5000. This is the number at the bottom of the Outlook screen. It seems unfathomable, considering that I delete anything I get at work that is either (1) not relevant or (2) taken care of.
I begin to delete, searching key names so I can scroll through smaller sections at a time. It takes hours, and it tells stories.
I delete the story of an angry parent who considered me the primary obstacle to her daughter's success because I gave her a B+ in English class.
I delete the rise of an ambitious student from Staff Writer to Editor in Chief that began with an e-mail, "Now that I'm done with beginning journalism, what can I do next?"
I delete meeting transcripts that felt important at the time, but document decisions long-ago made with resolutions that are a memory.
It takes hours to strip away these small stories from my life -- emotional and mundane -- and I am nowhere near done.