Ironically in the last few days I’ve twice decided to go against previous judgement, and effectively start new user profiles on Macs.
I’d previously prided myself that my home user profile had actually started in 2004 or so on an eMac, transferred to a PowerPC Mac Mini, transitioned to an Intel iMac, transitioned to another Intel iMac, before finally settling onto a Mac Pro. After a few days of Lion hell on that machine, I decided to roll back to Snow Leopard, which isn’t so much a roll back as it is an uninstall. I did have the option of transferring my user profile back, but thought the better of it; documents were copied, but all the cruft, the old preferences and the odd settings and the little bits and pieces – they were left behind.
Similarly, in the last 24 hours, I bought only the second laptop I’ve ever had. My work Mac Book Pro was getting long in the tooth, and I wanted a more powerful machine than I could expect work to pay, so I decided to call it an early birthday present and get a 17 inch Mac Book Pro. For various reasons, I decided not to transfer that user profile either. So up until 23:00 last night, and since 06:00 this morning, I’ve been doing the selective transfer of data and files from the old laptop onto the new laptop, keeping all the cruft away. A profile that’s lasted since 2006 is equally being decommissioned.
New me on boh machines? I guess you could say so.
For the past 12 months or more, in the preparation for the move to Melbourne, life has been all about learning to leave behind those things that are no longer relevant. First it was the big items – furniture and expired white goods, computer equipment no longer needed, etc. Then it was the smaller items – stripping away packaging around items that we barely use, and consolidating them to occupy as small a space as possible. I even did a data cull, which saved 0% in terms of occupied space in the removalist truck, but was nonetheless rewarding. It was the deconstruction of falling stars.
The self-purging has been a little longer in the coming though. It had been hanging around for a while, but really kicked in when I realised I’d found a place I belonged. That self-purging – a re-evaluation of who I am and what I choose to do – reached the point where I made a challenging decision. Then in typical social-media style, posted it on Facebook:
This morning I chose to end two friendships that had many happy memories, but had become unrecoverably toxic over the last few years. Sometimes though you have to make the decision to move on and sever ties in the hopes of preserving the remaining happy memories.
Some might say that I was just giving up, but I’d equally say that those referenced had given up on me as a friend years ago. The point is though, that I did have many happy memories of that friendship, but I could equally feel them slipping away thanks to the non-place the ‘friendship’ had entered. Many – probably more than half of them – had already been lost.
I could cling onto the toxic and crufty remains of an old friendship that would never return to its glory days, ruining those few remaining good memories, or I could choose to let go.
Surprisingly, it the end, the decision was easier than I expected. Liberating too.
And a happy one. I still have my good memories of the friendship – but I can let the bad ones fade now, because I’m not hoping to see something preserved that was actually lost long ago.
Clearing the cruft can be a good thing.