At the urging of some friends, I have decided to compose this blog post to update my friends and family on my current condition, as well as the journey I have taken over the past year.
This particular entry has been a long time in the making. It has been almost a year since I last entered the Lounge; my last post was on August 11, 2011. I did not plan this long hiatus; I just kind of fell off the face of the earth for a while.
I was last on facebook on September 9th, 2011 (I checked). I feel terrible, as I constantly get email reminders from facebook that I have notifications pending. However, most people that know me well are aware that you’re about as likely to get struck by lightning as you are to get a response from me to an email, or text message, or wall post, or tweet, or whatever else the kids are into these days. I don’t mean to be a jerk, it’s just I often forget to respond. I’ll literally look at a text message or email and think to myself, “I really need to respond to this, but I’ll do it later.” I then proceed to move on with my life and by the time I get back to responding, its hours later and I decide it’s too late to respond. Anyways, that’s the process that goes on in my head and I apologize to all those who sent me messages and emails and posts and such. I think I have upwards of 120 friend requests I still need to attend to. Again, I apologize.
For those of you who don’t know, I incurred a somewhat traumatic injury in the opening game of my (first) senior season. In the third quarter of our opening game against the University of Oregon, I suffered an injury to my ankle and leg. I will spare the details of the injury, as they are somewhat disconcerting. Let’s just say that an x-ray of the inside of my left leg now looks eerily similar to something you would find in Wolverine from X-Men.
The injury was a pretty devastating blow. It required immediate surgery and my season was over.
My poor mom drove all the way back from Oregon overnight to be there for my surgery. She has perfect attendance for all my surgeries. She’s yet to miss one; an astounding feat considering the number of procedures I’ve had. Thanks mom.
After the surgery, I headed to my grandparents house in Santa Cruz, California. They set up a king sized bed right in front of the TV, and my family did their best to accommodate my every need. Needless to say, despite my family’s hospitality, this was a pretty miserable time. I found myself completely uninterested in the recovery process. I lost nearly thirty pounds in three weeks and consumed a diet that consisted of pizza, taco bell, and pain pills. I spent the days watching reruns of Man Vs. Food, and played NHL Live 2010 all night. I don’t think I slept more than an hour or two a night for a couple weeks. The time I spent at home is a blur to me now; A foggy haze of (legal) prescription drugs and junk food.
Eventually I got back to school. I had missed two weeks of Grad School, and I didn’t know if I was even going to stay enrolled. I really didn’t care to do anything. I literally started to look like a junkie for a while. Ultimately, I decided to stay in Grad school. I figured I had to stay in town to properly rehab my ankle so I wouldn’t walk around like Dr. House for the rest of my life, thus I might as well stay in school. It took some time, but I eventually got caught up with my classes.
Things got pretty dark there for a minute. It was pretty difficult sitting on the couch when I was supposed to be out on the field.
I was very disheartened with the situation. I needed something that could help me get through the difficult times. So I decided to follow the lead of many great men before me. In times of difficulty and depression, the great men of history have been able to turn to one companion. No matter how difficult the situation, this companion provides relief and comfort. So as many great men have done when they found themselves in despair,
I grew a beard.
The beard is an “almost universal symbol of experience and strength,” (Cynics, William Desmond) yet it has also come to represent apathy. In ancient days, a strong beard showed wisdom and courage; however my beard was definitely less wise and courageous, and more apathetic.
It is so satisfying to have a prominent beard that covers your face. It seems to protect you from all the depression around you. It swallows up your pain and spits it out. It can be a trusted companion in times of misery. A faithful ally who is there to lessen the devastating blows that life can often throw your way.
Every man’s beard is different and distinctive. Uniquely shaped and grown to become a personal expression of each individual. As you can see from the picture, my beard was not going to win any awards. Many men would be able to put my beard to shame in less than half the time that it took me to develop it. However beards, as with many things in life, cannot be measured by their shape or breadth, but instead must be evaluated by the effort involved, the meaning, the sacrifice. There is nothing better than a playoff beard sitting proud upon the face of a hockey player who has just won a Stanley Cup. The beard tells the story of commitment and sacrifice, determination and hard work. It is the epitome of triumph over struggle, the essence of perseverance.
Once my beard had run its course, it was time to move on. All great bearded men will eventually find themselves torn between the course, rugged comfort of a manly beard and the dapper, suave appearance of the clean shave. The only viable option is compromise. And the only compromise is of course, the mustache.
So once again, I followed the lead of the great men who have gone before me……
I transitioned from a beard to a mustache.
I don’t know if it’s something I should admit, but my mustache is somewhat shy. And by shy I mean, non-visible. I had to go out and pick up some Just for Men Beard Gel to help it out. I would not recommend doing that because that stuff burned my face.
My mustache was a good friend. As the quote says, “a man with a mustache is never alone.” Sean Chandler. The mustache’s stay was short, but its time was sweet. R.I.P.
And with one swift blow from the razor, my facial hair journey ended.
Though my facial hair was gone, the journey continued. We will continue the quest to recovery in the upcoming posts. So stay tuned.