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  • Writer's pictureCharlie Fox

Mt. Charlie

Fear is a powerful thing. Fear can be good because our sense of danger is ignited and we proceed with caution. Fear can also be bad because it can be crippling and we become too engrossed in our own minds and thoughts, we fail to take a risk.

My biggest regrets in life have come from letting fear hinder me from taking chances and going after the things I want. I have squandered opportunities. I have ruined relationships by pushing people away. I have looked so far into the future, imagining what could happen and fearing the worst. I have been afraid to go after things because of what someone might think. I have given up too soon. I have forgotten at times to live in the moment. It's so often said 'you only get one life.' I have heard it said over and over but I have failed to remember it in times I am at a crossroad and there's a more challenging unknown path I could take.

Alive started as a writing project. I wasn't looking to make an album. I really just wanted to become a writer and have other people sing my songs. When we started actually making the album, we weren't 100% sure where we were going. I was told real drums are not used in the making of pop music. Drum machines are what typically go onto a pop album. I can be pretty stubborn and when I know what I want, I know what I want. I really wanted to make an album that I wanted to listen to. I wanted something for me. I wanted real drums, regardless of the industry standards.

I knew some of my decisions might be unpopular and it scared me, but I felt that deep in my core I had to remain true to who I am. I have been told singing and writing my genre of music isn't popular. This is the music that comes from me and I think trying to be someone else just wouldn't fit. At times, I really questioned conforming to a more mainstream sound you might hear on the radio. People close to me have discouraged me from pursuing this path. It has made me question if I am crazy for wanting to pursue it. This is what I love doing and I love being able to touch people around me. It's really terrifying to put your life and your art out into the open. It's makes you vulnerable. You wonder if people will like it. You wonder if people will support you. I've felt so afraid of what might happen, I've been tempted to quit.

I have had some disappointing let downs and you'd be surprised at how many people love to say 'no.' It's really easy to listen to and focus on the negative. It's easy to question yourself. It's easier to give up and quit because the road ahead is unknown and difficult.

On the flip side, I haven't given up and I am glad I didn't. I have had so much outpouring of love and support. I have people that sing every lyric to every song I have written. I have had those who have called me to say a song I wrote spoke to them. People come to my shows and dance and mingle and have a great night out. I have met AMAZING people I would never know otherwise. These are the moments I live in. These are the little things that keep me putting one foot in front of the other. These are the times I hold onto. These are the things that have made it worth it for me.

Being a Colorado girl, I have climbed a few mountains. Some have been huge and some have been smaller. Regardless of how long, short, big, or small, they have each presented their own challenges. I will never forget my first hike. I made the trek up the Hanging Lake trail, near Glenwood Springs. I was really out of shape and I was exhausted because I had barely slept the evening before. Hanging Lake is a shorter hike but it's like climbing a steep staircase up uneven rocks. I really wasn't sure what to expect, nor was I prepared for what was ahead of me. We set out on this hike and I was out of breath within the first few minutes. My legs hurt. My face was on fire because it was already ninety degrees. I felt dehydrated and honestly, I was miserable. I kept stopping and my friend continued encouraging me to keep moving. She told me what was at the top was totally worth it. I wanted to quit after every step I took. I swore under my breath I would never do another hike. She didn't give up on me and was completely patient. It took way longer than it should have, but I didn't give up. Once we reached the top, it was the most breathtaking view I had ever seen. The lake was this turquoise color and the nature surrounding it, with the waterfalls, green moss, trees, and rock structures were something straight out of a fairytale forest. In that moment, I remember feeling that every step I had taken, although challenging, was worth it just to witness such beauty. I haven't stopped hiking since.

Through my journey, I've learned this: Whatever you do, do it because you love it. Do it because you believe in it. Do it the way you want it done. Take some risks. Don't be afraid to ask for help or encouragement. It's okay if it takes you longer to get to where you are going, just keep climbing. There will be challenges, there will be negativity, and at times even fear. Focus on the positive things. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and encourage you. Live in the moment.

Thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with me. Thank you for all the love and support. I am so excited to continue this climb.

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