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{Hello, Darlings!}

Today comes with a lot of mixed emotions for me...

Today is my birthday.

And I am not an "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to…" kinda gal, but today is my…(cough) 30TH BIRTHDAY!

Yes, thirty! The age I deemed old a mere 5 years ago…

It's strange what emotions milestone birthdays can bring out - some highs, some lows and lots and lots of self reflection!

Ugh. Why so many feelings!

(I just actually screamed that.)

Am I successful? Do I have my shit together? Am I where I want to be? Is this how I would have envisioned my life as a thirteen-year-old? Is that a fine line on my forehead? Is my metabolism shot?

I must say, I definitely don't have it all figured out, and I still don't have my shit completely together, but I'm pretty sure my thirteen-year-old self would think what I'm doing is pretty cool, maybe even cooler than I could have imagined back in the day.

I mean, what did I really think thirty-year-old me would have accomplished by now?

I was all over the place at thirteen, passionate about life, constantly dreaming and wanting to do it all. So, in a way I'm exactly where I thought I'd be...

A dreamer. A performer. A cheerleader. A designer. A non-profit worker. A traveler. A counselor. A teacher. A doctor.

Okay, so maybe I'm not a doctor. But I sure can doctor up some photos 🙂

In a way, I've finally found myself in a position where I'm able to do so many of the things I love. I've created a life that brings so many of my passions together.

Photography has brought me so much joy and fulfillment.

Creating. Traveling. Connecting. Making people feel beautiful…

I have a pretty awesome job, if I do say so myself.

I mean, I just got back from an incredible trip exploring Alaska (more on that later), and I get to hang out with and take pics of incredible people who always end up becoming my friends. I get to live on the beach and put my toes in the sand everyday! I just got my first studio/office space a couple months back, and, to top it off, I have the best friends and family on the planet! (Talk about the most inspiring, talented, genuine, loving group of people anyone could ever ask for!)

I'm also pretty sure no one should gauge success based off thirteen-year-old standards. haha.

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...So here's a few of the small things I've learned in my 30 years...

Surround yourself with people who lift you up and give you the same energy you give them. It's so important to nurture those relationships and to not be afraid to move on from the ones that weigh you down.

You can always make a difference! Even if it's a small one... No gesture is too small.

Believe in yourself and follow your passion. When you find the right groove, it's amazing how abundance finds you.

Be a doer! Say Yes! I think it's important to talk about your dreams and goals to help you visualize and set them into motion... Then actively work towards making them happen! Take the leap you're thinking about. Trust yourself, and the universe will provide.

Travel the world at every opportunity that presents itself. Be spontaneous! The more I see, the more I'm inspired to get up and go. My bucket-list continues to grow with every adventure I check off.

love me, curtis kulig, smashbox studios, valorie darling, valorie darling photography, southern california celebrity wedding photographer

Tulle Skirt: Space 46 Boutique

Shirt: Forever 21 (similar here)

Heels: Steve Madden

Shades: Venice Beach (street shop)

Lip Color: Russian Red MAC

Camera: FujiFilm

Signature Photography: Sam Zachrich

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