The Fortieth Appearance Day


It was my habit, back when writing regularly was also a habit, that I would publish a post to here on every occasion of my birthday. At this point I’ve skipped a couple years (2018 & 2019) but at the request of an old friend, I’ve returned here for at least this post.

I consider my birthday to be my New Year. Annnnd… that’s because that’s what it is for my body. This is the day that I set yearly resolutions like most people do on the calendar’s New Year. I don’t typically share the resolutions because those are my business and not yours, but since you’re here I thought I could at least give an update on what it’s looking like for this human to reach the age of 40.

For 2016’s Appearance Day post, I listed 36 things about me and it occurred to me to review those and share with you any changes. See the list below if you’d like a reminder or to read the list for the first time. Updates added in bold and italics. And there are two bonus items in the list. I ramble on a bit after the end of the list.

  1. I was born on a Tuesday morning (a little before dawn) one day after a full moon and on a holiday known as Raksha Bandhan (according to the Internet), which happens to be one of my fav Hindu holidays.
  2. My favorite color is green and will probably be that through the end of my current life, although it has already been purple, gray, and a number of blues.
  3. I can eat animals. But I usually can’t eat animals without feeling guilty for their suffering or without feeling like I’m contributing to our planet’s destruction.
  4. I love the idea of fitness, but hate the actual process of it. — TRUER NOW THAN EVER!
  5. I have always loved climbing trees, rivering, and traipsing and this will probably also remain true through the completion of my current life cycle.
  6. My favorite number is 108, because Hinduism.
  7. I hate numbers and math.
  8. I really dislike religion but also think it’s beautiful. Kinda like bath tub mold.
  9. There are some things I know, that I don’t know how I came to know. But I do know them, really, and if you trust then you might benefit.
  10. People are the closest thing to God I’ve ever known and among them, my parents are the best. (Twameva mata cha pita twameva!) — God is wholenes and completion and indescribable love, but God is not perfect.
  11. I’ve studied Gaelic, Russian, Arabic, Sanskrit, Hindi, Hebrew, Telegu, French, Spanish, German, Hawaiian, Esperanto, Japanese and a few other languages. My goal is rarely fluency, but always to understand people and how they piece their world together.
  12. In addition to languages, I enjoy studying writing systems and make a hobby out of studying these.
  13. I almost never dream. Ever. I’m actually usually very aware throughout the entire night while my body sleeps. It’s weird and good.
  14. I have five tattoos… for now. — Still just five
  15. I want to be a dad more than I want most other things. I’d give my soul to this end. — Not so much, now!
  16. I’ve been bedside for the deaths of two grandfathers, an aunt, a dear friend, and my birth mother. Through my tears, I whispered the Maha Mrytunjaya Mantra to them all. — I’ve also now had to say good-bye to two dogs, one of which I’d had longer than I’ve had my husband.
  17. I have a fascination with chap stick and currently own something like 25 of them. I’m totally kissable. — Still pretty kissable, but I don’t think I still have 25 chap sticks
  18. I hate shoes. I. Hate. Them. Every chance I get I’m barefoot or in flip-flops.
  19. When I die I’m going to become weather. Just weather. You can bank on that.
  20. I love gardening and growing things. All of the things.
  21. I round up whenever anything is “half or more” so I’ve been “40 years old” since my 35th birthday and will continue that trend until I’m actually physically 40 years old, at which time I’ll be nearing 45 years of age. This is math.
  22. I feel a stronger connection to most of the women in my family – more so even than with most of the men I’m related to, with only a few exception in either case. Women are holy, even when they don’t know it. But so are men.
  23. I almost certainly know one way in which I’m not going to die. Fancy, huh? I’m not saying anything more on that.
  24. My sexual appetite is INSANELY insatiable. It’s a real burden, actually, and often ridiculous.
  25. My favorite foods are chocolate, anything with paneer, chocolate, bourbon, paneer, and chocolate. — I feel like this is increasingly evident in my dadbod
  26. I’m probably the most stubborn person you’re likely to meet, but in the best way.
  27. I usually get what I want (see #26), and it’s usually for your benefit (see #9).
  28. I am SO much like my dad. And I’m SO much like my birth mom. And I’m SO much like my step-mom. I really think I have three parents, because really I do.
  29. I can play the trumpet and the tuba, and can play a little clarinet, piano, violin, and kartals. — I’ve now also dabbled in violin and flutery
  30. I can read palms a bit and I’ve told people some accurate things they weren’t expecting. Even made a gal cry once when I told her something she thought no one else knew. I really do know some stuff.
  31. I have a habit of meeting strangers off the internet, specifically Facebook. This has been such a good thing in my life and has led to some of my best friendships. But you shouldn’t try it.
  32. I love to sing. And I’m only half bad at it. — These days I might be a little more than half bad, but I still try
  33. I’ve had “ghost” experiences, but none of any of the various definitions I’ve read for what a ghost is makes any sense to me. I don’t believe in “ghosts.”
  34. I’m about 70% ginger but it’s only really obvious when the lighting is just right.
  35. I once gave myself third-degree chemical burns to be rid of poison ivy. The nurse yelled at me for it and then I had to grow my skin back with the help of some skin-growing burn cream. I like doing things my way but it scares my husband sometimes.
  36. I’m here to help others. Always – always – always. Even if I don’t much like you and even if I say harsh things. And to garden. And to learn stuff. But mostly to help others (See #27). That’s it.


  1. My husband’s side of the bed is my favorite place in the universe because I can feel and smell him there and it’s brings my heart organ peace.
  2. I mentioned it in another earlier birthday post, but I don’t feel like a male. And I also don’t identify as a female. This realization came to me a number of years ago, probably shortly after reaching adult age. I’m fine and happy enough to function as a male – there are definitely some fun aspects of it! – but I want to be clear that that’s, by far, for the sake of other people and how their minds struggle, needing labels for everything. I feel like I’m …umm… an experience. Like I’m just playing around in a guy human’s body. I don’t know what to call it but I don’t much feel gendered. And I’m not much bothered by you rolling your eyes or not understanding. It feels like it’s my job to understand me, not yours, so I guess you’re off the hook.

In 2015 I made a post about un-becoming and one of my teachers had used the example of the first fish to leave water and what that might have meant with regard to dropping limitations and evolving beyond what it had, till then, always been. I’ve also made a post about how being in my mid-30s felt like a second round of teen years.

I’m glad to report that I no longer feel like I’m in my second teenage phase. In the handful of years since that post a lot has changed and although aging seems to be something you never quite get used to, at least I no longer feel like I’m in the grown-up limbo of not being young and not being old. To be clear, I do not think 40 is old – but the balance is definitely, absolutely, and undeniably tipping in that direction!

Speaking of so much having changed, I don’t recall a single year of my current lifespan bringing so much change as the last year has. It’s been painful and stressful and sometimes scary. I imagine that’s how it was for the fish that was the first water-leaving success. Surely it had seen so many others try and fail …and die. Surely the factors it found most motivating for leaving the water were not pleasant. And surely, once it’d figured out how not to immediately die upon leaving the water, it faced a whole new set of challenges, most of which would not have been fun. But its un-becoming — its shedding of its own fish-hood for the sake of being what needed to come next — that was worth it. (Every vertebrate alive today is proof of that!) And I think that’s what this last year has shown me.

It’s time to un-become, so that what needs to come next can. I’m now forty solar years old and my heart organ fills with gratitude that I have the chance to un-become a few things, to become something else, and to leave behind whatever limitations are no longer serving my growth and evolution.

Aum Sri Ganeshaya Namah | Aum Shanti