How To Grow A Beard - A Spiritual And Psychological Guide
Freedom, Thy Is A Beard
For years I have been a slave of my former employers "Customer Service Requirement Policy" which stated that I could not have a beard unless grown during off time. The longest stretch of time off I've had was two weeks. You can't grow a beard in two weeks! Well, I can't anyway...
Well, last year I've had a bit of a career change and I am now working with a different type of crowd. I have gone from working with wimpy office type dweeb people, to working with border line ex-convict looking guys.
I knew I had to tweak my image a bit when they would come up to me and say, "You a cop?"
So, to fit in I had to either get new scars and tattoos or at least grow out some facial hair.
Ditch The Razor, The Journey To Manliness Begins!
The first week of not shaving everyone looks at you like you've lost your mind.
By the second week they just avoid eye contact all together. The third and fourth week is when the initial shock begins to subside. You will get the occasional uneasy comment, "uhh, you should really shave."
Oddly enough, male co-workers have more of a problem than female co-workers when it comes to growing out your mane. The males see the beard as a sign of dominance and are more intimidated by it than women, it's the funniest thing.
I tell you, I look in the mirror now and feel like yelling out a good strong "YAAARRRRR MATEY" The beard is so liberating, it feels like I am in control of my own destiny. Old ladies look at me and give me dirty looks, and young women just look at me a little differently. I will refrain from elaborating on the last bit about the young women, guys with beards, you know what I mean.
Stick it out, don't give in and shave it off until you're 100% sure you want to.
On my first beard growing attempt, I made the mistake of shaving it off after a month of initial growth. I had gotten tired of maintaining it, and I was fed up of the negative feedback.
This then results in a roller coaster of emotions. A feeling of failure is followed by a strong sense of loss. Anger at yourself for giving in to all the negative feedback, and anger at those beard haters who pushed you to shave. The same beard haters who are now looking at you like you're a freak (because you just look weird after shaving off established facial hair).
All those emotional forces combined are to much for one man to burden. He cannot hide the feelings of what he has done without them being beamed off of his baby butt smooth, brand new and shiny girly face. The result is a surly, grumpy guy who for about a week will avoid eye contact and polite conversation, about the time it takes for new beard stubble to start sprouting.
You realize at that point who the real beard fans were (and will be). The women folk are usually the first to express sadness to see the beard gone. Prepare yourself for that horrible first day back without your beloved beard, people will look at you like you're an extra terrestrial!
Now that my beard is back, it's definitely here to stay.
Your Beard Is As Unique As You Are
Once the beard is in, it becomes an integral part of your soul.
You trim your beard to your state of mind. How approachable do you want to be? Trimmed closely with clean lines for the more civilized, refined look, or bushier with natural cheek lines and a lower neckline for that psycho lumberjack look. The power is in your blade.
A new universe of expression is opened up to you and changes your outlook on the world. Eventually the beard begins to tell your story for you, much as the wrinkles of the old wise man tell the story of a long life resulting in his wisdom, or medical scars that tell the tale of a long battle with an illness that has been conquered.
To beard is to be.
Keep rockin' those beards men!