On Belonging & Familiarity

Five and a half years ago, I walked into the Xavier’s first quad along with my best friend full of hope and joy at leaving my small suburb behind. I didn’t have any idea how much my life was going to change that moment – in that one moment I was happy to have made it to the college of my dreams, to have proved the people who told me Humanities was a futile endeavour a little wrong by choosing to pursue what I loved instead of what would probably land me a stable job and an easy future.

When I came to Xavier’s I didn’t know who I was – I had maybe two friends and we were shaky at best. I was afraid to tell people that what I liked best was reading and writing but thankfully, that was the best thing to tell people at Xavier’s. I met my best friend on the first day and when she told me her grades, I was so disappointed that once again, I had managed to befriend all the nerdiest people I could find. My hopes of finally being one of the popular kids were dashed right then and there.

But at fifteen, I had expected too much and too little of my time at Xavier’s. I wanted it to be this magical time, where I would study what I loved (this actually happened) and be popular and party and be cool (this did not happen). I made loads of friends, learned so much and finally found myself in those five years at college.


This past week has been full of longing to return to Xavier’s. I want to go back to what I called home for five years, I want to see the same people I saw for years, sat with during break and traded stories and had discourses with, I want to curse myself for choosing subjects I knew would drive me mad, I want to go back to double-lit lectures where I fall asleep during the class reading of Hamlet, I just want to go back to the familiarity.

It was difficult, giving up that daily safety to come far away from home, to somewhere you know maybe one person if you’re lucky. It’s been a while since I had to second-guess my humour, since I had to think before I playfully traded jabs with another person, since I felt I belonged somewhere. Because Xavier’s wasn’t just a place where I studied and then went back home – I carved my entire social circle around people there, channelled my work and my being into being a part of it for a really, really long time.

By the time SY came around, we stopped giving fucks about what people thought. We were comfortable enough in our own skin, our own groups and our own selves. We knew the people in college, we did things that were familiar and routine and safe. We were okay. We were happy and content.

Then graduation came along and split everyone up. Sure, some of us landed closer to each other than others. But five years seemed to have passed by in seconds and now there was no knowing when we would all be together again. There was no knowing when we’d find another place we truly felt at home again.

I will forever be grateful for the age I live in – I can see what my friends are up to in different countries, continents and time-zones and send them messages of appreciation or love immediately. I can video-call my best friend for five and a half hours or ring in the new year over drinks over Skype at the annual sleepover (even though I’m in my room, miles and miles away) with my group or send them daily snaps as a way of checking-in to make sure we’re alright. It takes effort, that’s true. It takes effort to remember to call or to text, especially when you’re busy and are making other friends and settling in a totally new place.

I know I’m glad it’s over, some things in life have to end at the right time otherwise they’ll stagnate. That’ll turn what you loved into something you hate. I know all that. It’s just a little hard to remember why it had to end when I’m struggling with making friends, constantly on unsure footing, having to actually check myself from over-sharing or befriending the wrong person. When you second-guess if you’re cool enough or funny enough or whatever enough to justify asking x person to be your friend. It’s hard to put yourself out there again when you’ve grown so used to a sheltered, protected circle of support and love.

But you do it. Because you have to. It makes you appreciate your friends better. It makes you appreciate what you had a little more, and this time you’re armed with the knowledge that there are people who love you and it’s okay if you fail this time.


I miss Xavier’s, it was home for me. But it’s okay because the building or the college itself wasn’t home, it was the people that are still around, that are still an incredibly important part of my life. Once we all figure out what’s happening and have a little more control over our lives, we’ll be back to the grind.

Meanwhile, I’ll just reminisce about my youthful college days with my best friends as I grow older and wiser and bitter and still fall asleep in lit lectures.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

I know I use this photo a lot, but it really says so much, doesn’t it?

Surviving 2017

Hey guys,

If you’re reading this, you’ve survived another year, kudos to you. Welcome to my 2017 year-end recap. The one post I write every year because we all know my blog is just my public diary at this point.

2017 was possibly the most convoluted year of my life. I have never been more confused, more sure, sadder or happier in my life than in 2017. I look back and wonder how I survived this year, when I came close to giving up so, so many times.


