Weekly Update: Exhaustion

Cheras Christian Cemetery Skyline
A view from my father’s forever resting place.

The past two weeks have been hectic, to say the least.

On 15 February, I started working at my new job. It was actually quite interesting and very refreshing, but I didn’t really have any time to write because I was adjusting to a completely new routine and possible lifestyle. I think I mentioned too, that I was looking to renovate my house.

By Wednesday afternoon, everything fell apart.

My father passed away.*

I rushed home as soon as mom called me that first time, but by the time I hit the final LRT station, I received news that my father was no more. Thank the Goddess for things to do; I had to focus on getting to my car, then driving it, and then finding my mother. After a moment’s grief, I did exactly that.

I burst into tears when I saw my mother because her grief was so overwhelming, so strong. I remember hugging her and crying with her, not because I had lost a father but because my mother had lost a husband.

Even as I am writing this now, I think I went through the five stages of grief relatively quickly. I know I was furious that afternoon, but it was one that I didn’t linger too much on. There was bargaining, denial, and sometimes depression, but I remember denial was the reaction I dealt with the most, simply because my throat would choke each time I had to call someone to tell them my father was gone.

I don’t know if I’ve hit the acceptance stage or not. It seems surreal. Thanks to work, dealing with people for the seven day prayers and just a BURST OF ACTIVITY, I haven’t really had time to feel anything more than simply exhaustion.

Physical exhaustion from walking 20 minutes a day to the LRT station and back to the office (this is just me whining about the choice I made to do so; there are other, less strenuous ways to get to work but this was what I chose). Mental emotion because work is stretching me in pretty much the right ways. And emotional exhaustion.

Mainly because I realise I’m more an extrovert than I really am an introvert. I do well in groups of people, and far less in individual doses, unless they are people I’m familiar with.

This hit really hard during the second day when word got out about the wake, and people started coming in either alone or in twos. I dealt with a well-meaning aunt and a good friend one after another, and then another after that. Retelling the story exhausted me, I realised. Especially when I hadn’t adequately prepared myself.

So we cremated dad. Then we put him with my grandparents.

Due to the circumstances, I’m now putting my new apartment up for rent. I’m going to stay with mom till I’m certain she’ll be ok. If you need a place to stay, you can find the details here.

So yeah. How was your week?

  • It took me 3 tries to get that sentence out. As you can tell, it’s not one of my happier sentences to write. xD

Weekly update!

What in the world is a Standard Male?

Yes, I missed last week’s report, but achievement unlocked, at least a blog post every week so far?

The past one week has been crazy.

I said goodbye to my company and will embarking on a new adventure after Chinese New Year.

I also got the keys to my house on Tuesday (WHICH IS THE PART I’M EXCITED THE MOST ABOUT, CAN YOU TELL???) and with it, all the new homeowner headaches that come with it.

Most of which I got done today.

Paid for the water to be reconnected to the house. Syabas says it’ll take 3 working days, so I’m looking to have running water by next Thursday latest at the house. Applied for the meter to be reconnected to the apartment, this will happen within 3 working days. And then also changed the name on the Cukai Taksiran aka Land Tax with MBPJ. That needs to be paid, but I think I’ll only do it tomorrow.

So yes, HOUSE!!!!!

Which brings me to a relevant tip.

If you are purchasing a home in Malaysia and the home owner has closed both the electricity (Tenaga Nasional) and water (Syabas in Selangor, not sure for other states), make multiple copies of your COMPLETED Sales and Purchase agreement (aka SnP or SPA, depending on what your lawyers use for acronyms).

You will also need copies of your NRIC (if a Malaysian citizen, not sure for foreigners, sorry!). Bring at least RM500 with you in cash, or just RM200 (for Syabas) and a credit card if you don’t want to carry so much money.

I would also recommend taking a full day off.

For Tenaga, aim to be at the Kedai Tenaga by at least 1130am. I was in the New Town branch, and there was a short queue. You can apply online for the power to be reconnected, but I found the offline application to be quite painless. Get a form, fill in, and then show it to the Customer Service Officer. You’ll be submitting the application form, a copy of your NRIC and your SnP.

Hint: if the account is closed, bring along the old account number. That way, when you submit the completed form and your SnP copy, they’ll be able to confirm and let you know the status of the power meter in your new property. Then take the number and wait till they call you.

Remember I said to bring cash or credit card? Once your number’s up, they’ll process your application and take a deposit. This will be dependent on the previous usage of your new house, so they’ll charge you a rough average. Mine was about RM250, and I opted to pay by credit card.

