I was recently doing a spring cleaning on my email accounts when I decided to go down memory lane. Since unlimited storage is a relatively recent phenomenon on free web mail accounts, I have very few emails dating back to 1998, which is when I first opened my main mail account. Since one only had a few MBs at that time, deletion of emails was very routine, and I did not have the oversight to save copies of those mails.
One thing struck me very strongly: the people who were fixtures in my life at that time, with whom I constantly exchanged emails on a daily basis (even when we were still going to meet for dinner later), whose lives were so intricately woven with mine, so much so that I could not imagine not being constantly in touch with them , these people have been replaced by others over the space of time. Don't get me wrong, these people are still my friends. We still keep in touch - only instead of weekly or several times a month, its now once or twice a year.
Isn't that what maturity is though? Those people who helped nurse a broken heart, with whom we once plotted business ideas that never came to fruition, trips and surprises that still bring a warm feeling whenever I think about them are still in my life. I have made room for others though over the years.
The most surprising of all, with hindsight is the person closest to me now. 9 years ago, my husband and I were not that close, we exchanged forwarded emails every once in a while. While most of our early correspondence has been lost to the forced email account clean ups of years gone by, seeing those emails which I have saved, I would never have predicted that we'd get married and start a family together.........
Now you see why I never destroy old letters or cards or emails(except I am forced to) - the future is a conundrum that can only be unraveled(or maybe not!) by a study of the past.