Have you ever been told you were an “old soul”? I actually don’t recall exact instances, but I have been several times. A few weeks ago I was listening to woman a number of years younger than I struggle to come up with fun facts about herself in a get to know you game. She seemed to think she was boring because she loved to do things like read and knit, which are kind of rare for someone in their 20s. She made some comment like, “I’m weird”, and seemed slightly apologetic. She reminded me of myself really only a few years ago. For much of my life, I had a fear that I was boring. I smiled at her and said it sounded like she was an old soul. I meant it as a compliment.
That probably led me to thinking about myself as an “old soul” recently. Last week I took a Playbuzz quiz to determine the age of my soul. It told me mine was 55. Really? I was hoping for at least 65. I was slightly disappointed. But today I took another one that categorized me as an “Ancient Soul”, even older than just an “old soul”! These are fun and the term “old soul” is a social one, not having any basis in psychology.
But what I’ve heard and read is nearly all relatable to me from not fitting in with peers or following a crowd, preferring the company of people older than myself, being seen as mature (especially for my age when I was younger), loving to learn about history, enjoying spending time by myself, being introspective, having a spiritual focus, not being so interested in the latest trends or fads etc. I’d rather have fewer deep connections than many more shallow ones. I’d rather be alone to have quality time with me than to go out on a weekend just to go out. I don’t need to get a new phone every year. I love classical music and appreciate classic literature.
I don’t believe in reincarnation, as some do and think that “old souls” are those who have simply learned from many past lives. However, I was fascinated to see that the term may have come from China (I’m a sinophile since 2012). Or at least this article points to Chinese Taoism as the origin of the idea.
As an “old soul” I wouldn’t change how I am. I can’t imagine being me and not being thought of or thinking of myself as one. Do you feel like an old soul? How do you feel about it? Maybe some of the challenges mentioned in this article will be relatable. Many of them are for me (not all or all perfectly, but close).
Do you know any “old souls”? Do you think it’s true that artists tend to be in that category? Writers? Poets?
Or do you really believe in “old souls”? And if you do, do you believe them when they speak? There is something about recording memories and ideas in the written word, especially in poetry, that brings out a way of looking at the world differently. And perhaps I often feel most like an “old soul” in the moment of creating a poem.