Hell Week?

By Donnie | Articles

Exhausted! That’s how I’m feeling today. It’s really been one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in while:

Monday wasn’t that bad, it was just the ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) meeting after work. Tuesday…what I thought was just going to be just a teacher observation, ending up being an observation by some of the high-ranking members of the Board of Education. ZOINKS! The observation ended up going pretty well, but I stayed up pretty late to prepare for it and the other classes I would have on Tuesday. Wednesday I had to meet and discuss plans for the ALT Asobo (遊ぼう, あそぼう) or “Play Time with the ALTs” event that I have to do on Saturday (it was a short meeting). Thursday is always my heaviest class load (this week Tuesday was just as heavy though).

Friday, doesn’t seem so bad, but I may have to miss work again, because I need to go to a doctor during regular hours to see someone who can actually help me and stop wasting money. I went to the Tsukuba Medical Center and after the doctor couldn’t figure out what was causing my pain (surprise, surprise) he set up an appointment for me to come in during regular business hours, so they could do more testing. That’s all fine and good, but I didn’t need to pay 5000 yen just to hear that!! If I miss work, it’s going to be another unpaid day, and another 11,000 yen out of my check. June’s check is going to look pretty bad, and then July and August are the months where ALTs only get 60% of their pay because of the summer vacation. I’m starting to get pretty antsy here.

I’m also a little bummed because I didn’t get the Sony job that I wanted. I figured that I didn’t get it but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed. Deep down there was this little glimmer of hope, this part of me that thought that maybe just maybe I might get it and be able to put myself on path that would finally help me to change my station in life. I work hard to be a good teacher, but I don’t really have much to show for it on the financially, and the way I’m doing things, I never will. I really enjoy what I’m doing, but I hate those feelings of lack. “Am I going to have enough to make it through the month?” “Do I have enough money to go to the doctor?” “No, I can’t go home this year…it’s too expensive.” I’ve only done two jobs, but it’s been a long time (over a year) since I landed my last modeling gig. I would love to do more jobs, but it’s hard to say when the jobs will come, or if I’ll make it through the auditions. In the mean time I HAVE to find another way…

I’ve been averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night lately, because I stay up trying to figure out a plan to do better than this. Something’s gotta give.

I think I need to get some sleep now.

See you tomorrow,

Donald Ash

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  • Amanda

    Uh oh, you’re sounding a little beat down Donald, sorry you didn’t get the sony audition :(. Getting sleep is important. You sound strained. I know you’re trying to “get your act together” but why don’t you focus on doing some things that just make you feel good for a little while, maybe a week or so. Read the Alchemist again. You need a spiritual pick me up ;).

    I think you’re good-looking, intelligent guy with drive and you’re still very young. You’ll be just fine!

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks for the encouraging words, Amanda 🙂 . I really needed the pick me up. It was a hard week, but I’m sure next week will be better. I need to take your advice. Maybe I’ll go and check out the X-men movie tomorrow. The Alchemist is a great idea, too.

      There you go again, with the whole “what can I say to make Donald blush this time?” thing! LOL, but seriously, THANK YOU…I mean it.

      • Amanda

        No problemo my man 🙂

  • Ryan McGuinness

    Seems like an appropriate article for me to comment on. I wish I was a Doctor so I could help you out free of charge, knowing how hard you work for your paycheck. Sorry to here about the Sony modeling job, does your sister not have any contacts that you could get ahold of? Maybe even join an agency if you are really serious about it? I hope things get better for you anyway and forget posting on here:SLEEP instead! 😀

    Take care.


    • Donald Ash

      Ryan, I appreciate you stopping by to post. I think I’ve been in a funk lately because of the stomach pain and not being able to do my normal exercise/karate training routine for a month now. I’m sure my sister has other contacts, but I just need to do a better job of working the many that she’s already given me. Thanks for the suggestion and the kind comments. You’re the best, bro!

  • Oh my, doldrums.. -hugs gently-.

    Seems like this is a major rough spot right now. It is a shame though.. I really wanted to see you playing air guitar. You did so good with your Zoolander face.

    Mmm maybe I can hire you to be my personal Ninja? We could totally go on adventures if I get my placement. Like tracking down the secret recipe for Kobe beef burgers (I’ve had these, they are really really good!). Which will actually turn out to be written on the back of a map to the hidden treasure! We’ll call my trusty red chocobo ….. oh wait did I just admit to being a bit of a Gamer? anyway, and go off seeking the loot!

    I’m sorry your week is so rough, but the weekend is coming! Perhaps something good will pop up soon, ne?

