I buzzed my beard down yesterday, and now my face looks odd and small when I look in the mirror. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. I like my beard, but I also feel like a change of appearance is good when starting a new chapter in my life. It allows for a reset, an ability to discard the parts of who I was that are no longer healthy or necessary for me.
My beard, and to a lesser extent my hair, was a part of my nomadic ride. I had not really shaved it in over two years. It was a symbol of the journey I was on, a mark of my ride into the wilderness. Now, I am a bit more domestic. I’m still the same person, but in some ways, I am not. My responsibilities and expectations are completely different, but they are also exactly the same. My substance is the same, even if the particulars have changed.
This isn’t the first time I’ve changed my appearance based on a new chapter. The most obvious one was when my head was shaved before the military. But I’ve also buzzed my head before each Burning Man, dyed my hair several times, and even gotten tattoos to commemorate the end of one adventure and the beginning of another. There is something valuable to me about changing my appearance, particularly in transitionary periods. It gives me a feeling of control and of completion.
I’m not sure if any other changes are coming soon. I think I like the long hair (though, it gets in my face all the time… which is annoying) and tattoos are a bit out of my price range right now. But who knows? Maybe some inspiration will come mind soon.