It's been a while since I posted here, in fact, it has been over three months-- 102 days to be exact.
In this absence, I turned 30, an age that I still can't quite wrap my head around.
In my younger years, I hung so many of my hopes and dreams on 30. At 21, the big 3-0 loomed off in the distance as a deadline for relationships, career, and reproduction.
I can distinctly remember driving home from college one fine spring day and coming up with the plan to have a baby (which I had never even wanted before) at the age of 30. My cousin, who was that magical age at the time, had just given birth and it seemed to me, at that point in my life, that her pregnancy was perfectly planned and she was doing things right.
At 21, 30 seemed like the age at which one should have adult life entirely figured out. In my head, a decade or so of additional living would officially make me a grown-up, prepared to handle all of those mature, adult responsibilities.
So here I am at 30 feeling like no more of an adult (heck, maybe less of an adult) than when I was dreaming up these crazy deadlines at 21. Looking around at my life, I still wonder who decided it was okay to let two kids buy expensive things like a house and cars and, really, who decided it would be okay for these kids to get married and legally bind themselves to one another for all eternity.
Sometimes it feels like our life together has all the trappings of a real grown up life, minus the actual grown ups.
In that checklist for age 30, "know who you are" never made the list, because, at 21, I knew who I was. Thinking back, I have always known and felt confident in my personal identity but these last few years, it seems I've gotten lost-- I've lost sight of "me" and I'm not quite sure how to go about getting "me" back.
The last six months have been like slowly waking from a dream, I now see my life with such utter and miserable clarity. Looking back through the blog, I can see myself getting lost and I can see myself clinging to the last familiar shred of myself-- vintage style. Don't get me wrong, I still love all things vintage, but trying to recreate the past no longer feels authentic and really hasn't for a long time.
In truth, I'm not really sure what does feels authentic anymore.
I'm not sure who I am.
So, instead of 30 being the realization of a youthful and unrealistic list of life milestones-- some of which I'm not even sure I want anymore-- 30 will be a decade of development and discovery; a journey back to myself.
As I've discussed so many times here, my wardrobe is so closely tied to my personal identity. Feeling so directionless regarding what I wear is a direct reflection of not understanding who I am.
Sure I can collect endless photographs of looks I love (my Pinterest boards are a testament to that), and sure I can copy those looks, but there's no authenticity in a copycat, there's only a brief superficial satisfaction in achieving a look.
What I wear must connect to my core, my essence (as cheesy as that sounds), and right now, my core is empty, my essence depleted.
To put it simply, getting dressed is hard at the moment.
This outfit was born from nothing more than practicality.
With the temperatures over 90 degrees and oppressive humidity, the thought of lingering outside for any significant amount of time right now is rather appalling. So, with an outdoor beer festival coming up, and a disinterest in most everything in my closet, I took a quick browse through the thrift store and came across this raw silk dress.
Normally, I would be turned away by the tank style cut of the neckline, but the lightweight fabric and beautiful buttons saved it for me.
Hat: from a local beach shop
Earrings: made by me
Bracelets: auctions, estate sales
I've been attracted to larger earrings lately especially with the increasing length and volume of my hair. Being the packrat that I am, I had a collection of wooden beads that, with some spare ear wires and fishing line, I was able to put together the earrings for this ensemble.
The hat and shoes have been staples of the season and the beaded scarf, while serving as a primarily decorative accessory, also came in handy to secure the hat in the breeze and to pull my hair up and off my neck and out of my face when I could no longer stand it flying about (and after the hat had disheveled it).
Though I'm not sure this outfit is entirely "me," I felt good wearing it-- proud to be practical and happy to be cool and comfortable.