The Bright Side of Life

Oh hai.

It’s been along time since I wrote in this blog and since then a lot of things happened. The good, the bad, this last year has been full of it. Recently, I just resigned from JICA after working for 4 years because I got a job offer at Aoi Advertising Promotion Inc., which is a Japanese production house that focuses on making commercials. I am thrilled about this job! I’ve always wanted to work in the creative field. My friend, Emi san, made the interview happened so I owed it to her. The job doesn’t start until May this year since they were having some setbacks on their schedules to the disaster in Japan. I decided that I should take a one month sabbatical before the new job starts. Hey, it’s been a long time since I’ve been bumming around in my parents’ house.

That was the good. On the other end of the spectrum, my Oma just died on April 1st. I haven’t seen her since last year and didn’t get to see her before she was buried. Honestly, I still don’t know to react to this. At one part, I can just consider that she is still okay and I just hadn’t gotten the chance to see her yet. This, I think would be easier, than accepting the fact that I wasn’t there to see her for be last time. I can’t say that we were particularly close but it sorta felt like it. I really can’t explain. You can say that I have a love-meh relationship with her. Old people are sorta my soft spots, so my Oma does make me go squee but she, being the Batak she is, has an attitude.

When I was little I use to sleep over at her house. At the time I thought that she was really nice. Those sleepovers were the highlight of my school holidays. She lived in a nice housing complex with a basketball court in front of her house. For a kid that and the freedom to ride bikes on paved streets were enough for a good time. I don’t quite remember but on Sundays she usually take me jogging with her. She’d wake up early on the morning, gear up -which includes putting her Walkman- and jog around her block. I remember she listened to a French kid name Jordy (look it up on YouTube). So yeah, after that she moved to Jakarta and there went my Sunday jogging with her.

After that things were kinda messy with the death of my Opa. It was then I realized that words can hurt and she was somewhat malicious. I should note that she and Opa were divorced. Since then I try to get close enough with giving her the opportunity to snap at me.

Oma’s death was kinda complicated. I mean, when my Opa died, I was nine and things were simpler. Opa was nice, he came by to meet me and my brother almost everyday just to give us our favorite pastry from a particular bakery. He took me to my piano and ballet lessons. He was a nice grandparent to look up to. I remember whining and crying in a record shop, pleading him to buy me the newest Michael Jackson album, Dangerous (mind you that I was obsessed with Michael Jackson as a kid). He couldn’t buy it, because his pension money hadn’t come through. Finally he called my dad at work, and somehow I got the cassette later that night. I must be such a handful back then. When he died, all there was was this big hole in me, to see someone whose existence was a constant as the sun to be taken away from me. I loved him, I still do. There was nothing but love for my Opa.

Now, I’m still sorting out my feelings toward her. I try to let go all of the negativity, be it from her or from me. It is very difficult. I don’t wannabe a hypocrite by saying that I will let the bygones be bygones when I still can’t. I’m still sorting everything out. All that I can say that I am trying really hard to forgive myself, and her. When I do, I can finally say, “Goodbye, Oma, rest in peace, I love you.”


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