This is for the Old Souls who don’t Quite Fit In.

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As I stand in the middle of the basketball bleachers with my peers, millions of emotions and questions flood my head.

Why are we standing? It’s a basketball game, aren’t we supposed to sit and enjoy?

Do these kids really have to use profanity in every sentence? Can they keep their hands to themselves? Do they know how to ignore rude stares without wanting to start a fight? Do they know how to properly handle themselves in public?

Do they care about quality things in life? Something besides drugs, sports, popularity or beer? Do they know of Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman and Frost? Or do they consider the best poets to be rappers Wiz Khalifa and Chief Keef?

Speaking of rappers, do these kids know any quality music? Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles? Or will they forever think of Kanye as king?

Part of me wishes I enjoyed the mainstream stuff that teenagers like nowdays. Part of me wishes to love to be around a ton of people, in the middle of the crowd, jumping up and down, being as loud and obnoxious as I can.

Part of me wishes I could drink and not feel bad about myself. Part of me wishes I could smoke the days away and not give a sh*t about anything.

Part of me wishes I could enjoy football games and basketball games despite feeling like a moth trying to fit in with a bunch of butterflies. Part of me wishes I could be immature and laugh at the most absurd jokes that everyone else laughs at.

Part of me wishes I could talk to high schoolers and fit in. But guess what?

That’s just not me.

I am not bashing on the people that like to enjoy the stuff I mentioned previously. My intention is to give an insight to what I and many other people, experience as an old soul.

As a seventeen year old, I don’t mind being alone.

But I love spending time with my family. They are my everything. Weekends come around and I just want to be with them. No matter what it is: going to the grocery store, playing board games, reading books in the same room, cleaning the house, baking desserts, watching a movie, going swimming, taking walks, working out. I love every bit of it.

A majority of teens can not wait to get out of the house. To move far far away from an “awful, boring town.” But I don’t want to. I’m scared to leave my family. They are my support system and my best friends.

The thing about we old souls, is we know what makes us happy. What makes us comfortable. Whether it’s a good book or being with someone else.

We don’t worry much about what others think unless it is one of the people closest to us.

Old souls tend to dislike loud, rambunctious crowds. We tend to lean towards calm, soothing environments. Places like our home or out and about in the woods somewhere.

We like to think. We like to ponder life and all it has to offer. We like to absorb the present moment.

And living in the present is a difficult task that requires much of our energy. It is almost impossible to be at peace when in the midst of an enormous crowd. Being around people outside of our trust circle drains our energy. It is not that we do not like to socialize with others.

We just like to be around people and places that make us feel at home. Please, understand this.

Old souls tend to be hard workers with the things we love.

We procrastinate work, homework and house duties. But when it comes to activities like painting, writing or reading, we will drop everything else and pick up the paintbrush, pen or book. We do not necessarily need to be the best painter, writer or fastest reader.

We may paint like a kindergartner. We may write poems that don’t make sense to anyone else. We may read slower than a fifth grader.

But guess what?

We. Don’t. Care.

We live our lives doing the things we love.

We find beauty in the things we can do rather than hate ourselves for doing the things we can’t. We understand that if there is anyone in this life who will be with you until the very end, it is yourself. Some of us can even say we are our own best friends.

To the young old souls, please embrace yourself.

Do not spend your high-school or college years trying to fit in. It is good to have friends, but understand that there aren’t many left of us.

I beg you. Do not change yourself to make others happy.


Relephant read:

For the Free-Spirited Females with Fiercely Sensitive Hearts.


