Hi Oppo. I just started writing on my Instagram last night and this came out. I should have shared it here first, because you are first, closer, older, and more important to me than the facades of the ‘Gram. I know many of you are enduring hard times, harder than mine by far, and I appreciate the openness this place fosters. I find it hard to talk about such things in real life, so I offer a small picture of my world in writing, and I hope that being open and talking about how this affects us might help you, too.
“PPP loan: Approved. Shop: Saved. Weight: Lifted. Beer: Earned. 🍻 I don’t like to share much of myself here, just cars and the occasional bicycle. So... hi! This isn’t a fancy good time car picture to catch your eye, because this isn’t a fancy good time car post. This is a pic sent to a few close friends from my desk at about 8pm recently after submitting the loan to save us from bankruptcy.
I’ve been having a hard time recently, as so many have. I’ve tried to keep it positive and stand up to the darkness knocking on the door, and I’ve often failed while putting on a mask, literally and figuratively. It’s been really hard on my wife, who lost her job, and our young kids stuck home staring at screens for school, unable to just be kids. Perhaps you’re enduring similar or worse, and I think of everyone I’ve been lucky to connect with and wonder how you’re doing. I battle depression in the best of times, and this crisis has driven it to new depths. I probably haven’t been available as a husband and father as I should and need to be because of it.
I’ve been fortunate to have an “essential” job, though it doesn’t feel that way. The irony is it’s one I often wish I had a way out of, because I really don’t enjoy or take pride from it. It’s beaten me up, a constant source of stress. When I was a tech full time, I loved it. All I ever wanted was to be a good wrench. I could dance with the cars, heal them, every successful repair a reward and I could sleep at night. But back problems forced a change, and for several years now I’ve run this small repair shop. I started sweeping floors here as a car crazy teenager in 1996, when I met the 911 now tenuously in my garage. As of last week, we’ve been in business 49 years. We dropped 68% in April, when the world ended. I do not own the shop, but I’ll be damned if it dies on my watch. It has been my ship to sail through the worst storm it’s ever faced while supporting my family through the same. I have never been this low and stressed in my life, and I know I’m not alone. Two hours ago I got word that the money is in the bank. Finally a break in the clouds, and I feel a small measure of relief. May it find you as well.”
Thanks for being here, Opponauts and LALDers. Cheers to your health and resilience.