I rang in the new year with my best friends at our annual sleepover that will take place over Skype this year, so we started out just fine. January was a pretty uneventful month except for the knowledge that I was entering my last few months at Xavier’s, without a clue of what I would be doing post May. I went to Khandala for a French presentation with two of my best friends, and that was a really nice way to begin this horrendous year.

I started watching my first k-drama in January, and looking back, Goblin was probably the thing that influenced me so much so that I obsessively got into k-pop & k-dramas later in the year.

I turned twenty in February, and began a month-long internship at a publishing company, which was my first experience in something I want to do as a career. I also made a film called Kairos, along with a couple friends but we haven’t posted it anywhere. We made it as part of our assessment for our final lit paper, on being flaneur. I also had my college farewell in the last week of Feb, and that really made it real. That I would be leaving this place I’d called home for five years, I’d be done with college. (What actually helped was the knowledge that I would never have to give any CIAs again, bless).

March marked the end of my college days, for real this time. Other than my end sems, there wasn’t much I did in March. I did meet Caspar Lee at the Youtube FanFest which was pretty darn amazing.

April was a particularly happy month for me. I went to Goa with my best friends, as a graduation trip and it was one of the best trips of my life. AmazingPhil thanked me for watching his live show on YouNow, I passed all my finals with flying colours (except French), went to The Li’l Flea with friends, had a wonderful Easter with my best friends and did well on my IELTS (oh, did I not mention, I had decided to apply for my Masters to the UK, to Exeter & Durham, sometime in March). But yeah, Goa was undoubtedly the highlight of the month.

May brought along applications and writing samples for grad school. I hadn’t written anything in two years so I had to try harder than usual to get the words out. It was a huge difference from last May, when I grappled with depression and couldn’t write anything because I mentally and emotionally couldn’t come to terms with failure.

In June, I got accepted into the University of Exeter for Masters in Creative Writing. It was is a huge gamble, choosing to spend so much money on a degree most of society would scoff at but I couldn’t bear the idea of doing more lit in such an intense way.

I officially graduated in June. It was also the last time I saw all of my friends in one place.

July was an uneventful month compared to the others. I mostly spent it filling out forms and paying fees. Xavier’s gave me a scholarship for highest score among catholic students for my course, which still has me bewildered.

Of course, July was the start of my descent into my bts (bangtan sonyeondan) and k-pop in general. I spent time trying to master the choreography for As If It’s Your Last by Blackpink and remember my dad laughing and telling me not to bust my knees.


I don’t really remember August to be honest, not past the first week. I lost my dad on 4th August, and buried him on 5th. The rest of month, I remember being awake, but not really. I know I did things, went out and actually breathed but I can’t remember most of it.

I wrote about losing my dad, because writing is one of the only ways I know how to express my feelings. If you’d like to read it – the final goodbye.

We moved in September. My mom and my brother relocated to Doha. My brother transferred schools and I left home, cold and unyielding ten days earlier than I wanted to. I met my friends for the last time as they saw me off.

I arrived in Exeter mid-September, this was my first foray into the West.  It’s nice, it’s a small town and mercifully in the South, so I’m not totally freezing to death because of the cold. I’ve made some really lovely friends, people who are kind and cool and really welcoming.

I went out and socialized more in October than I have my entire life. So that was a fun aspect of October, other than writing more than I’m used to because of my course.

I went to visit a friend in Birmingham in November, it was the first trip I’d taken without family or best friends and just for the sake of travelling, really. I think I want to travel more in 2018, to just be in a place where no one knows me or anything about me.

And here we are, in December. I went back to Doha for a quiet Christmas. The first in twenty years without my dad, and the first one not in India. I’m back in Exeter now, and I will ring in the new year by either watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine or sleeping.


It’s been a fucked-up year, I’ll be honest. I have lost way too much and gained too little in comparison. Last year, I said my only goal was to be happy and I tried, I swear, but it didn’t work as well I wanted to. But I was happy enough, so that counts.

A special note, I would not have survived this year without my friends. I have never felt more loved and appreciated. I have taken for granted in the past just how unequivocally my friends have had my back. But I am so grateful, so very grateful.

