Chapter 14 of Life After 30
Maya stacks a full box on top of another full box. Her apartment around her is either packed up in a box or about to be.
Her dad, Ben, forms up another box.
“Are you sure you don’t want to move in with me for a bit instead? I can move to the couch.”
“No Dad, Mom already has an extra bed and I don’t want to put you out.”
“You’re my own daughter, you would never put me out.”
“Don’t worry Dad, I’ll still come over for our dinners.”
“Okay, you got it honey.”
“So… how’s the job hunt going?”
“I could ask you the same thing.”
“I haven’t been looking yet.”
“But Maya, it’s been almost a month since you got fired. You can’t wait too long.”
“Thanks for the reminder, Dad. But also, you had plenty of time to find something and yet…”
“Well it’s hard to find something when you’re overqualified for most jobs.”
“What about your friends or old coworkers? Have they been able to give you a lead?”
“I don’t want to bother anyone.”
Maya pauses before she responds. This had been a delicate topic for her dad, as he constantly keeps avoiding the topic.
“What’s going on, Dad? Are you okay? Is it the divorce?”
“Oh, I’m fine, honey. You don’t need to worry about me. And the divorce was always coming. Your mom and I knew that.”
“But you don’t seem like yourself lately. You loved what you did, why aren’t you trying to find a place where you can keep doing it?”
Ben fiddles with the cardboard box. “I did love what did… I don’t know. Getting fired just… blew out my fire.”
“30 years is a long time to be working at one company.”
“So long. It was my life.”
“But it’s not you.”
“What do you mean?”
“What I’ve been learning and figuring out for myself after going through my breakup and getting fired, is that I can’t define myself by my life circumstances. Like someone has told me before, things change that are out of our control. But that doesn’t change who I am inside. I know I’m a good editor, but that’s not all I am. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to explore something different. Or maybe my talents would be better at a different publishing house
“My point is, don’t define yourself by your work. You’re so much more than that. And the person I love is you, not what you do.”
Ben takes a deep breath and smiles at his daughter.
“That person who said things happen out of our control, they sound smart.”
“They are,” said Maya, knowingly.
“But I guess, I never thought of it that way. Thanks Maya.”
“Break ups can really clear your mind,” smilled Maya.
“So starting tomorrow, we’re both going to be on the job hunt, right? No more stalling.”
“You got it, hon.”
They hug over the empty boxes.
Come back every Friday for the next installment of Life After 30!