I've never really been comfortable with nudity. .
Im not one to waltz around my house in the buff on a Sunday morning. I never went streaking in high school or flashed anybody. Hell, watching Magic Mike made me want to curl up into a ball & die of embarrassment.
Proof of my modest upbringing.
Which is why, when my best friends messaged me last night urging me to go for a skinny dip in the river, I had immediate anxiety.
"I'll just bring my bikini." I thought as i left the house. "They won't mind if I don't join them."
& they didn't. As they stripped down & jumped into the brisk water, they had nothing to say about what I was or wasn't wearing.
I stepped into the river, feeling the cold water prickle my skin. Easing in at first, letting my body slowly adjust to the temperatures. Then I looked up at my friends. Naked as jay birds, floating, laughing, splashing. Reveling in the clean freedom that comes from stripping yourself of restriction.
Suddenly my tiny pieces of clothing felt so binding. .
Why was I holding onto this? This fear? This anxiety?
I was at a private beach, surrounded only by nature & my most trusted friends. If I couldn't embrace this exhilaration...i would regret it. .
So slowly i peeled off my modesty & chucked it to the riverbank.
The water that had chilled my body through cloth all of a sudden became invigorating & invasive in the most refreshing way.
All thoughts of what my body looked like faded away. No jiggly bits worried me, no health concerns were in my mind.
The problems of my life took an immediate backseat to the luscious green backdrop of the river & the belly shaking laughs of my best friends & I.
Finding this picture in my phone was a bitter sweet moment.
I love it.
I dont remember the last time that I felt so carefree & I'm grateful to have that documented.
But I knew I couldn't share it.
Thaaats it. That's literally the entire reason I wasn't going to share my incredible experience of last night.
I realized how absurd that was as soon as I thought it.
Sure there will be people that, like me, are uncomfortable.
But others will get it & appreciate the growth of the experience.