I thought by now I might have been sick of it. I thought I would have shaved it off, concluding it was a silly experiment. I still don’t have what you would call a “thick and luxurious beard”, but I’m actually quite happy with it, and have no plans to remove it when I return home in a couple of weeks.
Already I can anticipate some friends who’ll be honest enough to tell me it looks shabby and uneven. They’ll be the ones who’ll help me reality check against the comments of others who’ve told me it looks good and really suits me. The reality, of course, is somewhere in between.
When I began to grow this beard at the end of December, it was a matter of necessity. I’d flown home from Sydney to Lismore and had left my razor blades at home. Feeling lazy, I couldn’t be bothered buying new ones, and just didn’t shave for a few days. After a couple of weeks later, I made a more conscious decision to grow a beard. Even though I’m not the most hirsuite person in the world, I read that (with patience), for most men with my genetic background, the beard would eventually fill-in and not look so bad.
Five months down the track I still don’t have anything approaching the facial hair of George Michael, Sean Connery, or George Clooney. On top of that, it’s patchy in parts and the colour varies from reddish-brown to grey-white. I also think it makes me look older, and fear that I’ve become one of those men who has grown a beard to compensate for the lack of follicles on the top. I’m also slightly worried I’m making the progression into “bear” territory.
And yet despite all that, I really quite like it. In particular, I like not having to shave every day. Although I’ve thought about clippers, I really couldn’t be bothered, and suspect my efforts would make it look even worse. So instead every few weeks when I go to the hairdresser for a trim on top, I’ve been asking them to tidy my beard as well. By and large, it’s working out okay.
Yeah, it’s scruffy. Yeah, I look older. But I like it, and so, for the time being (things may change), it’s here and it’s gonna stay.