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Without further ado...
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.