I began to explore it and I too came to love it. Who wouldn't love such a useful thing, run by a company with the motto "Don't be evil"?
Eventually the managing attorney said he'd lost his enthusiasm for Google, though he never told me why. He advocated for another browser, but I was still head over heels for Google's browser. And of course by that time, Google even had an office in our fair city that I walked by every day on my way to work. I had a have dozen gmail accounts, and even the university where I'd gone to school had converted to gmail.
Everything is different now. I moved first to London and then to Europe. The right-wingers started destroying actual Constitutional freedoms in the name of their own hatred of rules, their own desire to lie about people, to make things up and have them accepted as truth, their desire to oppress everyone who doesn't believe the utter crap that they base their lives on. The Plague came and everyone knows that the Plague and freedom don't mix very well. People died. R.I.P. everyone. Peace and power.
And Google went from actually living up to the trust I had put in them -- to keep my personal email safe from others but to grant me access to it -- to refusing to provide any help for people who can't get into the email accounts using their account recovery system. Once upon a time, it appears from all I've now read in my quest to get a decade+ old account back, you could escalate your case for "manual review." If you'd lost your phone number or recovery email or your 2-factor authentication device, an actual living person with the power to assist you could look at your case and pass judgment. Now a combination of bots and human operators can "guide you through the recovery process" which I had already guided myself through probably a dozen times. Note: it doesn't work any better when a "specialist" with no actual power "guides" you through it than it does when you guide yourself through it. It's just more annoying because they ask you questions that reflect just how stupid they believe you are. And they ask them repeatedly, probably because they're bots.
I've read of people who lost their business email accounts when, for example, they split with their spouse who had their mobile phone account in their name. It turns out that the internet is written on sand. All it takes is a good strong wind and it will collapse. I wonder if Google has forgotten this, though. Along with their "don't be evil" slogan, which they've abandoned.
I was reading a forum where people were trying to get help getting back into their email, sometimes for literal years. The person running the forum said to this poor man, finally, who appeared to have lost everything, from his wife to his house to his email account, "You're going to have to accept that you will not get it back."
I thought, "Yep. I'm going to have to accept it, too." I spent a silent evening periodically thinking about this. Things you have to accept. I have to accept, for example, that because a friend died of Covid, and her family gave a bunch of my stuff away to charity shops, I will never get back a corset I had made bespoke for $750. It's okay though, because I'm not wearing it, right? I don't need it. And it's literally gone to who knows where. It would be pointless to mourn it too hard. It had its uses. Bye, corset. You were fun to wear.
I have to accept that my mom and dad have a bunch of my stuff and I can't go back to the US and will probably lose it all when they can't stay in their house anymore. It's just souvenirs of my life. Souvenirs. Like the cedar box that my brother made for me when I was eighteen and he was fifteen. Full of trinkets from college and post-college travels. A sand rose from the Sahara desert. A miniature red London double decker bus. A note from my best friend who died when we were in a car accident. My brother's hand-carved design covering the lid. There is literally nothing for me to do to get that box of treasures because I can't expect my parents to put it somewhere for me at this stage. It's not reasonable. I wouldn't ask that of them. It's not fair.
I have to accept, also, that my brother is dead. My only brother died at 34 of unshakeable depression. I have to accept it because there is literally no way to change it short of a time machine that is apparently not forthcoming, and not to accept it would be to go mad and perhaps follow him into an untimely jar of ashes.
It's seems trivial at first. Not nearly as important as all the other things I've had to accept. That Google is going to take my email, set up by me in 2009, in which I had life changing conversations, which led to me realising that I was worth something, did not have to stay in an at least bad and at worst abusive relationship, did not have to give up my dreams. Could move to London, could go back to grad school, could become a novelist, could make a living as an editor and writer. Could marry someone who loved me as much as I loved them. Could be happy. Google, in spite of the support teams' assurances that they know it's important, seemed to boil it down to trivial at the end of the recovery process with the words, "consider setting up a new gmail account." Because email is just a thing that you use in the moment to send messages and get messages and all you've written at all the 2ams where magic was real and miracles happened, and all the words that will never happen again, that you counted on for solace, can be replaced if only you set up a new email account and forget all about the things that once make you happy.
I have to accept that, right? Because even though Google made its business on email, which began with me and others like me, they say I have to accept that there's nothing they can do except offer me a new, blank screen.
You know what, Google? I don't think I do. And I don't think I shall.