For as long as I can remember, I struggled to make connections with many people my own age.
I never listened to the same music as they did. I showed different interests in writing, photography and art. The movies and television shows I enjoyed dated back to as early as 1950.
Adults couldn't believe the words they heard coming out of my mouth at the age of 10. My mother introduced the word "old soul" to me during high school, and it forever changed my perception of myself.
According to Urban Dictionary, an old soul is "a spiritual person who is wise beyond their years; people of strong emotional stability. Basically, someone who has more understanding of the world around them."
I grew up thinking this term just meant I enjoyed things of the past -- like watching Audrey Hepburn movies on Netflix, seeing Lucille Ball on TV Land or listening to Billy Joel on my record player.
But in fact, the term "old soul" means so much more.
Having the ability to understand the world in a way that most people do not is quite extraordinary.
We have the capability to feel more deeply, empathize more easily and love more freely. We deviate from the norms that have been set by our generation. We tend to stick out more in a crowd, which of course has its pros and its cons.
The older I get, the more I accept my inner old soul. It's not easy to do when we live in a world of social media, hook-up culture and political divide.
It's not every day you cross paths with someone who loves art museums as much as you do. But when you do find someone, it's like you share a secret about the world around you.
The two of you are able to bond over famous artists, styles of art and love for the history that surrounds it. This person can be anyone just as long as they share a similar passion.
Old souls are constantly in search of their soulmates.
Our souls are deeply rooted in love and finding ways to express it. We live in inspirational quotes on the back of photographs, romantic movies and lyrics with meaning.
We don't look for the next beat to drop or for the next selfie. We're searching for someone who will complement us. We strive for intellectual conversations that surround the inner workings of the universe. We're hungry for answers about the human race and our purpose here on Earth.
The best part of being an old soul is truly understanding yourself. We feel conflicted to adhere to the generational norms around us, but we can't let go of our true passions.
Whether it's photography, literature, music, writing, research or simply enjoying old-time movies -- we refuse to let go of what we love. It's hard enough being yourself in a world so obsessed with artificial meaning, so why take away everything we're interested in?
We need more old souls in the world today.
We need more artists, activists, researchers, historians, writers and lovers. The world needs more people who are passionate about the little things and the big things. It is important for people to have an understanding of the past in order to advocate for the future.
Old souls have the ability to preserve everything gold about the past. We are supporters of classic novels in hardcopy, music records, original films and art collections. We remember those who have guided us to greatness and we learn from those who tried to destroy it.
We take lessons to heart and turn them into triumphs. We feel a great sense of pride providing help and guidance to others. There is a unique love for the people around us and the paths that they are on. Old souls look out for others constantly.
If you're an old soul reading this, please know how special you are. You may feel overlooked in a crowd filled with millennials, but standing out is a good thing.
Someday, someone special will recognize that. Your abilities to love and feel do not go unnoticed. Old souls shine brightly in a convoluted world. You are a good person and your loved ones value that.