This I Believe

Amy - Boulder, Colorado
Entered on August 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Making a Splash…Naked…

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I cannot wait to celebrate! Tonight I will dive head first into another year of life by partaking in my favorite tradition. Since the start of my teenage years I have celebrated my birthday by stripping down and swimming under the moonlight. Therefore tonight at the stroke of midnight my closest friends and I will strip down to our birthday suits and dive into the lake, anxious to feel the simple delight that comes from such an innocent pleasure. I believe in skinny-dipping!

I vividly remember all those summer nights so long ago when I was a little girl waiting for my parents to fall asleep. Once their lights went out I would wait by the window anticipating three short flashlight beams letting me know that my friends were outside. We’d ride our bikes in the mischievous dark until we saw that beautiful moonlight illuminating the lake. At that point, there was no stopping us. We’d throw our bikes down and race to the water’s quiet edge. With hushed whispers and giggles we would throw our clothes all along the shoreline, each of us trying to be the first to enter the water. Once we were all soaked head to toe, we would swim out to the old dock. It was strangely located in the middle of the lake and made the perfect platform to dive off. Struggling to get on top of the platform, each of our bodies contorted to less than flattering forms. It didn’t matter that we had goose bumps of excitement bubbling under our skin all over our bodies, and it didn’t matter that we were naked! We weren’t ashamed of the size of our bodies. We weren’t judging each other. The only thing that mattered was that we were free. No one could tell us to do anything, and for once, we were allowed to enjoy ourselves without inhibition.

The cover of night protected us from reality, and tonight will be no different. On this night, the moonlit sky and the cool water will remind me of those playful nights of my youth. More importantly, I will be able to reconnect with the glorious feeling that the world is simply a beautiful, spontaneous, and exciting place. As I have grown, I have noticed that no matter how complicated life becomes, when I go skinny dipping, I am instantly returned to the playful, joyous life I enjoyed as a child. Even though I’m older, and experience the normal self-esteem issues, nothing makes me happier than when I’m unafraid, swimming in the dark. Nothing and no one can hurt or inhibit me in those glorious moments. I am uniquely myself—naked, pure, and free. I, whole-heartedly, believe in skinny-dipping.