Dear Young Crystal,
I’ve been contemplating how I would begin this letter to you, but I knew I needed to write it especially with the 10 year class reunion coming up tomorrow. I can’t help but to reflect on the experience and life journeys, you’ve embarked on these past ten years. You’ve experienced love, heartache, tons of fun and somethings you may never share with many people.
I can truly say that there are four main lessons that you learned that will forever stand out.
Lesson 1: Throw out that damn timeline.
Your idea of getting married by the time you graduate college and having kids shortly after quickly faded by the end of your freshman year of college. Focus on setting realistic and career minded goals. If love, marriage, and children come into the picture, they will eventually fall into its own place. If you kept with your timeline, you may not be working towards actually making your dream into a reality today. Trust me you are not missing out by waiting. There are plenty of children who will enter your life to nurture and guide. Don’t get me wrong. It is okay to dream, hope, and aspire, but make sure it’s what you want to do.
Which brings me to my next lesson…
Lesson 2: Don’t do it for anybody else, but yourself and God.
You spent so much of your middle and high school years trying to fit in with the crowd and do what wasn’t necessarily something that interested you. You tried to please so many people without realizing that some never really had your best interest at heart. Everyone wanted you to teach so yes, you’re on going to Winthrop University for an English Secondary Education bachelor’s degree. However, you are going to be in for a rude awakening darling. You will bounce around for a few years trying to find a career, but it will all lead you back to where you started – writing. It’s your voice. It’s how you best express yourself. It’s how you make movements in this crazy quaint world we live in. You will meet some great people in college who will encourage your writing movement through PHREA. (You will learn about that a little later.)
Lesson 3: Good friends are hard to come by.
Of course by now, you’ve realized that your circle is slowly getting smaller. The friends you’ve known for nearly a decade will drift apart, but the true friends will always stand by your side. You will realize that it’s probably more circumstantial versus purposeful. You are about to leave for college, and some of your friends are staying in Summerville to pursue education, work, or raise a family. You will meet more people in college definitely who will help shape you into the woman you are today. You will network with great individuals because of the friendships you will develop in college. They will nickname you “Starkey” or “Starkes” since apparently there’s too many Crystal’s to keep count of at Winthrop University. These friends also include six great ladies who you will develop a strong sisterhood with who will become more than just friends, but also your new sisters. The seven of you all transcended your entire college experience from the community service to the late night drives from Charleston back to Rock Hill without your parents finding out. Good friends are truly hard to come by, and you can’t help but be thankful for them coming into your life.
Lesson 4: Cherish the time with your loved ones
You won’t realize it now, but there will be a time when you long for conversations with your momma and granny. Yes, you will be upset that immediately after college you had to go back to Summerville, but it was God’s plan. He wanted you to go back to your roots and spend time with your mom and granny. Yes, it’s not the happy part, but it is the part where I learned the most. You have to cherish those times while you can.
Overall, Young Crystal, I just want to tell you to continue to work hard towards your goals. You are beautiful, despite your flaws and awkward hair days that you will eventually shy away from. Wow, it’s been 10 years since high school! I love you Young Crystal!