I could tell when people were lying to me, trying to take advantage of me, really caring for me. I knew how everything worked. I could read between all the lines, any lines, and perfectly understand, judge, and solve everyone's problems about everything. I knew what was right, what was wrong, and what was stupid.
Rushing and overconfidence is the folly of youth - at least, it was for me. Jumping to conclusions, making assumptions, looking at every situation through my own personal lens (which may or may not have been cracked or cloudy).
The gift of time and age is mine now and with it has come the ability to see beyond the end of my own nose. I've learned that people have a lot of reasons for doing things. That we all come from a different place and have a different life experience path than each other. That a quick scan is not the same as a deep and careful analysis. That many things make a different kind of sense, if you listen. If you pay attention. If you pause before forming your opinion. If you look at things and can see shades of grey instead of just black and white.
It's like chilling the cookie dough before you bake it. Same ingredients. Same process to make the dough. Only the application of a little bit of time and temperature that doesn't visibly change anything. Not to mention makes me wait longer to start eating cookies. BUT that little bit of time has a profound effect on my favorite cookie recipe! They are thicker, chewier, and even more awesome.
I think I've become that kind of cookie.