Hey y’all, we’re two!
It was suggested to me that I write a reflection on my time here since today is officially our two-year anniversary. I don’t really know if it counts since I wasn’t writing regularly for much of 2016, but we’re going to say it does. And now, I’ve written so many reviews and reflections and articles without effort, but I can’t think what to say here for the life of me.
It’s not because I have nothing to say, it’s because there’s so much to say, and then again, I don’t know just how much of it you all would care to read. I could talk about my most memorable moments running this blog, opportunities like getting to interview Jamie Lin Wilson or meeting Jason Eady. I could talk about how many great artists I’ve discovered and all the awesome friendships and acquaintances Country Exclusive has afforded me, or I could tell you how all the bullshit and drama that comes with running a blog is worth it whenever someone finds a new artist because of something you wrote or suggested to them. I could focus on that, and all of it would be true–but it’s not the whole picture, and ultimately the success and even the life of Country exclusive is not even close to all about me or the things I’ve written and said in the past two years.
So with all that in mind, I’d like to reflect not just on my time, but also on the people who impacted me the most over these past two years. There’s Rob, aka my boyfriend, who after I didn’t write for ages in 2016, convinced me that people actually give a shit what I have to say and that I shouldn’t abandon this like I considered, and who streams Jason Isbell albums with me from 4,500 miles away. There’s Brianna, who has helped my sanity more than she probably knows by coming to write with me and is doing her damnedest to educate me on the music of Loretta Lynn and other such classic country artists about whom she feels my lack of knowledge is a crime against humanity. There’s Jennifer, aka my cousin, who singlehandedly put us on Twitter one day because I am just too lazy to do that.
These next two are probably each going to kill me for mentioning them, but I’m going to anyway because they are both integral to the blog itself and also to my reflection on my time here. First, let me say for anyone who might not know, both Brianna and I are blind. For me personally, it’s a fact that I didn’t try to hide from but that I also didn’t advertise, mainly because I wanted people to read and like or dislike my writing independent of that knowledge. With that in mind, I have to first thank my mom, who did the majority of our pictures until one day in April. And here’s where the reflection about my time comes into it; that one day in April, a publicist inadvertently caused a shit storm by asking me to change a certain picture on here–not a big deal, except that when you have two blind writers, you can’t change pictures right away, and it doesn’t matter if you wrote a thousand great words, that one picture is all that matters to certain people. (Remember the bullshit and drama I mentioned?) I could have probably written a whole post about that incident alone, because it was the day I officially decided I was through caring at all what people thought, and from now on, I’d just be who I am on the blog and take my own advice about honesty and being yourself that I regularly throw around on here. But since I didn’t ever write that post, I’ll just say that the other person who’s going to kill me now is Zack, aka the guy who volunteered to take over our pictures at that point and who takes time to put entertaining captions under them for us and our blind readers. He says continuously, “it’s five minutes of my day,” but those five minutes help tremendously and afford us a flexibility we didn’t have before.
And lastly, but most importantly, there are all of you readers who do actually give a shit what Bri and I have to say, and every person who has ever listened to an album or discovered an artist because of something we wrote. Without you all, we’d be talking to the air, and that part really is worth everything else. So thank you all for making Country Exclusive what it has become, and I look forward to sharing more great music with you!