Separation

Ain’t fun when you’re excluded from the globe of Internet.

I’m awaiting the machine tomorrow that will get me reconnected to the world.

Hopefully by then, I’ll re-enter the world with Google and John Oliver.

Sometimes you don’t know your privilege until you’re stripped away from it…

It took me three years to appreciate and love LA.

As if once I fell in love, I’m plucked away from it.

Separation is a good test on how much you really love somewhere, someone.

As I mourn the loss of La La Land, it finally dawns on me, that I need to get back.

Sooner than later.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

 

 

Back home

Okay. I’m back in Shanghai.

Where shall I begin?

I got on a plane at Sunday noon, 12:55 pm.

By the time my feet got back onto the ground, it was Monday, 6 pm.

It was a 13.5-hour flight. But since LA is 15 hours behind Shanghai, it feels like I’ve lost almost a day and half.

But it felt something more than just lost of time. I’ve lost the ability to call and meet my LA friends whenever I wanted. I’ve lost the freedom to get onto Google, YouTube, Facebook hassleless.

I tried to sleep but I couldn’t. I only managed 30 minutes of shut-eye. Whenever I tried to close my eyes, the faces of my dearest friends were right there. I tried to get closer to them only to be interrupted by the flight attendents’ footsteps.

Under my eyemask, I started weeping again. When I thought I had cried more than enough, I cried even some more. Hour by hour, I’d exceeded the volumn of tears of I’ve shed on a single day…

The plane arrived on Monday afternoon at 5:30 pm Shanghai time.

It was drizzling outside. How fitting. I had been raining inside.

Yesterday my parents and I went to the Postal Office to collect my stuff. It was rather smooth considering what I’d dreaded.

All fifteen boxes. All there. Safe and sound. Well, except my glass teapot, which was shattered in pieces and my spatular, which was broken in halves.

I love my parents. I love my cat. But I’ve realized that there is something more that I want for this life even it means to be far far far away from my family. I’ve realized that three years later, LA has become my home.

“You know what you should do after you’re back?”

I listened to my wiser friend as I sobbed in the departure lounge, not giving a damn who might be observing my ugly cry.

“I’m listening.” I murmured.

“Write it down. Write it all down.”

So I did.

And yes, I’m back.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

 

9 hours from now

I will be boarding the flight back home.

My parents and I finally decided that they would meet me at the airport, instead of waiting for me at home.

Mostly it was because I don’t have Chinese cash (RMB) on me. My phone’s setting wouldn’t allow me to DiDi (Chinese Uber + Lyft).

 

A million questions coursing through the mind of a soldier, coming back home from the war… finding the wife has left him, the house is gone, the parents are dead, the friends are now strangers…

A gazillion questions grill my attention:

  • How would China treat me?
  • How would Shanghai see me?
  • How would my friends back home respond?
  • Would I be happy?
  • Would I find things I love to do here?
  • Would I be financially independent?
  • How would I find projects?

And yet, only one way to find out.

Live it.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. I’m wearing a thick parka as I type this blog. Yes, it’s what I would wear tomorrow. a) Shanghai is getting cold. So is LA. b) I think I’ve probaly gone overweight with my suitcases… c) I love everything this parka.

The hardest goodbye

“Have you told your parents that you were sad to leave here?”

As I sobbed, my friend probed.

“No.”

“Why not?”

I didn’t give an answer. But I had one: How can you be sad when you are going to reunite with your family and friends back in your hometown after three years without one single visit?!

I felt only if I left on my own terms, I would feel better.

But the more I’ve lived, the less things are done utterly on my terms.

“Just accept it.” My friend kept on going.

To be utterly frank, right now I don’t feel an ounce of joy going back.

Home is always here. But my dream? How long would that last when the bubble bursts and now I’m stark naked in front of my parents’ porch asking them to let me in.

Don’t get me wrong, my parents are overjoyed to have me back. So am I to see them as often as I want.

When I’m back home, I know I would be safe. I would sleep well and eat fine. I can have not a worry should I choose to…

But right now, this suffocating feeling is crushing down on my chest. I’m dying the speed of the reality.

