A Letter about Emails
For those curious what the video was, click here.
There are moments in the busyness of life that invite you warmly back to the past, and you greet a younger version of yourself; one I’ve been thinking about more as I start this new chapter as an editorial intern at Ethos.
Talking to a childhood friend recently, the twists and turns of our conversation led to the emails we used to exchange with our other friends at the beginning of the 2010s, before we were old enough to use social media. With a burst of youthful energy, we used bold, highlighted text in mismatched colours, appearing in various font sizes, and always a liberal use of capital letters, exclamation points, and old-school Gmail emoticons scattered across the digital page.
Immersed in the preteen past, my friend and I were splitting our sides laughing at our ridiculous emails, especially my obsession with PSY’s “Gangnam Style”: I boasted that I first heard the song on my cousin’s computer in Korea over summer break, but now “my whole school knows about it!!!”. Using the email as my after-school soapbox, I advised my peers on important matters (“watch this vid … it’s VERY funny”), and voiced some universal feelings (“I hate homework from the DEPTHS of my SOUL!!”). Over a decade later, reading these tween musings was entertaining. But I found something genuine in them: we didn’t hold back in relating to each other with a sense of excitement and an earnest desire to share our inner lives.
Some of this was forgotten as we entered the race of finishing school, university, and choosing our career paths. The exclamation points decreased. Email sign-offs like “Mkay bye!” were replaced with “Best wishes” and “Kind regards”. Of course, this comes with becoming an adult and following (some) social norms. But looking back could allow you to bring some childlike wonder to the present moment.
I encourage you to retrace the routes back to that younger self. Pick up that instrument the musician plays so deftly in your favourite song, visit a part of town you wondered about when you were younger, read that book that has been gathering dust on your shelf for years because at some point, a previous version of you saw something in it and bought it. Maybe write an email to an old friend.
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