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.
- 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