It’s past one. And I’m still wide awake.

It’s Saturday the 13th. By 14th noon, I’ll be forced to delete the last line of code I’ve written here in L.A. by catching the flight before Homeland Security catches me. Would anyone remember me, my existance, two months from now, two years from now?

Shanghai has written me off its menu. Now would it let me back in?

 

I’ve been single-looping Lady GaGa’s Always Remember Us This Way from her latest movie A Star Was Born; a film I went two days ago, at the end of which I sobbed till I throbbed.

It’s buried in my soul
Like California gold
You found the light in me that I couldn’t find

You look at me and babe I wanna catch on fire
So when I’m all choked up and I can’t find the words
Every time we say goodbye baby it hurts

When the sun goes down
And the band won’t play
I’ll always remember us this way

The hardest goodbye
Thus far
But I’m not even home yet
And yet
Why am I mourning
Why am I crying

It hurts like a bitch.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

RBYZ: Lovin’ LA (#007)

Your host YZ works on her au avoir to the city she didn’t care for and now the city she calls her second home…

My guest this week is myself, again. 

Ye shameless self-promoter. I hear you.

I do it for two reasons.

  • First of all, I wasn’t able to edit a full interview this last week because I was ‘party too hard.’ [Translation: Those who know me know that I don’t usually party. So it’s a joke. You can laugh now. Or don’t.] Truth is, I just felt too restless to be able to do my guest justice.
  • Secondly, I realized that by next Tuesday, I will be in Shanghai. So I gotta say somethin’. And it’d better to now.

Then the natural woman in me got emotional. I broke down sobbing for more than a few times when the clock was ticking and I was determined to air by 00:00, Oct 9.

And I made it!

My thick nasal voice gave myself away. But I’m proud to be sharing my raw emotions  with all of you people out there. Nobody said rock bottom is all soft and fluffy.

Jerry Seinfeld famously said that he couldn’t understand people who write books/blogs because you can’t get a reaction from your readers right away. Instead, you find people approach you about the book you wrote five fucking years ago.

“It changed my life.” And you went, “Where the fuck are you five years ago?” Indeed, writers can use more encouragement like that.

But truthfully, I just want to pause my crazy life being the collateral damange to Trump’s trade war with China as I deal with the Shanghai Customs and say:

A gigantic THANK YOU to y’all, especially to the City of Angels for your sunshine and friendship.

And most of all, to the people I’ve met who are now officially my friends and families!

 

Next week Tuesday, I’ll be rockin’ this podcast back in my hometown Shanghai.
Well, my Shanghai cat Michael may try to tank my taping.
Let’s see how that would go.

Michael in 2015

One more thing, don’t you think you can get rid of me this easily. In the name of Terminator, I’ll be back. 

Most important, remember to VOTE.

 

Listen and subscribe to Rock Bottom with YZ:
A weekly podcast for and about anyone and everyone who has spiraled downward and doesn’t know which end is up.

Listen to Rock Bottom with YZ on RadioPublic

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Click here to see ways to help #RBYZ to grow.

The rest is history

I just saw off my friends, the couple who let me stay at their apartment for my last month here in LA.

By the time they are back in mid-Nov, I’ll be long gone.

They’re going to East Coast for a long business trip. They wanted me to stay longer so I could say goodbye to them after they are back.

I couldn’t.

Barbara, my friend back in shanghai is leaving for Australia in early November. My student visa may be shaky since I’m not enrolling for any classes. I have to go even though I don’t want to.

Sitting in my friends’ spacious living room, now even more spacious without the two of them and their dawg, I tried to do my daily meditation. I couldn’t. Something stuffed in my chest. My breath has been shallow for the last few weeks for all kinds of reasons.

Today there is something more.

I first met the husband at Trader Joe’s when we were in the queue. I asked him about the LA June Gloom weather. That extended to an half-hour conversation outside the grocery shop until his wife called asking where {on earth} he was.

And the rest is history.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

 

 

 

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