Twelve weeks of extraordinary beard growth: epilogue: What happened?
I went to a fateful job interview on February 3rd. It was the third interview that I had gone on while bearded. I had the job before I even arrived. The catch, however, was that I had to shave. This was frustrating to me as I had put forth a lot of effort in this beard, struggled through the first month in which my skin was adjusting to my beard growth, put up with the itchiness and the constant dry skin to which I’m prone, especially with the onslaught of a dense beard in the winter season. I thought that I had crossed all hurdles with this beard. I felt successful. I had already let Steve, the webmaster, know that I was confident that I would finally surpass the three month mark on beard growth and possibly push past the 100 day barrier.
Truth be told, I never made it to 100 days. The job offer was attractive and, even though my moustache was harshly getting caught in my mouth as questions were rapidly fired at me, I still regret having agreed to shave off the beard. I made it to the 81 days of growth. I must say that my beard came in incredibly thick this time around and blew my previous teenage beards out of the water. As my future beards may grow twice as thick as my last, I am anticipating growing again — while regularly shaving once or twice a day for now. I look forward to beating my own growth records now that I have pics with which I can compare my new future beard growth.
The first day was the very hardest when I shaved. I had a couple of drinks and then solemnly retreated to the bathroom, like I was going out to the barn to put down an old friend. In a way, I was. I never realized the comfort and security my beard provided me at times. It was hard to look at the nakedness of my cheeks. My face looked shrunken and small and I found myself tucking my chin in rather than sticking it out proudly. I was not getting any wary looks from females, or semi-admiring looks from guys, or whispers from little boys anymore. It is nice to have females look at me again and smile since I have shaved, but I’d trade my beard for all the socializing that could ever amount from those encounters.
My skin has gone through another rough period of adjustment since shaving. It is now getting used to the daily abuse I put it through after it was so kind to support me in my growth for almost a season. My reflection is still tough for me to see. I hardly recognize myself…still. My face looks so shrunken and small. I look like I lost fifteen pounds off of my face. My features all look foreign to me. I read one of the feature stories on beards.org about a gentleman who was thinking if his beard defined him as a person. When I was reading that, I could not relate to it at the moment. But soon after shaving, it all made sense. I think I have adjusted a bit since then and am getting more comfortable with my appearance, but all in all, I genuinely miss my beard. Thankfully, I have my iPod Nano close at hand always to give anyone a quick slideshow of my beard pics or to drop the web site address on them, just to relive the ol’ glory days.
I will be back and I will grow again. I have many more seasons and beard growths to go. I am a committed viewer/reader/contributor of this site. I’m not going away, and seeing that Steve’s site has been here ten-plus years, neither is he.