One morning as I was looking at myself in the mirror shaving I thought it might be fun to write about why I grew my beard.
I’ve had a moustache ever since I was sixteen. For a brief period when I was in my mid twenties I did have a full on beard with my long hair but I only kept the beard for a couple of months. I can’t remember why I shaved it off.
Back to why I grew the beard this time.
The night before this revelation my wife and I went out for dinner. The restaurant had a couple of big screen televisions and on one of them was a major league baseball game.
My wife noticed that a number of the players had pretty substantial beards. She asked me what is with all the beards.
I responded, I guess they are back in popularity right now. I’m talking about the big bushy beards.
Judging from old portraits and old family photos I guessed those big bushy beards were popular in the late 1800’s and into the early 1900’s. Perhaps now because of the Duck Dynasty show and for other reasons I am unaware of the big bushy beards are making a comeback.
I’ve been noticing them more and more on pro athletes, musicians and actors.
But I grew mine for a different reason.
First off it’s not what I would consider a beard. It’s really a large goatee.
I’ve let it grow to about four inches in length. It’s a bit of a compromise. My wife isn’t especially fond of it and I’d like to grow it to six inches or more. So I keep it trimmed to three to four inches.
I started growing it right after I had the stents place in my heart.
I had a week off of work about one month after having the procedure done. When I’m off of work I generally don’t shave unless I going somewhere that warrants me cleaning up my look.
When it came time for me to go back to work I had a week’s worth of stubble which gave me a pretty good indication of what my beard would look like if I left it grow. I can tell where it will be thick and thin, and where it will be more black or more white or more salt and pepper.
I looked at myself and thought it’s time for a change. It’s time for me to return to who I was when I was younger.
Unfortunately my hair has thinned to the point of where I am bald on top. I refuse to be one of those pathetic old hippies who can’t let go when they lose their hair and are bald on top with a pony tail or worse yet use the dreaded comb over.
So I have my hair cropped real close. But I do miss my long hair.
That morning after looking at my stubble and thinking about all of this I shaved just my cheeks and neck, leaving the chin and around the mouth unshaven. I liked the change in my appearance.
I’ll never look young and hip again but I think it makes me look “artistic”. And that is what I wanted. That is the change I was looking for, to get back to being an artist.
So the longer I left it grow the more defining it became. People who never met me in person but saw my profile picture immediately knew who I was. My beard or goatee is now like part of my branding.
But mainly it’s a statement. Just like when I was a young man with hair down over my shoulders. That was a statement back then that said I am a young, hip musician, a rock and roll musician.
My beard now says I am no longer the corporate drone who busts his ass for the queen bee and doesn’t get a taste of the honey. I’m an individual who has a creative side that I value more than any corporate career.
I have toyed with the idea of the full on big bushy beard, but that may say I’m a prime candidate for Santa Claus at the mall. But we’ll see.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.