For those who came to help in August, for those who just text me when I’m feeling low, for those who let me stay with them in a new city, for those who send me books they love, for those who I video call late at night, for those who write me postcards, for those who keep encouraging my writing, for those who discourse with me, for those who offer their friendship and their homes and their love, I am grateful.

Thank you for helping me survive 2017. I hope we all survive 2018 & maybe find small moments of happiness to keep going.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio




The Write Way

Lack of Representation: My Villain Writing Origin Story

Writing didn’t come to me as easily as reading did, it took me a while to accept that writing was what I wanted to do most of my life really. I dabbled in fashion designing the one dress I knew how to draw well, journalism until I realized I would have to stay awake at odd hours and have no social life (look at me doing those things now anyway) and finally decided to pursue something in publishing and social media because I spend all my time tweeting about books anyway.

When I wrote my first story at eleven, I named the twin protagonists after my brother and myself, and even wrote my parents into it. But with one major difference – they were all living in America and were white. I remember setting the whole story, my parents, brother, everyone else I knew in a small town in America from one of the other YA books I’d read. I’ve never even been to America, all I know about it is from TV shows and movies and books – so many books.

Even back then, I’d pinpointed an important trend in the books I was reading – the protagonists were white, they weren’t set anywhere in Asia and they definitely didn’t have any issues other than finding some mystical treasure to save the world or choosing between two lovers. So, wanting to be successful, I chose to write about something I had absolutely no idea about rather than write about my own life, what I knew best.

So, I went on, writing about twins who were twelve whose lives change when they’re sent to a boarding school and they’re separated for the first time and realize they have telepathic powers. Some other stuff happened, and then the pages of the notebook ran out and I got distracted with the professors introducing the alphabet into equations.

The next big thing I tried to write was when I was sixteen, when I was consuming dystopian and fantasy fiction in YA by the kilo every month. From the obscure to the popular, I’ve read pretty much everything that included some sort of love triangle in the wake of a crumbling society. College was the first time I was exposed to books that contained protagonists of colour, of books set across the world but it still wasn’t enough to change my primary influence of American and British novels with white protagonists.

That’s why, when I was sixteen, I wrote about a young girl in her early twenties going to France and meeting a guy and having a whirlwind adventure and falling in love and some drama while they explored France. Truth be told, it was just a way for me to incorporate and practice the French I was learning then, from unnecessary facts about Frances’s ports to them teaching each other how to speak basic French, my story was a tutorial in disguise. But that was important was that this time, I made the protagonist brown. I kept the guy white, thinking a hero like that would appeal more to the masses and maybe they would “forgive” me for having a brown protagonist. [Thankfully, in the past two years there has been an incredibly boosting surge of protagonists of colour, of settings that are not America and Europe, of protagonists who are broken and flawed and human, and I can finally see myself in the type of books I love to read and that has inspired me to write what I want to, and now what I should, in order to sell.]

I actually wrote the French love story for my first NaNoWriMo, the same year I started blogging. I wrote fifty thousand words of that novel and it’s still around somewhere, deep in the recesses of google drive. That was one of the last things I wrote for a long time. Then came a period of intense self-doubt and depreciation, which meant I wouldn’t write anything (except blog posts, though even those dwindled).

When I figured out that I wanted to get my Masters immediately after my BA, I knew I wouldn’t survive another year of reading literature I couldn’t bear and that meant I would take a huge chance and choose Creative Writing. I applied to a couple universities, writing for the first time in three years – writing something that wasn’t an essay for class or wasn’t half bullshit for an assignment, heck, I even wrote a bit of poetry that I’m sort of proud of but didn’t send it in. It was too precious to be used as a writing sample.

And now here we are, I’m almost done with my first term and I’m procrastinating writing my final pieces by writing this long and rambling blog post. But I know a few aspects of my final pieces – they’re going to be set in India, and they’re going to feature brown people. Now that I’m experiencing it, I finally truly understand diaspora, I have a new-found desperation to write about home, to connect in any way I can, to express my longing for the food and the people and to feel like I belong somewhere – even if it is only within my words.


