By Elizabeth Jameson

1. You’re too much of a down-board thinker. While that phrase is typically seen as positive (down-board thinkers are always two steps ahead of the conversation) you take it to an extreme: you’re always imagining the “next big, great thing” in life, rather than being content with what you have.

2. You’ve always had a bit of a social complex as you both don’t click with people your age, but also realize they would see your life as perhaps “boring.” When you were at home reading while your friends were at the bar, you always felt the need to justify it.

3. When you accomplish something, you feel more relieved that you’ve finally done it than you are amazed that you’ve finally done it. When you always feel older than you are, you walk into things assuming they should already be done. When you gather the degree, the right relationship, and so on, it feels as though you’re stepping into the life you were always supposed to have, not receiving new, exciting things.

4. You are infuriated by the insinuation that age indicates ability. There are many wonderful things that come with age: experience, wisdom, and so on, but seniority does not make someone more creative or capable or intelligent. Those things exist independent of age, and you understand why that’s very important to realize.

5. In many ways, you worry that you’ve missed out on the wild, reckless youth everyone seems to be fond of. In place of that, you’ve found meaning, and love, and an idea of who you are, but still you can’t help but wonder if you sold yourself short by not partying more.

6. You always feel as though you have to prove yourself. When you set out to do things that you know you’re capable of (even just giving solid advice to a friend) you  have to work twice as hard to prove yourself in a way that someone who is older never would have to.

7. You’re always craving something more. A deeper understanding, a more genuine experience. It seems you always feel like you’re never fully grown into your life.

8. You forget to slow down and enjoy the process. As they say, every age has it’s turn, and every branch of the tree has to learn. There’s a particular beauty in an old soul finding a way to enjoy their young lives, almost like getting to re-live youth all over again in a way. You aren’t always great about remembering this, but if nothing else, you appreciate it when you do.

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