I found my calling in Paris
Does in the following dialogue the chess player mean "I loved Paris, but I wasted several years trying to beat a lot of competitors in Paris. Here, I can have my own job"?
Friend: well... I've found your father to be quite a generous man...
Chess player: I won't take his charity. I found my calling in Paris, though I wasted too many years there trying to best a greater man. Here, I can make my own way.