Refusal of reality

After quite a while I am again in the mood to write something other than the usual how to diy youtube video tutorial featuring this or that mr2 part.

Time for some general purpose-less gibberish

Inspiration came to me a few days ago when I went to the garage. After a pause of a few weeks I was happy to start working on the car again.

I decided to balance the pistons. Something I wanted to do for a while (you can read about it here). After I was finished with the piston balancing I decided to take a look at the car to assess the situation and the amount of work remaining. I have done this many times before, each time with the hope of seeing a reduction in the number of remaining tasks.

Each time I end up with same feeling. I feel as though I am trying to crack a boulder. After doing some damage and taking a step back to get a better look i realise the boulder is just a part of a friggin mountain. Each time I almost get demoralised.

I WILL drive it this summer

Some time ago I decided that I will drive the car this summer. I will leave the suspension, brakes, interior and other restoration for next year and finish the engine and transmission this year, so I can finally drive around a bit and satisfy the urge to drive this car. An urge that I am barely managing to ignore. But even after settling for just doing the engine and transmission, finishing all the work this summer and driving the car seems to be as far away as when I just began.

After I realised that there is a lot of work to do, here is what I did on the drive back from the garage: I found the most uplifting and energetic song I had and I played it as loud as possible over the Micra’s stereo. I noticed a pattern. I did this the last time I tried to check and recap how much work there was left, and I did the same thing the time before that.

I wasn’t aware of it but this was my mechanism of coping with the reality of the situation. I chose to ignore reality and deny it from slowing me down on the road to my goal. I WILL drive the mr2 this summer, and that is final. I have limited time, limited funds, limited knowledge, limited everything! But i don’t care. I WILL drive the mr2 this summer! Everything else can go f**k itself.

As I was thinking this and speeding with loud music pumping from the car I realised something… The whole mr2 project is just another reflection of one of my most essential characteristics, and my way of coping with the difficulty of finishing the car is the same way of me coping with other difficulties and annoyances in life. When I hit an obstacle to something that I want to achieve badly I just ignore it and push on.

Convention hater

I suddenly remembered my site tagline „Busting out of life’s mediocrity with the help of a 4 wheeled friend“. I didn’t really think about this tagline so much when I first wrote it. It just came to me, and I really liked it. I felt that it captured perfectly why I am doing this and who I actually am.

I already knew this, but when I was driving back from  the garage I realised it more clearly than before. The mr2 is just the peak of my resistance, the peak of my acts against mediocrity, rationalism and playing it safe. Ever since I was a child I was enraged by the whole concept of living your life by the rules. Avoid risk, avoid injury, avoid danger, avoid embarrassment, avoid attention…

There is no single culprit for this. My upbringing was normal, my environment equally so. But everywhere I went I could see that everyone propagated the same rhetoric “Be good, be nice, respect your elders, study hard, don’t stand out, don’t attract attention, behave, prepare for the future, try to please your peers and superios, etc”. I was angered by this and I hated it. I hated the fact that when being obedient and playing it save, even as a child one can see the rest of his/her life. Go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, get kids, raise kids, die, have funeral, be forgotten.

To me all this seemed like living just because you were born. Shaping your life in a manner that would least upset the system and make you as least noticeable as possible. I was upset by the fact that people were blind to this and lived their life in a such manner, surrendering themselves to being small cogs in a giant machine, and believing others should do the same. I was driven to insanity when someone tried to steer my life in the same direction. Who gave you the f**ing right? Life is the most sacred thing out there, to waste it was an insult to the beauty of creation and of life itself.

The leopard cannot change its spots

Eventually I grew up, realised its stupid to get stressed over stuff and people you can’t change and decided to live my life the way  I want, replying with fake nods to attempts of steering me into convention and obedience.

Don’t get me wrong, I never was and am not a person that tries to stand out just for the sake of standing out and being different, doing so with bizarre behavior, face piercings, insane haircuts and idiotic clothing. I believe such behavior to be a sign of weakness, desire for attention and an overall lack of intellect. I have a regular haircut, wear polo shirts and am a nice and polite person. I have nothing against looking and being different, but it has to be genuine and not just for the sake of getting attention.

I ceased to be angered (to some extent) by attempts of conventionalisation (not a word, i know) but I never abandoned my beliefs and opinions.  I no longer wear my dissatisfaction with the world on my sleeve. I have come to terms with the fact that I wont be able to speak the same language with the vast majority of people. But I remained adamant about not surrendering and becoming a cog in the machine, and have instead settled on quietly doing what I please. I love and enjoy life and see it as the most valuable and sacred thing on this world. I am appalled by how people are wasting it. i try not to think about it.

If you were to meet me, nothing could reveal to you what I really think and feel. But, the MR2 is the most obvious and tangible reflection of my feelings and perceptions. Even if you knew nothing about me and had a bit of perceptive qualities the car would tell you a lot.  I bought a car that is impractical, uncomfortable, has no aircon, is impossible to sell, requires work, is old-fashioned and wont amaze the masses. The MR2 is my silent responses to convention. It says: “This is what I think of playing it safe and by the rules”. The system wants you to be a PRIUS. Don’t. Be an MR2.

p.s. I do not belong to any particular sub-culture and refuse to be pigeonholed. I do not see myself as a hippie, a conspiracy theorist, a hipster, or anything else.  I dislike all the aforementioned labels as they have become useful  derogatory catchphrases for haters of people who want to live their life as they please and refuse to be bound by fear of making their own choices, and are trailblazers rather than just followers in the footsteps of others.

p.p.s I just realized that this is by far my most personal post yet. Interesting.


2 thoughts on “Refusal of reality

  1. Thanks for sharing this!

    We have a lot in common, especially in regards to how we disregard reality in order to get to the end goal. In my case I’ve had to pump the brakes on that — since my wife is not to keen on me spending all my time and money on the car.

    At times I have felt like giving up as well. Sometimes I’d love to have a car that “just works” (ex. I don’t have A/C and it’s 114ºF right now in Arizona). But then there are moments that remind me just how much I love the AW11. I get home after a long day at work, park my car outside, turn off my lights, walk towards the front door, …and I can’t help but turn around and take a few moments to admire my car’s lovely angles and retro-futuristic Japanese design. It never fails to put a smile on my face and leave me with a good feeling. I’m sure you’ll get a chance to experience that feeling some more once you get to drive your AW11 this Summer.

    I’m just checking out your transmission rebuild videos on YouTube; and I’m jealous to know what a smooth C52 transmission feels like. My 1st and 2nd gears are a bit difficult to get into, and 5th gear seems to slightly push and pull when giving and releasing throttle.

    Keep up the good work man!

    1. Hey man, as always, thanks a lot for the support! I really appreciate it and like always, it helps me keep going.
      When it comes to the wife, I am lucky to have one that supports and understands me. But I am also rational enough to keep a balance between time and money for the car and time and money for other things in life, as I have a desire to return the understanding and support I have been given. We gearheds must also be understanding of our wives/ girlfirends and be able to put ourselves in their shoes.
      To put a number on it, the car gets around 30% of both. I am trying to get to a point where it will only need 1% of my money and give me great pleasure during the 30% of the time I give it 🙂
      The moment you speak about when you come home and look back at it, is something I really long for right now, and my imagining of that moment is what helps me. I really envy you on that one.
      I have eliminated the option of giving up. Eliminating that option helps. I have eliminated giving up since I see it as defeat and becoming a boring person that lives a boring life, drives a boring car, is satisfied with mediocrity and being just another cog in the machine. To that I say NO! 🙂
      Once more, thanks for the words of support and keep in touch.

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