Cynthia Bailey Opens Up About Turning 50 and How Her Daughter Is Helping Her Cope with Divorce

"There is something very powerful about starting my life over by myself at this age," Bailey tells PEOPLE

Photo: Santiago Felipe/Getty

Cynthia Bailey may be separated from husband Peter Thomas, but the Real Housewives of Atlanta stars still paid homage on Sunday to what would have been their sixth wedding anniversary.

Bailey shared a solo portrait featuring the stunning metallic silver couture gown she wore to the couple’s lavish 2010 nuptials, writing, “We were friends first @peterthomasrhoa #july24th #weddinganniversary #6years #godsknowsbest #ingodshands #thisjourney #mydress #thisday #beautifulmemories #humbled #grateful #thenextchapter #noregrets #1life2live #prayersandpositivity #godknowsall.”

Thomas – who was surrounded by infidelity rumors when the couple separated in 2015 – also paid tribute to the anniversary with a suited-up solo shot he captioned, “July 24 is a day that will forever be a part of me. #AnniversaryLife #CynthiaBailey #BetterOffFriends.”

PEOPLE caught up with Bailey at former Real Housewives of New York star Jill Zarin‘s fourth annual Luxury Luncheon in Southampton, New York, this past Saturday, and Bailey affirmed she is doing well – and ready to move on.

“I’m doing awesome,” the model and entrepreneur told PEOPLE. “I’m at a great place in my life. I used to always say I just want to be happy. I don’t say that anymore. Now I just say I want peace.”

One big factor in her new outlook? A milestone birthday.

“I’m turning 50 next year, and it’s a huge milestone for me,” she says. “It’s really important for me to wake up on my 50th birthday and just love my life – every part of my life. And that’s real.

“It’s scary, but there is something very powerful about starting my life over by myself at this age,” she says. “Some women feel like it’s too late to start over and I don’t think it’s ever too late to be at peace.”

Bailey, who held a trunk show for her Cynthia Bailey Eyewear line at the star-studded event, credits her 16-year-old daughter, Noelle Robinson, for helping her get through the separation.

“At this point in my life it’s just me and her again,” she says. “It’s just back to us.”

“She has been hugely supportive and just a sweetheart with the personal issues I’m dealing with with my marriage,” added Bailey.

“I think children just sense when you need a hug and she has been a great hugger and a great supporter, and that goes a long way.”

Bailey says she was happy to see other Bravo stars at Zarin’s luncheon, which was sponsored by Nervana Headphones and Zarin Fabrics, including Real Housewives of Orange County star Vicki Gunvalson, Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Kathy and Rich Wakile, RHONY star Ramona Singer and alums Kristen Taekman, Cindy Barshop and Kelly Bensimon, and Kim Kardashian West‘s best friend and frequent Keeping Up with the Kardashians costar Jonathan Cheban.

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