Author: Mariyah Martinez

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock


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anonymous Dec 20, 2015 2:16pm

i am a sensitive and an a old soul but I think they come hand in hand. I am perfectly fine in quiet and peaceful surroundings and feel it’s aburden to be around people. Their feelings, emotions, and passion are sometimes overwhelming and can cause more problems then good, amazing u realize all this at such a young age, I only wish I had. Understanding more than you know can sometimes be confusing but it seems you may have already grasped it. Good job!

anonymous Oct 18, 2015 12:14pm

It’s so strange. I feel as if I wrote this. Almost as if these are the words from my own head

anonymous Jun 14, 2015 7:26am

Hi Mariyah! I completely identify with your article and commend you for recognizing your “old soul” at such a young age. Your writing is beautiful too, thank you for sharing. I would definitely encourage you to continue wrting whatever you do (and you will figure that out too, I am sure!) In fact, you will accomplish great things in your life!
With my love, complete understanding and identification,
Emily <3

anonymous Jun 13, 2015 5:41pm

I love this so much. Old souls are my very favorite kind of people.

anonymous Jun 2, 2015 2:07am

I love that you have began to embrace who you are I myself in Highschool and college didnt quite fit in with the ‘showstoppers’ but eventually came to a place of peace and acceptance and I hope that with time you will gain more wisdom that will enable you to embrace and accept others as they are without trying to change, control or judge. Because it is that mentality of ‘im right or special and you are not’ that has led to so many wars and so much unneccessary suffering. With time you will be more tolentant and casual about other people’s differences. Life as an old soul is truly amazing for me too but in my opinion its better not to label anything because everything just is. My heart is truly glad for you and I wish you a life full of peace, joy and freedom!

anonymous Jun 1, 2015 4:02am

You are young so thats why I will not be so harsh, but you started wrong, you started judging others. I get what you mean, I was and still am like that, an “old soul”, but I do not judge others for what they do, if they believe wiz kalifa is an excellent poet, then let it be! Thats wonderful! Because people are beautiful in all the different ways. Do not compare yourself with tastes, do not say you are an old soul. You are you, and that my friend is the best type of person you can be without comparing.

    anonymous Feb 18, 2016 3:36pm

    As you start your post with judgement.

anonymous May 21, 2015 1:53pm

I was similar in my teens, and though it was a very long road, I did in fact "make it to the good part." Being highly-sensitive or being an introvert can be both a great blessing and a challenge. When you embrace it, you find that your empathy, intuition and ability to enjoy miraculous timing is an unbelievable blessing. My life now is really so satisfying, and I manage to spend as much time alone as I want, surrounded by beauty, peace and quiet. I even work from home, which I love. So keep doing you the way that feels best to you. It will just keep getting better.

anonymous May 20, 2015 8:02am

I did 't read the others comment some were long but that is O . K . With me . Follow your dreams . Think about what is important to you , everyone is
Different so Go for it . Just prayer to God
Morning and every night and Thank him
For the many Blessing you receive that is it.

anonymous May 20, 2015 7:23am

This is great insight. A lot of the same traits as an introvert. I’ve been called an old soul my whole life and both my children are as well (ages 15 and 20) so thank you for bringing this this light.

anonymous May 19, 2015 9:12pm

Maybe they are the moths and you’re the butterfly

anonymous Apr 8, 2015 10:24pm

I’m pretty sure 17-year-old me just time-jumped into the future and wrote this article. Thanks for sharing, and keep being you!

anonymous Apr 8, 2015 9:50am

Absolutely beautiful !! Mariyah. But might I say You are indeed the Butterfly amongst moths. Moths generally flock to the light…even if it kills them…just like the other moths before them. Butterflies ‘taste’ life with their feet. Earth Bonding…..just like you!

love, ‘fellow tribe member’

anonymous Apr 8, 2015 8:07am

I'm 16, and this really spoke to me. I'm what most people consider an introvert, almost never go out, never date around, never smoke, never drink… yet I'm not the naive innocent little girl people see me as. I just like to live in my own little world. I have my art, my poems, my books, my music, my plants and my flowers that I like to water, a collection of old cd's and movies that I don't invite friends over to watch them with. I like doing my own thing. I like dressing my own way. I like listening to things I discover and that's just fine with me. I long ago stopped trying to fit in. Why should I have to pretend enjoying a noisy, crammed party when I can be at home, with a cup of tea, reading my book of poems by bukowski? or doing a star wars marathon by myself? What's so wrong with quiet people, old souls like us who prefer to be by themselves and their closest friends, that society immediately labels us as "introverted", "antisocial" or, even worse, "depressed" when you feel all but depressed? Why do we, as a society, feel such a need to be loud and extroverted all the time?
Your piece of writing is beautiful. I'm sure you're a beautiful human as well, seeing as for me, a person's art is the expression of their interior. May your life bring you many treasures 🙂 (oh… and books, too!)

