7 times down, 8 times up: finally had a talk with my daruma yesterday

Posted on 09.08.2013


I’ve been traveling with it since coming back from Japan in April. I brought it back for MYSELF this year, as I figured I would have some serious goals to work on eventually. When I bought the daruma at Narita shrine, I wasn’t quite sure which goal I’d aim for with the doll, but I had a good idea.

If you don’t know what a daruma is, or what they are for, then read the wiki HERE🙂

photoThis daruma has seriously been kicking my ass, and I didn’t even unwrap it to fill in the eye until yesterday. No matter where it was in my bags when traveling, whichever bag it was in would be the one to get searched. I learned this at the first airport, when it was in my backpack (for safer keeping, I thought), but it turned out that a daruma in a bag next to all of your computer’s USB cords looks a LOT like a bomb to the x-ray machine at security. That was a hysterical hour.

So I put it in my suitcase for the next trip (as I still hadn’t filled in the eye/set the goal), and when I got my luggage on the other side, the case had been searched and the daruma was placed at the top of everything, and not in the middle where I had left it to be safe. It was like the TSA said ‘this is why we searched your bag’. So again, the daruma was telling me to get my shit together and figure it out.

So that’s what I did yesterday. As I wrote in my previous post about the cranes, I am concerned that this daruma will not be around to do its job very long, since I have already technically been ‘working on the goal’. But opening the daruma and filling in the eye (or thinking about filling it in) forced me to get specific. In this case, my goal is a very simple one: to find a job.

Realizing that finding a job wouldn’t be enough, as I didn’t want to rush into any job JUST to have one and therefore an income again, I had to go a little deeper. My first thought was to instead say ‘find a job I’m happy with’, but then I realized that I can’t make that goal and then call the daruma ‘done’ as soon as I get a job, since I won’t know if I’m happy with it until later on, and these guys are only good for a year. So instead of happy, I changed the goal to finally be ‘Find a job that I am excited about’. I think that is an appropriate thing to look for, and I think it’s within my reach.

To be honest, I didn’t expect the daruma to have THAT much of an effect on how I do things. But I made sure to leave it where I could see it, and where it can always see me, no matter where I am. So for the past two days since filling in the eye, it’s been watching me from across the room, and it DID actually have an effect.

It’s sitting where I can see it when I wake up, and in the past two days, it’s pushed me to stop procrastinating and send forms, applications and emails. In the past two days alone, I have applied to nine separate places in 5 countries. That’s not counting the 8 applications I sent BEFORE the daruma had an eye, or the ones that came BEFORE those. My apps are already in the 20’s, but over 2/3 went out in the past week as I’ve finally had some time to edit cover letters and get specific on applications.

A few jobs have closed since I found them, and I wasn’t able to apply to them. I don’t want to let that happen again, so now I have plans to do SOMETHING each day. Tomorrow was supposed to be looking at schools on the west coast, until I realized I already did that, and found nothing. It’s ok, I know which site to look at next:)

So from now until acceptance of a contract, I will be doing it all under the watchful eye of my daruma. I will bring him everywhere with me, he will always be where I can see him, and maybe for my next flight, I’ll put him right in my purse, next to the knife and pen. I have until Aug 8, 2014 to get a job. I drew the eye and set the goal on 8-8 purely by coincidence, but I think it was good to do this on a day of 8s, as the number 8 has huge significance as a holy number in Japanese and Chinese culture, is the number of building in numerology, and it also happens to represent my sun sign…

I imagine I’ll hit my goal far before 8-8-14, and if all goes as planned, I’ll be participating in a real, live daruma burn at a shrine this winter. We’ll see!

Posted in: goals, life, travel