Real Life RachyBurns....Here's one I don't talk about very much.  I'm bringing it to you today because the message is important.

Recently, my family was eating dinner at a Subway which had a tanning salon next door.  I was sitting facing the parking lot and watched teenage girls and young women enter and exit the salon throughout my meal.  I saw myself in them. 

I don't know why anyone would ASK FOR something that I would have given anything to have taken from me.

I don't know why someone would take the chances.

Here's the thing...I was not a year long tanner.  I got a suntan in the summers from playing outside.  I went to the tanning salon for 3 years in the spring time so I would look good in shorts or a swimsuit.  The doctor told me that those things may or may not have had anything to do with the cancer and not to feel guilty.  But, I know what I did and that if I had made different choices that I may not have gone through that...or at least wouldn't wonder. 

I knew the risks, they were printed on the back of the door in each tanning booth, but I convinced myself that the rays were good for me and that the truly dangerous rays came from the sun, not a light bulb.  Dark skin made me feel more confident, prettier, even healthier. 

I asked for something that I would later have given anything to have taken from me.

I took the chances because I didn't think it would happen to me.

Today, if someone asks about my scar, I am happy to tell them about it.  Or, if the subject somehow comes up I will openly share my story.  But, I don't typically confront people who seem to be at risk or who talk about using tanning beds.          Even though inside it feels like a slap in the face. So, I'm telling my story here, because it's important for others to know.

It's the age old story of judgment based on skin color- just in a different way than we are used to seeing it.

And- it's the age old story of a sick mixture of vanity and poor self image. 

This is part 1 because I don't want to sell this short.  I want to really tell you about it and I hope that you share it. 

It's important.  Stay Tuned.



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