November

Take care of your body so it will take you further. 

I can’t believe we’re already in November. Two months later, 2018 would be officially behind us.

I wonder what I have achieved exactly in 2018 other than being exhausted by logistics, getting fucked over by administrative bullcrap and now fallen sick thanks to the germs from my hometown. Homecoming kiss has never been so contagious.

I’ve never felt that I’m running against time as I do right now.

Hamilton’s Non-Stop echoes in my ears:

  • Why do you write like you’re running out of time?
  • Write day and night like you’re running out of time?
  • Every day you fight, like you’re running out of time?

 

As I dragged my bone-tired body out of bed today, I’d slept for some 13 hours yesterday including a three hour nap later in the afternoon. And yet, I still felt dizzy. I skimmed the side effects of the drugs that the doctor prescribed me yesterday.  Drowsiness, check. Lack of energy, check. Double whammy, check.

I vow that I will take good care of my body so I can run faster, write more. And yet, right now, on the second day of November, I can only take it slow. One step at a time.

Lesson learned: Take care of your body so it will take you further.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

 

Woman in short hair

I earn it. I own it.

Almost always I’m the only short-haired woman in the room. I thought if I can’t stand out with my petite statue, I might as well do something about my hair.  It’s not crazy short, but it’s short enough for most women to make it their to-go hairstyle whenever they survive a major breakup.

I’m no Tomboy either. So why this short? I find myself trying to explain myself whenever people venture that question with me. The short of it is low maintanance.

But before I can relax, otherperiferial questions pop out as if they are the itches they are dying to scratch.

  • Why do you become a writer?
  • Why are you acting so different (aka. werid)?
  • Why are you so straightforward?
  • Why are you so subtle?

For the better part of my twenties, I tried to become someone else just so I could avoid being asked those pointy questions altogether. But I didn’t realize just how taxing acting was… until I was in the film school.

And yet, the minute I put my mask away, those voice come after me like a swarm of bees. As I had the Aha Moment, it finally dawned on me that instead of fight or flight, the best way is to sit still and chill.

There I found the answers to all questions in that nature.

I earn it. I own it.

 

Your truly,
YZ

PS. I’m so proud that I uploaded this week’s podcast quite ahead of time. Stay tuned! It’s coming Tuesday midnight PST.

 

Shanghai v. LA

It’s not a race. It’s finding a good fit for oneself. 

Even before I was back in Shanghai, I knew I would go back to LA again.

It’s part gut feeling; part knowing myself too well.

Shanghai adores money too much to want to curate and cultivate talents.

LA adores money and fame nonetheless, if not more. But I feel that there are creative people daring and brave enough to be able to find a footing there.

LA is large enough to not to be distracted except for the gleefully California sun.

Shanghai is large too. But it’s too crowded to give a damn about craving space for creative people who aren’t the usual suspects: people in advertising and marketing. [Translation: people who work from 10 to 2 am who dress creative, talk creative, act creative because they have a business account to spend on.]

Shanghai is like New York in people density and busyness. But most Shanghai people are busy chasing money to pay off housing, imported baby powder, cars… to prove to their families and friends that they are leading a good life.

LA folks care about cars too. I’ve lived on Wilshire Blvd so I have had my share of vroom vroom symphonies. And yet, I feel okay to not own a car, or to own a second-hand car. Some don’t even care about new furniture. I’ve sold quite a few pieces of furnitures to students and fresh graduates who live on a budget.

In Shanghai, I buy everything brand new. It doesn’t even occur to me to look for second-hand stuff…

In the end, it’s not a race. It’s finding a good fit for oneself.

Some are lucky to be born into the city, the country that compliments their personality. While others have to search a little harder and longer.

And yet, the in-betweens complain about the place they were born into but never try to move elsewhere for a change.

I love Shanghai. It’s my hometown. But I don’t love it enough to want to live here forever even though my family is here.

I love LA. It’s the love of my life. I love it enough to leave my family and friends behind, again.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

Beginner’s heart

Maybe this is how we as adults develop new friendships

People have been asking me what I’ve learned in my three-year LA adventure, and I’ve answered part of it in my latest podcast episode: Let’s talk about shame.