anonymous Apr 8, 2015 7:10am

I love this article. I can very much relate. Thank you for sharing and making us old souls remember that we are not alone xx

anonymous Mar 24, 2015 10:28am

hello mariyah. It is always a pleasure to see someone walking their own path with a self-assured and self-accepting gait, and i respect you for it. But as a few others mentioned, kindly be very careful and sensitive in what you say – do not create a hierarchy of tastes and passions because that only serves to give your ego a boost and creates articial divisive walls between people – perhaps a wall very unconsciously built by you, but serving only a damaging tenet around which you base your self-identity: that i am different from others, i know the true meaning of quality, and i don’t need you guys to reject me because i reject you and your ways: as you see, this is a very us versus them way of looking at everyone, and indeed, hostile and defensive. And i’m sorry but you also came across as a bit of an intellectual snob. Reading Frost and Whitman doesn’t bestow anyone with the holy right of considering themselves special. And the point you raised about how people are always eager to leave home, well, sometimes for some people home is not where the heart is, or there could be many other reasons. All in all, i hope you do not misunderstand me and take my words with hate in your heart – all i mean to say is that things are more grey than they seem, more layered. And everyone is on their different paths – which doesn’t make them good or bad individuals as such, it is just what it is and we must not judge them for surely you wouldn’t want to be judged by a younger soul for not being young enough, right? So i am happy that you seem confident on your path but please, there is no need to take excessive pride in your maturity or in other words, being too attached to your old soul label – this is from a 21year old old soul, in all humility and kindness, after having made similar mistakes in life.

anonymous Mar 24, 2015 9:18am

It's amazing that you came to such awareness at an early age! It took me anothet decade (plus a few years) before I learned to appreciate the life of an "old soul"

anonymous Mar 14, 2015 8:05am

Your article brings up mixed feelings. First of all, you write very well and describe what I at 34 can hardly describe but understand and recognize very well. I was not so sure about myself at your age though and actually got quite depressed bc I thought I did not fit in.

anonymous Feb 20, 2015 4:30am


anonymous Feb 19, 2015 11:30am

I never comment on these articles, but this one is a must! That you know so much about yourself at your age is commendable. I, too, felt this way in high school but wasn't able to articulate this nearly as eloquently as you have. You may not feel like you fit in now, but just remember you are preserving a generation of intelligent, insightful, respectful young women. You have something wonderful to offer and there are many others like you that you will meet along the way. One thing I have also learned, as another person commented, everyone (even those who don't share the same music or books or taste in art) has something wonderful to offer, and something for you to learn from. Nothing will limit you more in life than a closed mind. I have been ashamed many times for having a completely wrong predisposition about someone before truly getting to know them.

anonymous Feb 18, 2015 11:08pm

But all are temporary in this material world…
There are no real happiness….
No sure for future….
Everything will change so rapidly…..

Once I read an ancient scripture Bhagavad Gita As It Is….
Then I realize the purpose of life …..
And what direction should go….

When I chant the Maha Mantra…..,



And non stop…..


Just try Chant and Dance…….

…….!!!!…….!!!!!…….!!!!!!simply wonderful…… .

