I was watching Nanny Diaries tonight when it suddenly occurred to me: the transition from "young, promising and world at your feet" to "too late to do that now" is extremely quick.
When I was 23, I still had time to do so many things... travel, sing, dance, start a company... I had ample time to find my Chris Evans (of Fantastic Four, not the Brit DJ), become famous... and anything else I wanted. But when you're 23, you think you have all the time in the world to do all that, so you just laze around and bask in the glory of being a young, yet free, adult.
Now, a few months short of my 26th birthday, I know I'm not really "old" yet - but 26 is like falling over the other side of the iceberg. It's entering the latter part of your twenties. And in society, the latter part of your twenties is when you have to fulfill the most obligations in the shortest amount of time: earn a decent - if not wonderful - salary, have an interesting career, be with Chris Evans, and on the road to a happy life together. In reality, how the freakin' heck can a girl manage to do that in 3 years, and still have "seen the world" and experienced all things exciting to a young person?
How can you settle down with someone if you've not seen and done everything you wanted to do? Like wander through a vineyard in Champagne, or a lavender field in Provence... or roamed around the art in Florence... or partied it up all week in the hottest clubs in London? I haven't even been anywhere north of Peninsular Malaysia (in S.E. Asia) besides Phuket.
I suppose one could do all those things with a life partner. But when you've seen things elsewhere in the world, and opened your eyes to all its possibilities... would you still be happy with someone you chose before you opened Pandora's box?
Now I understand when people who are 28 or 29 say, "I'm old!!"... it doesn't mean that they think they're old age-wise. It just means that they haven't yet done what they wanted to do when they were 22. As I approach the tail-end of my twenties, that fact is being etched into my brain ever clearer. And I have to do something about it so that I never grow "old".
Incidentally, I find that a very comforting band to listen to when you're growing old-er, is Sigur Rós. Scroll to the bottom of this page to select one of their tracks.