on simultaneously feeling too old and not old enough

Do you ever watch reality TV (The Bachelor, for example) and feel like the girls are so much older than you, only to find out that they're your age or younger? Because I do that all the time.

Like this girl:

She's a year younger than me and if I saw her on the street I'd guess she was at least 30.

For comparison:
Granted, not the best photo of me. But it was taken a week ago so I figure it shows me at my oldest. (PS - Good lord, I look like my father in this one. And all photos. And real life.)

Is it the makeup? Or the tan? Or do I actually look as old as her and I'm just delusional?

And on the flip side, I often feel so painfully old. Sometimes my having lived in New York comes up and people ask when I was there. And I tell them I worked there for a few years after college, you know, before I moved to SLC and started grad school. I AM OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE WORKED FOR A FEW YEARS IN NEW YORK AFTER COLLEGE. That is terrifying.

From a fantastic article on Thought Catalog:
"I think the reason why twentysomethings are so fixated on age is because we feel a pressure to be a certain way at 23, at 25, at 29. There are all of these invisible deadlines with our careers and with love and drinking and drugs. I can’t do coke at 25. I need to be in a LTR at 27. I can’t vomit from drinking at 26. I just can’t! We feel so much guilt for essentially acting our age and making mistakes. We’re obsessed with this idea of being domesticated and having our shit together. It’s kind of sad actually because I don’t think we ever fully get a chance to enjoy our youth. We’re so concerned about doing things “the right way” that we lose any sense of pleasure in doing things the wrong way. Youth may be truly wasted on the young."
Can we all agree to enjoy our youth? I promise I will if you will. No more deciding I have to have done anything by any age, because the reality is, the people who force themselves into those situations regret it. And I for one like to live with no regrets.

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