JUST AFTER I’d given my Daruma full sight…

Posted on 07.12.2016


I don’t feel the need to get TOO involved with most of Japan’s customs. I ‘pray’ at shrines because it feels disrespectful not to, and take my shoes off when I get home. But the one that I have whole-heartedly taken on is the use of daruma, which many of my friends will attest to (I like to send them to people as gifts).

whoh6926I bought this sakura-themed daruma in March. I didn’t have a goal or wish at the time, really, but liked it and wanted it in my home.

At that time, I was planning to make some changes to my job and general work-life balance. I’ve been complaining about how much work we do here quite a lot, I know, and this was when I realized I should try to do something about that, rather than just bitching about it and accepting it as ‘the way things are’. Be the change you want to see in the world, right?

So I filled in one eye of the daruma in April, with the goal in mind to work less and make more (or an equivalent amount of) money. It was a simple idea, and I thought there had to be a way to solve that problem.

I went on to do a few different things:
I applied to some new freelance positions I’d seen advertised, specifically with universities and other companies whose values seemed to gel with mine.

I also got on fiverr, which has so far been wonderfully easy and successful. I’m making a lot of money through that site, and have a few regular clients already.

I added more available time to my italki profile as well, making myself more available to students worldwide who really need English lessons and are generally much more appreciative than some of the people I deal with on the daily.

I did all of those things, and the results have been good. I was almost immediately hired by a well-known university and started working with them as an English tutor in the Spring16 semester. But I didn’t want to fill in the second eye so soon, since I wasn’t 100% certain of their re-hiring process and didn’t want to be so sure of myself just to see that I wouldn’t be hired back.

vtah2803I filled in the second eye and called this task ‘complete’ after the university hired me back, and I worked for 2 months with a steady payment from them with no issue. Between this, the work on fiverr and italki, I was most certainly working less (at my initial job) and making more.

I felt secure in the fact that I was IN at that university and nothing was going to change that, and then they sent out an email.

No one knows for sure just yet what it could actually mean, but the university has stated that they will have to NOT give contracts to about half of their part-time workers. I am a part-time worker, and as one of the most-recently-hired, I fully expect the axe to come down.

It could just be that they are saying this now, just in case. But we won’t find out until the end of this semester next year.

Still, I feel secure with my fiverr and italki work, and even though the university pays WAY better than my other job, I won’t be too sad to have my old schedule back. It seems like a small thing, but I really enjoy not having to leave for work until 11am. I wake up so early, and have so much time in the mornings to do other things. To add to this, I have a lot of people coming to visit me next year, and NOT working at the university would really free me up to take time off whenever I want. I have a strong enough client base at my first job that I won’t suffer. I will be welcomed back.

So I’m not really looking at the possibility of losing that work as a bad thing, just as a slightly ironic thing. I much prefer working behind the screen of my computer on my own time. Maybe the daruma pushed me to do more of that, which I thoroughly enjoy.

My end-goal has always been to be able to do my work wherever the hell I want. Those two websites allow that, and I’m good with what’s happening on that front.

So I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens in February. But I’m not worrying about it. Nothing ever turns out how you expect it to.

Posted in: life, money, websites