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I have the soul of a 74 year old grandmother. I used to be ashamed to say it, because what kind of teenager wants to openly admit she enjoys spending time in retirement homes. But, there’s no use in masking the age of my soul any longer. I like old music, old films, old social etiquette, even old people. I sing Frank Sinatra lyrics when I’m nervous, I send postcards to loved ones when I travel, and James Dean is the love of my life. I possess this genuine irresistible magnetism to the past; and it’s taken me eighteen years of my life to be proud to admit it.
There is a reason my soul parallels the one of a grandmother’s. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide that I prefer not to like anything popular from the 21st century. My infatuation with old music and films comes from the genuine nostalgia they bring me for times I never knew. I wasn’t alive in the 50’s and yet whenever I hear Ritchie Valens’s sweet voice I can’t help but feel a sentimental longing for that time period. I can never sit through The Breakfast Club without wanting to be a teenager from the 80’s. It may seem impossible to feel nostalgia for a time I never experienced, but I do. It’s there, it’s peculiar, and I love it.
I am fascinated by old objects and people because they hold the story of their existence. When I listen to an old vinyl record I can’t help but think of how many people cried to it, laughed to it, and danced to it. I get to include myself into the story of that object. I get to make my mark on the object, a mark that is bound to last for as long as that object exists. The concept parallels my adoration for older people. They hold a story just craving to be told and just by listening, I get to not only live through that incredible story, but learn.
For the longest time, I refused to deem myself an old soul. I stuck with the terms, “hipster”, “unique”, or even “wonderfully cultured individual with appreciation for the greatest old things to ever exist”. Looking back, I think I veered away from the label because of the implications behind the word “old”. I wanted to be seen as hip and cool. I wanted to be seen as the girl who always wore the latest fashion trends and the girl who always knew the hottest artists before they hit mainstream. Ironically, I turned out just the opposite. I mean, I still consider myself hip and cool, but I’m not too sure others feel the same. I personally don’t care for the latest fashion trends; I live in a turtleneck sweater and denim cuffed jeans. And I am certainly not the girl who always knows the hottest new artists because all my favorite artists can be found in the $5 cassette section at my local thrift store. Throughout high school I began to realize that young, hip, and cool were certainly not the most fitting adjectives to describe me. But, I was okay with that.
Keeping the past around in the present is important to me. Continuing the stories of old objects and people is rewarding to me. And although it’s difficult to admit to my peers that I relate more to their grandparents than I do to them, being an old soul has benefitted me. I mean, what would I do in my life without the calming vocals of Frank Sinatra and the beautiful cheek bones of James Dean to keep me happy! The fact of the matter is I am an 18 year old with the soul of a 74 year old, and I have never been more proud to say so.
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