sugar and dirt. (thoughts on being an old soul)

I am often accused of being an old soul.

Why? I don’t know.

I think it’s because I’m quiet and a wallflower and can hang with folks older than me.

“You’re only 27!?”

And I understand. My balding head, nodding to your adult stories, tossing in a few bits like double dutch, whenever I’m ready to make sense of it all.
Fair enough. I am an old soul. But something tells me deep down, there’s more to it.

I’ve been around other dudes in their late 20’s and I feel as though I missed some pivotal growing stage. Like maybe I just jumped over it because I didn’t feel like it would work for me.

I’m grossed out by arrogance and too much pride. (Granted, blogging is all about ‘me, me, me’, but there is something hard to swallow when I have to listen to people build themselves like a personal resume. “People tell me I’m amazing…I dunno…I’m just a guy, ya know?”)

Yes, you are just a guy.

I’m noticing this is something single dudes develop at some point when looking for a mate… (or to mate, for that matter. Whichever is more lucrative.)

Whatever. Just a stick in the mud right? I suppose old souls get tagged with that too. Grandpa. Uncle. Mr. Business. I’ve been called it all, at the expense of the other person feeling good about their stamina and/or free spirit. Or whatever I’m supposed to call it.

When deep deep down, I’m learning more and more how to be childlike. If anything, growing up in traumatic situations makes you age quicker than your friends. Like when they’re going camping for the weekend, and you are torn with which parent to spend it with or whether or not you feel safe going home. That loss of innocence is world-changing. And because it’s your world, not everyone will notice the changes you have to make to survive it all.

theatlantic.com

theatlantic.com

I learn from little ones. How they feel and how they feel misunderstood. We all keep misunderstanding each other. We all really want to understand. Some of us don’t, and I suppose that’s okay. But we are all still moving in the ways fear makes us move – when we listen to bad voices and have a hard time loving ourselves.

I mean, sheesh! I was terrible to myself last night.
I sat alone in my room, thinking how sad it was that the Panda Express I was consuming was so, so awesome in the thick of everything going down in my life. And that I was watching a sad show and it was stormy outside. I felt so rightly alone. Nothing but the sound of the dog’s breath coming from under the door. (No doubt, the string bean chicken aroma was calling his keen nose to its source…)

I ran through all these scenarios in my head of what loneliness looks like and why it was such a bad thing.

A roommate of mine saying, “I feel sad for you”, was not what I wanted to hear. But whatever. I had my chow mein. I was okay. I appreciated the sentiment, but unless I really know you, those words are a little haunting.

We are all filled with bits of wisdom. Especially the little ones who take joy in small things. How they are straight up when they feel sad or alone. How they learn what is good and bad. Such important and strong little things.

Somehow we are all taught to be quiet. To lower our voices. To speak only when it’s appropriate. Maybe I believed in that too much.
Either way, I am always humbled by the minds of our little ones, as they wander and somehow always smell like sugar and dirt.

So as I continue to think of myself as an old soul, I will embrace it like a friend.

And whatever it is people deem as being an old soul, so be it.

Just know, that I am dreaming and electricity is pulsing through my bones. I am not done. I’m not even close.

I have a ways to go before it all catches up.

Then again, in the words of my doc, “…you’re a spring chicken!”

So, you never know what could happen, really…

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4 responses

  1. I can somewhat relate. I’ve always been told that I don’t act my age. Like I act older. I never had a partying or wide stage. My 20s have so far just been about me being ambitious at trying to reach my goals. So while everyone else are being free spirits, I’m working, going to grad school, and doing other things to get into my dream career. I don’t have much of a social life like I once had and eerily that doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Idk but I do know others that are in their 20s that are old souls so you’re definitely not alone!

  2. I think an “old soul” is mature-beyond-one’s-years, empathetic and wise; so actually an old soul lives in a younger-than-expected body.

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