Recently, my hard drive crashed. There was a long 2 month saga of trying to get it fixed, including two weeks of being lost in the mail and several phone calls involving pretending to be my mom, shouting, crying, and more headache. Needless to say it was incredibly stressful. After that incredibly onerous process, I was really hoping for a happy ending, but it was not to be. Nothing could be recovered. Luckily, all of my photos were backed up to the cloud. However, so much was still lost. Old assignments, journal articles, teaching resources. Probably the biggest lost for me were my old stories and journal entries.
It’s funny, because I didn’t regularly use that hard drive. It wasn’t like I read those files every day to reminisce (maybe if I had, I would’ve backed them up elsewhere as well). But I would occasionally do so and I liked knowing that I had them if I ever wanted them. Now that I’ve lost them, of course, I feel the need to check them out all the time and an odd empty feeling when I remember they are lost forever.
My best friend in college and I spent probably hundreds of hours working on a universe and characters that we just referred to as “The Sci Fi Story.” I wrote a bunch of short stories about it and we have so many notes on the small amount of plotting we did (we liked inventing characters a lot more). Mostly, we have a lot of timelines (No joke, I managed to rescue- from email- files entitled “Very Useful Timeline” through “Very Useful Timeline 8 overhaul”). Somehow though, I lost the majority of the short stories I wrote.
No problem, I figured. I could just email my old friend. We had been out of touch for awhile, but I have so many long distance friends who easily reconnect even when we haven’t spoken in months or even years (in fact, one I haven’t spoken to in about 3 years messaged me today about my wedding dress!)
In response, I got the most passive aggressive email I have ever received, beginning with “Wow, an email from you out of the blue! What an unexpected surprise.” and including such gems as “As things stand right now, it is not enough of a priority for me to spend effort on at this time.”
I honestly don’t know if it’s the loss of the stories or the friendly acquaintanceship I thought we had that makes me more sad. I can’t say I’m surprised, but I am incredibly disappointed. We were almost inseparable in college for three years and remained close for the next year or two while I was in graduate school. We had a pretty intense falling out and didn’t speak for three years until I reconnected with her about 5 or so years ago. It’s been rocky since then but I had hoped we were friendly enough to at least occasionally catch up. It wasn’t that long ago that I was visiting Chicago and spent the day with her. I guess this relationship, along with the hard drive and the sci fi stories, is just another loss.
Maybe it’s the hoarder in me, but it’s hard for me to view this as an opportunity to start over and create afresh. I could always have done that, but I can never get the writings (and other various data) back. I guess this is just what endings feel like- bittersweet. An excuse to start anew, but a loss of something you hoped to have for some time to come.