Since early December, I have been growing a beard. I have kept it nicely trimmed, and I felt that it was a good change of pace for me. Hell, I was even complemented a couple of times, which was a shocker.
However, senior class portraits were today and my mom had been hinting at how she would really love to see me clean-shaven again, especially for such an important photo shoot.
So, last night...I shaved the damned thing off. It took me about half an hour to do, because I had to spend about five to six minutes talking myself into it, and the rest of the time I would desperately sigh and bemoan the situation with each swipe of the razor.
At the time I thought I was being a bit dramatic, but when I had finished, and after I had washed my face clean, I looked into the mirror. I honestly did not recognize who it was in the mirror for a moment. That didn't scare me as much as it made me so very sad.
I didn't realize just how attached I had become to...hair. It didn't feel right, not being able to scratch the side of my face and not feel it, or to look in the mirror and see how full it had gotten.
Seeing myself in the mirror, with a naked, misshapen face, I realized that I can no longer sacrifice the things that are important to me. This beard, this growth is a part of who I am - it is what I wanted to help define the new me as I graduated and went off into the world.
I cannot care what people think of my life decisions, and I should not, because they do not have to live with what I do to and for myself. These are the things I must deal with, and the things I must choose.
After today, I am not shaving again. I am moving on from the me that was. Now is the time for the me that will be. I'm moving on and moving up.