How I Found My Quarter-Life Crisis at the Vintage Fashion Expo

Vendor booth at San Francisco Vintage Fashion Expo, copyright James Winstead

Lately, I’ve been having the very on-trend quarter-life crisis in which I freak out and question the trajectory of my life thus far. Most women I know in their early (ok, mid-) twenties aren’t quite sure what they want to do with their lives, and they’re trying on different occupations and neighborhoods and roommates as they try to figure it out. Seeing their adventures in the fictitious (but reality-based) episodes of Girls and in the very real lives of friends makes me look at my own life and wonder if I’ve done it right.

Somehow, instead of using this time as a period of trial and error, I took the straight-into-adultland route of zooming right from college into grad school and landing in a very sensible career as a psychotherapist. I did not pass Go, and I did not collect $200 by working random jobs and trying on different versions of Career Sarah (think Career Barbie, but with much smaller boobs). What if I missed out on collecting Bartender Sarah, Executive Assistant Sarah, Barista Sarah, or even Personal Stylist Sarah? Is it too late?

With all this churning in my brain, my life-long dream of moving to Manhattan and working for a fashion magazine while living on instant coffee and ramen has been resurfacing and demanding acknowledgement. I started this blog to try to quiet it down and let it tire itself out, but it hasn’t exactly worked out the way that I planned.

Unexpectedly, I found my moment of truth at the vintage fashion expo. Being surrounded by such beauty and inspirational people lit a fire inside me insisting that I didn’t have to choose, that I could find a way to keep my life and career as it is now but not give up on the alternate vision of what my life could hold. There was a reason my eyes welled up when I ran my fingers over a one-of-a-kind sheath from 1924; I love this stuff, and I need to have it in my life.

Below are some more of my favorite photos from the day, all taken by James Winstead. You can see what I wore here.

Listening to: “Wild Ones” – Flo Rida

San Francisco Vintage Fashion Expo, all photos copyright 2012 James Winstead

Vintage Christian Dior Suit at San Francisco Vintage Fashion Expo, copyright James Winstead

San Francisco Vintage Fashion Expo, all photos copyright 2012 James Winstead

San Francisco Vintage Fashion Expo, all photos copyright 2012 James Winstead

Button sorting at San Francisco Vintage Fashion Expo, copyright James Winstead

Vendor booth at San Franisco Vintage Fashion Expo, copyright James Winstead

San Francisco Vintage Fashion Expo, all photos copyright 2012 James Winstead

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4 Comments

  1. You go, girl! Career Sarah is still just at the very start of her career, and it is certainly not too late to explore multiple paths or even change altogether. I have a girlfriend who is 35 and contemplating a switch to a third career– not because she hasn’t been good at the first two, but because we change over time and with it so do our interests sometimes. Lovin’ the blog!

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