the list and clicked “Never show”.
He’s now gone from my GChat list.
For a moment, it felt really nice to not see his name and not be constantly reminded that he’s “enjoying every moment”. Of course, it’s all still in my head, but at least I didn’t have to read about it. So I finally thought, what the heck, I’ll delete all the text messages from him that are still saved in my phone. (And I’ll be able to renew my SIM card after this, too.)
There were 90 messages in all. My phone’s limit for text messages is only 200, so that means that almost half of all the messages were just from him. And now that there are no messages from him saved, I deleted his number from the Contacts List, too. (I couldn’t before, because if you delete his name, you’ll just see the phone number in the message Inbox, and that causes me to memorize the number.)
90 messages. The first one was dated November 9, 2005. Only about 3 weeks after we first met. And the last was from July 31, 2010. Can you believe I saved 5 years worth of text messages from one person? (OK, I already deleted a lot before this, of course we’ve sent more than 90 messages in the time that we’ve known each other. But I saved the ones that were funny or sweet.)
I know, this is absolutely stupid to anyone out there who isn’t heartbroken or sentimental. But for a hoarder like me, who still has the notes my friends and I passed around during classes in high school, tucked in a box under my desk, I think this is pretty big. Sort of. I mean, I finally let go of something (albeit they’re just text messages). Surely, this makes me less pathetic than before?