I started growing a beard at the start of winter. In doing so, I have learned some important beard wisdom that ought to be shared with the internet and future generations of beard enthusiasts.
1. The path to beard-dom is a little bit bumpy.
I have tried to grow a beard a few times in the past. I'd get two weeks into it, then I'd accidentally look at a mirror and just start shaking my head in disappointment. There was progress, though. Each time I tried, my beard was maybe 1% better; through the magic of compound interest, I was slowly earning my way to facial hair wealth. I decided to try again recently, but I didn't expect much.
My expectations changed completely after I got some good advice from my friend Cara. She said that it takes at least a month. In other words, you have to put up with looking like a deranged hobo for a few weeks in order to eventually look like a badass mountain man. My long-standing problem had been that I just didn't know the timeline; I was expecting a thick, lustrous beard in a week or two. Some men might be able to do that (ie, Zach Galifianakis), but not me. Neither Rome nor beards are built in a day.
2. Everybody's beard is a little bit weird.
If the hair on my head behaved like the hair in my beard, I think I'd just have to wear a hat at all times, etiquette be damned. My beard has quite a few crazy cowlicks, unexplained spiral patterns, and hairless patches. As I looked at other beards, I realized something: all beards are crazy! You can comb and groom it, but it's still a battle with chaos.
Again, think about a badass mountain man. His beard gets unruly, what with him tracking grizzlies and humongous badgers across the tundra (I'm pretty sure I nailed this ecosystem). You know what he says? Deal with it, society. That's the aesthetic we embrace as beardos.