Setting up to write a blog about beards proved to be a difficult task. Ultimately it became obvious that it would be about identity. Doesn’t that seem silly? How could a beard be an identity?
Everyone has a different personal definition of “Identity” but it is defined as: the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another.
In 2010 Heather was in the hospital at Duke Medical for a life-Saving Double Lung Transplant. She has since had it and is thriving! During this phase, I was her caregiver. Day and night I was by her side and did everything she needed. You see, I love this woman more than the air or sun. As we traveled along this journey, I decided that shaving was just too damn much hassle to worry about. I also realized I was changing as a man. Life is rugged and raw just like the beard.
A couple of months passed before I realized I had grown my first full beard. For some reason, I decided it was time to shave. By this time we were at home and she was on the mend. I immediately regretted it. I had become used to seeing this beard. I had become used to that old nature feeling. When you grow a beard you deal with a lot at first. The unkempt look & the itching but once that passes you begin to love your beard. My wife also began to love my beard.
We would lay in bed after long days and she would softly run her fingers over my beard. She especially liked if it were long enough to move her fingers through. It felt great being loved in that way. Eventually, I succumb to the reality that I would now be a bearded gentleman(minus the gentleman part), and since that time I have consistently had a beard in one shape or another. A beard was just who I had become.
Beards are part of identity as much as anything else. When I close my eyes and imagine my face I think of a beard. But is that my “Identity?” I don’t think so. Identity to me is important to an extent. Our character is always number one but Identity is important to establish confidence.
Who am I? What am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?
I was fortunate enough to have my life cross paths with some great people and Vinny is one of them. Working with him on this whole Beard journey gives me a platform to share my story and lessons with others. My beard gives me a platform to connect with other men and people. In turn, I can use this to inspire others, share my story, and hopefully enrich lives and create transformational moments with humanity.
I look forward to writing more on my Blogs that are directly related to caring for your beard, whether physiological, biological, nutritional or just how to groom and manage that animal on your face.