And yet, that only covers the tip of the iceberg. Another thing I’ve noticed the change in me is more tolerence in others.

Patience isn’t my strongest suit and I tend to judge others too quickly especially when they demonstrate certain things that prick at my pet peeves.

And yet, as I’ve learned during my last few months leading up to my journey back home, I noticed the new height I could reach if I open my heart beyond the good and the beautiful.

Sometimes what seems to be the bad, the fugly, the waste-of-my-time have the cliche silver linings that I hadn’t thought about before. Like one time-consuming writer workshop led to a bunch of meetings and new friends.

Even when people promise me something I desired which they haven’t yet delivered, I keep my faith instead of writing them off, or defriend them like I used to. Yep, guilty as charged.

And maybe, this is how we as adults develop new friendships and explore new ideas and experience.

Next time when the wind blows again, instead of asking:

Where the fuck are you taking me?

Try this:

Sure. Surprise me!

As for now, I’m heading off to the hospital for another round of IV for my unrelenting pneumonia pal, where I may do some more people watching.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

Who do you do it for

If you do it for the right reason, you’re invincible. 

I’ve been real good lately.

Nah, I’m not talkin’ ’bout my diet or my biological clock which has officially gone cuckoo. Why else would you think I’m still awake and typing?

I’m talkin’ ’bout me not checking on the stats, the fans, the subscriptions of my blog and my podcast.

I had a little meltdown on the last week of September. The latest episode didn’t get the kind of attention that I wanted. I got frustrated. I turned to my Podcast Fellowship friends for advice.

Their answers can be summarized into one simple question:

Who do you do it for?

The million dollar question pointing to our true compass.

That made me pause.

To be frank, I remember I did say that even if just one person is reading my blog, listening to my podcast. I would still do it.

So who do I do it for then?

  • I do it to find my voice.
  • I do it to reassure people that “No, my life ain’t perfect. Laugh if you want. But I don’t care. Not any more. I just want to be real. And you can’t stop me.”

When I could answer that question, things became easier, simpler. The suffering became more tolerable and less humiliating.

If you do it for the right reason, you’re invincible.

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Check out the latest #RBYZ episode featuring myself. It reads narcissistic. But hope it won’t sound so. Judge it for yourself.

 

 

 

 

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.

One thing I wish I’d known

You know, networking is working.

… three years ago.

I get this question a lot lately.

To be fair, I also ask this question myself a lot lately.

And here is my answer:
I wish I could to be more open and less frightened.

I was open enough to live in a foreign country not knowing a single soul in LA when I embarked on this journey.

I was also brave enough to dare myself to write screenplays in English when I had no professoinal training in creative writing in my previous life.

But at the same time, I wish I could be more open so I would have more diverse experience livin’ the California dream. But I said no a lot to social events. My excuses came in threefolds: a) I had no money; b) I can’t drink; c) I had too much shit going on from writing to life in general.

I’ve always been quite skeptical about networking. It’s like debating whether or not to marry a rich asshole who can give you your greencard although he may divorce you whenever he wants. Worse yet, he may call off the wedding in the middle of ceremony.

Okay. Networking, you’re way better. Sorry for the inappropriate metaphor.

Joke aside, I just don’t want networking to mess up my biological clock. I’m a morning person in general – not so much these days as you see when I post my blogs over the last few days.

But lately a friend’s remark makes me think twice, “You know, networking is working.”

I looked at the dude and realized it was the truth. Just by spelling out
“n-e-t-w-o-r-k-i-n-g,” you realized that ‘work’ is in the word.

Dang it.

But truth is, I realize that people can be much more fun elsewhere when they are not in the workspace. Maybe I’ll give it second shot when I’m back in Shanghai before I get too complacent after settling in.

Stay tuned!

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Seth Godin’s Podcast Fellowship is opening an autumn program. Check it out for yourself if you’re also playing with the idea of podcasting.

PPS. Check out the latest #RBYZ episode featuring myself. It reads narcissistic. But hope it won’t sound so. Judge it for yourself.