A few weeks ago I (accidentally) deleted the last 2 years of my iPhone photos.
People who know me know, I’m very sentimental and that I take a LOT of iPhone photos. I love documenting things, especially the ‘small’ and intimate moments we don’t always remember or post on social media. It’s my way of keeping track of everything, and my own personal time-capsule.
So when I accidentally deleted my whole iPhone library and history I was devastated. (And no the photos weren’t saved on iCloud). 🤦🏼♀️
Especially because the last 2 years have been massive, for the world but for me too.
I moved back to Australia. Covid. I moved home. Lockdown. I finished my Bachelors degree. I fell in love. We travelled around Australia. More covid. Got this job. Lockdown again. We moved in together. More covid.
It has been two years of unprecedented global change. Two years of ‘firsts’. Two years of love. Two years of life… and I deleted it all! How would I ever remember everything that happened?!
Distressed and frantic I quickly messaged all of my friends to send me photos that they’d taken – not only of me or things we did together. I wanted significant moments in their lives too. I thought this way I could fill in the gaps and have at least something in my time-capsule.
Quite quickly I was flooded with new photos, new memories, and new stories. There were so many experiences that I had completely forgotten about – that day we hired a little motorboat for Renzo’s birthday, the big bunch of balloon’s Emily bought me for my graduation, the trip we took to Lowanna…
Suddenly I had a whole new bucket of images and memories, and didn’t miss the ones I’d lost at all. It felt liberating to have a totally refreshed and renewed time-capsule filled with new stories that I could share.
In Lisa Genova’s book, Remember: the Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting, she writes about how our brain’s aren’t designed to remember everything, they are actually designed to forget. And it’s an important part of how our memory functions. Our brains aren’t stuffy old filing cabinets, they are amazingly creative, dynamic and problem solving organs that we can trust will remember everything we need to.
Our memory is triggered by everything around us – and while I might not remember exactly what I was wearing that day I went to dinner with Ali, I might walk past someone’s backyard and smell their barbecue and remember the taste and feel of the chewy barbecued calamari we ate, the feeling of summer and the happiness of being together and that’s much more than a photo can tell me.
So now I think of my accidental deletion differently. I see it as a sign to not only look forward instead of back but also to look around. Because memories? Well, they don’t just sit in a folder on your iCloud, they live in you and alongside you. And the best part, you’re making more and more of them every day.
So go on, delete all your photos and tell me if I’m wrong!
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