Sunday, October 25, 2009

I don't need any loop-ti-loops.

I want to wake up, look outside my window and see snow erasing all of the familiar surroundings of my neighborhood. I know it is cold out there, but I’m warm and comfortable inside my home; not necessarily because the heater is blowing, but more so because I’m surrounded by the love of home. After gazing in amazement, with a gut filled with excitement I want to take the familiar walk downstairs. When I reach that thirteenth step, I will close my eyes and breathe in the wonderful smells of the holidays. At this particular point in the morning, I am brought to ease as the smell of pine and coffee accumulate in the air. Although it is light out, even brighter because of the snow, the Christmas lights will be blinking on the tree, as if they were dancing to the Christmas music dad has playing in the background. I look over at the couch that Nana used to sleep on when she spent Christmas with us; I am sad, but feel at ease when I feel the love she is sending from Heaven. I take a step to move towards the festivities, but a cold chill takes over my body as I step in a puddle of water, from snow melting off of the shoes in the hallway. I move forward through the living room and right towards the French doors leading into my kitchen. Mom is sipping at her coffee, still in her night gown as she mentally brainstorms the menu for later that evening. Dad is half asleep on the couch listening to the pleasant hum of Christmas music echoing through the house. I instantly grow more cheerful and sing along to the timeless music and fill up my cup of coffee. I notice, though, that for the first time I walked right passed the presents scattered under the tree. While they used to be the pivotal part of my holiday happiness, they now take the back burner. The excitement I feel is the energy in the air, as I know my siblings will be driving over soon and we will all be together like we used to be. Most likely late, everyone begins showing up and we are finally together, safe from the weather, spending Christmas in the best of fashion: Together. We all laugh as Dad mimics the voices of Alvin and the Chipmunks, as he has been doing ever since I could remember. Mom eagerly tries to get us to open our presents, just to see if we like everything she picks out. The presents are the last things on our minds. I can speak for myself when I say that I feel complete just being there as one unit again; the six of us, our personalities, our admiration for one another completes the emptiness that I may have been feeling. Flashbacks of being little continue playing in my mind as Alvin sings about loop-ti-loops. I stand up, in the middle of this comfort, and walk towards the Christmas tree. Dad’s impressive ornament collection still amuses me like it has since I was five. I will turn around, see my family and feel sad at how much change has happened over the years. It isn’t that we love each other less; it is just that we love each other differently, from a distance. My brother cracks a joke and I immediately return to the joy I will feel on this Christmas morning. I sit in between my sisters and we all laugh.

Dear Santa,
That is all I want for Christmas this year.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Creative Spirit.

If you look closely into the eyes of an individual that sparks any of your creative spirit, you will certainly find a unique connection. I stand tall on the fact that I create and share positive energy and a creative spirit; therefore I search for same qualified people.

As you go about your day to day life, take time to find those who inspire you. When you come across these individuals don't just pass them by. Share with them, and they will share with you.

The Line of Neutrality

For those of you have been reading Onward Bound, you are sure to know my theory on expectations. I am constantly bringing you through the literary version of my experiences and I always seem to begin them with “NO EXPECTATIONS.” This motto seems simple on the surface, but it has become a less than shallow mentality that I have harvested into a way of life. A way of life I call ‘The Line of Neutrality.’

In order to begin understanding this way of life, you must take time to truly reflect on the way you begin your endeavors. Do you jump in head first? Do you paint the picture of the outcome in your mind? Do you assume you will fail? Any of the above pre-determined ideas go against neutrality. To be neutral you have to understand that every trial has an outcome. The outcome, no matter how you slice or dice it, plays out as the good or the bad. However, part of the process is understanding that good can be GREAT and bad isn’t that bad. To help you understand I will describe a scenario in my life and I will specifically apply ‘The Line of Neutrality.”

Onward Bound is a blog that was birthed upon my departure from Ohio to pursue my dreams in California. The simple idea is that I would move to Los Angeles, go on auditions and get discovered…or I wouldn’t. One is good, the other is bad. To avoid this “one or the other” outcome, I drew a line of neutrality right across reality. On the line was open mindedness; in other words NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, I WILL LEARN SO MUCH, SEE SO MUCH AND GROW SO MUCH. Above the line is GET DISCOVERED AND LIVE YOUR DREAMS. Below the line is COMPLETELY FAIL. From bottom to top, here are my ideals. I don’t believe in anything that happens below the line. Failure isn’t real if you stand neutral. Above the line isn’t good, it is great…it is what you aimed for. On the line is the neutral standpoint, which if you apply correctly, is good. Find the silver lining if you can’t find the gold.

Once the line of neutrality is drawn, you essentially have your line of expectations. If you leave your expectations on the line the following will always hold true. YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE MORE THAN YOU EXPECTED OR YOU WILL NEVER HAVE A NEGATIVE OUTCOME.

This is a mindset, understand. You have the truly put the effort into EVERY situations when trying to apply “The Line.” It has been two years and I am just starting to get the hang of it. I am happy 95% of the time, a quality I credit to ‘The Line of Neutrality.’ If any readers plan on adopting this mindset, I would be elated to hear about your trials. Keep me in the loop!

Always walk the line,

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Season.

As the summer heat lingers away and is replaced by the autumn breeze, I know, for certain, that a season in my life is changing too. Although it is much more subtle, I can absolutely feel a change in my personality; a change peppered with motivation and calmness. I've learned that patience is one of my best friends and that with it I will reach my destination with most of my sanity. Perhaps the entire world takes a big, deep breath upon Fall's arrival, because I just feel calm.

Awhile back, when I stopped updating my blog, I began keeping a list; a bucket list. This list was composed of short term goals and hopes. On the list was to make an appearance on a television show or movie; even if I just walked through a scene. I got myself involved with an agency that books that exact type of work. I am so excited to begin my life adventure in film.
On my list, I also included singing at a major sports game. I excitedly will be auditioning to sing "God Bless America" at a Los Angeles King's game! High hopes, but no expectations, of course!

For those of you who are my blogging community, I only find it fair to update you on my journey; since you all were part of it in the beginning.

I am in my new apartment, about a mile away from Downtown Los Angeles. It is a nice vintage home with a deck overlooking Hollywood.

I am still working for Club Nokia at LA Live, except now I work in the VIP section. I still stand in an elevator, but I am grateful. The newest update in my employment record is one that I am so excited about. I finally found a job that allows me to work as an entertainer. I am a proud member of the Los Angeles King's Ice Crew. My team and I are responsible for making sure that the fans have the most stellar time possible at all of the games. I've gotten so many great experiences so far!

I am working with a producer on a demo right now. Pursuing music is my passion and I love every minute of the journey. I know, deep down in my soul, that music is my destiny. I am working towards getting something for you all to listen to. I truly hope you enjoy it.

Although I am in a different place, a different mind set and a new season...I am still Nick James, the writer you all grew to know. I feel sorry that I fell so far out of the loop, but affording my life has taken up so much time. I am going to work my hardest to get back in the community. PLEASE let me know how you all are doing.