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  • Valerie Stunning

Bye! For now...

After a thorough expedition through the metaverse I am happy to report that I did not half ass it. No. If there’s one thing about me, it is when I take interest in something and decide to pursue it, I am full ass all the way. For better or for worse, I consider it one of my finer traits. 

Over this past decade I have social media’d hard. While in the throes of optimizing engagement and building a “following” I had a lot of fun acquiring on the job training with brand development, digital art directing, visual storytelling, and SMO and SEO utilization. I had even more fun interacting with like minded spirits who share my passion for living fully on one’s own terms. And I had a lot less fun getting caught up in my own hype.. feeling reduced to a persona, and a slave to a corporation’s algorithm which inevitably only benefits them and their bottom line.

For a brief moment I had envisioned some kind of grand finale for this last blog that I’ll be posting on my socials. I thought about compiling a highlights reel of my top posts. Perhaps even sprinkling a few of my favorite smutty images in there and finishing off with a recap of all the wonderful projects I’ve built and promoted while engaging on this platform since 2014. A final digital shrine to my social media’s greatest hits. Because, if there’s anything I love to celebrate, it’s me. 

But when I brought a 10 week old Catahoula Leopard Dog home this past Thursday, I quickly got over myself. Nothing will snap you out of self delusions of grandeur quicker than a two month old living creature who needs you to teach it how to function in the world. 

It was a necessary reminder. That everything I am currently excited to engage with, and invest my resources in, exists out here in the tangible world. With its puppy turds on my stair case, slobbered furniture, and daily incremental signs of growth and development. So nuanced and minute, that if I’m not fully present I’ll easily miss it. 

It's a far cry from the manicured glamour and performance art I’ve excelled at curating here over these past years. And I am grateful. I am grateful that I have given myself permission to grow and change and step fully into a new era. 

I used to be a lot of things. I used to be 28 years old, like when I started this account. 

I used to be a Baby Stripper who was new to Las Vegas, and was arrogant and religious in my ways of thinking. I used to think that what I wanted and believed then would be what I wanted and believed always. I scoffed at people who owned dogs, put down roots, and had kids. I judged them as suckers and I would have fervently dueled anyone on that hill. Their way to do life was wrong, my way was right. Obviously. 

I am now approaching 39 and excited to log off and go analog. For how long? Who knows.. who cares?! I just know it’s time. 

I’ve been stripping for nearly 13 years and am starting to contemplate a change in careers. I’m also shopping for a plot of land to homestead. Me! A big city girl who didn’t own a couch for many years because I conflated being comfortable with being complacent. (more on that another time…) I’m also considering the small loss of self and sleepless nights I’m experiencing while training this obnoxious (but super cute) puppy as preparation for the new humans I hope to one day birth into the world. I’m no longer dying on hills about how other people live their lives. In fact whenever I find myself distracted by other people I remember the advice of a 103 year old man that I recently read: The secret to living a long and healthy life is to mind your business. 

Most importantly though, what I have extracted from this experience of living my flashiest trashiest internet life is how whenever life has bitch slapped me with heartache, loss, failure, injury, and illness, and I’ve taken long breaks from logging on, it was never the thirst traps I missed posting. Instead, what has always consistently lit me up is sharing my thoughts, philosophies, and curiosities on human issues via the lens of my personal experiences.

And so while this will be the last blog I promote on my socials (indefinitely), I’ll still be here writing. You can sign up via my site to receive my latest blogs direct to your inbox. And eventually when my book drops y’all will be the first to know. 

Thank you for being here!  

Valerie Stunning, circa 2016. Photo by Peter Karate. Styled/Directed by Sina King

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