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This is my first ever newsletter to be put out into the world. The first of many, I hope. Us humans have not been best known for our ability to keep at the same project incessantly, barring exceptions. Nevertheless with this new project I indulge upon a flicker of light, and wonder about where it shall lead to.
I am aware this is one amongst the all too crowded ocean of Substack newsletters. Nevertheless, the naïveté and optimist in me dreams that with A Memoir Worth Writing, I am endeavouring upon something unique. Something quite original and special. And if not, at the very least, it is something special to me. I think that alone justifies its being.
The name, A Memoir Worth Writing, is a concept I hold dear to my heart. It is a vision of dreams and finish lines, of self-conquest and self-mastery, and a touch of an aversion towards the common dictionary. Let me attempt to explain.
A life worth living to me is delineated by a memoir worth writing. What is a memoir worth writing? To me, a memoir worth writing is a life worth commemorating, and I think such a life is that which is sufficiently in service of others. A life in service of none but the self is hardly a life worth commemorating, unless the intent is to write about a narcissist. But perhaps it seems too harsh to judge if a life is worth living. Who has any say on this? If that is the case, it will do good to reframe the case in question to a life that is worth reliving. They are the same question in essence, only easier on the moral being.
When I observe others answer to how they want to live their lives, it tends to involve the desire to have “impact”. But when a word is overused, it loses its meaning. It becomes recycled over and over again, and becomes a figure of the orthodox. It is a flicker of the collective light, but sparks do not fan into a raging fire until they are kindled from a self-sufficiency that is, from deep within. That is the reason for my aversion towards the 'common dictionary'. Thus I have settled upon A Memoir Worth Writing, as opposed to Living An Impactful Life (which pains me to write). The concept of A Memoir Worth Writing is to me a personal symbol of ultimate ideals.
I think it is clear why writing this now is a higher quality decision than recounting my own history when I turn 80. Why not write my history as I live it? I have no intent to revise my own history, only the desire to recount it as accurately as possible. If I have the lines and dots of my life recorded at each point in time and I possess sufficient self-control to keep at this for the remainder of my life, I should have at hand maximally accurate records through which I might curate the culmination of my life's work, A Memoir Worth Writing. Perhaps I might even incentivise myself to live a certain way in the process, and live out the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy.
But on a more honest note, I am also an impatient creature and I cannot wait 50 years to act upon this flicker of light, lest it fizzles out and becomes lost forever. Therefore, armed with a keyboard and Substack, I hereby attempt to progressively record my life, reflections and thoughts — as originally and authentically as I can (well, as much as one can be).
I would like for this Substack to be thought of not as a newsletter, but as fragments of a book. I wish not for this to be identified among newsletters, for there are hordes of newsletters and writers exponentially greater, but I hope you might appreciate this project for what it is — a personal attempt undertaken to write my own memoir as I live it.
Chapter 1 is very much defined by my stage of development in life. The first step towards achieving a conscious end is the understanding of the means through which such an end might be arrived. How does one live a life worth living without any understanding of what it means to live? And how does one arrive at any understanding without intent? The first step to understanding is intent, for no one stumbles upon a well-reasoned life by accident. And if there are such cases, it is either a very great measure of bestowed luck or the will of God Himself, to which I have nothing to add.
The first chapter, therefore, is dedicated to making sense of myself and the world around me. I believe it represents a stage of development not uncommon to all in their first quarter (perhaps first half) of life. The will to make sense of the world and impose order upon it is great, for reasons of all sorts.
What you are about to read is a collection of axioms. These are truths that have held up as self-evident*, forming my view of the world from which I see and interpret all things. This is, now, the perfect segue to my first axiom.