They say to write what you know, but what if I know things I’m not supposed to? They all say I’ve been here before. I’m starting to believe them. The first few months of my life, I suffered from a severe case of colic. I just wouldn’t stop crying. Maybe I was grieving a past life. Maybe I could already sense the storm that was yet to come. Specifically, you.
I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt far too often, especially the ones who have lived a considerably longer amount of time than I have. I tend to forget about the physical age gap between me and other people. There’s a part of me that always wants to extend as much patience, grace, and maturity to these people as I possibly can. I tell myself that, despite being older than me, they are still learning, and that’s okay.
As an old soul, I often feel as though it is my obligation to give even those who are physically older than me a safe place to finish growing up. Sometimes I have to finish raising people who are supposed to be older than me because they got stuck somewhere along the way. I tell myself that they probably haven’t been through what I have been through, so they are learning the very lessons that I had to learn as a teenager in their late 30s or early 40s. It isn’t their fault that they haven’t learned things at the pace that I was forced to. Trauma has this beautiful way of aging a person, especially when they actually put in the effort to heal from it properly. The problem is, not a lot of people are willing to put in that effort.
It is difficult to not develop resentment toward people of a certain age, especially when they have at least one decade of life experience more than I do, but they are still figuring out the things that I was forced to learn so young. Why haven’t they caught up? It is exhausting to constantly find myself raising people who are supposed to be older than me. At what age are these people going to hold themselves accountable for the ways that their unhealed trauma and actions negatively affect the people around them? At what point will they develop the self-awareness and empathy that allows them to comprehend the impact that they have on the lives of others? When will you?
Now that I’m approaching the age that you were when I first met you, I realize that you were just a kid. I was a teenager, and even though you may have been well into your 30s, you were still growing up. Maybe now, at 28, I’m still just a kid, but I’m older than you’ve ever been because I learned from your mistakes, even if you couldn’t. I feel older than you, even now, because I witnessed you go through what you did and be who you were. I was the collateral damage of who you weren’t but should have been, and still aren’t, even now. I have learned from the wounds you inflicted upon me because you never healed.
I have spent over half of this life healing more than enough for the both of us. It is safe to say that I have outgrown you time and time again. It’s exhausting watching you remain stagnant in this life and continue to stumble through all of the places that I’ve already been. Baby, it’s time for you to grow up. Your soul needs to catch up, because I’m done waiting for you, kid.