I know I haven’t written in a while. It’s been a chaotic few months, filled with loads of changes – some of which were my choice, others, that weren’t. But there’s another post coming your way around the end of this month – my annual recap, which is easy to write so hopefully I don’t procrastinate writing it too much. It’ll include all the fun aspects of my life – depression, nihilism, and graduation from Xavier’s (which I miss incredibly).


Until next time,

Nia Carnelio



The Only Way I Know

[Trigger warning: Death]

You don’t look the same.

You might look the same as you did the day before, but the reflection in the mirror is a lie. A part of you is dead now, a part of you, gone forever.


My dad died on Friday. It was a good day. It was a good day because he didn’t suffer, he went quickly and peacefully. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good day for us. You see, we’re still here, alive and quite in pain.

Death is inevitable, it stops for no one and the only mercy it provides is the end of suffering. Because that’s what life is, suffering until you find one shred of happiness to keep you alive for just a bit longer. Some of us last a bit longer than others, but we’re all suffering.

It’s been a while you see, since I had both parents around the same time. My mom worked abroad to provide for us, she had a good job, a good position and most importantly the encouragement of her husband and children who lived back home. My dad retired seven years ago to take care of my brother who was only four and a half when my mom left. She was coming back this October you see, because I was leaving home. She’s back a bit earlier now, and there’s so much to do and so many questions to ask but we’ve gotta do it on our own now. It’ll be difficult, it’ll be painful, it will take time but it will happen.

My dad was far too helpful, far too kind, and far too good for this world. That’s not to say he didn’t have vices, but he was better that that. He didn’t discriminate who he spoke to – he was friends with the watchmen, the vegetable vendors (who helped him trick me into eating my veggies), the Bishops and the Principals of schools in the same way. He helped everyone, whether or not he could. He was hundred times the person I’ll ever be, and if I achieve even ten percent of his way of life, I will consider myself fortunate.

If you came for the funeral, the above sentence will be familiar. It was a part of the eulogy I gave, but it was unpolished. Someone did tell me to write a bit beforehand, but I was a tad preoccupied with something else, you see. But I think I did a good job, and that my dad would’ve liked what I said. He and I shared the same brand of gallows humour, I learned to makes jokes about death and the inevitable end of life from him. It’s where I learned that death is permanent, but the memories I hold will be with me for the rest of my life.

To my friends who came through for me, you don’t know how much your support means to me. You have come across the city (across cities, in fact) to support me and I am truly grateful. You are the family I chose, you are the reason I believe in the goodness of the world. To the neighbours who helped me out more than I can explain, when mom was on her way, you gave me the extra few minutes my dad needed and I will never be able to repay your kindness. To family that came through, I am grateful.

To those that asked me why I didn’t inform them immediately or call them for help, I’m sorry you were a little less important to me than my mother and brother. Maybe I would’ve called you, if I didn’t know of your insensitivity beforehand. I only hope this never happens to you so you never know what it’s like being in my shoes. Because let me tell you, this is the kind of shoe-bite that never stops aching.

To the four-hundred odd people who showed up to celebrate the life of my dad yesterday, you made his journey into the afterlife a little brighter and I thank you for that. Your presence and support keeps us going. Keep us in your prayers (if you’re an atheist, keep us in your well wishes) and if you do one thing today – do something nice for someone else even if (especially if) you have to go out of your way to do it. It’ll make my dad proud and it’ll add a little more joy in this miserable world.

If you didn’t know my dad but still stuck around to read this simply because you were curious or because you knew me (or you stumbled upon my blog accidentally) thank you. This is the only way I know how to say goodbye.

[For those that want to make it, anticipatory mass will be held at IC Church, Borivali on 11th August, 2017 at 7 PM.]


Time is too cruel
I hate us
Now it’s hard to even see each other
Even once anymore
This place is all winter now
It’s winter in August too

How much do I have to miss you
How much does it have to fall like snow
For spring to come



Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

On Punishing Happiness

There’s something wrong.

I’ve had too many happy days in this year already, in this past month itself. More than I have in the last year put together.

When things start going good for a while, you start wondering, worrying, waiting for the other shoe going to drop. When is it going to stop being good? Where is the bad stuff that is constantly in my life? They say you can never appreciate summer if you don’t go through winter, that you can’t appreciate the light when you haven’t experienced the dark.

