Because I've known people who identify as younger than their chronological age, on the inside, and I'm starting to realize that this is one of the biggest things we're struggling with right now.
Part of me -- the one in the icon, there -- feels old as dirt, and is tired of feeling like the only mature person in the room even if I don't always act my age. Meanwhile, Taryn experiences everything intensely, feels like she came into being just a few years ago (which is for all intents and purposes the case), and is going through her first puberty on girlpills while for the rest of us it's our second.
She gets so fangirly and squees over anything cute, but then turns around and feels dejected that she never got to fulfill the social role of being a teenage girl. Rei and I try to tell her that this is probably for the best, all things considered, but that doesn't stop her from trying to live her dream through stuff like JRPGs and visual novels where you play as a schoolgirl. It also doesn't help give her much of a social or academic life, or any kind of direction in her own life.
She wants to work on things with other people and share them with the world. She wants to get way too excited about things, in public, and chase half a dozen dreams at the same time. Then she comes back home and feels like she's missed all her chances at doing this.
How do we help her?
(And if anyone has any advice for someone who's spent her life trapped in a mirror, used by others to see their reflection and considered broken as soon as she showed something else, let me know.)