Clearing My Head
For the last month and a half, I’ve been suffering from a guilt complex that manifests itself as writer’s block. I should be used to guilt complexes, given my Jewish roots, but for some reason this is different. Though I take time daily to search for jobs, even if its only a half-hour, whenever I sit down to write, I find myself distracted and thinking about how I could be spending that time searching for a job. It’s somewhat of a catch 22, as I then feel guilty about not finishing any writing the rest of the time.
Yesterday, as I sat in front of the glow from my monitor, the heat, the guilt and the utter contempt for my current status combined into a rash head-clearing explosion of epic proportion. Unfortunately, it was far more literally head clearing than figuratively; for the first time in nearly a decade, I find myself clean shaven (photo evidence below).
Midway through the process, with the right side of my face cleared of the thick bush that was my beard and with two clear streaks dissecting my Jew fro, I felt sudden regret. I had been contemplating cutting down for several weeks, but I never expected to be so impetuous about it. The regret wasn’t that I had sliced off my thick mane in the heat of the moment, but rather that I hadn’t captured a before image for posterity. Never had I sported a beard so thick, and with one fell buzz, it was gone.
I’ve shaved before, in multifarious combination. I’ve had sideburns and soul patch. I’ve had a handlebar moustache (for a week, no more). I’ve had full goatees and partial goatees. I’ve had chin straps and bees nests. I’ve had lush, full beards as well as the slim, well-kempt one I’ve kept most of the time. But clean shaven was never in my facial wardrobe.
There have been myriad reasons to shave, from women to illness to showing them how it’s done (hence rocking the handlebar). Though it may have been whimsical, there was always a reason or impetus… until now.
“You look weird,” my roommates have both told me.
“I feel weird,” I’ve responded.
Feeling weird isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes, I just need a change. I can only hope this is a change for the better.
Over the next few weeks, my beard will slowly regrow. It’ll be a narcissistically painful process, not that my l0ve of self is all that great. If my theory of relatively proves true, then as my hair returns, so will my sanity.
That’s all I can ask for.
After all, at my age, I can only grow as a person or as a hairy person.