Femke Paul: Why I (Heart) My Job…

Charles Bukowski once said: “Find what you love and let it kill you… For all things will kill you- both slowly and fastly, but it is much better to be killed by a lover.”

Hi, my name is Femke Paul and I am in the privileged position of being in love with what I am doing for a living- to such an extent that I am not making a living, but making a life.

In 2016, South Africa had an unemployment rate of 26.6%… It was during this time that I landed my dream job: a creative writer/ journalist for an IT company in the lovely town of Bloemfontein. The job just had my name on it- I can’t explain it. The creativity, diversity and flexibility of my environment just ignited my passion and set my dreams alight. The job isn’t something I DO- it is an extension of who I am.

Now, becoming ME wasn’t as easy as it may look. Ever since I was really young, I had a passion for writing and being creative, but I was just about constantly conflicted within myself about what to do with my life. The reason being: I didn’t want to screw up my life or disappoint the people who put so much time and effort into raising me well. I also perceived that there were certain expectations of me and I was trying to please everyone. The result was- I just about wanted (and sometimes still want) to study everything: from architecture to commerce… In the end, I settled for journalism and law. I do believe education is never wasted and I do not regret studying law, although: I do not believe I will ever practice it.

If I were to become a lawyer, I might or might not have been able to earn more than I do now. But whatever the job paid, I would in return have to pay in the currency of my life. I would have had to extinguish the fires of creativity in my being in exchange for something other than my purpose.

By this, I am not saying abandon ship and quit your job: I believe everything in life is necessary to mould you into the person you have to be. What I am saying is it is a terrible tragedy that people die without doing their purpose in order to fulfill their destiny. To paraphrase Kahlil Gibran: For some, life is a beautiful lie and death is a painful truth. Few people ever really LIVE. They take time to find the fault in others. They take time to be sour about lost opportunities or blame everyone else for their not being who they are supposed to be.

Do not let this be you.

One thing I have learned from the book of Macbeth is: “The instruments of darkness often tell us half-truths only to betray us in deeper consequence…” You might do a certain thing, because you like the status or the money. Be careful that you do not pay with your soul. The problem with trying to please everyone, is that you often lose yourself in the process.

So this is me. I am an inkheart who bleeds out in words on a piece of paper. Not a lawyer. Not a doctor. Just a girl, trying to change the world with her words from her corner of paradise. I hope to see you here with me soon!



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