Shaved at 9 months to a yeard. And I don’t regret it.

yeardGrowing a yeard is tough, no doubt about it, but the reasons for doing it really attracted me:

  1. Test of my own patience.
  2. Social experiment (to see how I respond to peer pressure, etc)
  3. To look super awesome.

But behind the philosophy of the yeard, I think it really comes down to this: Growing a beard is manly and good. Therefore, the more beard one has, the more manly a person is. I suppose I probably bought into this line of thinking myself. From a half-serious macho joking around perspective, I might tell people I still think that, but I don’t in reality.

The fact is, every man has their beard style sole mate. For some, it may even be no facial hair at all. But you have to test it out in order to know. You have to push your own boundaries and experiment, even¬†especially when it makes you nervous and uncomfortable. I’m glad I took a shot at growing a yeard, but I’m also glad I gave up on mine nine months in.

I had several rough patches in my pursuit of the yeard, and each one taught me something. My facial hair seems to be particularly hard to handle and is prone to ‘waves’ that give me a billy-goat look. I learned so much about what products and tools help to keep it under control at different stages. I learned about my own taste and what I think looks good with my personal style.

But most of all, I learned to not care the slightest bit about what other people think. My beard certainly was never beard model material (although it came close on my good beard days). It had it’s strengths and weaknesses. I got plenty of comments from people and I became very good about not giving a damn.

While this was going on, I was also learning to evaluate myself honestly, and not internalizing¬†the opinions of others (family members in particular) that didn’t like the beard. If anything, I let the beard go on a bit longer just to be sure that when I shaved it off, I was doing it for my reasons, not the reasons of others.

I don’t think I’ll grow a yeard again, but I will grow my beard out longer than I previously used to. By pushing my boundaries and experimenting, I found a new comfort zone that I feel confident with.

As I sit here typing this, I am fully clean-shaven (including my head). I’m starting from scratch again. I’ve always wanted to try growing out my beard and my hair at the same time, and in that sense it is being done in the same spirit as the yeard: in the quest for experimentation and self-knowledge.

 


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