As I sat listening, I realised what I wanted to avoid in my narrative study into professional identity. I realised that rather than a static, historical, archaeological description of 'told professional lives' I wanted to capture some of that sense of innovation, creativity, improvisation and adaptation that I find in my own narrative in relation to circumstances. I realise this puts an emphasis on agency rather than the influence of structure (and I'm interested in narratives addressing the interplay of these) but it allowed me to think of a study that had some energy and movement.
Of course, I've made a careful 'note to self' - which is that I want to work with the stories of others, and their meanings; but as someone who is locating himself in the narrative inquiry (and as someone who is shaping the research questions) I have at least found a fresh sense of connection and purpose to the study. What I don't know is how my own narrative will weave with the rest.