It's amazing the amount of "things" you accumulate in relationships. I'll be specific in this post, because this is in fact my blog. It's amazing what I've had to clean up for the very short time that I dated my former fiance. Our first date was November 30th. He visited my family in Washington with me on December 21st. On January 11th I scheduled our temple sealing. I told him that we shouldn't get married March 7th.
In those short months, on Facebook alone, I changed a relationship status, and profile picture, shared a ring finger-specific picture, took a handful of date night photos, added one of his friends, many of his family, and exchanged comments with my friends about the engagement. Then there's Google. I created a shared Google calendar for us, put big upcoming events (engagement photos, the actual day, bridal showers, the Seattle open house) as well as old ones (day he proposed, first date) on my personal calendar, in addition to his family birthdays and at least one vacation we were planning on taking, created Google Tasks related to the wedding, and I made a whole new email address for what was going to be my new name. Related to the wedding itself, I booked a photographer, rented a wedding dress, picked a cake, paid for half of a ring, asked my friends for addresses so others could send out bridal shower invitations, registered at two places, and added a countdown widget to my phone. I took my Wii and all my games and peripherals to his house.
So here I am, in the peaceful aftermath, slowly cleaning up. Emails to the photographer and the cake decorator. Emails to friends and family letting them know. I'll call the temple and the dress rental shop this afternoon. I deleted the widget and rearranged my home screen. I deleted the calendar, the events, and the reoccurring events that I won't be around to see or share. I completed the "Find an engagement photo outfit" task in my Gmail because I don't need to anymore. I scrubbed my Facebook; it looks as though we never met. And now I'm drafting this press release.
This post has taken a long time to write, and my mind has wandered, but I'll try to return to my original premise. I didn't take many pictures, we didn't exchange cutesy Facebook posts, and we didn't share anything (except for the Wii). We had been dating for only a few months and still, all of these little bits of digital data have collected and need to be cleared away.
That might be a good debate - which is harder (emotionally, physically) to get rid of. Looking at my clean bill of electronic health, I feel cleansed. It was an easy process to sit down and complete. It took some digging to make sure I had covered all of my bases, but now, I feel refreshed. On the other hand, all of my Wii stuff is still sitting in the backseat of my car, because the physical act of multiple trips carrying back to my apartment last night seemed too daunting. Texts and emails of condolences have been trickling in. I still need to cancel the wedding registries. I'm getting the photography deposit back in full, which is a pleasant surprise I just got in my inbox. This is how the day has progressed.
I love that this blog is still here. I love that my purpose and direction for it was so correct when I started it. All of life is a sorting out phase. I just sorted another piece. I learned even more about myself and about humanity. I feel sadness about the relationships that I've lost but not about the life I've lived, or the life I'm going to live.
Long live adventure and sorting and love and celebration and sorrow and catharsis and everything in between. Yukon, ho.