Simply Happy…….

anonymous Feb 13, 2015 6:28am

Kudos to you for bucking the trend! There's no need to make yourself fit in with a bunch of people who declare themselves 'cool'! I wish more teens would realize this reality, "old soul" or not. I think this goes both for those who feel 'older', but also those who feel younger! I see this at such young ages even…little girls who stop playing with dolls because other girls don't, even though they LOVE their dolls, little boys who are ashamed to play with stuffed animals, but at home, in their rooms, they love them. There is so much pressure to be like others the same age, maybe it comes from people surrounded by those people all the time. So glad you have such a great family, I think that makes a huge difference in whether teens are confident enough to be themselves and not follow the crowd. Be yourself! Enjoy your family, because you are blessed to have such a wonderful support system.

anonymous Feb 6, 2015 2:29pm

Would have loved to have a friend like you 10 years ago when I was in high school. Never change. I promise you being authentic and humble a has gotten me the opportunities of a life time!! Never Change

anonymous Feb 6, 2015 12:17pm

Mariyah, I'm amazed at your mentality at such a young age and it is very important that you stay genuine and enjoy the simple things. However I find your story somewhat. ..One sided and judgemental. Because you do not engage or involve yourself in the lives of your peers you don't know what they feel or how they grew up. As Miko said earlier, not everyone is fortunate to have a comfortable family and home life that encourages individuality or confidence. Also one's taste in music has nothing to do with being an old soul. Good Rap, hip hop, r&b and the like are all manifestations of an artist's artistic expression and life experiences. In any genre, some music is put out strictly for its novelty value and lacks any sort of deep meaning. Good, soulful music that evokes emotion and strength as well as inspiration can come from any genre at any time. I have caught myself generalizing and judging others based on a few interactions I've had but I remind myself that there is always more than meets the eye to everyone. Keep growing, you seem to have the foundation laid for you when it comes to maturity beyond your years. Now you can work on compassion and open mindedness with a head start. Every person you interact with is a gift and brings with them lessons, perspective and insight. Embrace the crazy world around you with open arms.

anonymous Feb 5, 2015 7:57pm

I've just recently turned 18 and while in high school I actually felt so alienated I had to leave school almost everyday and eventually completely left school due to so much absence and ever since I have really felt the way I was yearning for felt I learned more of myself and even lately my unanswerable anxiety about how i was looking/second guessing my thoughts was just relieved by this drastically. I would love to meet you all.

anonymous Feb 5, 2015 7:52pm

I'm just speaking as someone who grew up in the hood.
consider that other people aren't privileged to have parents that make them feel loved and welcome, whom they want to spend time with. some people dont have families who encourage their creativity and uniqueness; quirkiness is not understood. and perhaps Frost (older wealthier white guy) doesn't speak to them or connect with them because he couldnt understand our life. his words arent relevant to our struggle. yeah, Khalifa and Keef are shit rappers, i'll give you that, but have you even listened to any of Kanye's old stuff? his shit was real. there's a world within hip hop that gets kicked to the side, viewed as ignorant and violence, when in reality, it is reality. for a lot of folks. something one wouldnt be able to understand unless theyve lived in those conditions. the billie holiday-era was a rough time for black folks and many of us dont want to go back there. shit, billie drank herself to death. i know i dont wanna listen to that on my way to school. but now im just ranting, sorry. I get what you're trying to express, and I myself feel similar to how you feel; isolated from my generation. but try to be less judgemental and more empathetic. try to understand why people are that way and how their circumstances may be different from yours. try to recognize your own priviliedges and be grateful that you won the lotto in life that you did. bye

    anonymous Feb 6, 2015 11:55am

    Totally with you on this. Old souls can appreciate points of view from all different cultures and backgrounds. I think the author should consider that because she doesn't socialize with anyone her age, she doesn't have the right to judge and generalize them until she engages in the real life and story of others.

    anonymous Feb 18, 2015 7:10pm

    This is beautifully said and I agree completely.

