Finding Closure in an Old Saying

There is a reason why art such as music, books, and painting is timeless. No matter how old, there is almost always a part of it that most people can relate to and savor. Let's take Thank You For The Music by ABBA as an example. The iconic song was released in 1977, which makes it over forty years old now, but I still sing it occasionally to thank the music for its daily dose of serotonin, while my mom, not caring even the slightest about the lyrics, screams each word with joy. Even older than the first, Jane Austen wrote her very well-known Pride and Prejudice in the Georgian era. While the novel itself was published in 1813, it is still hitherto considered relatable and loved by many.

Speaking of which, I had honestly had the feeling that it was only a matter of time before I figured out something like this, a fine wine aging like something ordinary that occurs too often to truly be noticed. It all started during the last few weeks of my very first job. Was I thrilled to embark on a new journey? Of course. I had studied hard for it and so the new career seemed like a reward I couldn’t stop being grateful for. However, the difficulty of saying goodbye to the first team I had ever had, a friend I had unintentionally made, and an 80-year-old-something boss who had felt more like my own grandpa in disguise was something I didn't take into account.

But well, who says that stepping out of your comfort zone is easy? I was very much looking forward to being a part of a team in a dream company of mine, but the last month in the prior couldn't be spent in any other mood but the melancholic one. As a youngling, I realized that making bold moves in regard to your future is sometimes required. It's an unknown path full of surprises, and I thought I couldn't just let myself stay in the same spot forever just for the sake of comfort. Even when it meant saying goodbye to a place I had grown very accustomed to, I then figured.

Even though I was good at hiding it, my heart did bleed for the upcoming parting. How was I supposed to know that in this case closure was all I needed? It turned out that I found it anyway in the form of an old saying that was probably as old as time.


A few weeks before my last day there, a co-worker of mine had first retired. He was in his mid-fifties, and he asked me why I chose to quit the job. Considering I had only worked there for one year and four months, the question was not exactly out of nowhere. In fact, almost all of my colleagues looked taken aback by my one-month notice to the office.

"I have been accepted in another company, Pak," I said.

The man whom I called Pak Par answered, "Oh, good luck, good luck."

The conversation ended as fast as it had started. I didn't see Pak Par again until about a week before my last day in the office. He came to pack his belongings and bring them back home.

"So I guess it's a farewell," said Pak Par, approaching me and my friend Er at our desks as soon as he had finished with his things. "Please forgive me if I have ever accidentally offended anyone. I'm a human with a lot of mistakes, after all."

"Me too, Pak," I responded instantly.

"And please pray for me and my family's health, would you?" Seeing how Er and I nodded in unison, Pak Par added wisely, "I wish you kids the best in your journey ahead."

We thanked Pak Par and wished him the best of luck for his journey also. At last, he approached the longest-working employee there, my boss' daughter-in-law who looked a bit wistful at the farewell. "I'm starting to lose one friend after another here," she said after Pak Par repeated a similar speech. "What are you going to do with your life now?"

Pak Par didn't seem bothered by the question or the lack of answer he could offer. He only shrugged mildly before answering, "Now that I'm a free man? Who knows? I'm just going to go with the flow. This is what life is all about after all. Di mana ada pertemuan, pasti ada perpisahan."

The last sentence, if translated, means there is a parting in every meetingan old saying I have been introduced to since primary school. It's one of the sentences that was often required in our penmanship homework as a kid, one that I should have given more thought to considering how applicable it was to our daily lives as a human.

Evidently, the saying was also the closure I didn't realize I needed. Give it to life for its funny way to remind us of something we incidentally forgot.

Upon hearing what he said, I fell silent. Those words ran slap into me. I was lost in my thoughts then and there when a realization woke up inside me: life is indeed all about us going through the flow bravely, and perhaps, this is what each of us has to go through in order to learn and grow. We were probably rowing inside the same big boat, a team from which we had learned so much and developed. But now, it's time for some of us to jump into a different one. It's almost like life is the river and the parting is the various paths we each are rowing into.

What is it that I am letting myself into though? Another home, if the first company I worked in was previously my other one? I'm not sure how homey my soon-to-be new desk will be or whether I'm going to adapt to the new environment accordingly. But quoting what Pak Par said, just let it be. Just let life do its magic while you do yours. One thing I know for sure is this: one day, when I pass this workplace I used to be in daily, I will point out the building and proudly claim, "I used to work there. The boss is one of the kindest people I have ever met."

And somehow, that is what matters right now.