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I drive people crazy with my words.
I ask more questions than anyone wants to answer, I offer answers without being asked any questions and I feel completely comfortable under the weight of a deep conversation.
I seem to speak from experiences I never had; I’m too young to know what I’m talking about. I must be just another crazy, hypersensitive and holier-than-thou twenty-something who likes to hear herself talk and read her own writing.
But no, I’m not self-absorbed—just inescapably captivated by the endless combinations of process and paradox as they shape the world.
I drive myself crazy because I can’t just do things the way they should be done, or at least the way others seem to be doing them (and successfully, I might add).
I can’t say something without waging an internal war before and after saying it. Even if I only say it in my head, I am dragged into a thought-provoking dialogue between the universe and me. And when I say something out loud—let’s just say it’s like a swarm of bees trapped in a small space, my sole task being to let out only one at a time.
I can’t easily let loose. I can’t forget or try to remember, because that would mean I’m letting go of some control. And I can’t lose control, because then I can’t be entirely present in all the brilliant conversations—with myself or with others—that fill my little treasure chest of inspiration.
I can’t stand feeling unaware, yet many times I’m so busy pondering what some would call insignificant matters that I’m totally oblivious to anything else. It turns out that being spacey and experiencing an onslaught of ideas look strangely similar.
I give advice that surpasses my age and experience, and I’m surprised to find that it’s usually pretty good (if only I could take it myself). But don’t get me wrong—I listen, too. I listen to everything I hear and all the silence in between.
My love affair with the truth and its friends intensifies with every thought that crosses my mind and every person I meet.
I thrive off of firmly held eye contact. I feel foolishly rejected when I can’t catch it from others, but when I feel judged it’s the first thing I retract. And then I wonder how I make others feel.
For better or for worse, I couldn’t explain anything about myself if I tried—not succinctly, anyway, and certainly not without starting at the beginning. I never find the right things to say or do, but I feel obligated to say and do them anyway. Don’t ask me why. I still don’t know.
More times than I care to admit, I’ve been misunderstood and ridiculed for being who I am—to my face and behind my back. I’ve been accused of asking too many questions that are irrelevant and unimportant. I’ve even been asked to stop asking questions.
There have been days when being who I am makes me feel incompetent, weak, young and stupid. I still have those days sometimes.
But then I remember; I am none of those things. I’m curious because I know I will never know enough. I’m strong because I consciously practice my weaknesses (when I’m not giving in to them). I’m growing because I’m more than capable of greatness. Hell, I’m pretty sure I can do anything, but I don’t tell other people that.
I’m an old soul.
There are many of us out there, yet few of us will ever meet. And even if we did cross paths, we might never know; we do our best to fit into a different mold as a means of protection, under the assumption that no one understands us.
We don’t want to come off as arrogant, condescending or enamored by our own profoundness. At the same time, we feel uncomfortable dumbing ourselves down, biting our tongues and watching a situation unfold in a way that’s less than what it could be. We want so badly to heal and help; we long to share ourselves, but we feel painfully self-conscious about how we might be received. We feel judged by an irrelevant scale.
We are old souls, caught between a number and a state of mind that never quite matched.
People have noticed my old soul since I was a little girl, and for a long time I thought that simply meant I was mature for my age. But the more I grow up (yes, I’m still growing up), the more I understand that maturity is only a small part of it. Old souls embody the nature of learning to know and knowing to learn. And that’s how we live.
We’re not better or worse than anyone else. We’re just different… like everyone else.
After much reflection and recent self-discovery, I’m beginning to grasp my 21 years of life as an old soul thus far. This doesn’t mean all of my “confessions” will resonate with every old soul out there—it doesn’t mean any of them will, but I confess them just the same.
I can only share what’s personal, but where you read “I,” “me” or “my” and see yourself, that’s your confession, too.
What’s personal refers to all of us—all the old souls out there, ready to understand and waiting to be understood.
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Assistant Editor: Claire Weber/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo via: Claire Weber/Facebook