Chapter One

This past year I keep coming back to telling stories. It started with other people’s stories told through a new art adventure. And then my life was turned on its head and I started a journey of self examination that frankly I had been avoiding for years. I did a bit of a dive into my past which is filled with journals and poetry books and at least 4 different iterations of the online journal which I consider the precursor to blogs. I made this little discovery from my last blog attempt in 2009. A tiny drawing I did of my friend Jeff documenting a conversation we had:

Jeff: I was in love with that brown velvet jacket
Me: In love with the jacket? Not me?
Jeff: You’re a totally different story Miss McLoud
Hello. I’m Sara. 
Sara Nicole. Sasita. Girlie Girl. Babooshka. Sarie. Sophia. Ms. McLoud. Sarita. Sweetie. MC Loud. McLoud. Babe. Mommy. Mom. 
Sara McLoud.
And I’m going to tell a totally different story. My own.
I’m an artist. I’ve had a lot of trouble with that phrase over the years. But this past year has taught me to own it in a real and new way. Welcome to my blog. As I said, this is not a new art form for me. I’ve been journaling on paper since 1994. Still do. And I think my first online journal was started in 1999? I don’t have a record of that first one so I don’t really know the start. But let’s just say that I’m familiar with the concept of “blog” from many years spent on LiveJournal, DeadJournal, Myspace and DiaryLand. I’ve been wanting to rejoin the spill-your-guts-to-the-internet world for a while now. In this time of perfectly curated Instagram feeds and Pinterest mommy one-up-man-ship, I long for the days of just telling the internet your thoughts and not really caring about likes and color palettes and SEO and all the other nonsense. I’ve been working on said new art adventure, but the marketing aspect is so intimidating sometimes. I want to show my work, but also show myself in the truest light possible. I want to be vulnerable and messy and authentic and not worry about the end product. I make my art for me, and now I'm going to write about me for me. I’m sharing with you because maybe my crazy ramblings will inspire you to be you too. 
I thought this month was a particularly auspicious moment to start this authentic sharing of my squishy insides because, you see, one year ago, my life was turned upside down when my almost 10 year relationship came to an official end. I say official, because looking back, it was dying slowly for months if not years before it’s inevitable end October 3rd, 2019. I have been reflecting a lot on where I've been these past twelve months and who has arrived one year later on the doorstep of my life and thought I would share my insights and thoughts and inspirations with you good people on the internet in as many run-on sentences as I can. 
So. Here we are. You may have noticed that we are on my personal website. Also a big step that I took this year. Most of you know I've been making art and doing crafts my entire life. I was known in high school for being crazy and loud and wearing funky outfits. But when college came, and big-life-decision-time came around, I lost my way a bit. I lost touch with that fun girl who would wear old man pants she thrifted for $1 with an ironic t-shirt and brightly colored chuck taylors. The girl who let her best friend cut her hair off in the bed of her pickup truck in the front yard because she was too lazy to book an appointment with a professional. That teenager who just didn't. Give. one. Flying. Hoot. what anyone thought about how she presented. She did on the inside. She was scared and worried and usually obsessed with a boy. But she pushed through and looked in the mirror and liked who she saw looking back. She was confident and loud and funny and colorful. And somehow when it was time to go off to college and be an adult, I just said goodbye to her and slowly she faded away under layers of professionalism, and bill paying, and growing up...a few years ago i realized that i hadn’t seen her in a really long time. Looking back at photos, I could almost not see myself in her anymore. But I could hear her calling to me when I shut everything else out and let my creativity take over. When I stopped worrying about relationships and kids and life stuff...when I retreated to my happy place inside a pile of colorful fabric scraps and old photos and funny ephemera I'd squirreled away...there she was waiting for me. With a cup of coffee from the Waffle House and a mix CD filled with Weezer songs. I started talking to her again, listening to her voice when i put an outfit together and then thought “nah, that makes me look fat/old/stupid/crazy” she would whisper in my ear “who gives a shit” and turn the music up louder and start dancing around my bedroom. 
Because really. 
Who. cares. 
This led to the art venture or journey that I’ve been on for the past couple of years. Leaving behind my Etsy and craft fair driven product based business, and launching into my true passion of just plain old art that you hang on a wall and gaze at lovingly because it ties the whole room together. Leaving behind the NEED TO SELL and just embracing the compulsion to make and the fun and the hilarity that seems to come out of me when left to my own devices. I am not a salesman. I cannot stand at a craft fair and convince a buyer to purchase something that ultimately is adorable but not life altering. I just can't do it. But i can stand next to a piece that I am proud of and talk about it and the feelings it represents and feel good about the work that i’m doing now. It’s not about the money anymore or the business or any of that stuff. It’s just about me. As selfish and narcissistic as that sounds. I want to show the  world who I am and what i can do because secretly-not-so-secretly i want to be in the spotlight just as much as my actor and singer friends want to. I’ve always been the quiet one backstage wearing all black and telling you to shush it or helping you into your pants, but I wanted to walk out there under those lights with you. Every time. That just wasn’t my stage. So today, this is my stage. And there's not special lighting, or masterful sets. There’s no script and at the moment there’s no editor. This is just me. These are my thoughts. This is how my world looks from my eyes and heart and soul. I’d love to share it with you. Make you laugh, learn from my mistakes, be inspired to make your life more colorful. I miss putting it all out there. I’m tired of hiding from my many selves and from the world. 
So here I am. Thanks for visiting, come back soon for the tales of:
“The Breakup: the real story (or really just my side)”
“Online dating during COVID: we can do this!”
“Just kidding! I’m dating myself now!”
Untamed: Sara’s new life bible that she won’t shut up about”
It’s exciting stuff. Bring snacks. 
Also, a little something that I miss from the old online journaling days, was the little form where you could put in a mood and a song and book you were reading. So at the end of each post, I’m going to share some things that I’m enjoying that you might enjoy too. 
I created a playlist to accompany this first chapter of the blog, which you can find on Spotify. 
Unladylike keeps me going and feeling like a badass.
The Kind of Love led me to a couple of breakthroughs recently and I’ve been recommending it to EVERYONE.
I just finished the Alchemist, and am rereading Fahrenheit 451. 
I’m going to have to do an entire post about High Fidelity someday (the movie and the show) but for now we will let it represent this moment of breakup-meets-self-reflection-meets-personal-growth emphasized by playlist of awesome  on-theme music.
TV: Stranger Things (just started, no spoilers!) and Chuck. 
There will be many blog posts in the future touching on my love of cop/spy shows and movies, murder mysteries, sitcoms and romcoms. 

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