When I was little, I decided that I would get married when I was 24. I don't know why - it just seemed like a good age.
This week, I proved beyond all doubt that that wasn't going to happen. How? I turned 25. In the words of Marilyn Monroe (Some Like it Hot): That's a quarter of a century. Makes a girl think.
Of course, my plans and aspirations have changed quite a lot since I was little. It isn't as though I turned 24 and thought, 'Right, now I have exactly 365 days to find someone, fall in love and get married. Better start looking!'
But Marilyn was right: turning a quarter of a century old really does make a girl think. It's made me think especially about where my priorities lie, and where I see myself in 5 years time. (Yes, that is when I turn 30, and yes, that does terrify me a little.)
And guess what? My plans no longer include getting married.
Ok, so if I meet the perfect somebody, I haven't ruled it out - especially if they happen to be a multi-millionaire. (Any takers?) But failing that minor miracle, I have other much more achievable goals to focus on. Career goals. Writing goals.
Here's the catch: I'm not going to tell you what those goals are. This isn't because I'm afraid I won't achieve them, and I don't want to tie myself down to them.
It's actually because of a piece of advice I received from a novellist a long time ago, about not sharing your work too early. She said that if you share a piece of work before it's ready, you can kill it accidentally, like bursting a bubble. I definitely agree with this: share your work too early or with the wrong person, and it deflates before your eyes.
She was actually talking about poems or works of fiction in this case, but I think the same applies to life goals. By keeping my goals a secret, they become special, and they stay mine and magical. Now what better incentive than that to achieve a goal?
So I won't say much about my goals. Only that, by the time I'm thirty, I hope to have a lot more words under my belt, and for me, that's a much more important goal than a wedding ring.
Sorry, 8-year-old self, but my priorities have changed.