Ask Jonah (with the neck tattoos): Shit gets real

Where can you turn when life throws a wrench in your best laid plans? Who will lend an ear, reserve all judgement, and simply listen when you’re in need of answers to life’s toughest questions? Your mom, dad, or dearest childhood friend? No. You ask Jonah (with the neck tattoos).

He’s 29 (but he’ll tell you he’s 30), and he left a career as a ticketed automotive service technician to study English and Philosophy at the U of A. Just like you, Jonah doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, and has never held a steady relationship for more than a year. But he does own his own house, rides motorcycles, and is 4-0 as an amateur boxer. So, if you need advice from a guy who claims to have “seen Fight Club close to 50 times,” and has a tattoo of Curious George holding a banana, all you have to do is ask Jonah.

How do I stop being lonely?

Don’t be so quick to abandon your loneliness. Loneliness is usually thought of as symptom resulting from a lack or need. Sometimes loneliness feels like there is a hole inside of you. We often think that the cure for loneliness is to acquire — whether that’s a new love, friend, puppy, or bowl of ice cream. Loneliness is possibly never ever considered an energy; an energy that is unique to you and you only. Energy makes us curious, artistic, creative, and outgoing. And it may seem counterintuitive to suggest that loneliness can promote all of these activities. But it’s incredibly difficult to be yourself when there are others or things that may fulfill you in some way, but at the cost of depleting your energy. So what I’m suggesting is to use your loneliness to power an aspect of yourself which would not normally be in motion.

Is there a God?

No. However, a lot of who I am right now came from my involvement in the religious sphere of life. I was baptized, sat in Church on occasion, own a bible, spent grades 11 and 12 in a Catholic high school, and my given name comes straight out of the Old Testament. I’ve received a lot of great lessons from that sphere. But there is nothing out there: no God, no karma, and no spirits. I don’t want there to be anything out there and I don’t need anything to be. When I consider my existence as a menial brute fact, each moment of my life (no matter how trivial to you it may seem) is empowering for me. I can take a piss up at urinal and for me that’s all there is in that moment; however, instead of thinking of that action as banal, I use my sovereignty to really engage in that action. Think of how powerful something other than urinating can be if you are the only one injecting meaning into it? You decided everything. Wipe away God, karma, and spirits and really connect yourself to your own existence.

What’s your middle name?

Elias. So when you put it all together, my name is Jonah Elias Kondro. When my mum was pregnant with me, my dad went to the movie theatre by himself one afternoon (I think he was stressed out and needed a quiet moment for himself). The film my dad watched that afternoon was Platoon. William Defoe played the character Sergeant Elias. Elias was betrayed by fellow platoon member Sergeant Barnes (played by Tom Berenger) and left for dead in the Vietnam jungle. One of Platoon’s most poignant scenes is when the evacuated American soldiers watch from a helicopter the brutal death of Elias by guns of the Viet Cong. I do have ancestors that have fought in historical wars, but I carry their names in my genealogy. My middle name carries the fiction of a soldier, but it is a fiction of equal importance to any reality.

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