#MovingForeword 6 - Coming of Age

Written by: Jack Landry

“Don’t you ever get tired of it?” “Why don’t you get rid of it?” “I wonder what you look like without it.” These people don’t know me. I mean, the REAL me. They don’t know the trials, the tribulations that we’ve been through together. Sure, there are days that we don’t see eye to eye, but there has always been a guiding force as to why it’s still a part of me.  That and I’m relatively afraid of what I look like without it at this point. Of course, you know I’m referring to my beard.

On most mornings I like to start my day by describing it using only TV titles: The Big Short. As Good As It Gets. How I Met Your Mother. It will officially be 2 years that we’ve grown together come December, but ask just about anyone that knows me, and at this point I’ve just become “the bearded guy.” I’ll gladly settle with the guy with the illustrious facial flow, that’s totally fine with me.

But what’s the point? What does a beard have to do with personal growth (all puns aside)? Well, in high school I never identified with a “clique” or “crew” and college was fairly similar. But with age came an understanding that I was content knowing more people and branching out as often as possible. I was a social nomad, keen on the opportunity to grow my network of friendships and influence others whenever possible for the better.

I could go into on about how the recognition that comes with a beard is flattering more often than not, and of course, absurdities like naming your facial hair and countless grooming products that you own are all part of the charade. But it really only comes down to character. It comes down to recognizing where you came from and more importantly who you want to become. And for me, it comes down to owning my identity.

Who am I? My name is Jack Landry, and I’m The Bearded Guy.