I've always considered myself an old soul.
From the time I was little, I could be found eaves dropping on adult conversation at the "big table," drinking coffee even though it was bound to stunt my growth, and dreaming about travels to far off places.
To that end, I'd also venture to say that I'm a collector of stories, not so much the ones in books, but more so oral tales. I'm the person that you meet on a plane and find yourself spilling your guts to...where you're from, where you're going, why you're sad that she broke up with you, why you hate your job, what you're hoping for next in life. I'm also fascinated by my own family history and remember fondly the memories that my grandparents have shared over the years.
So some days, I find myself smack dab in the past remembering all kinds of memories. High school, college, my first job, single living, life before parenting, first apartments, relationships, community projects, births, deaths...and I become nostalgic. Why?
Probably because its easy to romanticize life at 21 prior to mortgage payments and babies...but perhaps it's because sometimes, it's only possible to fully appreciate parts of life when you're able to see them in retrospect. You understand better why you are where you are given where you've been. You understand how one event had to lead to another to create the opportunity to place you in the here and now.
And yet, with all of that...I still love hearing stories. I love listening to people reminisce. I enjoy the passion that comes out when they reflect on what was or what might have been.
I especially love the story my grandmother used to tell about dating my grandfather while he was in the navy during WWII. Apparently, he wrote her every day, but because of the postal system, he numbered each letter, so that she would have a chronology to the letters. He asked her to do the same. She quietly confided to me that on her letters to him, she advanced the numbers...sending letter #1, then letter #3....skipping #2. But as she said, he was none the wiser, simply believing that a letter was lost at sea. And well, a girl can't be stuck in her room writing all day, can she?
I hope that when the time comes, I can share memories with an "old soul" grandchild and enjoy being nostalgic, just for a bit.