It’s a rainy morning here in Ottawa. Not the kind where the clouds will break by mid-afternoon and the sun will come out, but the kind where you cancel all your plans and choose to stay indoors.
This kind of day doesn’t come around often, but when it does, I relish it.
I’ve taken my laptop down to the living room to write beside a big window and listen to the rain. It’s gloomy out, so I’ve also lit candles all around me. My plans for today include writing this newsletter (yay!), then reading books all afternoon (double yay!) and then, having known we’d be inside all night, I convinced Miguel to have a cozy wine and charcuterie night for dinner. I was a kid at a candy store yesterday, frantically filling our cart with olives and fig jam, the freshest of baguettes, and every other charcuterie staple, including my current favourite: sheep’s milk cheese.
I was made for rainy days. They have always been an excuse to do the things I genuinely loved to do—cancel all plans, make endless cups of tea, and binge read novels.
And if you’re here having these conversations with me, I’ll guess you’re a rainy day kind of person too. An old soul.
My dearest friends are old souls. My sisters, thankfully, also happen to be old souls. They’re mature, grounded, not interested in the superficial or mainstream noise. To me, a constant breath of fresh air.
I was laughing recently at how much my Instagram feed has changed over this year. I’m convinced it’s because of the pandemic and being at home more with my own thoughts, undisrupted by the outside noise. I’ve unfollowed so many influencers and people that I followed for the sake of following. Some of my favourite accounts now are of women in their 50’s and 60’s. As I scroll through my feed, it’s now filled with photos and captions of gardening, books, cozy mornings, and a slow paced life. Those fuchsia tulips I had been envisioning for my future cottage home? I decided to pick some up last week.
For those of us who are old souls, there has always been a trade-off between fitting in and being our true selves. It’s probably why we’re so private now in our 30’s—we’ve grown up hiding a big part of ourselves, sometimes our full selves.
A have this vivid memory from eighth grade. A day where I had a group project due and my friend and I needed to spend our lunchtime in the library to polish it off before presenting it. (No doubt a heavy dose of procrastination that forced us into this last minute hustle.) But I distinctly remember that day. Seeing the “nerds” in their element in the library. By the looks of it, they spent every lunchtime here—chatting amongst themselves, reading books, and living a life outside of the gossip-y cafeteria vibes. I remember that moment because I secretly marvelled at how lucky they were to spend their lunchtime reading and having meaningful conversations with one another. I, of course, knew this was social suicide and frankly, the trade-off wasn’t worth it. But I was jealous of it, too.
Before entrepreneurship became cool, there was a trade-off between having goals and having friends. For women, it went even deeper: a trade-off between being ambitious and being seen as a catch. Our generation grew up with the dumb blonde Paris Hilton, and now the younger generation is growing up with the billionaire business mogul Paris Hilton.
It’s a new era and old souls are leading the pack.
Mark Zuckerberg re-defined success for men—from library nerd to eligible bachelor.
And now, the most feminist thing we can do is re-define success for women by showing up as the women we secretly wished we could be growing up.
Even though I grew up downplaying my smarts… even though it’s easier keeping my goals private… even though it feels hard to have such deep conversations in public…
I have to keep showing up. I want to keep showing up.
I owe it to the next generation of women who are looking for permission to be bookworms and charismatic, to be smart and love beauty, to enjoy alone time and have deep friendships.
The era of old souls is here and I’m not sitting out of this revolution.