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.
Author: Mariyah Martinez
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock