Katrin Figge & Tasa Nugraza Barley
Some people seem to have more trouble letting go of the past than others. There are those who believe that women have a hard time saying goodbye simply because they are more sensitive. But that, I think, is a myth. The ability to let go and move on depends on your state of mind and emotional strength, whether you are a man or a woman.
Yes, that’s right, even men can be prone to kind of “weakness.”
But how does one deal with it? It is one thing to keep precious memories alive, but if those memories are all you can hold on to and make you forget about the present and future, then there is certainly something wrong.
I was, for example, very close with my grandmother, and obviously devastated when she passed away in 2010 at the proud age of 99.
But she did a good job preparing my sister and I for when she wouldn’t be around anymore. She spoke openly about death, and made sure we knew that she had lived a good life. In a way, this helped us to deal with the grief.
Aside from the enormity of dealing with death, people sometimes find it difficult to move on from relationships. Even worse, sometimes you get stuck in a relationship that you know isn’t working, no matter which way you look at it and how hard you try. But somehow, you still can’t seem to say goodbye.
“Knowing is the easy part; saying it out loud is the hard part,” a wise man in a corny movie once said. How true!
There are also incidents that don’t even necessarily have to be related to certain people in our lives, but stem from nostalgia for the good-old-times that often seem to be much better than the present (especially when we struggle in the present).
I believe we tend to remember only the good times, and are quick to block out the bad and the ugly.
This is the last Venus & Mars column I will write with my colleague Tasa Nugraza Barley, but I think it is safe for me to say that I won’t cry myself to sleep over it.
I remember that sometimes I’d cringe when reading Tasa’s part, shaking my head and thinking “he can’t be serious!”
But nonetheless, I had loads of fun writing this week after week, and despite our tagline “how guys and girls differ on life’s big questions,” I was surprised — and relieved — at how much common ground we could actually find after all.
Katrin Figge is deputy features editor at the Jakarta Globe.
When I was told that this would be our last column, I thought it wasn’t really a big deal. “Oh, fine,” was my initial response. But eventually I realized that I would greatly miss writing this column.
Although I’m sure not everyone is a fan, this column has a special place in my heart. It feels like yesterday when my colleague Katrin Figge offered me the opportunity to tackle the simple and funny issues of daily life as seen from the perspective of women and men.
Our first topic was “Remember Your First Kiss.” I wrote that the first kiss meant nothing to most men; nothing serious about the article, I just really wanted to have fun.
“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” was our second column, where I had the privilege to mock those who couldn’t let their ex-girlfriends go from their hearts. Our third column was about how women were crazy about romantic movies; I said that when men had to watch a cheesy romance, it was the only time we had to pay just to sleep. As expected, my girlfriend got mad at me and threatened to stop going to the movies I liked.
I settled that with the best excuse a man can offer: “Darling, you know I’m not like that.” But the cease-fire didn’t last long.
Later on, when she found out that many of the thoughts I expressed in the column were inspired by our relationship, she jokingly said: “You have to pay me royalties for this.”
I often got funny responses from readers, especially from my female friends, who didn’t always agree with me. “We’re not like that,” they would say. Although I was never insulted by their comments, it was always challenging to defend my selfish, masculine theories. “Women are all like that, you just can’t admit it,” I usually told them in response.
Women may hate me, but I found it fun to act like a real jerk in this column, something I can’t do in real life.
It would be a lie if I told you I won’t miss this column. After almost a year and a half, there are so many interesting, funny memories behind my work on it. One time I was on a leave in Bali when someone at the office reminded me about my obligation — I had to rush to the nearest Internet cafe.
I’d like to thank everyone who has read and supported this column. Who says men can easily let things go and say goodbye? I wrote this last column with my heart broken in pieces.
Tasa Nugraza Barley is a features reporter at the Jakarta Globe.