28 Springs / by Nick Neon

It is Spring now where I am.

I woke up this morning staring out my window, the sun glaring at me.  It was an hour past the time I was supposed to be up and I was going to be late for a meeting.  So I quickly threw on my jeans and some ratty sweater.  I was annoyed with myself for not sleeping enough last night.  I quickly stuffed my face with kiwis, yogurt drink and some gummy vitamins.  I grabbed my shit and walked out without even washing up.  My hair looking like a four foot tower of brown.  

I was walking to the subway station and I realized I forgot my wallet.  So I ran back home and I wanted to scream.  I grabbed my wallet.  Got back in the elevator.  Began walking to the station again-- I had ALSO forgotten my phone.  I was fuming.

As I stood there.  I thought.  Do I REALLY need that phone or do I need to make sure I get to my meeting on time?  I chose the meeting.  I would have to spend the day without my crack addiction.  

So I bolted forward for the subway, phoneless.  On the platform, without any distractions, I noticed how beautiful the weather was today.  And my bitterness slowly began to lift.

The longer I stood in silence.  The more I thought about the Spring, the warm breeze (my favorite thing ever) and the smell of flowers blooming...  About my upcoming birthday.  And how I'll celebrate my 28th year on April 12.  

ATTN:  I have only experienced the joy that comes with Winter's departure and Spring's arrival 28 times now.  This makes me both sad and grateful.  There are these things that I will have done.... only 28 times on this good, green Earth.  I will have eaten a Thanksgiving Day feast only 28 times this year.  I will have opened presents on Christmas day 28 times.  I will have gone to the beach all summer long less than 28 times.  I will have hugged my parents about 28 times total since I moved to Korea in 2008.  

28 can be a large number when it's the number of times you've been in jail for wig snatching, or when it's the number of pounds you've gained in two days after dieting (WTF?) or when it's the number of Big Macs you've vacuumed into your mouth after a break-up (Fxck him, it's always HIS fault).  

But what if it's the number of times you have said, "I love you" to someone important?  Or the number of times you've watched your favorite movie or listened to your favorite song?  What if it's the number of times you've experienced meaningful sex with someone you actually cared about?  Or the number of times you have ridden a roller coaster?  

Or the number of times you have gotten up off the floor after failure?  

Everyone is always complaining about getting older.  I embrace this shit like there's no tomorrow.  I love that I am OLDER.  I am more powerful and more confident than I have ever been before.  I am wiser.  I am more experienced and more sure of who I am and what I want.  I am freer.

I have more crows feet when I smile now than a black bird convention.  But what is so shameful about seeing more lines on your body?  I embrace 28.  As I will embrace 29 and 30.  40.  85.  

I embrace this 28th Spring.

Thank God I forgot my phone today.  Because right now I'm all about: Opening presents on Christmas day 85 times.  85 Halloweens.  85 roller coaster rides.  85 trips abroad.  

85 rounds in the boxing ring of life.  85 chances to get back up.  

85 years X 365 days of giving love to people and to dreams.  More, if I'm lucky.  How can getting older (relatively disease-free) be looked at with such disdain?

When you drop the ego, the vanity, the surface...  There is so much more underneath it all.  

There are decades of information, memories and fires just waiting to be sparked.  

Forget your phone for a day.  It's better than a gummy vitamin.  

I promise.