I'm convinced that I'm not well suited to the bureaucratic machine. Yes, I'm capable of the work, and yes, I have talents that lend themselves to the environment. It's just that there's nothing compelling about the work. There's nothing to inspire me to spend long hours to create something there. Nothing that says, "This is the work that I do." Nothing to create a sense of community or elan. Like all of my coworkers, I sleepwalk through my days.
Here's the rub.... I don't think I'm terribly creative, so while part of me desperately wants to be part of something like Studio Ghibli, another is fairly well certain that there's no place for me there. I don't think of myself as an artist. I don't think I have the mindset or talent or originality or whatever elusive thing it is that makes me look at someone and think, "Artist!" I'm just trying to figure out who I am and what I like.
I worry when I start thinking this way. If I continue down this path, everything ends up seeming futile because the standards of comparison are so high. The weird thing is that if I skirt the edges of the path, keeping the end at the back of my mind, I can sometimes find my way. Thinking of the end outright makes the exercise of throwing a thousand bowls seem almost as pointless as sitting at a desk. There really is a razor's edge here.
As a complete aside, I was deeply amused by a conversation Miyazaki Hayao had with his staff about the scene where Haku-as-dragon falls. He described to them how eels flail as they were gutted, and when he saw blank faces around the table, he asked if any of them had actually seen eels being prepared before. Answered with silence, he laughed to himself and said, "Japan is doomed."
It sounded like something I would say.