In the past month, as I have waited for my happy times to end and for the shit days to come and claim their rightful place in my life, I have realized I don’t let myself be happy without simultaneously expecting to be punished for it. Being happy does not come naturally to me, it takes effort and a lot of cajoling for me to accept that this is not going to be the reason for something bad in the near future. After every Happy Ever After, there are silences, irreparable relationships and broken people. How can I believe that something good truly does last? Or even if it doesn’t, that it will come back again?

A couple weeks ago, I was speaking to a friend and we’d both had bad days. I told him about a quote I’d read earlier that day, “Life is never so bad that it can’t get worse, nor is it so good that it can’t get better.” And that’s true isn’t it? My happy days are bound to end some time (soon, by the way my final exams approach next week) but they’ll be back again. Maybe this time they’ll stay longer, they’ll manage to erase most of the effect the dark days have on me. I’ll be able to appreciate the good days better, to not worry about when they’re going to end, or whether they’ll be back.

Maybe today I’ll enjoy the sunshine and the sea and not worry about if and when I’ll come back to the same view.


As I write this, I’m sitting at Marine Drive, watching the waves crash onto the shore. They’ve done that every time I’ve been here this week, which makes me feel calm and not so worried about my future. I’ve just finished my last day in college and now I only have six exams before I’m completely free of Xavier’s. What a surreal feeling. Five years of college seem to have passed by in the blink of an eye (although I remember every single second of Lit double lectures) and I can’t believe I have to leave this place I called home in two weeks.

The last few months of college and the first few months of this year have been the happiest in a long time. I’m ready to leave.

It’s time for a new beginning.


Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

2016 Recap: Dealing, Depression and Dancing

Hey guys,

Another year, another recap post. Yes, I’m one of the millions who had a shitty 2016, but it wasn’t without some good moments. I mean, I could argue that this year was the best in terms of teaching me things, but you’re not here for that nonsense.

In January, there wasn’t much that happened. I started the year with a sleepover with my best friends. What I did do was make a short film with my group in Media and Cinema studies titled Avenoir. You should check it out, if only to see how badly I act in the four seconds I’m in the film.

In February, I turned 19 and watched Deadpool. Yes, Deadpool deserves a mention. I also joined instagram (which would lead me to meeting some of the best people I now call friends, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves). You can check my Bookstagram here: PerceptiveMadness.

In March, I met Connor Franta. He signed a copy of his book for me and hugged me. Nothing else of importance happened in that month.

April is when things started happening. And by happening I mean destroying my life (can you tell I have a penchant for melodrama?). The department I was going to apply for as Head got canned (thanks, best friend) and I thought I was mostly okay about it.

Narrator: She was not okay about it.

I wrote a post I’m rather proud of about what Raga meant to me and how it shaped my life. Even in its absence, it has taught me so much and I’ll forever be grateful for everything it’s done for me.

Remember last year I told you about how I was staring into an abyss of depression, well, this year I fell into across May- July. I was unable to read or blog or do anything without thinking about my failures. It got a bit better in June when I wrote about it and people went out of their way to tell me they loved and supported me and had gone through similar experiences. Sharing what I was going through really helped, and I strongly believe that mental illnesses should not be stigmatised. Speak out, ask for help, professional help if you must. If you take one thing back from this post, let it be this.


In June I met the Bombay Bookstagram group – people who loved reading as much as I did and who are amazing people and even better friends. I also started my final year in Xavier’s, and had my first job as a social media consultant.

In July I failed at another thing I really, really wanted and while it didn’t hurt as much as Raga I was still pretty cut up about it. I dealt with that by reading the most books in July.

In August, I read the Cursed Child. And I have one question: WHY.

September was when things began looking up marginally. I did adult things (made my own bank account) and went socialising with people who weren’t in my immediate group. It was a beautiful feeling. Oh, and obviously, I watched the two best shows of the year in September: Parks and Recreation and Fullmetal Alchemist.

I went for Comic Con with my friends in October, where Salonie had the most badass cosplay ever. And I wrote a post about being a teenager, sentimentality because as I write this I have two months left of being a teenager.

In November, I went for my first concert and I watched The Vamps, Coldplay and Demi Lovato perform live. This festival alone could’ve salvaged 2016.

