The rigorous, structured, and transparent review of literature on a particular topic can lead to promising insights about research directions, practical solutions, and potential policies. While the Systematic Literature Review (SLR) is a well-established methodology, it is rarely used in the field of engineering education. Though the use of the term "systematic" suggests a clear-cut process and there are resources available to describe the major steps of the method, the initial steps of a SLR are inherently messy-i.e., they heavily rely on the researcher's judgement and decision-making. Unfortunately, the messiness embedded in these steps is rarely discussed or described in existing resources. In this study, we reflect on the "messiness" of initiating a SLR on broadening participation in engineering and computer science. Informed by two existing approaches to reflection, we used the STAARA (Situation-Task-Affect-Action-Result-Aftermath) framework to reflect on the ways in which we resolved important decisions associated with one overarching situation and several corresponding tasks, affects, actions; the aftermath is also discussed. This paper includes insights from our experience that can help other researchers navigate the initial steps of a SLR.