Am I interested in what I am doing, or not? I needed this as a starter job. Raised with the idea that I would be incompetent for everything, including jobs like receptionist and shop girl, I chose something I definitely knew I could do. My idea was that if I could make tenure at a good place that would be proof I was viable for something else.
What I discovered: working at a good place would be very interesting, entirely satisfying, and at the same time I was either not interested enough, or else too interested, to work in the field at a low level. Further: I was satisfied sooner than I expected. When I saw I could make tenure at a medium place if I kept on going, I was finished. I had gotten what I had come for and was ready to move on, and had furthermore figured out exactly where that would be.
That is all it was et je ne l’ai pas fait but I will wrangle with what I have and see how to make it interesting. Perhaps after this long hiatus, doing this because it was an obligation, doing this because I had been defeated by those who told me it would hurt them too much if I left, I should start doing it for a reason other than:
Stage 1: it was an interesting thing I knew I could do, and also the only thing I knew I could do, so it was an experiment in living
Stage 2: it was something I had done and was obliged to continue doing in the name of the fallen and to care for those who (“it is the best profession in the world, and the only non-materialistic one”) might cry if anyone did anything else
Stage 3: whether I lost interest in this, or in myself, is one question; another is whether I actually lost interest or lost interest in doing this in the negative way I had been taught to do it. I know I lost interest, or withdrew, because I could not tolerate the cruelty of the people around me, but it is the first two questions which interest me now.