I’m sitting in Ross drinking a crappy iced Americano and tying up the loose ends of this project and the rest of my undergraduate career and finding it difficult and easy all at the same time. Time has flown by but also I feel so much older than the person who first sat down in ENG 125 and who would fall in love with reading and writing personal narratives. And somehow, I still feel much older than the person who made her Gateway project. That Abby seems so, well, far away.
I know how funny that is because my whole capstone was about distance. The ways in which all of us feel close and far all at once. And distance has probably been the one true constant in my life – especially throughout these last couple of months of college. All my friends are moving away. I might be moving away. I’m trying to navigate the future and the past and somehow maintain all the relationships in my life. So this capstone was very personal to me.
That made the production of it harder than I thought. I’ve mentioned it before but there is something about putting into words all the things that have been swirling around your brain for basically your whole life for whoever to read that is scary. The subject matter, the reflection of it, also made it clear that I would have to relive some pretty sad/scary/bittersweet memories. But all in the search of making something I was actually excited to look back on – unlike my gateway project.
It was hard. But I did it. I presented something I am proud of. I made something I, as a lover of the genre, would love to read. Which is the weirdest thing about all of this. You see, I’m a business student. I don’t currently have post-grad plans but it probably won’t be writing (even though that’s pretty much all I’ve ever wanted since I was a little kid). So this will conceivably be the last written work that I am actually forced to produce. Everything else will be journal entries and half-finished narratives that sit untouched as life continues on around them. But I feel like a writer now.
For the first time, I feel like a writer. Not just someone who likes to write. This capstone did that for me. Pushing through all the hard stuff and bad memories and ambiguity made me feel legitimate. I don’t know what’s next. I don’t know who I’ll be in 5 years. I don’t know how far away or how close to this version of Abby I will fill then. But somehow I know, with the most certainty that I’ve felt in a long time, that the feeling of sated accomplishment will last. This project is pushing away feelings of imposter syndrome and giving me the confidence to figure out what’s next. So thank you. I needed that.