Highs, Lows, and Amazon Welder recommendations (long read)
skimaro last edited by
The skimaro, boxless
Some of you may remember me from my brief time at kinja oppo, before our forced exodus and diaspora. Very shortly after that, I dumped a large quantity of water on my laptop, reducing my electronics to an ancient mac and my cell phone, neither of which worked ideally for oppoing. I would pop into discord, and drivetribe never really worked for me, but I read some long forms that were linked into here. One thing I noticed was that without our main site, this and discord seemed to be far more insular, and extremely tight knit community that was a little intimidating to pop in and out of. this could have been true of old oppo as well, and I was just so excited to have found this place that I ignored my cluelessness and low quality posts.
Where this is all leading is a dissection of the importance of failing, being dumb, and not worrying so much about whether your ideas are supported by the groupthink.
Over the past year and a half, I've grown a fuckton. I'm younger than most of you here, so growth sometimes comes in somewhat crazy waves. and sometimes after I crest one of those waves, things get messy and its nice to write things down, so here I am
It pretty much starts with the beginning of my university career, last fall. However, for context(and a little big of ego stroking), I'll give you the person I was before then. Through highschool, I went from the nerdy "gifted" kid, to a high level national athlete doing some of the raddest sports out there. I had raced bikes and skis from grade 10, starting with cross country mtb and skiing, and moving to gravity fueled and ultra endurance types of those by the end. I also ended up as captain of my cities touring ultimate frisbee team, also competing at nationals. I had come off a summer where I lived pretty close to my action sports dream, finishing 6th at my home round of the national enduro series, meeting a ton of great new people, blowing up my finger and learning to ride without it while it healed, since there was no way I was going to stop riding, loosing my virginity in a tent at a music festival, all while at the same time, growing some of my best and deepest relationships ever with new friends, including basically dating a girl 3 years younger than me, who was crazy, smart, and somewhat fucked up, but I truly loved her and should probably just have committed despite the flaws.
So I head out to university riding higher than I ever have(the week before, me and two friends had ridden 456 km offroad in two days- we all wept to each other at different points, got up and helped each other keep going), but with a lot of that positivity wrapped up in this variation of bro culture that still had room for some vulnerablity. But as a thriving bro, I didn't treasure that last bit as I should have. First few days of school, I absolutely thrive, but force myself into the real bro culture. Turns out thats not where i should be. I ended up sexually assaulting two girls trying to fulfill the image of what I thought the cool kids at university were, and didn't realize for weeks. When I did things got bad. I had noticed myself becoming alienated, and was coping the same way I had always coped, riding bikes and meeting new people. I bought my first car thanks to quebecs ungodly cheap insurance, and drove around alternating between riding some of the best trail centers on the east coast and crashing with friends at other uni's homecomings. But when I realized what I had done I hated myself. For the action, for the fact that I hadn't realized what I had done, for the fact that I had just been able to ignore the social cues around me and do my own thing. and then suddenly the things that I loved had a negative association in my head. I also had failed in a way that hurt more people than me, and all of a sudden the "failing" that i had thrived on before was bad.
I wrestled with the action itself through the rest of that year, and through talking to one of the girls I assaulted, started moving on and realizing the big issue was trying to force myself out of my niche, and the massive pervading toxic culture around sex in our society. In second semester,I recaptured some of that joy about my life before school, living life fast and loose, making so many dumb choices and getting away with them. I would go skiing at jay peak, just across the border every weekend, bringing varietys of illicit substances across unwittingly, destroying skis in unopened glades, and sharing terrible joints with random people on the lift. All this in a 940$ nissan versa with no speedo or odometer. I finally changed the oil(after having bought it in the fall), while the car was held up by a scissor jack in my icy university parking spot, and miraculously survived. I was working with the school research team, doing an independent study designed as a thesis prep course in my first year, working on programing an aquatic drone studying invasive species in quebecs lakes. I had met this beautiful, kind girl who I felt like I could say anything to and was dating her. All the parts of life I loved were being fulfilled.
Life was good
Then Covid came.
