My boss and I have a verbal agreement on renewing my contract for another year when this one runs out in June. We had to talk about it now because if I'd decided to move on he would've needed time to prepare an ad and start the search for my replacement.
As much as I love living in Japan, I feel like I've accomplished all I set out to do. There are still some corners to explore, and this is a great home base for traveling in the rest of Asia. Now that I have the stability of a steady paycheck for another 18 months or so, I'm already planning trips to China and Vietnam.
Still, I feel as though I've successfully lived here, proven to myself that I can do it, and I've had more fun in 2 years than I did in the previous 10 total. And there are only so many times you can hang out at Zaza Starbucks before it turns into the very thing you wanted to escape in the first place.
Also, a few months back, there were some student complaints about my lessons. Which hurt, because I was enjoying getting to know everyone. But it's understandable because this is a business. A service industry. The students are in fact our bosses.
After agonizing over it for a few days, I decided to continue being positive at work and doing my best there. I can't take credit for that; I was raised to be that way. I never complain at work, never badmouth the students behind their backs.
Those things aren't cool. They're not necessary.
At the same time, I made up my mind to let fate decide whether or not I stay. Stability versus the unknown... why not let things work themselves out? The possibilities of staying continue to be attractive, but I also know if the time comes for me to go, I'll go and do something else. So if my boss said no new contract, I'd pack up and find some other adventure to follow. A different path.
But if he asked if I wanted to renew, I knew all along I'd say yes.