Career or Job?

Shirley Conran wrote:

“The difference between a career and a job is that a job gets you nowhere. If you plan a career, then a job should be a step towards a definite goal – when you accept a job you should know exactly when you intend to leave it.”

This might be true for people in some parts of the world but for most of us who are stuck in some troubled part of the continent, we have no choice but to stick to our jobs and feel lucky even to have one. Sometimes circumstances surrounding us force us to forget all our personal dreams and have only one goal, that being to survive and live a decent life.

As you are all aware by now I grew up in a very closed community. I had always wanted to become a writer, from the first day that I was able to read a book myself. But to be a writer was unheard of then, in my town anyway where people, myself included, paid too much attention to the opinions of others. Perhaps it could have been possible if the civil war had not started in the country. Early on I discovered the limitations imposed on me by the war and my society and I knew I could not follow my dream. Next to writing, I loved teaching and interacting with teenagers. So I chose to teach. It seemed to me that the only sensible thing to do was to aim at what I could do best within these confinements. How I wish I had listened to my heart though and followed a different path.

I made my share of sacrifices in my life as did everyone else in my generation. I made my choices using whatever life threw at me in order to achieve the most out of it at the time. And in doing so I was able to help my family and support my children and be there for them. Now that my kids have grown I can finally think and work to become the person I dreamed of being a long time ago, for as Gabriel Garcia Marquez said:

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but… life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”


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