    • Donald Ash

      Lol 😀 . Thanks, Nanami. Even Zoolander had it tough sometime, right. At the beginning of the movie, he just can’t beat “That damn Hansel.” because “he’s so hot right now.” 🙂 I really wanted to do my Bill and Ted impression, too. But I’m sure something else will come up, I just have to be better prepared next time.

      I’m totally with becoming a personal ninja, not like a Yuffie type ninja (she’s too cutesy), more cool like um…Auron (Final Fantasy X). I think I hear the Final Fantasy journey theme in the background. You know that means…AWAY WE GO!

      • I’m a big fan of Auron. He always had this very collected, cool demeanor. Sadly, I may not be able to go adventuring! I wasn’t able to garner a position with Interac. At least I made it to the seminar/interview. ^ ^;

        • Donald Ash

          Oh no!! That’s not what I wanted to hear, Nanami, I am so sorry. I was really looking forward to you coming. There are always other methods, and even other companies, that can help you get to Japan. I didn’t start out working for Interac. If you have any questions, Nanami you know you can ask me.

          • Can I poke you via the contact me page? I do have some things I’d like to poke you about. I did have an interesting day today at the university not too far from here (8hrs driving again xD).

          • Donald Ash

            ABSOLUTELY, Nanami! Poke away.

          • You have been poked!

  • devin

    Hey Donald. I love Final Fantasy X and Auron was a wicked cool character! It was a bummer to learn he wasn’t completely alive in the end. And I’m sorry to hear about your hard week and the Sony news. You know I just realized that Erica Ash was your sister. I’m blown away. I loved her impression of Condoleeza Rice on MadTV. I was laughing like crazy ( I was a fan of MAD) before I even knew she was your sister. LONG before I knew she even had a brother! haha Does it make it hard knowing that you have big steps to fill? I know it would bother me…I have to be honest so don’t be mad at me! 🙂 Anyway, I have faith that big things lie ahead for you!

    Anyway I hope things improve and the Japanese medical system needs to figure out what is going on! Sending good vibes your way!

    • Donald Ash

      Ahhh Auron…so freakin’ cool! Thanks for the comments, Devin.

      Erica is incredibly funny…always has been. Is it hard knowing I have big shoes to fill? A fair question (can’t be mad at that one 🙂 ). I think it would be hard if I was trying to compare myself to her. I sometimes have to be mindful when my brain starts drifting into comparison mode (I think it’s pretty natural for most people), comparing myself to my sister, or anyone else for that matter.

      I also think it’d be hard if I was trying to do the same thing she’s doing.

      Truthfully, though, it’s not hard at all…I’m just happy when I can see her on TV…I admire her so much chasing and achieving her dreams.

      I guess my dream is a little different and I hope and believe that I can someday be as successful in my own right…I’m still a work in progress, though 😉

      Thanks for having faith in me, Devin.

      • devin

        Hey Donald! Me and my my sister watched some of Erica’s Mad sketches and my sides were hurting with all the laughing we did!

        I must say I commend your attitude and self realization that you are your own person with your own dreams. That’s a very healthy and mature attitude to have and one that will help you live an emotionally healthy life. I love my mom,sister, and father dearly but I still have my own views and outlook.

        It is natural to compare ourselves to other. Where things become toxic and go wrong when we feel we don’t measure up (“I’m not as pretty as the girl on the cover of that magazine..”, “My friend has a better job than I do…”) Good on you Donald for leading a positive life and leading by example!

        I think the important thing to remember is that you are successful now..each and every day that you get up and teach. Doesn’t mean you should become complacent and stop trying new things. We are all a work in progress because if not it means one of two things: a) we are perfect. b) We have given up

        Few of us attain point a) and when we have reached point b it is a tragedy! I say keep on working and trying! 🙂

        • Ryan McGuinness

          Wow! Great read Devlin. I agree with everything you said, people gave me funny looks when they hear about my “dream” of teaching in Japan. People seem to think it’s s glorious job as an Eikawa teacher and no matter how many times I tell people that the pay is no better than an average jobs in the UK. They then can’t understand why I would that as a dream job, because a dream job should be “a high aspirational target not something average” a teacher actually told me that. (She obviously made me feel horrible for the rest of the day)

          After so many failed dreams in life, I feel like I have finally set myself a realistic goal. People tell me I should aim high, but to me a mans success isn’t measured by the depths of his pockets! To me, you are great proof of that Donald! And you’re the only role model I have for this field. All the best, Ryan

        • Donald Ash

          She’s hilarious, right? She’s like that quite a bit of the time, but the other thing is she’s always looked out for me, and that’s why I can’t really be jealous of her. She’s been nothing but supportive of everything I’ve done…even before TV gigs and modeling. That hasn’t changed a bit. Still the same supportive Erica she’s always been.

          I’ll keep on trying to reach my big dreams, too!

          Thanks Devin!

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