So the other day as I was thinking about the new year and how I want to make it a better one, I did some research on regrets. These are the top 5 regrets people have on their deathbed according to this article from The Next Web.
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
At some point through my 30 + years, I can identify with each one of these. I still have issues with 1, 2, and 5, but thanks to Facebook #4 is no longer a problem, and if you ask anyone really close to me, #3 has never really been a problem. Sometimes I think they may prefer I don't share every single one of my feelings, but I am not one to hold things in for very long.
This is definitely a quote I believe. When I look back, I am bothered much less by the things I did, than those I didn’t do. Missed opportunities make me question where I could have been. What I could have done? Thinking about the auditions I didn’t attend because I didn’t feel “good” enough, makes me sad for the life I could have had as a dancer or actress, but just didn’t believe in myself enough. Not doing some things also kept me from being truly happy. A lot of times I didn’t do things just because I felt like other people didn’t want me to. It was all about making someone ELSE happy.
Doing things, on the other hand, may have led to some mistakes, may have given me a mini vacay down the wrong life path, but they mostly provided me with experiences to either enjoy or learn from, and opportunities to do better the next time. Most of the mistakes that were important enough to remember, don't really don’t affect me all that much today. Notice I said "MOST" that's because there are some I regret OH SO MUCH.
There are about 3 things I regret doing in my life. One of them was not a very big deal. I wish I had asked my best friend to take me to prom, rather than the guy I liked who was older than me. But I've managed to live just fine with that one. :) Another affected my parents and hurt them. I am not ok with anything I have ever done that has hurt anyone else. If I hurt myself, that's on me, but I don't like hurting others. The last one..well..it changed the course of my life AND quite possibly the length of my life- tanning.
If you read my last post about my tanning experiences, you know that most of my tanning was done outside with some sort of SPF (though never enough). But I did have a brief stint with indoor tanning. I didn’t do it for long, 6 to 8 months maybe, I couldn’t afford more than once a week or less, but I am sure I had some marathon weeks in there.
Thing is, it didn’t need to be for long.
The thing that bothers me most is that my gut told me it wasn’t good. I was against it, until a guy I knew started doing it. I thought he started to look better and slimmer. I asked him about it and shared what I thought and he told me I was wrong. He assured me that tanning indoors was actually SAFER than tanning in the sun. I was doing myself a favor. I must have really wanted to believe him, because I did against my gut feeling. This is definitely the biggest thing I have ever regretted DOING. Too bad this was JUST before the explosion of the internet. I would have done my research and stayed away. Too little too late now, though.
Fortunately for young girls (and older people today) we have the web, Facebook, Twitter, books like Pale Girl Speaks, and blogs like Adventures with my Enemy Melanoma, Melanoma Girl, My Journey with Melanoma, Respect the Rays, Black is the New Pink, Beyond my Tan, and many, many more.
There is NO reason for us to NOT know today.
There is a great article in Women's Health (with the gorgeous and NOT super tan Emily Van Camp on the cover) all about the rise in melanoma rates in young girls since the explosion of indoor tanning. If you read nor share anything else with those you love, please, PLEASE read and share this article.
On that note, I will leave you with two memes I created especially for this post. I hope you enjoy them.
Thank you for reading. Until next time, practice safe sun.