Symptoms Of An Old Soul: 7 Signs You Were Meant To Live In A Different Era

by Lauren Martin

Something’s wrong with me. At least that’s what I thought for years, as I slowly began losing the friendships I’d cared about since kindergarten.

I was ostracized by my classmates, doing nothing wrong but feeling very excluded and out of touch with the people I’d grown up with. I had no interest in any of their conversations or ideas of fun. I didn’t want to go to their movies or their water parks. I didn’t want to wear their clothes or play their games.

I’d sit at home, alone with my parents as they asked me why I never went out with anymore. What was wrong with me? Why was I becoming so hard to deal with? Why didn’t I get along with anyone my own age?

I wasn’t sure what was wrong, but I had lost all interest in everything my friends loved so much and this made it hard to keep it up.

To many of my friends, I became a drag. All I wanted to do was watch old Fellini films, go to jazz clubs and shop for Parisian chic outfits that reminded me of Audrey Hepburn. I refused to join Facebook or Instagram and wouldn’t go with them to the concerts and movies they found so fun.

No sir, I wanted no part of that. But what was wrong with me? Why was I such an outcast? Why couldn’t I fit in? They weren’t symptoms that warranted a trip to the doctor or a psychiatrist, but I knew something was wrong.

After a few long, confusing years, my grandmother solved it for me in one easy observation. She said it so simply, so clearly and made it so easy for me to understand and accept. “Why, dear, you’re just an old soul.”

That was it, I was diagnosed. And like so many afflicted with the same disease, my life became easier once I knew who I was and what I was. I was an old soul.

I like old movies, I like the idea of times I’ve never experienced and fashions I’ll never wear. I have a classic case of nostalgia for a time I’ve never seen and I was, simply, just born in the wrong time.

You dream in black and white

Life would just be better in black and white. While your peers refuse to watch anything without high-def or Megan Fox, you long for the three-hour films of Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.

You wish for the grandeur of the old sets and the dialogue of men and women who knew how to speak. You long for the swooning voices of men and women who knew what they wanted out of life.

You want the sophistication, the class and the plot lines that aren’t about aliens, natural disasters or vampires.

You’d always rather get a letter

What ever happened to the letters? Are the days of handwritten notes in the past? While everyone insists on exchanging greetings over Facebook and Twitter, you can’t help but wonder what happened to the good old days of mail.

Is there any better feeling than holding the weight of an envelope in your hand? I think we can all agree that receiving an email is incomparable to the rush of getting actual mail.

You resist technology for the “old fashioned” ways

You’d rather do things the long way just because it feels better that way. You will type your story on a typewriter because it feels right, and cash your checks with the teller because you like the idea of talking to someone at the bank.

There’s something about rituals and details in the old ways things were done that you haven’t quite gotten over, and maybe never will. But that’s what makes you unique. You will be the only one in 2050 sending postcards and making phone calls.

You connect more with Billie Holiday than any of your friends

Billie Holiday, Etta James, Nina Simone -- these are the ladies you like to spend your late nights drinking with. You put on their records and cry with them, their pain and yours melting into the walls.

You find solace in the women of times past, connecting with them better than anyone your own age. They understand your aches, pains and yearning for a time and place you will never have.

You wish you didn’t have to wear the trends of today

You envision yourself in long, flowing skirts, tailored suits, top hats, garters, stockings with lace bustiers. You have a hard time playing into the styles of today -- crop tops, basketball jerseys and ripped jeans.

You don’t want to wear the Air Jordans or the graphic tees. You miss the days of sophistication and class, where slogans and words on shirts were as foreign as high top sneakers.

You enjoy conversations with the elderly more than your peers

The sign of an old soul is whom he or she chooses to communicate with. At a party with 50 peers, an old soul is usually talking to the grandmother visiting from Florida or the security guard who has some fascinating World War II stories.

A young person with an old soul always wants to be around other old souls, if only for the companionship. Old souls gravitate to people who remind them of a past they'll never know and can only hope to live vicariously through them for a moment.

You reminisce about pasts you’ve never experienced

Nostalgia overwhelms you with places and times you’ve never been. You feel like you lived through the 40s and 50s although your parents had yet to be born.

The times you dream of are times you’ve never experienced, adding to the mystique of the past and your attachment to it. It's like longing for cities and towns you've never been to, yet you know you belong there.

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