birthday dress!

birthday dress!birthday dress!

Autumn bell sleeve dress - handmade
Vintage leather handbag - thrifted
Gold watch pendant - American Apparel
Two tone wedge boots - UO

My birthday weekend is over sooo I'm back to work, sewing and sorting vintage and responding to emails. It was a great time! I met up with some friends last night for a trip to Arrington Vineyards, where we drank wine and I lost my phone. Neil and I had a wonderful day in Chattanooga just the two of us (the aquarium was lovely and cocktails at Public House were delicious), and I've been blessed by sweet birthday messages and well wishes. I'm 26 years old now, you guys. It's a little bit crazy.

birthday dress!
birthday dress!birthday dress!
birthday dress!

And I sewed this dress for the occasion. The cotton fabric is most likely vintage from the 70s, although I can't remember where I got it from - probably a thrift store? Fall florals in those burnished brown colors. When Neil and I were running errands on Saturday, I wore this outfit - but it got cold into the night at the winery, so I swapped the ankle boots and bare legs for black tights and platform lace ups. It was the most beautiful night - it even smelled like autumn.

Now, about 26. Turning 26 didn't really intimidate me like 25 did last year, although it's still a bit strange. I guess sometimes you hit an age that you feel you will be at forever, at least mentally.. not to say you don't grow, but it's a part of your self image. Maybe 23 was mine, because when I hit the mid-twenties range at 24, it was all sorts of funny to me. I swear, you spend your entire early twenties wanting to be older, and once you are, you're just thinking about those golden younger years. That might just be me, though.. I'm a grass is greener sort of person, which can suck. I can't wait for an age where I feel entirely comfortable in my own skin, not dreading the people around me thinking I'm 16 and shouldn't be drinking or fearing that I'm too old to be doing certain things (ahem video games). I've heard that happens at 30 - you stop caring so much about age and just start living your life? Is that true? I guess it depends on the person, really.

I talked last year about having interviews with friends of mine who are around the same age but in very different places, and I think I might finally do that. You guys said some very wise, very honest things then, like Ana who stated that the mid-twenties are this awkward sort of in-between stage where some people are living at home with their parents while others have three kids, a spouse, and a mortgage. It's very true. I have divorced friends who are my age and some who are younger, married friends who own homes and are talking about babies (and some who have them), single friends who go out every night and don't intend on settling down. I guess Neil and I are right in the middle, in that we're both in our mid twenties and we're married but our social life and careers still take precedent over even the smallest inclination of starting a family. We're looking for a house to own, which is a commitment and a scary one, but we still value our freedom. There are many things we want to do before we tie ourselves down to a specific city or even country. We want opportunities to be open to us and we don't want age to restrict us.

I guess the most important thing is to enjoy the stage that you are at and not allow preconceived notions to get in the way of living each year to its fullest. Don't be afraid of growing older or being too young, because that will just stop you from enjoying this small window of time you have for each year. Man alive, time goes by so fast. The least you can do is make it count.

How do you feel about your age and age-related goals?