I went for my last Trad day in college in December and for my first Prom. Both involved a lot of…dancing, among other things. And that’s it, really.


2016 has been full of good people and shitty circumstances. I learned about dealing with people who don’t share my views on socio-cultural issues, and how not to simply cut those I don’t agree with out of my life. But I am working on cutting those who are toxic out. It’s been a great year for reading, fiction definitely helped me escape the nightmarish reality that 2016 was.

I don’t have any goals for 2017 except to be happier.

Favourite posts this year (other than those linked):

Five by Five

On Life and Memories

The Reacher and the Settler

I hope you had a better 2016 than I did, and I hope you have a brilliant 2017.

Until next time,
Nia Carnelio.

P.S. If you’d like to know which were my best reads of the year, check out the latest post on my book blog.

Feels Like Teen Spirit – The Hundredth Post

Being a teenager is being impulsive, reckless, passionate. It’s wanting to explore and learn a hundred new things at once, but being unable to because you’re preparing for your future, your jobs that’ll help you exist, but not really live.

Being a teenager is falling in love with everything, from people to things, and hating others with fiery disposition. It’s being proud of yourself one moment and deeply ashamed the next. It’s the moment of exploring sexualities, of arms and legs touching, of limbs coming together, of mutual learning and understanding.

Being a teenager is when you realise the world is not yours for the taking, it’s right there, but it belongs to someone else. It’s getting your heart ripped out a thousand times, when you face rejection, when unhappiness looms over the horizon like a constant hoverer. It’s happiness in creating memories that may make you cringe when looked back upon, but with a fondness for your innocence.

Being a teenager is when you realise you’re not immortal or eternal, when you realise that death is coming for you, and it has already come for someone who is your age. It’s realising that life sucks, that there’s nothing you can do to control your circumstances, until you’re finally free. It’s learning to accept that you can’t just get up and leave when you feel like it, there are feelings to be considered, people to keep relations with. It’s wanting to be free, to be independent and wanting to be cared for.

Being a teenager is realising the fallacy of your childhood dreams, of how they’re probably never going to come true. It’s realising how far you’ve got to go, and there’s so much more left to explore and experience. But never again will there come a first kiss, your first time with someone, magical in the moment. Sloppy tongues and clashing teeth, leaning to discover another body like your own.

You’re going to leave school and college and probably leave the comfort of home to brave a new world, with or without a significant other. Being a teenager is when you realise how complex the world is, how jarring reality is and how much it affects you. You have new appreciation for your childhood innocence and the way you’ve been protected from the cruel, unfeeling world.

“When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”

― John Green, Looking for Alaska

But now is the time the world is yours to seize and all you need to do is believe in yourself and put in efforts. You dream big, with ambitions that reach beyond the sky, with the failures turning into guidelines for your eventual success.


Being a teenager is being powerful and powerless at the same time, wanting to be a part of the world and wanting no part in it. The period of learning, of growth and experiencing what’s going to befall them in the future.

Being a teenager is tasting the very first slice of the cake that life is.


I woke up a couple days ago with the horrifying realisation that I only had a few more months left of being a teenager and this was born of exam stress, a lot of procrastination and a desire to put into words what I’ve been feeling for a long time.

Also, this post is my hundredth post on this blog. Fitting ode, don’t you think? I began this blog as a clueless teen at the age of sixteen and here I am, still clueless at nineteen hoping to find her place in the world and just be happy. Thanks for sticking around, you’ve been great.


Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

The Bit about Forgiveness                                         

I’m a nice person – or so I’d like to believe. But I try not to show people that because I’ve been burned in the past when people took undue advantage of my niceness and naiveté. But here’s the thing, even if the things they’ve done are in the past, I still haven’t forgiven them.

In short – I’m a very petty person, I hold on to grudges for years and since I have an excellent memory of everyone who’s ever wronged me, I make sure to revisit what they’ve done to me (imagined or real) and feel some righteous (according to me) annoyance.


Lately, I’ve been ruminating and rethinking about a few people who I believed have wronged me. As it has been established that I’m not a very forgiving person, I’ve gone all out to either ignore or insult them to their faces. The only thing though – I fear it’s turning me into someone I do not agree with, someone I do not want to become.

