By Jonah Kondro
When I was in middle school and in the early days of high school it was often asked what I was going to do after graduation. Friends, family, and randoms all inquired about my plans for a job—for a career. I don’t remember how I answered, but their question got neutralized when I became an apprentice during the summer after grade ten.
During the time I was working in high school, I managed to scrounge up enough cash for my first old motorcycle. I was happier spending my weeknights and weekends tuning up the old Yamaha more so then I was looking for girls to take the movies.
I was working and riding my motorcycle. Then it was often asked when I was going to buy a house. The same friends, family, and randoms were disappointed when I bought my first new motorcycle. Despite motorcycle payments, I managed to see a lot of Alberta, B.C., and Montana from the seat of my Triumph.
I stayed with the apprenticeship and got my ticket only a couple of years after graduation. Somehow I was saving money and still placing pins where I’ve been on the map. I had a regular job and enough cash to put a down payment on a place. My first house was purchased a couple of weeks before my 22nd birthday.
I continued to fix cars, trucks, and the odd minivan. A few girlfriends came through my life here and there. After I had an established career and a house it was often asked when I was thinking about getting married. Coincidentally this sort of questioning always arose when I managed to keep a girl around for more than a months’ worth of weekends. Instead of making an engagement and buying a ring, a bought a brand new truck.
I felt supressed owning a house and a new truck. I was making the money, and the Triumph motorcycle was getting worn out. I displaced the suppression with a new motorcycle—a Harley-Davidson. My motorcycle trips took me farther away, and I was gone away longer. More girlfriends came and went.
I had a house, a truck, and another motorcycle. I started asking society’s questions myself: when am I going to get married? I even dared asking myself if kids were going to be in my future. The ideological questions that were asked of me in the past were nicely imbedded in my present psyche.
It took a while, and it took a lot of motorcycle trips throughout a lot of the West Coast before the time spent thinking and reflecting made me realize I didn’t want to keep buying into the ideology. What’s the monthly payment on a couple of kids?
I was tired of working for ideological reasons, and I was tired of rolling up to the same gas stations, pubs, and motels throughout Western Canada and the U.S. Thankfully I have a friend or two that exist in their own ideological disarray. One of them suggested I try taking a couple of college classes. So I did.
So here I am studying literature, writing papers, and drinking lattes in the library. All of my large possessions are either sold, up for sale, auctioned off, or bought by generous family members. I traded in a sure bet at a decent life for a roll of the dice in the halls of academia. No ideology, other than my own, was instructing me what to do or how to live.