On my birthday last year, I bought myself a new daruma.
For those of you not familiar with them, they are many, many things, but most often they are used by people who want to accomplish a goal. The idea is that you make a wish or set a goal and fill in one of the eyes, and then try to fulfill it in a year. Once you achieve the thing, you fill in the other eye, giving the daruma ‘full sight’. At that point, you can hold onto it for up to a year, or give it back to a shrine to burn, or give it to someone for good luck. But you can’t keep it forever.
So on my birthday (and around it last year), I was having a gd terrible time with my job. I was mostly unhappy, feeling cheated and unappreciated. So I made a goal to ‘be ok with it all and find peace with it’, whichever way that happened. I didn’t wish for a new job, just a personal acceptance of what the company I work for really cares about.
The irony in all of this is that in 2013, I filled in the eye of my first daruma, hoping to get a job I would be really, extremely excited about. I got it. Nothing is ever what it seems, eh?
You’re supposed to put the daruma somewhere you can see it, to be reminded of your goal every day, so you can do your best to achieve it. It started out in my entryway, and I would give it a little nod every day on my way out to work. But that didn’t feel like ‘enough’, so I put him in my bedroom, looking right at me when I’m in bed, which is where I generally am, when I’m home.
And every morning, I wake up, see the daruma, and wonder if this is the day I’ll be ok with it.
Lately, I’ve been coming around to the idea that I AM ok with it, and that I’ve found my place, however indifferent and unfulfilled I might feel about the job itself. I love most of my students, and I like the days when I get to see them. I know that nothing is perfect, and I’m pretty sure I have NEVER been 100% happy in my job (not past the honeymoon phase, at least), but I think I’ve come to terms with it.
I’ve been in plenty of positions where I couldn’t change anything, but in this job, I felt really let down as I got to know more about the company and their practices as time went on. At first, I thought maybe I could affect some change and be a positive force, but over time I realized that anything I do doesn’t mean much to the company or the higher-ups, so I’m working on coming to terms with that. I think I’ve got it under control.
However, I don’t want to prematurely fill in that second eye. I don’t want to jinx this semi-ok, floating existence I’ve had lately at the job. I’ve still got a few months until my birthday, so I’ve got a little time left to make sure I’m really ok.
As they say, ‘if there’s any doubt, then there’s no doubt’, I guess.
UPDATE: September 5:
I wrote the first part of this blog in the beginning of August, and JUST as I was getting around to loading pictures and thinking about how I felt, I got some news from my job that really sent me spinning right back down to the bottom of that hole. That day, or week, I was definitely NOT ok with my job situation.
As the weeks went on, though, I realized that I’ll be ok regardless of this job, and everything is going to work out exactly as it should. At the moment, I’m working on finding a few other options I can put my energy into, which will pay better and hopefully relieve some stress I feel at work. Working there LESS is in the plans.
So while I’m definitely NOT OK with the company itself, I’ve come to accept the fact that I’ll probably never get a raise, will forever be walking on eggshells, and that I can’t change the minds of some of the weird clients who book my lessons, and what they think they want from me.
There are still about 2 months left for me to fill in that other eye. I can wait it out.