A couple months ago, when I was hit by a particularly strong bout of self-righteousness I tweeted a few rude things to a particular entity on Twitter. My friend Salonie called me up immediately, concerned. I told her I wasn’t worried about the fallout, in fact if I got any then I would be happier. But she told me that that wasn’t the way she wanted others to perceive me. She believes in me (I think) and actually thinks I am a good person, capable of being nice.

Another friend of mine pointed out that I’ve become increasingly bitter recently. I don’t really want to be that kind of person – the one who reeks of negativity and is a damper on everyone and everything. More than that though, I don’t want to be someone I don’t recognize.

I’ve been keeping grudges and holding on to them since I’ve been in school, over things that don’t even matter to me, and probably didn’t then either. But I still remember how I felt and as I’ve grown older, I’ve simply harnessed this ability to keep grudges and have evolved to not giving two fucks as to how the person in front of me feels, how people who love me feel about this and I can see how toxic this is turning.


Back in school, I used to put a lot of pressure on myself when it came to academics, always feeling average and left out because my marks weren’t high enough for me to be a part of the toppers nor were they just low enough for me to be a part of the cool people who looked as though they didn’t care if they passed or failed. I remember feeling cheated because no matter what I did, I couldn’t find what I really wanted. But since I’ve entered college, I no longer bother about my academics. Marks, they come and go and I study enough keeping my goals in sight, and I’m happy about it.

Others’ marks and successes in academics don’t affect me anymore; in fact I’m happier when I’m on the side-lines when it comes to studies. So it is possible for me to move on from something that bothers me and be happy about it again. In another vein, I wonder why I can’t be salty about the things affecting me, why must I be the bigger person and not craftily (but not subtly) yell out insults to the people who actually have wronged me?


I know I’m petty. I know I’m holding grudges against people who may not be the ones to blame because I can’t hold them against those who are. I know I may insult them very unsubtly (if you’re the person I called a moron today and you’re reading this – even though I know you’re not – know I stand by my decision) but I feel like that’s the way for me to cope with the feeling of failure they have made me feel. A little taste of the sadness I felt so they can go through what I went through.

I may not be a nice person after all. But I’m not trying to be. I’m trying to be happy without killing anyone (and believe me there’s a long list). But not forgiving people or telling them I forgive them without meaning it may really be affecting me and I don’t want to give the people who wronged me another thing to take away from me.

If I keep obsessing over them, thinking and rethinking over what they did to me (way back in the past or just this afternoon) then aren’t they taking over a part of me for themselves forever? How can I stand to let them change me like that?

So this is an acknowledgement post. I may not be able to forgive you for what you’ve done yet, but I will try my hardest to forget you and whatever you did. Let’s all move on.


Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.



On Life and Experiences

Here’s the thing: I’m nineteen years old, living in a metropolis that offers me the best of experiences and yet here I am, feeling as though I’ve missed out on a lot of things in life. I lead a privileged life as compared to some other people in my country, but that’s not the thing I want to talk about today.

People my age are doing things I’ve never even thought of doing: sex, drinking, drugs, concerts, taking solo trips around the world and here I sit, curled up with a book. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s hard not to feel I’m missing out. I keep wondering, are we the same age? How are they ready to go drinking and get drunk in front of others, how do they trust so easily?

How are they so open about showing their body to someone else? Is there a class for getting comfortable and sharing your intimate details and then your body with someone else? Hell, I get nervous just sharing my pizza, I feel like they might not appreciate the toppings I got? Across all the YA books I read, people are falling in love and having sex at sixteen and seventeen and I look back at myself when I was sixteen and wonder if there is any universe where I would be ready to have sex at sixteen, I doubt it.

But I’ve been thinking about this for sometime now, it’s been bugging me how different I am from a majority of my peers in terms of what milestones we’ve achieved and it all comes down to one thing: trust. I don’t trust people enough to open myself up to anyone, I don’t trust anyone not to make fun of my body, and I don’t trust anyone enough to share anything about me.