Once you’re done, grab a snack or head over to the 11th floor of Menara MBPJ to change the land tax to your name. You’ll need to submit just your SnP copy and complete the form. Depending on the queue, this can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Mine was done on a Friday, so it took about 20 minutes, mainly because they had to look up the name of the property.

It’ll be about time to break for lunch, so go and have something to eat before you get into the car. Aim to be at Syabas by 3.30pm latest (I went to Jalan Templer). This is where it gets tedious; you’ll need to get a form from the counter, fill it up (and they ask a LOT of questions in that form) and then submit it with your SnP and NRIC copy to the customer service counter. They’ll ask for a witness to sign your document; just ask any customer there to sign for you. They usually will.

The first submission stage is where Syabas’ process annoyed me. The first customer service person flipped through my documents to make sure all the sections were filled, and then asked me to take a seat; her colleague would process the documents first. This was a twenty minute wait as there were a lot of people before me; it seemed that what she was doing (the second colleague) was simply removing the irrelevant sections of the form, double checking my details, and then RESTAPLING everything.

Really though, did you really need two copies of everything Syabas, and did you really need to have the customer service person do that when the counter person could? No wonder Syabas loses so much money; this process could have been streamlined in so many ways without incurring as much wastage!

Oh yeah, once she calls out for your number, take it and have seat. This part took about ten minutes; when my number was up, I submitted the document and then paid the deposit, which was only in cash (this is why they have an ATM on the premises). Then I had to wait for them to complete the stamping procedure.

By this time, it was already 4.45 pm, and the doors were closed (Syabas closes at 4.30pm, so you will want to be INSIDE the building before then). Once you’ve collected your stamped copy, you’re good to go. Water services will resume 3 working days after you’ve done everything.

With that, congratulations, you’ve just completed the pre-renovation stage!

[Poem] May…

May your feet never rest
May the sun shine always on you
May your life always be simply snapshots
And never your soul be full.

Copyright belongs to me, please ask before using thanks.

I should be sleeping but need to settle stuff before I start the next sleep cycle.

Of drawing personal dreams

Inktober drawing of a standing desk from my Instagram
Inktober drawing of a standing desk from my Instagram

Fear of pain or pursuit of pleasure?

Perhaps these, more than anything else in the world, motivate humans. Our behaviour, our drives, our actions. You either move towards something, or you move away from it. There is no middle path. If you choose to stand still, it will come to you, or it will leave you. Either way, movement is involved, even if you are not providing it.

My desire to be massively accepted and be looked up to is motivated by fear. I don’t want to be alone. I want to avoid the pain of being left behind. I fear being discarded.

Adults are bastards. Adults, especially, who have a grievance against your parents, are especially horrible creatures. In their depraved desire to bring down someone they think unworthy, they scar others. And consider it to be fair game.

I’m still learning to deal with the ghosts of my past. No, it was not especially traumatic, at least not in the physical and emotional abuse sense. However, they did scar me. And the incidents shaped me into who I am today.

Who is quite different from whom I wanted to be. That though, is another post for another day.

I want to talk to you about this picture.

My heart was thumping as I drew it. It took me over 30 minutes to get it right, even though I had a clear image of what I thought it was going to be. However, the reality is different from the image in my head. Lines in my head, for instance, were clearer. Now though, this one’s a bit… fudgy.

And that’s how life works. What you see is not always what you get. Which is kinda fine, unless you’re a designer or an artist who specialises in realism. But I’m disgressing.

Confronting my personal heart has always left me breathless. My heart, unlike the heart of the boy in The Alchemist speaks to me of fear always. Of the need to be cautious. To protect myself from being hurt again, imagined or not.

But there are days, days like these, when my heart encourages me to bare it. When it says to give thanks for the blessings I have received. It’s a gentle nudge, but I often find myself being swept away whenever I listen to my heart then.

So, what’s so personal about this drawing?

It’s the breaking of a chain. The acknowledgement of a way of thinking that has not served me. Or rather, that has held me back.

I have issues with preconceived notions. In that, I form them and don’t let go. This applies mainly to me, and not anyone else. I have a preconceived notion of how I should write. Why I should write. Or how to act. Things I should draw. Things I shouldn’t say.

I allowed my writing, my interests, and perhaps more stupidly, my skills to stagnate because of this. I received a few hard knocks, and then I went into my shell to hide and lick my wounds. I said I would try again, but I never did.

Like almost drowning and then using that as an excuse not to ever learn swimming (which is a true story, by the way).

I’m learning to trust myself again. To allow myself to breathe for myself, and not for others. To take form again.

And hopefully I will get better at it.

Funnily enough, I was inspired to try this after reading the 10 drawing myths that block your progress. Also found Alonso Dunn’s tutorials on drawing with pen and pencil, so that helped a bit.