Exploring identity. We are what we do. (What if we don’t like doing it?)

If I consider myself a gearhead—but no longer enjoy working on cars and have lost interest in motorsport—am I still a gearhead?

If I consider myself an adventurist—but can’t sleep at camp and come home more tired than I left—am I still an adventurist?

If consider myself an entrepreneur—but none of my side hustles ever go anywhere—am I really?

Questions like these pop into mind more often than I’d like to admit.

Lately, when Fezzik shits the bed (we’re averaging 1.5 debilitating mechanical failures a month this quarter), I find myself shopping used cars—on dealer lots. Nothing fancy, mind you. Mitsubishi Mirages, Ford Fiestas, Nissan Leafs, maybe a Kia Optima.

I still feel like I can get more for my limited budget because I’m willing and able to handle my own repairs. But more and more, I find I’m tired of dicking with cars.

You know how long it’s been since I’ve had a car I actually cared enough about to hand wash and wax? About as long as it’s been since I’ve actually owned a car where hand washing and waxing was actually warranted—something like 10 years.

I’ve easily—easily—got over a grand into Fezzik since April. About $2500 if you count the new tires. And I easily spent another two grand on him last year. It’s a $2500 truck. What if I’d bought a $7000 truck in the first place?

I mean, shit. If you don’t know “the trick,” the power door locks will relock every time—key or switch (and I’ve “fixed” the solenoid in the driver’s door twice). The power mirrors don’t work. The brakes are loud. The lifters tick. The valve seals leak. The valve cover gaskets I replaced last month already leak because the previous owner was a ham-fisted moron who damaged the mating surfaces. Hell, even the driver’s seat cushion isn’t even attached to anything anymore.

image: literally falling apart, but bigger fish to fry #dirtylaundry

There’s still a part of me that says, “Fuck yeah. Cheap truck gets shit done.” Especially when I fix something and I’m back behind the wheel again. Don’t get me wrong. I love my cheap truck. 

But cheap trucks aren’t immune to the rules of fast-right-cheap. Even with a couple hundred bucks a month in repairs being less than a new car payment, it’s still a question of time and energy.

Every creak, rattle, vibration, or funky smell brings panic. “What is it THIS time?” Is that how a gearhead lives?

Given six grand, I could fix everything—but it would mean I would personally have to fix everything. I don’t know that I want to. I don’t want to build Fezzik into some kind of bespoke adventure mobile. I just want him to not suck so much, so often.

I digress.

I’ve long held there is such a thing as a personal brand. Just like any commercial brand, it doesn’t matter what you say you are—it’s what you actually do. Actions speak louder than words.

My actions—as a gearhead, adventurist, publisher, and entrepreneur—got me where I am today. But I can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s thinking.

Trying to figure out what comes next.

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