Some nights I stretch my arms up the ceiling and flex my fingers and the first thing that always pops into my head?
"I wish my fingers weren't so fat"
And I always mentally roll my eyes at myself with that remark, because at the end of the day who really cares what their fingers look like, as long as they work, am I right? But I love the thoughts that follow because instead of watching myself dig down deeper into the "fat" pit [or whatever pit I might be trying to dig myself into that day, whether it be "fat" or just plain old "sadness"] instead I hear my second thought come just as quickly:
"I love that they work" & right after that "I love that they're held" because one of my favorite things about being in a relationship with my Jonathan is holding his hand and how when we reach his driveway and start walking to my car in the dark, I can reach out my hand and know that his is already waiting for mine.
"I love that they've always been held" 
My parents flippin CARE about me y'all. Your parents probably care about you, too. I know that they held my hand to cross the street, and in the store so I wouldn't get lost, and especially in the ocean so I wouldn't be scared of being swept under and away. Little things maybe, but so many kids do not have anyone like that in their lives.
"It's so cool how much they can DO, like crocheting and drawing and smoothing back someone's hair in a loving way. And I love that they're not forced to do anything." I don't have to support my family in a sweatshop. In an assembly line. I don't have to physically work to find scrap metal, load it onto a truck, and try and sell it to a scrap yard. 
"I love that if I want them to, they can reach down and grab my feet, and my feet will feel them." For part of my childhood my close friend's stepfather was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from his torso down. This came after a shooting because of road rage, and I will always remember a year before the accident, watching him and his wife dance at their wedding. Being apart of that and watching a family go through something so jarring will have a lasting impact on you, and for me...well I'm thankful that my feet can feel the hardwood floors underneath them.

Is there anything that you normally see as "fat fingers" that you could look beyond today?

It's not who you want.
            -I wanted someone once, wanted them so bad. I wanted their love, their touch, their commitment. I wanted them to be mine. And after months of not talking to them, and those months being some of the best of my life, I've realized that I wanted them so badly because they so desperately didn't want me.

It's not who you need.
            -I thought I needed this guy, because I thought he was perfect. I thought he would erase every hurt in my past. Mainly I thought my life would be on the right track if we were together, because it couldn't go wrong with him. But that need for a fairytale was really just me ignoring my own broken heart, refusing to put it back together and instead just trying to be who I thought he wanted.

It's who you love.
          -I'm in love with someone whose faults are not hidden or tucked away, and they are many. And for once instead of wanting to fix those faults, or pretend that they aren't there, I can't help but love him for exactly who he is. And he loves me for exactly who I am and does not hold any bit of his love back from me, and that is something that I have never experienced. So at the end of the day, it's who you love and who loves you in return.
I'm watching a movie where two women choose to have a surrogate carry their baby and they come to find out that he is not developing as well as he should. Their doctor comes in and tells them that although sad, it is good that they found this out so early in the pregnancy, because now they can choose to terminate.*

I will never understand this.

Life is about love. It's true. You know it, and I know it. The people who think it's about money and success are on crack, because they can actually afford it. I have grown up with my mother earnestly telling me that you don't know love until you are a parent, or at least you don't know the deepest love until you are. I believe this and have believed it because I already have a love for my children. Don't you? 
Maybe i'm just weird. 
But it's just ingrained in me and I love it. Some people are meant to create music, some are meant to paint, some are meant to fly planes and defy gravity. I'm meant to dance and sit in trees and admire the sky, and have children. I cannot wait to love them and teach them about life and learn through their eyes.

I think about them, just like thinking of myself at a young age. What will I tell them?
What will I tell them about the friend who does not seem to want to remember our friendship?
What will I tell them about their father? [Check out part 2 of this, coming soon]
What will I tell them about their mother's first kiss? (Now that's a good story!)
What will I tell them about love? More importantly, what will I show them?

-I want to make good choices for them, not to be perfect, but to show them what it's like to walk down the path of your life and not take detours into who you are not. I'm one of the most honest people I know, and so I want to be ready to give my children the answers that I got, and didn't get.

*they choose not to terminate their baby. Yay! Go moms! Yay for lesbians!
This has been a subject that has been dwelling in the back of my mind for a good while [being in a serious relationship will do that to you I guess]. So when my thoughts finally settled down and stopped flitting around like butterflies on crack, I decided to make a video, which I find actually helps me to understand myself. 
I'm weird. Hahaha.
Also. I relate a lot of things to dying my hair.
I'm very turned off by the church right now.
[You might say I have been for a while. But that was because I knew something was wrong but I just couldn't quite put my finger on it.]

I feel like I've been wearing a blindfold but peeking out of one eye periodically while simultaneously looking around at other people and very much noticing (and commenting to myself) "wow, they're wearing a blindfold". And by this I mean some church-goers. Rule keepers. Atheists. The hopeless. The almost lovers. 
---->WOW that list was confusing! And most of the labels listed had nothing to do with the other labels! Yup. I like to keep my lists ra-ra-random. Keep you on your toes, ballerina style. [Yup, I'm a dork.]

But I digress.

It has taken me FOREVER to realize that:
Being mad at God does not equal disagreeing with the church. Even being mad at the church and some people in it.
But now that I have realized it, I can step away from the church. From the Bible. Take the time that I need.
---Frequently Asked Questions [from the voices in my head]---
-What about prayer?
My heart still cries out to my maker, my best friend, the creator of the  ocean and the sky. So of course I still pray.
-What about Jesus?
I don't know just yet.
-Are you really stopping going to church?
When I want to go to church, I'll go. And vice versa. I do miss it.
-Is this just a phase?
My life is made of phases. So is yours.
-Is this because of a guy, either past or present?
No. Don't be an idiot.
-Was your dislike of the church caused by your past church [South County] being rude to you?
No, but it definitely helped it along. But at the end of the day that church was made up of humans [as most churches are] and humans hurt people. And love people. And so on and so forth. They just happened to show me hurt.
-Is this just you trying to "find yourself"?
I think life is about trying to find yourself. Trying to find the God in you. For me it's that feeling when I'm painting, when I lose myself. Along with the feeling that I get underneath the water, the feeling of home. The feeling of rubbing a blade of grass between my fingers and feeling every little ridge. And so much more.

To summarize:
This is a vast season of change. A change I am not charging into headlong. It is more of a backstroke gently pulling me through the water. I don't know where I'm going, but I know that I'm swimming in something that I love, going somewhere that is unknown to me. 
P.S. There are churches that are doing beautiful things. There are other religions that are doing beautiful things. More importantly, there are regular people doing beautiful things with no label other than 'love'. And that is one of the things that keeps me hoping. And please understand that I am happy and very much in love with my life. [I know that came out of nowhere, but I just felt like throwing it in.]
a few things lately. And it's me, and it's late at night, so if you know me, you know it's time for...a list.

I've come to realize
   That you will never feel understood by some people
       That some people will always be far away friends, even when they are close.
               That some people will only be friends when they feel like it.
                        That you can go out of your way for friends but eventually the tide will turn and they may or may not go out of their way for you.
                                        That pants are warm to sleep in but hard to keep from bunching up.

That some people will never realize how much work goes into a friendship
                    That sometimes I'd rather have chocolate milk than an alcoholic drink
       Some people will surprise you with their goodness
                            Others acceptance really isn't as important as you may have thought