dear 16-year-old me

dear 16-year-old me...i'm proud of you. keep doing what you're doing. don't give in to peer pressure. this. (actually EVERYONE watch this!!)

at age 16, i tanned on my house roof, laying on a silver mat, to attract as much sun as possible. and sometimes i added baby oil to the mix. often, i tanned until i blistered.

in my 20s, my cousin was diagnosed with melanoma on his chest. major, massive surgery. he lived. and thankfully continues to do well today.  but, you're never totally cured from melanoma.

as a nurse, melanoma scared the shit out of me.

today, i'm 41. i avoid the sun and use sunscreen. tampa is brutal; the sun here is vicious. i also get skin cancer checks every year by my dermatologist.

wish i never laid out in the sun like i did. wish i saw this video when i was 16. hoping to spread the word.

dear 16 year old me... you really shouldn't have followed the poofy hair trend; it wasn't very flattering on you.

...or the sunglasses fad.

rosie, you ARE a young genius.  sorry i missed you in utah.  next time, for sure.  thanks for the share.  xo.