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February 2020, Aarau, Switzerland

“Tobias, why do you give your life a new direction?”

»Tobias, why do you give your life a new direction?«
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»Shall I take the bike?«
»Sure, maybe I’ll write about it.«
We start walking out of the village. Pure sunshine, no clouds.
»How are you?«, I ask Tobias.
»Not too bad. Somehow, I feel a bit tired all the time.«
Me too actually. Despite sleeping 8 hours a day, I could easily sleep one hour again at midday.
On the street we try to take a photo but the light is still too harsh, so we decide to take a walk around the field. »It’s not easy getting used to this new situation«, he tells me. »I started to bike being 10 years old. I trained very much over the years and participated in a lot of races. I was only working 3 days a week to have more time. I’m ambitious. Biking is my thing.« Last year he decided to quit high-performance sports due to muscular discomfort. »It had already started 6 years ago. I don’t even really know if it’s only in my head.«
Nowadays, he still does a lot of sports, just a variety of things. And he started some further education.
»Why did you start this education?«, I ask.
»I want to get ahead in life. To be happy.«
»Do you know the Maslow-Pyramid?«
»Yes. Isn’t it crazy that we are right on the top? And we are still not satisfied? I have the feeling that my time is running out.«
»At the age of 22?« It wasn’t the first time I heard this statement from a person that young.
»I know a thirty-year-old who just lives day by day. And other people too. They do not worry about tomorrow. Sometimes I think: ›I want to be like them too.‹ But I get better at accepting myself as I am.«
»Did you feel pressure to change yourself?«
»No, I wouldn’t go that far. I’m just a bit different. I usually don’t talk that much. I enjoy being by myself.«
In the meantime, the sun has disappeared behind the hill. So we are taking photos. »You are looking like a model«, I’m joking. »You could use this photo as an advertisement.«
When walking back his words get me thinking. »Somehow these conversations always lead to topics about feelings«, I say.
»I guess that might just be the overall concept of your stories?«

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In the evening, I receive a text message: ›It felt good. I almost never have such conversations.‹
Yes, I will remember this one too, for sure.