№ 7: Back in the Bog, With Protest

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

A short-ish post, written mostly on the train on my phone. Clearly this blog has not thus far been what I originally intended it to be, and so far I have not made the progress I wanted in changing my situation overall. That’s not being pessimistic, that’s just the truth so far. So far. Pressing on with all of the above, however, because like hell I’m giving up. So for today, an update.

Apologies for any typos I would normally catch, smartphones aren’t the best tool for writing. This is also not going to be a well-structured post. More of an info dump because it’s either that, or this post isn’t happening.

I went on vacation for ten days. Went to Thailand and Cambodia. It was great, I had a wonderful time with my fiancée, and it kind of screwed up my finances in the short term. No paid days off any more since I’m doing a mix of freelance and part time these days. As such, the cost of the trip itself was basically doubled by the lost income. I’ll scrape by this month, but not too comfortably. I’m picking up extra classes at Company X to build some padding into the budget again, but that won’t arrive until September 28. I’m fine enough with the teaching itself at the moment, but it’s an inefficient way of making money. It limits other activities by taking up a lot of time in the classroom, requiring extra commuting, and it fragments what free time is left over. It feels like I’m putting myself back in the situation I managed to escape earlier this year, but at least I know it’s temporary.

Currently, this means less time for writing, research, studying Japanese, and maintaining my personal life. All of these are less efficient as well when they have to be distributed over a smattering of thirty-minute blocks spread unevenly throughout the day. Productive levels of focus are very hard to reach when time is so limited. Deep work is rarely achieved.

Two things have occurred to me this week, and one thing I’ve known for a while keeps resurfacing.

  • Leveraging my existing work visa is my most direct way out of Company X, and I’m now aiming to be fully out by year’s end. I had hoped to be able to qualify for the artist visa, and still may, but in the immediate future it requires more time and resources than I currently have access to. Another option was the spouse visa, which has no work restrictions, but which is out of the picture for now for reasons noted below. Even if it’s not my big-picture aim, there are things I can do within my existing work permission category that may provide the best (fastest/most direct) way out of Company X, and that exit needs to be priority number one.
  • The specific requirements of keeping the immigration authority satisfied are becoming cloudier the more research I do, so it’s clear I need to make another appointment with an immigration attorney to clarify things. I consulted one earlier this year regarding the process of switching to the artist visa, but for now that’s on hold. Such consultations don’t come cheap, but are extremely helpful when it comes to creating a clear plan of action. An hour with an attorney will help me establish a much clearer roadmap for the immediate future and the next few months. It will, for example, help me determine which specific areas of business to prioritize, because not all of the possible areas will satisfy income requirements (contracts with individuals, for example, won’t, but contracts with companies will).
  • The reason the spouse visa is currently not a viable option is because my would-be father-in-law rejects our marriage outright, and threatens to disown my fiancée if she marries me anyway. His stated reason is simply that I don’t make enough money and, because I’m a foreigner, never will. I have my own reasons for wanting to revolutionize my work and income level, but I’d also like to make the old man eat his hat. As long as I’m employed at an English school, my options are limited, and working at a school is reason enough for him to justify his continued rejection.

In short: I’ve got to GTFO Company X ASAP and doing so from within the confines of my existing visa seems to be the most viable and expedient option.

Pulling into the station now, time to go to the school and teach.

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