New Life Stage and a Black +Country Playlist

Beyoncé said “screw genres,” releasing her country album this past week . With it, for me, comes a new life stage and a Black + Country Playlist. To be fair, my new circumstances are not connected in any way to Cowboy Carter. Neither the artist nor the album served as the catalyst for my decision. But I admit the changes have been less stressful thanks to the album and the opportunity to refresh my playlist.

The History

We’ve been through a lot over the last year. My mother died in January 2023. I chose to go No Contact with her for a long time, but her death still hurt. Andrew, my husband and best friend, had two surgeries in two months after enduring acute pain, fatphobic medical staff, and the loneliness of crises.

Things got better for a while. I had weight-loss surgery in November but then got pneumonia the day before Andrew went for his own weight loss surgery in December. I also ended up in the hospital for three weeks (last two weeks of December 2023 into Jan 2024), and went back to work two months after taking off for the surgery in February 2024. The amount of emotional baggage I am carrying from the last year is heavy. And I am drained.

New Life Stage

So I resigned from my teaching job. I’d been with the company for about a year and I did enjoy it. It wasn’t the company nor the students that pushed me to quit. Not really. I enjoy teaching despite not enjoying judging or grading students on their understanding/performance of the material. What I did not enjoy was the anxiety and stress associated with masking for a job and being on for students who are struggling with their own lives. I didn’t enjoy feeling “too smart” for help when I needed it (and asked for it).

I’m not in a great place- not depressed but definitely not level. There are a lot of things I don’t know. I don’t know what comes next nor do I have a plan for the future. But what I know is that I am not good for my family in my current state.

Luckily, Andrew is supportive, capable, and a provider. It also helps that he received a raise that covers what I was bringing in from my teaching job. His dedication to his family and his desire to take care of me has made it possible for me to resign and figure things out.

My plan is to write using Tome., an app (I’m not sure if I recommend it yet so my linking to it is not an endorsement), working on the podcast I wanted to launch March 1 but pushed back to April 1 and now am pushing back for another two months, and listening to music (yes, I am enjoying Cowboy Carter).

Black + Country Playlists

Speaking of Cowboy Carter, Beyoncé’s new studio album, released on March 29…. I am a country music fan (to my husband’s chagrin) and I previous said on Threads that Beyoncé’s Texas Hold ‘Em and her country album may make me a fan and I am not disappointed. I’m enjoying the creativity of this album. While I am not a Bey-hive member, I’ve always held space for her as a creative. She’s nothing if not inspirational.

Because I am a Country Music fan and people were asking about Black Country artist, I am sharing my ever-changing country music playlist(s) on Spotify, Tidal, YouTube, and YouTube Music. They are roughly the same depending on the availability of the songs on the different platforms. This playlist is Black artist-centered and while it is not a historical lesson of the origins of country music, it’s definitely one that includes a variety of country styles. Enjoy!

Black + Country YouTube Videos

Black + Country via Tidal

Black + Country via Spotify

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