Went home from school, and all of a sudden bikes and cars became all i had. building trails and fixing things kept me sane, and overall it wasnt too bad. I got my great grandmothers 69 skidoo to finish the restoration my father had attempted once upon a time, and kept myself busy. I would see friends while out builiding in the woods, and honestly it wasn't so bad. But l let myself get down, overthink things, and generally have a bad time. I broke up with my gf, destroyed my heart talking to the younger girl and realizing I still couldnt have her, came out as bi, overthought myself into a hole about all these things(especially the sexuality). Bought the camaro thinking that a physical thing would fix everything. It needed and still needs more fixing than I do. This pattern continued out to school. The less I thought the better I was, but the sadness would pull me back down by saying that I was just hiding issues by not thinking. Bikes and cars held me together. I got back with the girl I broke up with and school basically continued the same pattern. Just before I went home, we had a covid scare and I had to spend a week inside, away from my coping mechanisms. all the way through, while i was in a bad place, failure became terrifying, since i felt one failure away from a total breakdown.
Life was bad.
When I went home for christmas, life was good again. I had family for support, and felt that I could support them back.
I could go ski with a wide variety of friends without shame or worried, worked out a lot of my sexual confusion, and life made sense. I had a purpose again it seemed.
Returning to school brought back the up and downs. I hang out a lot with my girlfriend and her roomates, but it seems sometimes i'm there more for her roomates than her(both of them are genuinely fantastic people). I haven't seen the guys I used to ski with. I had a big low when I mysteriously got sick and couldnt go outside again. While I wanted for test results back(negative), I decided I have to try and make my life here more like life at home. I've got a schedule of things to do, going to try and see more people despite the risk, since cutting out too much risk seems bad for me. Also made the realization that I'm not doing anything bigger or deeper, like the research prject last year or the volunteering I did in high school, so I have to find something new like that.
This morning I went out to the camaro and checked all the fluids, sprayed on a fuckload of rustproofing so I can take it out a least a few times this winter without it fully loosing a rear subframe.
Just driving it to a less snowy spot so I could jack it up made me really fucking happy. Im finally going to commit to trying to really fix it though, so I can do a rally build next summer. This means that i need to aquire a welder, so that this winter I can learn to weld, and then in spring actually weld up the holes in the floor, plus weld in some SFCs. However, as a student, that budget is very minimal, so amazon is the play. Recommendations from canadian amazon are gladly taken, budget of realisticaly 400 for welder, mask, and some flux core(mig is the preference).
Take what you will from all of this. theres plently of oversimplication and missed details, but the gist is there. I started trying to write some conclusions and lessons but had to delete them all, since I definetly dont have life figured out engouhg to give those, and trying to just makes me feel more lost.
Thanks for listening oppo, I'll probably start posting more here these days. Expect to see much snow based content, though probably not much of it car related.
flatisflat last edited by
I started trying to write some conclusions and lessons but had to delete them all, since I definetly dont have life figured out engouhg to give those
You are very wise for your age.
In no way to belittle your experiences, but I think you are squarely in the time of your life where one usually does end up spending a lot of time and effort trying to figure themselves out and running into a lot of dead ends. You're doing that. And it seems you are trying to remain as cognizant and responsive as possible to how all the changes make you feel. And I think that's about the best you can do. So keep it up.
I look forward to the weld-learning posts.
Exage03040 last edited by
Oh, chalk up another fellow Canuckistan eh?
Sounds like a bit of a rough go for you there, you guys got hit ridiculously hard with whatever 'rona strain ended up in NY earlier last year. Been a shit year for a lot of us.
As for welders $400 is real shoe string. I personally wouldn't go Amazon off-brand. I would consider used, but even then. Owning a welder is one of those things where I'd shell out to have a good used one like a Miller or Lincoln, but I'd have to have constant need for fab or "money to burn". I'd heavily consider borrowing with cases of beer if you know a guy. Renting is also a possibility ($160/w , $45/d here).
VincentMalamute last edited by
As far as a welder goes, my opinion is that you're better off with a used brand name than the really cheap ones.
Sovande last edited by
If it was a thing here, I would vote you off the island.