Octobeard 2011 Check-in: The Final Transformation!

There are changes to our bodies every day. Most are simple, gradual, non-dramatic. Sometimes, we don’t even see them unless we carefully take note. Some mark down their weight every day. When we are growing children, we check our height every week. We note our teeth every morning in the mirror, but may on then notice the long, grey hair that must have been growing for a month or two.

Octobeard was a challenge to myself. Could I change my image drastically, at least in part? Would I discover something about my image? Would I even notice?

And then there are the scientific questions: how long does it take for my beard to grow? Does it grow evenly? What parts grow fastest?

The month has passed. My beard has grown. There were annoying stages, which I’m not looking forward to doing again. There were discoveries and thoughts. I challenged myself a little, but not a lot. For some, the challenges might seem miniscule — those brave souls whose self-image is flexible and malleable. But for others who might be like me, who have established a “look” and expect to always have it, they might appreciate how hard I struggled in the beginning, and for most of this month.

And, now, how hard I’ll be struggling again. Because I’m not keeping it.

I’m doing Movember. I have decided to try. This will be harder than Octobeard, as I have to actually shave most every day, and I will be outside my comfort zone. This month has shown me how much and how fast my facial hair grows. I can accept that, although I still don’t know what I would look like with only a moustache.

I’m going to find out!

But now, the end of the month has come, and I’m in-between Octobeard and Movember. Sure, I could have technically just waited until tomorrow, but I thought I’d do something special..

Because it is a special day: it’s Halloween!

So, another experiment, this time in beard sculpting. Originally, I was planning something entirely different, but I hit upon an obvious yet glorious pun, so I abandoned those plans. Unfortunately, because my beard wasn’t as full as I had originally hoped, and my complex shaving skills apparently lack some experience points, the result is a bit lackluster…

But here it is, in all of its minor glory: THE OCTOBEARD COMETH!

(In case you can’t tell and don’t understand the joke: I shaved my beard in an octopus pattern, roughly. Get it? Octo-beard?)

Yes, it should have been better.. But its done now, and I’ll be wearing it all Monday, then clean-shaving on Monday night. After that, it is my full intention to return to some sort of beard, probably a goatee to keep my chin warm this winter.

Happy Halloween!

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