(lyrics from Simon & Garfunkel's song Bye Bye Love)
Here's what's been going on. I LOVE the sun. I love the warm weather because I am perpetually cold. I love sitting in my backyard with a book or a magazine sitting in the sun. Some of my fondest memories as a child are of trips to my grandparents house when they would take us to a pool or the beach. In my 20's I promised myself I wouldn't tan and I for the most part I didn't, until I hit about 34. The weather here just gets me so down at times, like when there has been 11 strait days of torrential down pouring rain. I know it is bad, and try not to judge me, but last year I started going to a tanning salon. I couldn't help myself. I It felt SO GOOD! On dark dark days when it looked like 7pm all day long and I was going numb from being cold, I would go tanning at night. I'd bring my ipod, slather myself with good lotion, and lay in a hot bed with the brightest light you can imagine all over my body. And I got results too, fast. I looked warmer, blonder, and thinner. In the past year I probably went a total of 10 times, and I stayed in the beds for about 6 -7 minutes each time. Well, the biggest result I got from all the 10 visits was a whopping mole on my right cheek. It had always been there but over the past 6 months it grew rapidly and it got painful. I made an appointment with a dermatologist as soon as I really noticed it changing, and it took me 2 months to get in. She said that the mole on my face and another on my chest looked bad. She cut it off right then and there. She sent it to a lab and I had to wait a week to see if I had skin cancer.
But if I did, they would have had to cut deep into my face to cut out the rest of the bad cells. All last week I kept picturing myself looking like Tina Fey. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I regret not wearing sun screen all those years. The important years, like my teens and childhood. I regret being so hard on my skin.
This is me about 9 months ago, you can't even see a mole.
Say goodbye little mole.
This is me after she cut it off. All I could think of was "how big will my bandage be when they have to cut deeper and how ugly will the scar be?"
Last week some friends and I wrote down what advice we would give to our 22 year old self. Mine went something like this:
Dear 22 year old Hillary,
Try to remember, take pictures if you have to, every inch of your grandparents houses. You will miss them beyond belief. Remember and keep the last thing your grandmothers ever gave you and give them to your daughter.
You ARE pretty, but it the least important thing about you. You ARE smart, stay closest to people who value this more.
Don't feel guilty that you don't like your babies, you will die over them when they hit about 3, seriously, you will adore them. You will wonder how you got so lucky to have such easy cool kids.
Read continusouly, and never stop learning.
Sincerily, 35 year old Hillary.
Now I think the 55 year old Hillary is saying
Dear 35 year old Hillary:
Wear sunscrean and appreciate your young neck
55 year old Hillary