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  • Writer's pictureNoelani Mei

New Phone, No Pics

Last week, I lost about 5 months worth of pictures on my iPhone.

Let's start from the beginning:

When I was traveling back to Los Angeles after Thanksgiving, I fainted on the airplane. No, this has nothing to do with my phone, but here's the IG video to explain:

That night, though, my phone completely died. I went to the Apple Store, and it was completely pooped so they replaced it for a new one. The night before, I had finally bought more space in iCloud to save all of my stuff. So, when I was at the Apple Store and the guy asked, "Do you want me to back up all of these pictures?" I said, "No, it's fine. I just did it 3 days ago. Anything new doesn't matter."

And just like that, everything was erased.

And I didn't realize for 4 more days.

Indeed, I had backed everything up...but it was only everything from my computer. My phone was not linked to my computer because there never was enough room, and I didn't sync it when I bought more iCloud space. Some pictures loaded onto my phone. Nothing past 2016.

I frantically checked the pictures on my computer. Nothing past 2016. I checked iCloud. Nothing past 2016. Everything was gone.

I completely broke down.

I know based on my monotone voice, resting bitch face, and the fact I look like a 14 year old boy, many of you think I'm not that emotional - and that my favorite color is navy (it's pink). Alas, that is not the case. I tear up during every movie and The Long Island Medium. I am also extremely sentimental, which means I am a low-key hoarder.

Usually, I can take things in stride. At that moment, I wasn't worried about the fact I lost 2 years of photos. I was upset that I lost all of my pictures with Wally. Aka my best friend in the entire universe. Literally the best creature to ever walk the planet. Best smush face of all dogs. Snuggle Buddy for life. Wally passed away July 13, 2018, and I went home to see him for the last time in June.

I felt like I couldn't breath. I was sobbing into my stuffed unicorn, Fluffy. If I continued at this rate, I was going to pass out, and this time I didn't have 2 flight attendants to give my orange juice.

Fluffy is the one that is not a squirrel. (Picture is from Jan 2018 when I first moved to LA)

Once I calmed down, I remembered I backed up my phone on a hard drive. I frantically dug it out of my bag, plugged it in my computer, and noticed my last back up was June 30, 2018. Two days after I had last seen Wally. Thank you to June me for backing my phone up - something I've never done before.

I thought I was okay but SYYKKEEEE. Tears came flooding to my eyes. I had a knot in my stomach that only that dude from Fifty Shades of Grey could untie. I hadn't lost my Wally pictures. But literally 5 months of pictures were gone. That's nearly half my time in Los Angeles. Many things I do on my own so it's not like other people will have duplicates. Guess this is a good indication I shouldn't be such a loner. HOWEVER, because I am a loner, I haven't really done much in the last 5 months.

Most of the content on my iPhone is 1) selfies 2) screenshots 3) pictures of things I want to buy from IG but never do 4) funny anecdotal references 5) pics from when I first met Reggie.

OK, clearly #3 doesn't matter.

#2 sucks too lose because I love looking back at funny things I've screenshotted to cheer me up.

#1 + #4 are practically the same. I always take pictures of things I do because I always think they're going to be blog worthy. Yet, I've been really depressed, so haven't felt like blogging at all. A lot of it also reminds me of things I've done in LA. Since, I'm ~considering~ moving, it's sad to see these go in an era of my life. Possibly, my only LA life.

I tried to pinpoint what was still making me so upset. What was so important in that clump of pictures? A lot of new things happened in July: I moved, I got new jobs, did some more exploring.

I realized what was making me so upset was that I thought, because I lost the pictures, I didn't just lose some memories, I lost the moments, too.

I am so reliant on my phone and the content in it that I actually thought because the photos were erased, the moments never even happened. I thought all of those moments were a waste.

And that's a ridiculous thought.

As I mentioned in #5, I even lost all of my pictures of my first week with Reggie. I'll never get ones like that again because Reggie is a solid unit right now and has already doubled in size.

First, Reggie could give two shits if I took photos or not. To him we are now homies for life, bonded by snuggles, and on the path to a best-friendship.

Yet, again, most of these pictures just remind me of what I've done. I rely on my phone as a second memory. Regardless, though, I still lived in those moments. Losing my pictures doesn't erase that.

If this was a freak accident. If my phone had gotten stolen. If they store just told me "Look we can't access your data," I think I would be less upset right now. I'm mostly mad at myself. I had the chance to say, hey can we just back this up? or Can I just check and make sure it's backed up. Yet, I didn't. That's what makes me mad.

But, what's the point? I can't go back. I can't go back to get the photos. I also can't go back to take a picture of those moments.

When my phone broke, I wasn't mad I couldn't take pictures of anything. I went 4 days without any cellphone, and I just thought, this is annoying, but I wasn't mad. I never thought, well shit I'm going to have zero memories of these 4 days.

There's no sense being absolutely furious at myself (which I am). So, I did think about how it could be worse. I remembered that a friend from High School had all of her footage stolen from her car with 3 wedding videos on it. (If you're in Dallas, click here to help: Rachel Heacox Films). I lost selfies and screenshots - and, ok, one really nice pic I took in Santa Monica. I didn't lose part of my livelihood. I didn't lose my wedding footage. I didn't lose pictures of Wally. I didn't lose my house in the Malibu fires. I didn't lose my actual memory. I just lost pictures.

And since my memory is so bad, guess I can't really remember what pictures I lost .

From now on, I will regularly back up my phone. I am also going to start ~journaling~ (my friend Kendall says that's a GREAT IDEA). So, I can always go back to my words to remember things.

And to end, here are some pics of me and Reggie.

Now, please, go back up your phone.

- Noelani

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