Teenage Ems would have the biggest strop on with me right now. I’m talking inconsolable tears, things thrown across the room and screaming hellfire at me – PURE MELTDOWN MATERIAL – and I don’t blame her one bit. You see, in my prime, I could probably get through a book in 4-5 days and truthfully, I’ve only read about 6 since I left school in 2010, and I can only recall two of the authors (Brené Brown and Ray Celestin), so what happened to me?What had once meant so much to me I had turned into a waste of time; why should I be sitting around reading when I could be cleaning, working, doing something constructive? Overnight it turned from a joy into something self-indulgent and felt selfish.
It breaks my heart to look back at the 9 years since I left Sixth Form and to think of the worlds I haven’t visited, characters not yet met and the feeling of being so immersed into a story I’m left reeling. The ineffable gladness I feel scrolling through the #bookstagram tag on Insta, and the reminder from my Nanny and Dad this weekend gone that I can still be that 17 year old and fall head over heels in love with books again is enough of a jolt for me to do something about it.
So here is a promise to books, and to 17 year old me: I’m sorry I forgot you, I’m sorry I forgot the adventures we had, but now I’ve found you again I won’t let you out of my sight. That’s a promise.
I have finally come to terms with the fact that I will never be a bonafide Southern Belle; it doesn’t matter how many times I’m called a real peach, or how many times I’ve started casually dropping ‘y’all’ into casual conversation like the poser I never wanted to be, I know I’m not one or will I ever be. Darn.
What I do have, however, is imagination; I’m wearing my favourite Daisy Dukes, got 650 AM WSM on full blast and Liptons iced tea chilling in the fridge because let’s be honest making it from scratch is a massive faff. I don’t have the drawl or the boots or the tan, but sat in the bank holiday sun, balcony doors wide open watching the sun beam down on people while they dodge the resident seagulls, life is good and just for a little while I can pretend to be Country.
Click on the image above to go straight to my current country playlist, but here are the tracks below. Naturally there are some cheesy classics, but who doesn’t love a bit of Dolly or Billy Ray?
Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
Church Bells – Carrie Underwood
Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood
American Honey – Lady Antebellum
9-5 – Dolly Parton
My Church – Maren Morris
H.O.L.Y – Florida Georgia Line
Strip It Down – Luke Bryan
Parachute – Chris Stapleton
Fine – Kacey Musgraves
Accidentally on Purpose – The Shires
Slow Burn – Kacey Musgraves
God’s Country – Blake Shelton
Good Girl – Carrie Underwood
Kiss My Country Ass – Blake Shelton
Choctaw County Affair – Carrie Underwood
Happy Easter y’all, Ems x