A Break-up Letter to My Beard

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Dear Beardenstain,

I really don’t know how to say this. I know we’ve been through a lot together, and we’ve only really gotten serious in the past few years, but I think it’s best if we....take a break for a while.

You know I’m one for commitment and have no problems saying “yes” to the next step in life, but I think I need some space. I know, I know, that’s such a lame thing to say - but it’s the truth. It’s like I don’t even know who I am without you. On those few occasions where we’re apart I can barely tell who I am. I look at myself in the mirror, on those rare nights we're apart, and I feel like I’m looking at a total stranger. I see someone naked, bare - exposed to this cold, cold world. And I can see his fear. And that scares me.

The only thing that scares me more is how people view me when you’re not around. I feel like when I’m by myself they see me for the first time - it’s like they don’t even recognize me without you. I’ve known you since I was just a happy kid with a squeaky voice who got random erections over stupid things like sideboobs. But that’s the point. We’ve grown bigger and bolder together. Maybe what I need at this point is the ability to stand for myself, without the protection you offer. Without a person who helps me put my best face forward.

I just feel like I use you as a mask. A convincing, manly mask that gets people to hang out with me. I need to prove to myself that I can eat on my own, sleep on my own, and, yes, shave my chin without your help.

I think it’s time we parted ways, if only for a while. I’ll see you around, I know, I just don’t know how soon I’ll feel ready for us to be, well, “us” again. I hope you understand. And if you don’t, then I’m sorry for hurting you. I hope there is some way you can forgive me.

I hope you find some other boy out there to make happy. Someone who knows who he is without you and can complete you in the way you deserve.

I always loved you, even when you were just peach fuzz on my face.

I'm sorry, my faithful beard, but this is goodbye.

-Joshua Harvey

San Francisco, 2012