Initially, I had fears that my project which is essentially a bucket list, would not seem weighty enough for my capstone. It seemed that everyone was focusing on serious, important subject matters for their project, while mine seemed too surface level. I guess it just didn’t feel like it would have a place in the world without more context.
That’s when I realized that I would have to open it up, and myself, a bit more. I had to explain why I made the list. That meant that I had to delve back into the entire reasoning behind it, which is essentially a lowkey philosophy on life. It is also deeply personal and caused by things that have happened in my life. I knew that I didn’t want to dwell on them, nor did I want to write any more about the negative experiences (I wrote about them plenty in high school), but I realized that the reader would have no idea why this meant anything to me unless I showed them.
So I sucked it up, stopped being a baby, and talked about my life and what led to me to choose my capstone project. It wasn’t easy – I feel like when I write, I have to put myself into the mindset of what I’m talking about or it just won’t feel authentic. But, as many people pointed out, it needed to happen in order to create something meaningful.
Memoirs I’ve read don’t shy away from exploring the crummy parts – they don’t skim the surface and keep only the happy, light events/thoughts. They are gritty, they hurt, but they are powerful. The preface was my way of doing this, and I hope it gives context, relevancy, background, and significance to my piece.
I think what’s left for this project is to refine the narrative components. These do some of the work of the preface in that they provide substance to the seemingly fluffy.