On the 29th of November 2014, I finished my year-beard challenge.
This involved not cutting or trimming my beard or hair for 1 year.
I had not planned to do it, so I am not sure when it started, but I recall telling people about it around mid-November 2013.
I have kept short hair and been fairly clean shaven for the previous 10 years, so this was a big change for me.
I think this was part of the reason most of my family did not like it. I probably seemed like a completely different person.
During the entire time I had it, I was still surprised each time I saw myself in mirrors. A good surprise though, it always made me more determined to reach my goal.
I had a positive response from most people and as I reached the end of the challenge, there were quite a few requests to keep it.
Even I had moments of doubt about whether to remove it. But in the end I knew that I had set out to have it for 1 year, so it was relatively easy for me to let it go.
Although my mental image of myself had not completely adjusted to having it, once it was removed, I had a similar surprise at seeing myself in mirrors.
I am thankful that I managed to see it through and finish it off, but part of me misses it.
For the first few weeks, I would still go to move my moustache out of the way before eating food.
My overall experience
Most people treated me differently, usually in a positive way, like appreciating the challenge of maintaining it.
The downside was that it was a pain during most of my meals. I also left considerably more hair wherever I went.
Looking back at the whole experience, I am happy I did it.