I’ll put that in my memoir

Baby Harry Glicklin '26 Photo Courtesy of Layout Editor Harry Glicklin'26

I fell in love with reading again after reading a memoir. I was drawn to the ways that the metaphorical curtain of celebrity was drawn back to reveal more insight and personal perspectives on their life, and the stories that made the author who they are today. 

In studying memoirs academically, both in high school and college, it became clear to me that I had only one dream in life—to write a memoir of my own. However, I struggled immediately with not feeling worthy enough to write one that would be interesting. I didn’t feel that I had extremely impactful or inspiring moments in my life that unknown audiences would desire to read, nor am I a celebrity whose life story is wanted by the fans who’ve built parasocial relationships with me. For those reasons, I decided that this moment wasn’t the right time, and rather opted to wait until I had enough anecdotes built up in order to produce a successful piece of literature. 

Every moment of my life that either occurred or has yet to occur falls into one of two categories: memoir-worthy or not memoir-worthy. It’s sort of become my catch phrase to signify these moments in real-time, saying “I’ll put that in my memoir one day.” Some examples of memoir-worthy pieces include:

  • My nickname when I did karate was “Giggles,” whereas others were given “Firecracker,” or “Avenger.” I naturally laugh when I get nervous, and was called this due to my consistent laughter during our simulated fights. My peers, however, were commended on their strength, agility or speed.
  • I have always struggled to connect with fantastical fiction, and in some ways my own imagination. It’s for this reason that I’ve never read or seen Harry Potter, Star Wars or Percy Jackson (sorry!). There’s some sort of block for me between what’s real and what’s imaginary that makes some of these concepts too complex and unrealistic for me to enjoy.
  • Due to my name being Harry, I am often compared to other pop culture figures with the same name. Harry Styles, Prince Harry and the aforementioned Harry Potter have all ebbed and flowed in tandem with their respective popularity and relevance. I look into these comparisons and wonder what kind of implicit connections can be made between us, and whether or not I find myself forcing these similarities.

The deeper, more meaningful moments are what end up in this category. What remains is every other aspect of my life. However, none of these started as extremely impactful or difficult times, but rather events and situations that have formed new meanings as I’ve grown older. The karate story happened around age 11, I tried reading Harry Potter and gave up around the same time, and the name comparisons have happened for practically all of my 18 years. But what’s remembered is what creates importance.

I use this ideology often–that if I don’t remember something, it wasn’t that important to begin with. While I don’t advocate for this tactic, it has proven helpful in thinking back on my life. Realizing and remembering these moments as an adult is what labels them as memoir-worthy.

And over winter break, I did it. I tried to write this pretend memoir that I knew in its initial form wouldn’t amount to anything, but was a great way to tackle my ambition, and ensure that I had documentation of these important moments. Spoiler alert: the three examples above  are essentially all I was able to write (that I’m ready to share at least). 

The writing process was rougher than I expected. Reliving these experiences was more real than I was ready for. It was as much of an unpacking as it was a retelling. The few-page-long Google doc was like the diary I never had. And it was almost therapeutic to go back and recognize my experiences, and now I have the knowledge and understanding of writing to put these emotions into words.

My memoir remains unwritten, and may never see the light of day, or at least not until I think it’s worthy of readership. As an 18-year-old college student, much of the content of my memoir has yet to be created–those life moments haven’t even happened yet. But give me a few years, and you might just see a big book with my face on it in a Barnes & Noble near you.

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Harry Glicklin '26 is a media & communication and English double major who is absolutely jazzed to be both a Copy Editor and a writer for The Muhlenberg Weekly. Outside of ~the office~, Harry is a member of the Muhlenberg AcaFellas, Hillel and the WMUH Allentown radio station.


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