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I had an incredible day going to a pool party. When my friend Colleen invited me, I spent about 25 seconds thinking of many reasons to say “no thanks” – but I am happy to report I squashed all of those thoughts and enthusiastically accepted her invitation.

To clarify this was a pool party with about 12 cis girls along with yours truly. With the recent outing when I went swimming with my kids at the pool at my apartment complex, my confidence was high enough that I felt ready for this. In fact, when I shed my swim cover dress one of the girls made an appreciative noise and said “Nicely done!” – referring to my black and yellow swim suit. *blush*

I had an absolute blast. I played volleyball in the pool with my friend Megan. There were 3 soft floaty volleyballs and we eventually were playing with all three of them at once. We got the giggles at one point because we were really going at it and it was hilariously fun (my legs are going to be so sore in the morning). Of course, the giggles may also have been from the rum punch 😉 Eventually another girl joined us and soon after the pool got very crowded.

As the night was winding down people were sharing recent good news in their lives and I asked if anyone there reads the Huffington Post. A few of them said they read it all the time. I told them that I was excited to have had something posted on it and pretty soon several of them were reading my blog.

I can’t emphasize enough how good this day has made me feel. This was one of the things that I have been missing out on for many years. Dysphoria robbed me of many pool party outings. I made excuses to never go when I was invited. Growing up, my parent’s had a pool and I loved swimming at pool parties with family friends. Getting back to the fun of the pool is one thing, but feeling accepted by such a diverse group of women while also getting my confidence back to be ‘out there’ in a swimsuit (a swim skirt no less!) .. let’s just say there are happy tears. I left for the party at 2pm and had so much fun I didn’t get back until 11 pm. This has been a banner day for Ari.

Two of the girls that came later also brought their boyfriends which also didn’t phase me at all. I just enjoyed myself and so did everyone else! 🙂

-Ari