Áron Antal

On a cold winter day, me and my father started a conversation; we started talking about the old days, when my grandpa and his family lived in socialist Hungary: how they lived, what they did for amusement, how my grandpa earned money. My father began to tell a story about grandpa and what he did for a living:

– He worked hard in the TSZ, until he made his way up the ladder and became a leader, but when he was blamed by the government for things he never did, he had to leave and find a new way to provide for his family. So he thought it would be a good idea to buy bees and start producing honey. It turned out so well that in two years he had 200 families of bees, and could maintain his family, and had enough profit to buy a motorbike, with which he could visit the bees regularly. But when the 90s came and he could buy land for himself, he stopped working with the bees and concentrated on agricultural activities.

– And what happened to his motorbike? – I asked.

– He put it in our first storage warehouse.

– And is it there now?

– I think so.

– Can we bring it home for me? Please.

– Okay.

The next morning, we went out to the very outskirts of town, to my father’s yard, entered the warehouse, and really found it. It was overwhelming to hold my grandfather’s heritage in my hand. And on that very day, I got “infected” with an incurable disease: mechanic mania. It is a strange illness mixed with a bit of addiction. The patient renovates a motor, but while doing so, he buys another. Then he buys and sells, takes some apart, and feels splendid while doing so; he thinks: what a hobby! But after a couple of years, he becomes obsessed and spends every free minute with his business, which grows and grows until the point of no return. At least that was the situation with me.

Since the recovery of my grandfather’s old bike, almost four years had passed. I was feeling very proud of what I had achieved, fabulous in fact. But I realised that my hobby, which I really like, had become my job about a year ago. I started feeling ambivalent about my hobby, since I spent so much time with it. Around that time, I started wondering about the day when I would meet that special one. At that point I realised what I had done. I had almost cheated on someone; my hobby. I then realised that it was my life, my partner. It horrified me, and made me think about giving up this damn thing, and I settled.

A year ago, when my “addiction” reached a peak, there were days when I spent fourteen hours tweaking up bikes, couldn’t sleep, because of the thoughts about my projects. And now I see that I left the border far behind with this hobby. How could I have been so blind?

Since then, my life has taken a turn. I do much less work with my bikes, and concentrate on the real life going around me. Now I only ride my bikes, and do one, maybe two hours of work a day. My perspective has totally changed, and I am very close to curing my “addiction,” which has mostly faded away by now, along with my obsession, thanks to the encouragement and help of my family and my own consciousness. Now I have much more time for maintaining relationships with my family and friends. Now I see that my life is starting to change, getting back on the track of a positive future for myself and the ones I love, with me having a fun, part-time hobby, not an addiction.