1. Not dating much because you didn’t “like anyone your age.” Adults chalked it up to kids your age just being immature, but as time has gone on, you’ve discovered that, in fact, those were their actual personalities, and perhaps they have even worsened over time.
2. Not realizing what it means to be empathic – and then finding yourself in emotional turmoil for almost no reason. After years of trying to decipher why you feel the way you feel, you’ve come to the conclusion that you… don’t. You simply adopted the mindsets, assumptions or even emotional reactions of those around you.
3. Having a good deal of social anxiety not because you were disconnected from reality, but because you were so hyper-conscious of what people could think or how they could respond you always felt as though you should be on your toes.
4. Being teased for liking things that were too intense or odd. You were moved by the orchestra in Celine Dion songs and Jane Eyre and truly, nobody could understand why, you little martian.
5. Being a homebody when the cool thing was to party. It’s not even so much that there weren’t parties, or that you weren’t invited, but that you sincerely did not enjoy yourself when you went.
6. Anxiously waiting for adulthood, and wanting, more than anything else, just to do what the grown ups did. You were the kid who hated sitting at the “kid’s table.” You played house and wanted to drive and sign receipts and wheel a kids size grocery cart around the store like you were shopping for real. There was nothing particularly appealing about any one of these things, other than you just had an irrational desire to do them.
7. Getting your heart broken young. Old souls love hard and completely – and so going through the typical motions of adolescence: heartbreak, for instance, is much more of an ordeal for you, simply because you feel it so much more intensely.
8. Feeling as though you weren’t quite made for the world you live in. When you’re young, this translates into one of the worst feelings ever, but when you’re older you learn to see it as more of a gift than anything else (who would want to fit into a lot of this #dark world? Not you.)
9. Worrying from a young age. About anything. About everything. About mostly irrational, completely preventable, totally solvable things. It’s like worrying is just part of your DNA – or, more honestly, it’s how you create a feeling of ‘safety.’ (If you’ve thought through the worst possible outcome, you’ll be ok).
10. Seeming closed off not because you’re a distant person, but because you’re too sensitive. If you were hurt one too many times as a kid, you closed yourself off to people and it seemed as though you were the quiet one, or the cold one, or the one who didn’t like to cuddle, when in reality, you were just protecting yourself (and probably still are).
11. You always had the answers or even better ideas but nobody took you seriously because of your age. It was the most frustrating thing in the world, to just know what to do but see people value the thoughts, ideas and opinions of people older than you only because they were older than you. You learned early on that physical age is not synonymous with intuition, empathy, creativeness or general intelligence.
12. Being hyper-sensitive to that which other people don’t seem to be bothered by. Like big crowds or off-hand comments by a teacher… you were often called “over-dramatic” or too sensitive, because what other people perceived to be an appropriate response wasn’t aligned with yours.
13. Generally going through a lot of emotional turmoil early on in life. Lost friends, difficult home situations… old souls are built from these things. Why? Because the way a soul ages is through experience. The more you go through, the more you learn.
14. Your mom/grandma was (is) your best friend. It was just kind of natural to feel more like your mom’s friend (and sometimes voice of wisdom) than it was her child that needed to be parented. You bonded with people older than you in a way that other kids your age just didn’t.
15. You took everything too seriously, and came to find that what people call “taking things too seriously” is code for “caring a lot and maybe being successful,” which is an inherently threatening thing. You look back on your life now and think: “I wasn’t taking myself seriously enough.”
16. You struggled to navigate your overactive intuition. You couldn’t tell the difference between an intuitive nudge or just a little overthinking.