Thursday, August 20, 2009

Old Souls

My parents say when I was born, I looked around the room for a minute before screaming. They like to recall how big my blue eyes were as I sized each of them up, glanced around the room and just took it in for a moment. Like I wasn't exactly sure how I got here, and I wasn't exactly sure if I liked it. I think my expression was something like this (me, one year later):

This remains exactly how I feel about life =)

I observe, I internalize. Overthink and oversink myself into situations and surroundings, and generally feel as though the weight of the world is on my shoulders even though I am outwardly (and geniunely) a fairly happy and friendly person. It's a contradiction that I am comfortable with, since it's just the way I am, and I'm not sure I would even know anything else.

I've been thinking lately about the phrase "old souls" since people keep saying this about a niece of mine, and comparing her to me. Ah, says my Dad. She's just like Stephanie. This usually happens when my niece makes an observation about something completely out of her (what we percieve to be, anyway) range of 3-year-old comprehension, or becomes moody or broody, or when we notice her listening intently on a conversation that she probably shouldn't. She's an old soul--like me. (me, three years old).

But what does it mean, anyway? It's just an expression, I guess, but expressions don't come from nowhere--something at some point breathed some truth into that statement, and I find myself thinking alot about Buddhism. I may be wrong (and I am way too tired and lazy tonight to google it) but I think that Buddhism draws upon the belief that all people are connected because we've all been here before. And certain souls have walked harder lines than others, and therefore are pre-dispositioned to be more wary, more quiet, more aware of life's badness and sadness. While others are more naive, less "experienced" in thier lifetimes, etc.

And I don't know about any of that. I honestly don't know about anything anymore other than moments I've had where I know God is present with me, and experiences in which the happiest times in my life have been those when I've felt the most spiritually secure. But that's another story.

What I do know is this--there seems to be, in me and the people I love most, a certain take on the world. A way of looking at things that suggests hey -there's more to this. It doesn't matter what brand of shoes I'm wearing...what matters is that I have shoes, and that's a whole hell of alot more than some people have.

I read an article today in the NYT about how international policy is starting with the promotion of women and girls. And let me tell you...the things that are done to women and girls around this world, if you don't keep up with it, would blow your mind. We are so very lucky, and I am constantly reminded of this whenever I have a moment of doubt or a moment of "why me?" I mean, my god -I can live on my own. I can pay my own bills, I have the freedom to leave my home to get to work to pay those bills.

That ability to reflect, to re-examine, to know what it is that's important. To juggle the happy with the sad, the undercurrents of hope within the depression--maybe it is about what came before. Maybe it isn't. All I know is what I know, and that is I am a dreamer at heart. A harbor of secrets, and a walking oxymoron in so many senses of the word.

Where did it come from?

I guess I'll never know. Not until my next life.

My niece and I -two old souls, reflecting on the sweetness of life as we know it, defined in cupcakes and candles:


Ms. Moon said...

What beautiful souls you and your niece are! Some of us probably are too reflective, but that's the way we are and I doubt we could change.
Beautiful post.

Kori said...

Wow; thank you for stopping by my blog today simply because I then in turn came here and read this post. I feel so much less....I don't know, alone? And I had to laugh a little because those who accuse me of being too honest are also generally on the recieving end of it. Sometimes no matter how tactful I try to be, I fail.

SJ said...

Hey, thanks for that! And for liking this rambling, disjointed post of mine =) And certain people can just trip your buttons and before you know it, tact is a long-forgotten thing! But I try, too.

Maggie May said...

what an awesome, awesome post. i love the way you expressed what i hold close.

Glimmer said...

I found your blog via reading Ms. Moon. I like the whole old soul thing. Last summer I was at a "spa day" at a neighbor's house and the only thing I did was go see the psychic. She kept me for a long time, which annoyed the people coming after. She kept reading this and that and then did my son's cards and my husband's. She said my son, who was 14, was a very old soul. I sometimes believe in these things and sometimes am quite skeptical. But even though I'd not told her one thing about my husband and our son, other than birthdates, she said, "And the reason they have the strange relationship they do, turned upside down, is because in another life, your son was his father's father." And I just flat out burst into tears. I sat there and sobbed, I could not help it. This is the LAST thing I do in front of anyone. Because it felt so right it stunned me. For the first time, the relationship between those two made perfect sense.

So, I guess that means I do believe in old souls. Now.

SJ said...

Glimmer--that is so interesting! I assume your son and his grandfather never knew one another, then? I've never done a psychic reading, mostly because I'm scared what they'll find :) Thanks for stopping by.

Glimmer said...

That's true, my son never met either grandfather. But my comment was confusing, I am seeing now. The psychic was saying that my son, in a previous life, was the dad. And his dad (my husband) was his little boy. Which makes all kinds of sense if you know the two of them.

And I went to the psychic because everybody else was completely booked up. I was late. I think everybody was nervous too, so they booked the pedis, manis, massages, etc. Then people decided to do the psychic because others were coming out of the room blown away.

There wasn't one scary thing about it. In fact she looked at me, said "you're a writer" without me saying a thing and nobody knew me there except the woman who brought me along and she had not been into that room -- we had just arrived. Then she said '09 would be very big for me with the writing. I wasn't even writing then! I had been so blocked for so long I laughed it off and forgot about the session. But the things she said started coming true, in a way that I had to go unearth the notes I made.

Really wild!