Well, it’s over. I did it. For whatever that ends up being worth. I ended up taking a sabbatical from virtually everything in my life over the summer (including blogging) but the beard and hair stayed through it all.
The past year had a little bit of everything. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Moments of total clarity and happiness and others of utter devastation. Births, deaths, parties, hikes, road trips, diets, and even my first (and hopefully last) kidney stone. My life mutated into a whole new animal over the last 365 days, but one small, hairy, token of permanence always kept me grounded. If the world stopped spinning and the sky fell, at least I had something to show I was still here and doing something. Something I could talk to everyone about. Something I could hold on to.
To be honest, it seems absolutely silly now. Not that the premise of this undertaking wasn’t silly from the beginning. But I think most of life consists of mundane or insignificant trivialities that we ascribe our own deeper significance to. The boring stuff that doesn’t really mean anything at all but means everything in the world to us. It’s a pretty efficient way to orient ourselves in a world that doesn’t make a lot of sense sometimes.
Unfortunately (for the beard), there are some of these little rituals that we must eventually let go of. No matter how much we love (or hate) them. Especially when it becomes undeniably evident that they are simply trinkets we are using to try and ward off an unforgiving reality.
But there is life after losing these things. Having to learn how to figure the world out for yourself and not rely on others to do that for you. It takes bravery of the highest order to step out on your own– accepting whatever good or bad that might come along with it.
I’m just happy to have turned a new page.
So here it is. What one year of just letting everything go will get you. My beard ended up being nothing but a disappointment, but the hair turned out just right.
Then it’s GOODBYE BEARDY!