Last October, I went to New York City the week before my fortieth birthday. I brought my husband. I stayed in a fifth floor apartment in Chinatown. I worked. I met a friend in person for the first time. I spent time with an old friend I never get to see. I ate the same thing for breakfast every day from the cafe down the street – the hummus plate. I daydreamed about what it would be like to live there and ached to have that chance. I navigated the city alone. I took a ferry the wrong way. I saw things everywhere that I didn’t want to forget. I paid attention. I had an hour long Uber drive with an interesting fellow. I had my aura photographed. I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. I let go of my fear… a little bit. I opened up. I burned Palo Santo and played records. I walked until I got blisters and they bled through my bandaids and I kept walking. I shot in the rain. I shot in Upper East Side apartments. I shot near the water and in the busy streets. I shot my friends. I shot in Central Park. I went to museums. I dealt with conflicts. I shopped in Soho. I watched the street from a fire escape. I felt the hot wind of the subway on approach. I saw that I was competent. I saw that I could choose to trust myself. I watched the sky from a rooftop. I was lucky enough to be able to be photographed with my husband, sexy, sweet, meaningful photos. I remembered my passions as I gleefully experimented with them. I took note. I noticed. I stressed, I cried, I got over it, I learned, I grew, I changed.

I started to acknowledge who I was becoming.

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  1. So I’ve dreamt of going to NYC since I was a kid, and I finally got the weirdest chance to go last month because I got chosen to be on The Today Show with my best friend for a makeover. We literally flew in on a Wednesday and flew out on a Thursday, and it was completely paid for. Even though it was only 24 hours it was SUCH a gift. We stayed blocks from Times Square and just walked around until late that night, taking it all in. I didn’t want to go to sleep. That city is magical. I can’t wait to go back someday (and hopefully stay for a few more days, ha). Your photos just take me back to that magic feeling, even though my experience was different than yours. The city has a personality that shows through in images.

  2. Tara, been with you forever…your 40’s are awesome…I just turned 52…I loved my 40’s ….your 50’s will be even better…been married for 28 years now..been through it all…just take everything as it comes at you with a grain of salt, laugh at it and shuck it off….you are strong, beautiful and confident, friends who love you, and you love, they are supportive…you have everything you need in life…enjoy it….just a fan, jackie d…

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