    anonymous Aug 29, 2015 11:12am

    I am so happy to read this post! The oodgie feelings I was having about this story, but could not express without being judgey – you have expressed so well! Your empathy is beautiful! I strive for this – finding that line between self-confidence/love & being self-righteous, congratulatory or full of myself – I think truly Old Souls show up in many different forms – little children who end up being the adult in the family because their parents are high all the time or beating on them. The poster who replied how "they admire us from afar, are in awe of us and want to be like us. (Even if we don't fit in – there is no need to do so) " Kinda made me throw up in my mouth a little. Taking on that attitude shows me that you are not truly an Old Soul if you feel the need to pat yourself on you back that hard.

    anonymous Sep 2, 2015 6:15am

    This is such a great post! It really interests me to see how people interpret what is written here. I am old (like really old, as opposed to an old soul LOL, although I've been called that, too) and I read this article a little differently than some here did. I didn't read it as judgmental. I read it as "this is how I am, please respect that." Let me tell you why. When I was the author's age, people called me an old soul, as well. I didn't fit in, didn't like all the stuff kids my age did. I was *not* privileged, did *not* grow up in a happy home, did *not* like being around my family. But, I did have my own stuff I was into and it was completely different from everybody else's, so I felt alienated from everybody. I think, and she can correct me if I'm wrong, the author was using the things she mentioned as her examples of things she was drawn to. For me – unlike the author's it sounds like – childhood was immensely lonely. This is just the author's personal experience.

anonymous Feb 5, 2015 9:18am

This is so beautiful, thank you. It is inspiring and comforting to know that I am not the only one who lives this way. I am not alone. It is exhausting to have to explain myself to everyone everyday. People like us are often misunderstood and this has the power to make us feel like alien on our own planet, like we're freaks. I wish you follow your own guidance and never change for anything!

anonymous Feb 5, 2015 7:05am

Good writing, well done– from an old old soul to a young old one, there are more of us out there than you might think. It just takes a while for the cream to rise. xo

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 1:00pm

Mariyah, thank you for your insight, wisdom, and eloquence. This old soul's heart is uplifted by your words. A blessed life's journey, young lady.

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 12:53pm

Mariyah, thank you for your wisdom, insight, and eloquence. This old soul’s heart is truly buoyed by your genuineness. A blessed life’s journey, young lady.

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 12:06pm

Love. I am and always have been more of an old soul. i agree with a lot of your points and positions! It is very hard to find young people with these characteristics, but when you do, boy do they make the best of friends 🙂

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 10:51am

there's plenty of old souls left!! but deep 17 year old, wish i knew that back in the day..6 years ago… i still little too

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 9:36am

Your wisdom and self-insight seem to protect you from the path of depression that unique young women take, perceiving themselves as misfits instead of valuable, wonderful people. You’ve made my heart smile. Your strength is beautiful.

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 9:16am

Everyone feels like this at one point or another. You're not special, and you're not an "old soul."

    anonymous Feb 5, 2015 7:07am

    Who are you and why would you be so derogatory? Kindness and respect go a long way, friend.

    anonymous Sep 2, 2015 6:03am

    I'm sorry, Fred, that you don't get it. I'm in my 50s now, and I know exactly what she's talking about. I'm so very happy that she recognizes, at 17, how and who she is, and doesn't need to spend the rest of her life trying to figure it out. And she didn't say anything about being "special," she was just pointing out that she (and many like her) don't fit in to what many consider "normal" in today's society, but that's ok. When I was her age, several knowing adults referred to me as an "old soul" but I didn't understand what they meant. Mariyah describes it perfectly.

anonymous Feb 4, 2015 4:21am

I find myself falling spectacularly into the few that embrace both worlds.

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 8:30pm

Hello you!

Good work, We might not fit in, but they love us – they admire us from afar, are in awe of us and want to be like us. (Even if we don't fit in – there is no need to do so)

I mean – who wouldn't love someone SO in love with life, with themselves and so confident in their skin? They just don't have the real understanding.

I congratulate you ,my dear.

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 5:14pm

I'm twenty but when I was seventeen I was right where you were. Hang in there! Hopefully humanity will get better haha.

    anonymous Mar 13, 2015 12:16am

    I'm 30 and I'm still right there. And I'm okay with it.

