Dear Wise Young Soul,
I know why you need this love letter. I know why you clicked this link and wanted to hear from someone else who shares this distinct advantage.
Because it’s more than that. Sometime’s it’s also a deep affliction. Sometime’s it’s isolating and confusing. Sometime’s it’s the absolute worst.
I’ve heard it my entire life. “Lexi, you are wise beyond your years.”
This wisdom can derive from encountering significant life experience when you’re very young, the way you were raised or even just naturally. Either way, you know if you’re one of these people. I know I always have.
Teachers have scribbled it on my papers and poetry since I was 11. Readers have said it in some way or form in hundreds of comments on my blog articles over the years. The apparent “age” of my words and ideas have always fascinated others. How can a 12-year-old, 17-year-old, 21-year-old, and now-24-year-old have such a deep and vast understanding of their self and the world around them? What a gift that must be.
And sometimes it is a gift. It’s helped me to avoid making some of the same mistakes as my peers. It’s pushed me forward professionally in an outstanding number of ways. It’s why I’ve been able to communicate and articulate myself to adults and colleagues since I was very young. It’s brought clarity and self-awareness to how I’ve handled conflict, adversity
I’ve transitioned quickly, seamlessly and early, into every stage of life. Naturally, my being mentally older than my actual age played an enormous role in that. So I’m very thankful.
It’s nice. It’s nice to be mature and well-adjusted. It’s nice to be the person people go to for advice. It’s nice to be respected for it by your peers.
But sometimes, being wise beyond your years really freaking sucks. I get that.
It sucks the most when it comes to expectations
When I went through a really heartbreaking experience about a year ago, I reached out to an ex of mine (weird, I know, but I was desperate) for advice. I straight up asked him, what’s wrong with me? Why does everyone keep letting me down? Why does this keep happening to me? His response is something I saved to this day, and it’s perfect for this love letter so I’ll share.
“Honestly? Lexi, you know yourself and what you want. You know who you are and you live by that. Which is really awesome.”
“But the problem is almost everyone else in their twenties doesn’t know who they are at all. I didn’t when we dated. It sounds like this guy doesn’t either. It’s not you, it’s everyone else. And people will disappoint you a lot for that reason at this point in your life, but ultimately you’re better off.”
I’ve read that text so many times since then, because it’s unbelievably true for people that are wise beyond our years.
We know who we are. We know what we want. We know what we stand for. We’re grown-ups, and we kind of always have been.
We understand what’s important in life, and what isn’t worth it. We admit when we are wrong. We say sorry. We swallow our pride. We compromise. We listen.
We communicate openly, honestly and with respect. We don’t play games or jeopardize our integrity, because we know that’s useless and childish.
We say what we actually mean. If we make a commitment, we are all in, open to compromise and dedicated to conflict resolution. If we want out, we are out, and we stay out. We stand by our decisions and know the reasons we made them.
We (almost always) make intelligent, informed decisions– from our own experiences and intuition. Because we are adults and we don’t look to anyone but ourselves to tell us what to do or what to want.
Impulsivity is reserved for travel deals and late night sushi runs, not matters that deal with hurting or impacting our relationships with others.
We’re disciplined, understanding and intelligent. But the problem is that can feel insanely isolating. Because like my wise ole’ sage of an
They sometimes aren’t there yet in terms of professional standing, which often harvests resentment and ostracization from peers.
They sometimes aren’t there yet in your circle of friends, which leaves you feeling displaced and misunderstood.
And they VERY often aren’t there yet in the dating world and in relationships. So you’ll feel continuously frustrated and disappointed by the dating antics you have
You long for authenticity. You crave mature communication.
You feel discouraged and frustrated by the dishonest, selfish and careless behavior of the people around you, the people that are supposed to be at the same stage of life that you are.
And that hurts, but I want to remind you that it’s going to be OK.
For starters, a lot of times people are acting their age. And I know that’s the most unsatisfying answer EVER. But it’s true. You can’t really blame people for being the way they’re statistically meant to be.
That doesn’t mean you should compromise what you need from others, or abandon your pursuit for meaningful, reciprocal relationships. It just means it might be a little harder for you to find them, and that’s OK too.
Because when you do find those people, they will compose the most depth-filled connections you’ll ever have. All my friends that are also wise beyond their years are truly the loves of my freaking life. They understand me. They support me. They respect me. They help me be better, every single day. With them, I continue to grow. I am completely at home.
And when you fall in love with someone like this, they’ll be the partner and human being you deserve. They’ll be on your level and recognize your worth. They’ll never add stress to your life with poor communication, games, antics or a
They’ll know themselves like you know yourself. You need that to be really happy and healthy with another person. Otherwise, things won’t work out.
This is important and difficult to
swallow;but you can’t make someone grow up. And if you try to force it, not only will they fiercely resist and resent you, but you’ll constantly be disappointed and let down.
I’ve seen it many times, women and men with more maturity and self-awareness banking on their partner rising to their level with a little love and a lot of pressure. It just doesn’t work that way.
People need to grow up when they want to, at their own pace.
It’s their life and their right. Just because you don’t understand it, or find it absolutely absurd that some people want to act like 20-year-olds well into their 30s, doesn’t mean it’s your right to try to change that.
And I know it’s hard not to. God knows I’ve tried to force the men I’ve dated to grow up one too many times. We all do it, and innocently too. You might be acting on purely good intentions and really trying to help them. But you must resist.
Be you, and find people who speak to your old soul on their own.
Keep the bar high. Be proud of who you are and own it.
Don’t settle. Don’t change. Don’t move backwards.
Age is just a number, and the age of your heart should be what flows through everything you do in life. Listen to that heart, and you’ll find everything you’ve ever needed.
Another wise young soul.