eMails — The other way to keep a diary
Synopsis: Remembering the past can be difficult, but you leave tracks. Especially your saved eMail communication with a good friend can be very helpful.
“Old friend, in my mind only do I write you this letter, but it is a splendid letter, with perfect brushwork. Old hands do not shake or cramp when the letter is written on the air.”
Master Li, in Sandman #74: “The Exile”
What was important for you this year?
Sometimes it is hard to look back on a year and remember everything that was important for you, e.g., for a life newspaper (book, blog-entry), or just to find out how you got here.
You are lucky if you have a friend whom you trust and with whom you communicate via eMail.
Between the moment I’m writing this (December 12th, 2009) and the moment I started using my current eMail account (25.04.2006), I have exchanged 2010 eMails with a very good friend of mine. Unfortunately, the eMails written before that date got lost when that earlier account ceased functioning. I should have done a backup. Anyway, given that eMail storage space is abundant and eMails typically are very small, you do not need to delete any of your eMails. While this gives Google Family an extremely detailed picture (more detailed probably than you’d like), less content happy eMail provider couldn’t care less and provide you with an detailed archive of your past.
Re-reading these eMails can be very interesting — you find out that you have changed during three and a half years, read some incredible insights one of you had, and you want to scream regarding some of this things you thought or did.
A diary might be more personal and much more detailed, but it is hard to keep — writing every day is a tedious affair. However, a conversation with a good friend, kept alive by externalizing it into a medium like eMail, is often a kind of diary everyone can keep.
If you have a friend you can trust, that is.