That day my aunt looked down at me with a smile and said "you are an old soul, much older than your years". My mother nodded her head and said "Yes, and she asks questions kids her age don't think of".
During those years growing up, the things I enjoyed the most was finding new trails in the woods behind our house, fishing alone, and especially with my mother. She enjoyed many things and often had me join her. I would ride along with her on her road trips through the Adirondack mountains, finding roads we had never been on before, stopping at a river, and sharing a lunch we had picked up along the way, we always had our fishing poles with us, just in case we found a likely place to throw our lines in. Mother seemed to enjoy my company, and when we stopped to visit family or friends it was always a great treat to me to just sit and listen to them laugh as they shared stories or memories together. They also had many interests that I was intrigued with, science, astronomy, history. My very first book was given to me by my father as a three year old, a book of undersea life, full of pictures of the fishes and animals of the ocean; I wore it out looking at it. I would spend hours studying encyclopedias, that I would take out of the library at school, and bring home.
What are the characteristics of an "old soul"? They don't seem to fit in with the crowds, and don't flock with the herd. They think for themselves, watch everything closely, and learn most of their lessons from watching and listening. They are loners, and the friends they acquire are like themselves. They are on the side of the underdog, and hate seeing anyone abused or mistreated. I have always hated seeing elders or disabled people abused or mistreated, even as a young girl. Perhaps you are one of these "old souls", and can relate to this.
Their interests are not in line with most of society. They care deeply about what matters in life, but find themselves swimming upstream against a tide of people who live for what the day brings, and what they can achieve for themselves. Being popular, gaining success, becoming rich, being "liked" and admired by everyone, and making sure your always saying and doing the right things to achieve these goals. These kinds of people become masters at learning how to use people for their purposes, it's a life of schemes, and shallowness.
Old souls find coves and inlets, and go in their own directions, when they know they have nothing in common with such as these.
As you grow in this world and realize who you truly are, you also find yourself becoming quiet, because you also find you have little to say that this world is interested in. Once in a while you will find someone who walks the same way you do in life; but it isn't often. If you develop a strong character, you become "at home" with yourself and don't care a whit what anyone thinks. But, I've known some old souls who were timid, and let the cruelty of other's bring them to ruin. You have to make up your mind early whether your going to let other's define you, or if your going to go to the One who made you, study His word, and let Him be the one who defines you. When you decide to let Jesus in, and let him be your Master, people's opinions don't have a chance to warp you, or ruin you. God's love is enough; in every situation.
The love of solitude is another characteristic of old souls. They enjoy the silence of the woods, the beauty of a quiet pond in the morning, the call of the loon, and the night owl at midnight. God is there, and the beauty of His creation. Great thoughts, and prayers come from sitting in the midst of this environment; because in the silence of this, your soul becomes One with His. These are times you find He is deep in your spirit, and the awareness of His presence grows in that silence, until He envelopes you completely. Then, from that union; real prayer is born. Prayer that is living, and full of faith. Getting away from the deafening racket and noise of the world opens the door for God to come in and "sup", with you, and you with Him.
Of course the down side of this is that many will see someone like this, and term them "kind of weird", an outcast of society, "kind of slow", etc., when in reality the opposite is the truth. Let people think what they like. If you are one of these "old souls", dare to be yourself, and let the world think what it wants.