"Man finds nothing so intolerable as to be in a state of complete rest, without passions, without occupation, without diversion, without effort. Then he feels his nulity, loneliness, inadequacy, dependence, helplessness, emptiness." - Blaise Pascal
Today, after receiving my first rejection from a journal, the feeling that I've chosen the wrong occupation is only getting stronger. My rational mind knows this is just a temporary setback, and that I wasn't able to beat the immensely steep odds of actually getting an article published; thankfully, the editor was also quite nice about the rejection, which amounts to the sugar-coating of a sublime English accent (think Mary Poppins delivering the news). My rational mind also knows that this setback does not mean I am a terrible sociologist. I just got offered a tenure-track job that had decent pay/benefits a week and a half ago that I decided to turn down. So, the rational mind (and my fiancee), says to pick myself up and try to get it published somewhere else. This is all rational, but there's the problem of the heart and the head not agreeing right now.
The problem, at its root, is that I feel about my job the way Pascal described idleness above, and I've felt this way for a very long time. I'm good at pushing it away, trying to hide it under the carpet, but ultimately that sense of lethargy is what got me here in the first place: nulity (check), loneliness (check), inadequacy (check), dependence (check), helplessness (check), emptiness (check).
However, I do not feel such lethargy at other times, like when I'm doing traditionally feminine activities, and sometimes when I teach. Otherwise, I feel like I walk through my sociological life in a fog.
I know that I do not desire to be a housewife, but I'm becoming increasingly convinced that neither do I desire to be a sociologist. Science is a noble pursuit and leads to important conclusions, but I'm just worn out. I'd like to have the enthusiasm to carry out Mandino's call, and perhaps tomorrow I will:*
"Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity, but with it you can accomplish miracles." - Og Mandino
*Come on, now, my moniker on this site is Practicing Idealist, after all.