A quick note before the entry: I did this because it was my first month off from school+work for a full month and wanted to do something fun that was anti-MBA. So, it was more of an experiment than anything else. Plus, beards are super awesome and deserve to be grown. I apologize for the lack of pictures.
A noticeable length was beginning to form with each strand and the “beard” was beginning to create it’s own little personality. What resulted was a number of quizzical, but pleasant looks from people checking out the “beard” for the first time. It was beginning to get rather itchy especially in 90 degree weather, but it wasn’t as bad as what other bearded and ex-bearded folk explained from their experiences. The one definite logistical positive out of this was not having to spend the time every other day in shaving my facial hair.
The hairs got in the way while I ate or drank anything if I didn’t trim every other day, so that was a definite priority. This turned into a lot more work than I’m usually accustomed to. Even when I started doing small changes on one part of the beard, I felt the need to take care of the entire beard. An estimated time of 5 minutes ended up taking 15 minutes due to the nature of how my hair grows not only on top of my lips, but also around the jawline and on the neck. It just got kinda nasty after a day or two for that last week.
Past that, the human interaction aspects of how it affected my life started creeping in once it got filled out. It was more than often, the terrorist label came up between friends and family and people in general gave these deer-in-the-headlight stares until they heard me speak to them. It was a bit odd, but certainly not disheartening. Nevertheless, there was this major change in perception of my personality from people, who were at least acquaintances, based on something as arbitrary as facial hair.
In retrospect, my little experiment proved to me that perception continues to be a funny thing. It has a huge part in how we define the way we perform actions in our personal worlds and how others define the way they not only react to our actions, but also supplant those actions with their own personal world. In effect, they create a perception based on something that’s not completely fair, but very natural to the human psyche.
In the end, I’d still love to do it again, but only when I’m in a phase of my life that allows me to do such things with ease.