Pasqual was a paratrooper, then paramedic. He is now working three days a week as a climbing trainer and tries to do only what he loves.
I met Pasqual briefly as a boulder friend of Simon. Randomly, I found out that he and a friend were starting a blog-project, focusing on the issues of happiness and balance and how to achieve those in life through quality time (and while climbing). While reading his texts, I found that we share important values and move similar questions. Meanwhile, it was Pasqual who wrote me, that he treasures “The Roadstories Project” for its approach and realization. We decided to meet and exchange and I invited him to share his own story.
What makes me happy – Time, in the first place, having time. Material things not so much. I have been a person that owns a lot – big TV, a car, luxurious apartment. But today, I have realised that time is the most precious thing I can have. The luxury, not having to wake up by the alarm, but to get up early anyway to enjoy the day.
What makes me happy are moments, experiences. Definitely. Two years ago in the Zillertal happened a beautiful one. I got out of my tent at half past seven, the sun didn't rise over the Alps yet. I made coffee – in an old, rusty Bialetti – and sat down beneath a tree, while the first sunbeams warmed my face.
Having coffee while sitting in the dew-fresh grass during sunrise was one of my truly happiest experiences, that I still live off. The memory always cheers me up when I'm not well. Through that, I realised that it's exactly these moments that truly make me happy.
Friends, coffee, sun, being outside – independently from material luxury. If a single coffee makes me that happy – you honestly don't need more. Having time. Quality time. That makes me happy.
That's interesting... I have been asking myself this my whole life and until recently, I have always been searching for a home. For a long time, I connected home with a place and realised that I feel nowhere at home. It was connected with an incredibly sad feeling – It is really depressing when you are always looking for something, that you can't find. I just had the wrong concept in mind while searching. Today, home for me is not a place, but rather a lifestyle. At the moment, I am home with my girlfriend. Not particularly in her apartment or in the mine, but when she is there. When I feel completely relaxed, calm and safe, I am home. It doesn't matter where I am, then. It can be at a rock face, on the couch, actually in a car going somewhere. As long as I am with people who I feel safe and cared for with, I am home.
Home to me is a feeling of safety, independently from the place.
Things, that shaped my life... That's difficult. My Burn-Out was definitely life-changing. Because it opened my eyes to what it means to be truly free – it does not mean to afford things, to own stuff, to always run in the same treadmill, hoping one day it will lead to somewhere else. But it means to have ones eyes open for the essentials, for the people around me, for those precious moments. It turned my life upside down from being a soldier and paramedic to becoming a climbing trainer who has more free time than actual work. The unwillingness to keep exchanging five days of work for two days of weekend evoked that change of my lifestyle, which was, I believe, the most important decision in my life.
Another incident was the first moment that I have been truly proud on my own achievement – because I achieved it by myself, without anybody else's help. It happened after three months in the army (Bundeswehr), when you get your beret, your headgear, after your successful recruitment exam.
I decided to go to the department of the paratroopers – the pretty hardest assholes that exist in this world – and I fought myself through the three months of basic training. I literally shed blood, sweat and tears. I had no support, it was my own achievement. And it was the very first time in my life that I managed something on my own and that I even had to motivate myself on my own. Getting this beret and realizing, that I did this without anybody else's help was incredibly important. Because it made me realize, that I can do everything, if I want to - that there are no limits for myself, my body and my mind except those that I set up myself.
To sum it up to the number of three... I don't know, where this last point will lead me to, because this insight is just a few days old.
I am an extremely strident person. Not because you can't argue with me, that actually happens pretty easy. But because I have an extremely huge ego, which can expand into infinity. What is even worse, is that I am willing to escalate unboundedly for my ego, there is no chance for any human being to win against me. But there is one trigger, that makes my ego collapse – when I realize, that I jeopardise people I love.
My girlfriend can't stand fighting. She literally falls apart, becomes silent, she would just break under my ego. Every time we could start arguing, and I see it in her face, my ego just deflates – because SHE is so much more important than my ego, and so are all people I care for.
My love, my will to protect the ones I love, is greater than me. This was an incredible insight – that my ego isn't the greatest part of me, just the one, that has been screaming the loudest in my life.
As I said, I have no idea where this realisation will lead me to, it is only like four, five days old. It is crazy, but I think, this might be the most life-changing insight I ever had.
Because all of a sudden, it's not only me who it's all about, but the people I love and who I care for.
That's hard to answer... Coming into harmony. With myself, with the people around me and with the world in general. What is essential to me is being in the flow and reaching harmony. I am a person of extremes, who is strongly in search of himself and therefore getting in troubled phases. (Without being bipolar..) I can vary between nearly depressive to euphoric. My goal is to bring the pendulum close to zero, to be in balance. Balance to me is very holistic: Not only to be happy, but to know who I am. Balance to me is not about changing myself, but to know and to accept myself as I am. I think, this is the most essential point why I am living and why I am living this life.
This is my overall goal: Finding balance, be in harmony.
And the second part... Everything. Everything I do is following the vision of balance.
Pasqual's question: What would you do, if money wouldn't matter?
And why don't you do it?