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 5:11pm

My beautiful daughter,
You outshine them all!
I love you and am truly so proud!!!!

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 4:42pm

I loved this. And I’m so happy you wrote this. I’ve felt this way throughout most of high school. Not until my senior year when I had to transition to a new friend group did I really accept my old soul. That’s when I started writing. I’m 19 now and a freshman at University of Colorado and embracing my uniqueness. I think you’d really correlate with some of my pieces 🙂 check it out,

Best wishes,


anonymous Feb 3, 2015 4:20pm

Hello Old Soul. Loved your article! Definitely resonated with me.

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 4:00pm

what beautiful insight for one so young in years! Really beautiful!

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 3:40pm

you are awesome, Mariyah! The fact that you know yourself so well and have the confidence to BE yourself is creating a foundation that you can build on your whole life, and preparing you to find the (more rare, but definitely out there–) people that can meet you where you're at and are interested in the things that you are. Keep up your own positive outlook and personal evolution and you will find "your people." Good luck!

anonymous Feb 3, 2015 2:54pm

This sounds a lot like me when I was in high school. I felt like I just didn't "get it" like other kids did. It gets better! Though now some of my friends are still trying to figure out how to be in a relationship and not drink and do drugs all weekend. It does get easier to find your own place, but I still end up being excited for everyone's birthday because they're getting older… and might actually (eventually!) catch up to me mentally.

Corinne Price Jul 16, 2016 1:30pm

Thanks for this. I feel like i wrote this myself.

Jen Shanfelt Jun 17, 2016 12:12pm

All of this is well and good BUT I do have to comment. First of all, there are infinitely amazing writers that aren't white men and this girl would do well to explore non-white culture. It's beautiful and amazing - not that there's anything wrong with the classics. Further, her degrading comments on rap music suggest it is neither "quality" nor "poetic" and this is absurd (note, I'm a classically trained musician with an interest in multiple genres of music). While there are shitty rappers just like any genre of music, rap as a whole is brilliant. Andre 3000 for example has such commend over the English language. He uses complex rhyming structure and uses beat and rhythm in a seriously profound way. He is a very talented poet and is not the only one. Sure rap music can be vulgar but it's because it's raw and it's honest and it's not the "white" story. It's poetry, which should always be raw and honest. I consider myself an old soul too but it is important to find the beauty in the modern day too. There is some amazing stuff happening today in art and literature and music that does warrant our attention and it's not fair to disregard it just because it's not the classic idea of what all these things -should- be (read: WASP structure). Example, I just read a book about an Indian girl (by an Indian female writer) struggling with a heroine addition and a failing marriage in nyc. Yes it was vulgar and intense, but the writing style was new and different and clever. The way the writer changes "I" for the main character, to "you" eliminating the sense "otherness"' for the reader and yet creating the sort of "otherness" for the main character as she struggles to get clean, is brilliant and amazing. Being an old soul is great and awful at the same time. I often feel like alien walking through the world, but don't confuse being an old soul with being a white, elitist. Have perspective and embrace quality but realize that quality can come in many different ways.

Karen Gibson Jun 7, 2016 6:24am

Yeah, I can relate! I almost feel like a ghost around my son who's 25 and his friends. They even have their own lingo.

Jenny Whiting May 15, 2016 11:29am

Even at 53 I could relate to this so much and wish I could of read it when I was a teenager.

Lindsay Ann McMillen May 9, 2016 3:39pm

39 and still coming to terms with this. I think you may be my hero for knowing yourself at such a young age.

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Mariyah Martinez

Mariyah Martinez is currently trying to figure out what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She is a 17 year old, senior in high school, who is having thoughts of becoming an editor/writer someday. She would love to pursue photography after getting her degree. Mariyah spends her free time with her family and her boyfriend along with writing, practicing yoga and working out. She loves to help others and will do whatever she can to brighten someone’s day.