The thing about sex is how you view it determines how much value it holds for you. I simultaneously think it’s nothing big and everything important. On days I think it’s important and a rite of passage (college life and all), I wonder if I’m going to be left behind, all alone with a bunch of books for company. And on other days, books and solitude seem like the most blissful thing ever, boyfriends and lovers seem like nothing more than a distraction from achieving my goals. It’s the same with drinking – I’ve never been drunk in my whole life, and I don’t understand how someone can allow themselves to be so vulnerable in front of someone else. One of my major fears is getting drugged and raped while drunk, which is a cold, terrifying reality for women everywhere, the more potent question is why I don’t trust people I’ve known for years and who are my best friends to take care of me if I get drunk.

Where has this deep distrust come from? More importantly, why have I only started thinking about these experiences now? I have no intention to get high or smoke a cigarette just because others are doing it, but things like going out with friends for a fun night and letting loose are important to me. They make memories and I’m only going to be young once. I’m in my final year in college and it is really odd how I haven’t done things most of my peers did in their first year in junior college.

Maybe now I’ll try and be a bit more open to experiences and make an actual effort to socialize more with my friends and maybe even trust them to keep me safe (which they hopefully will). Maybe I need to stop being the Mom Friend™ for a change and realize that I can trust folks and have some fun too. Being responsible and dependant is fine and all, but it’s also good to have some occasional fun that does not come from reading books and binge-watching shows.


Here’s to some courage, trusting people and new experiences.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

P.S: I’m in no way saying you should get drunk and have sex because you’re young. They’re not things one *must* do before one gets old. There’s a lot more to do when you’re young, making a difference and helping others is always as good place to start, as is being a decent human being. Life is full of choices. If you want to read a book and if that makes you happy, that’s great. If you want to have sex with another consenting adult, that’s great too. Make good choices that make you happy. That’s what life should be about.


Five By Five

The thing about life is that it sucks. And you can quote me on that.

But there’s another thing about life that’s important to know, the fact that it sucks makes it easier for us to cherish the few happy moments we may get.

I was scrolling through Instagram the other day, procrastinating studying for my exams and pretty much ignoring everything I was supposed to be doing when I saw a picture that said:

The Five x Five Rule to Happiness:  If anything that upsets you isn’t going to be relevant or worth your attention in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes upset about it.

And I really stopped and thought about it. I’ve spent a lot of time moping and being upset about some of my failures, even though some of them really ridiculous. For instance, the fact that I’m still annoyed about not being Captain / Leader at school is quite possibly the stupidest thing, especially since I hated school and hated everyone in it. And the logical part of me knows I would’ve hated it, but the larger, pettier part of me is still cut up about that.

But that wasn’t true failure and I know that now. Failure is when you see what could’ve been and you have this huge, gaping hole inside your chest next to your heart. It feels like you’ve been sucker punched in gut and you’re left gasping when all you can feel is pain.

So I thought about this rule, and how it would help me get over things because I keep a lot of stuff pent up for years and it all piles on until it isn’t healthy. But then I realized I don’t know for sure what will and won’t be important to me in five years. What if by assigning something importance is the only way my life would’ve been happier? What if by getting over it I’m actually accepting something that I wasn’t meant to accept?

Life isn’t that cut and dry, it requires blood and tears to be lived through. Even if I spend five minutes upset about something, those five minutes are still going to be incredibly painful. A year ago, I thought dislocating my knee was the most pain I’d ever have to go through, but somehow I think realizing that I’ve failed hurts even more. And it took me a lot more than five minutes to get over the physical agony of having a bones shifting in my body, so I think it may take me some more time to deal with failure.


Five by five is also slang for ‘everything is alright’ and unfortunately, that’s also a signal to life that things are getting too good, so it’s time to fuck something up. And we’re back to square one again.

So yes, life sucks. But someone very important just told me that,

“You can still keep getting up no matter how many times life kicks you in the butt, because the very fact that you’re living and breathing and EXISTING means that you still have it in you.” – Christina.

I’m going to file the Five by five rule for later, for now I think I’ll just mope and rant and be annoyed until I’m ready to try (fail) again.


Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

[Also, I’d promise to write more, but TY really is keeping me busy. I watched the entirety of Parks and Recreation and am still recovering from the end of the best show ever, so cut me some slack. AND Pokemon Go won’t work on my phone. No wonder I haven’t been writing.]