get something small- around 20ft or less. i say get a laser cause they're good and easily to find/buy/transport/sail AND they'll teach you the basics of the sail, boat, and water interactions quickly. sailing a laser in 10-15 knot winds (esp. onshore) and you'll learn to sail (and swim) damn quick. start small, with a good boat (i.e. laser) and you'll progress quickly with effort.
don't think you can go bluewater right away- or even coastal cruising on a 35 footer- i'm 23 years old and been sailing for almost 12 years now- and still am learning- take it slow- it's rewarding on cape cod or in the keys (i prefer cape cod, and maine, to the keys, etc.) it's not where you're going, for the most part, it's how you get there- sailing.