Kitt Cowles, 53

“I’ve been around long enough now that it’s so much easier to see what deserves my time and energy and what doesn’t. My biological clock has shifted from making babies to death and that clock just keeps getting louder. I don’t have time for nonsense anymore. I want the good stuff. All of it. I’m eating cake for breakfast if I want to.”

“I’m proud of my authenticity. It’s not something that came easy to me. Years and years of folding myself into the boxes that were made for me left me feeling like a shell of a person. I wasn’t really sure who I was outside of being a mom, daughter, spouse, etc. I was in my mid 40s when I finally began choosing myself and making myself a priority. Whew! That’s not an easy task for a people pleasing empath! It ended up flipping my world upside down and leaving it looking like something completely different but I have never been happier. Unapologetic authenticity. It’s a beautiful thing.”

“I’d say my greatest achievement was leaving my husband after 21 years. It was terrifying. There’s so much security and comfort in staying in a life that you know even if it’s miserable. But I finally realized that I deserved better and found the strength and bravery to pursue it for myself.”

“I want people to see me as a person who still battles insecurities and hardships but who also refuses to let that be her status quo. To know that I love hard and am the queen of second chances but that those chances shouldn’t be taken advantage of.”

“The way I perceive my own attractiveness has changed. Until I was in my later 20’s, I didn’t think I was attractive at all. Just plain. Then into my mid 40’s, I thought I was ok. Since then (and this coincided with the divorce, go figure), I can more often see my own attractiveness. Still, I don’t think I look exceptionally attractive. I think owning my authentic self is wildly attractive but, physically, I still see the awkward 14 year old staring back at me in the mirror.”

“I don’t know that my true core values have changed all that much, but what has changed over time is that I’m honoring MY values now rather than someone else’s or what the world has told me they should be. When I was younger, it was easy to think that I valued the same things as everyone else. People pleasers do that. But I don’t think that most people really even know what THEIR core values are. Today I actively value authenticity, growth, and spirituality; freedom, peace, and simplicity.”

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I’M  RACHEL.

I take portraits of brilliant people being fancy.

Photographer Rachel Hadiashar is based out of a bright and airy studio space in Sherwood, Oregon, where she co-creates spirited and elegant images to showcase a client’s best self.
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