Yesterday was my second day from being laid off.
Better quitting than being let go.
But here I am. I can’t deny it. I can’t ignore it. My chest felt tight.
Here is what I did:
- I edited bits of my podcast trailer;
- I worked with the composer for my podcast theme music;
- I cancelled the in-person interview with a guest;
- I powered through the two-hour-long Skype interview with another guest, to whom I told my situation during the warm-up;
- I gave myself permission to take a day off from writing my novel;
- I spent the majority of the rest of the afternoon watching Succession, which I finished by the evening.
A good-intentioned friend texted me, a Chinese producer friend of her was looking for copywriter. She recommended me to the producer. Copywriter. I repeated the word in my head. My ego took over, “Fucking insulting. It’s so beneath you.” But I need to give her a reply. I recalled three voice messages until I sent her a “Thanks but no thanks” gesture that was benign.
Then before going to bed, I texted a few more friends back in China about my latest situation. It was a matter-of-factly note. I was not asking for sympathy. Only a heads-up that I would return home soon.
By the time I got up this morning, I got a dozen more messages. Friends, out of kindness, offered there-theres and “You’re going to be alright and better.” Then they bombarded me with questions about my next moves.
The rebel in me doesn’t want to explain more than I want to, or share my next steps when I don’t even fucking know yet. It’s taxing and tedious to have to reply to every “How are you,” every “Feel better.” I just couldn’t be bothered.
Today a dear friend will take me a concert at the Disney Hall. He knew that I may leave the country soon. So he started to plan things for me before I’m out of LA officially.
The minute I got home on Friday, my last day at work, I called him up. Between the two of us, I could always cut to the chase. Deep into our conversation, I wept telling him that I wanted to be deserving his friendship.
“You owe me nothing.” He said simply.
Yesterday he called again following up on the concert. Then, at the near end of our call, he mentioned several books I lent him and asked whether I wanted those books back because he was cleaning up his library.
“Do you want those books back?”
“But do you ever want to read them?” My blood was boiling. “Like eventually?”
“Look, I have so many books I want to get into. I’m looking at your books sitting in my study, so I wonder if—”
“It’s not like I’m leaving here in a week!” I exploded before I could catch myself and bite my tongue.
He took it in, “Let’s not talk about it for now.”
Maybe it’s for the best that people spend time alone when they hit Rock Bottom. I need this time to reconnect to myself. Some soul-searching. Unless it’s with the closest friends who know my situation from inside out, I might just resort to the “No response” response on most friends.
Then the parents… I haven’t told them yet. But I will in a few days.
One person at a time, I guess.