I’m trying, I really am. Trying with all my energy and determination. Giving everything I have. Every last bit of energy in this reservoir of a thirty three year old body. So much so that for much of the time I’m running on empty and completely exhausted.
But I won’t give up. I can’t give up. Failure is not an option. Besides, how could I live with myself if I gave up on this so easily? I’d regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t at least once, go for it.
Yes, you know what I’m talking / writing about. Of course you do. There’s probably a good chance you’ve already achieved this in your life. Perhaps this kind of thing isn’t a goal to you. But for others and myself alike, this is nothing more than a mountain to climb.
How can people make it look so easy? Some would perhaps call it genetic. I call it gifted.
It isn’t fair but hey, life isn’t fair but no reason to not give it a fair shot.
Aim high; you can reach your dreams; the world is your oyster and other inspiring and motivating clichés are things that my Father never said to me. But I can still hold my head high. Well, average height, 5’10”. (You know where I’m getting at.) I have achieved things that I can be proud of. What if I was to tell you that I never got a detention at school? BOOM! Let that sink in for a minute!
Now I stand here on a metaphorical edge; the edge of something big. I look around at others who have reached out, grabbed that one thing that I am aiming for and a part of me asks, will I be one of them or am I doomed to fail? Am I going to make a fool of myself? Will I be judged?
So what if they do judge? They judged when they heard the world wasn’t flat. They scoffed at the thought of gravity. They probably poked fun at the man who revolutionised ironing by inventing the heat reflective ironing board cover (Personally, I think one of the greatest inventions of our modern time). Whilst they snuggle close into the callous embrace of ignorance, I’ll be partying hard in the Jacuzzi of success! Loving the bubbles!
Even the love of my life, the beautiful, adorable flower that is Mrs Grump has doubts about my success. I see the look in her eyes. That look that says she really wants to support me but there’s that small niggling doubt and fear of the consequences.
I’ve held her face in my hands and told her to, “Panic not my love for a brighter dawn is just below the horizon and we shall bask in the warm caressing rays of the sun!” I admit it was probably a bit much but she had just forced me to watch Shakespeare in Love. “But some of your plan is floored. In some places, your plan is practically impossible to do,” is what Mrs Grump said in a round about way. “It’s also going to be uncomfortable at times.” But isn’t the discomfort worth it? It’s the struggle, the toil, the tears and the grit that shapes the man into the success he becomes and it makes that same success only sweeter because it was earned. Was it not the revolutionary thought provoker and renowned Zen master, Colin Tipplethwart the third who so rightly said, “A journey is a furnace where the fires forge the man?” No, it wasn’t. I made it up.
I can’t help think of the lyrics in Iggy Pop’s song, “Success.” Especially the line that says, “I’m gonna hump like a frog.” It has absolutely no relevance to this and I may be mishearing him.
Then she looks at me, Mrs Grump, not Iggy Pop, those beautiful green eyes that see right inside me, into the deepest cracks and crevices (Again I must stress, it’s metaphorical, she’s not my gynaecologist) into my soul and with the soft tone of her gentle soothing voice (when I’m not in trouble) she says…..”But it will be ginger.”
She has a point. It is ginger, well mostly ginger. There is the odd black and blonde thrown into the mix. I suppose if I was a dog, horse or guinea pig, I would be considered, “Brindle.”
If I really go for this and grow a beard it will not only be ginger, it will be patchy and I may have to employ a comb-over style for my chin. That could make me a pioneer and style icon!
I’ve never really gone for it, thrown all in, hell to the wind and embarked on a jaw based follicle frenzy before. I’ve just always resided to the belief that it couldn’t be done and it’s not easy seeing the chart topping plop band One Dimension with their combined age of twenty-three with several members sporting better beards than I seem to be able to grow. They’ve only just jumped through puberty for f*cks sake! I’m thirty bloody three!
But to be fair to myself, I’ve never really given it a good chance. I’ve always lost my patience with it or have had the slight hint from Mrs Grump that I should get rid of it. “Are you going to shave that off your face?” she says with the subtlety of an Indian wedding!
Beards are now the latest fashion for men. The bigger and more arctic explorer / North Sea Fisherman / folk singer like, the better. I may not want to partake in the skinny jeans with arse hanging out revolution that seems to acceptable nowadays (I can’t even get them over my feet anyway) and I may not be able to grow a stylish hairstyle that can be flicked and combed and fashioned into a fancy quiff with hair product; but this could be my last remaining chance to be kind of trendy.
I’m almost two weeks in and it’s safe to say it looks pretty shit. It’s only going to get worse but I keep telling myself it’s like when I grew my hair long as a heavy metal loving teenager. There’s always that awkward length where you can’t do anything with it and are bordering on a half mullet.
I don’t foresee this monstrosity lasting for very much longer. I’m looking around and getting an inferior beard complex. Thinking, ‘His beards got so much more body to it than mine,’ or, ‘His beard actually covers his entire chin and mouth area,’ or even, ‘Unbelievable, even her beard’s better than mine.’
But one day my fellow Grumpyans, just one day, it might be fashionable to look like a boiled egg. When that day comes my friends, I will have my day in the sun.*
*Not to be taken literally. A baldhead and direct sunlight is not a winning formula.