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.

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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

-bts

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Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.]

To Eight More Months

Hey guys,

It’s happened. My summer holidays have finally come to an end. Tomorrow is the first day of my final year at college. I’ve absolutely no interest in college resuming, but I’ve got about eight months or so before someone announces my name and sets me free only to go and get a Masters. The studying never ends, does it?

(And clearly, neither do the exams.)

I had a nightmare last night that I only scored a ten on sixty on my French final and I’m still a bit rattled from that very vivid dream. The list of books that I need to get and begin reading has already begun popping in. With about three books for each paper, and the five papers that I’ve got, it’ll be a wonder if I can read anything else from my actual TBR. Books that I have to read include: Jane Eyre, A Christmas Carol, Metamorphosis, Antigone among several others that are yet to be announced. Oh, and there’s poetry too. And then there’s me – someone who doesn’t really enjoy classics and positively loathes poetry. Sometimes I wonder (and so do my friends, very loudly) why I’m studying Literature at all. I think it’s because I’d like to know how to analyse a book, not the analysis of a particular book, you see. And I figured it’d help me with my creative writing, but it seems like this blog has worked more on that than my twenty-mark, six page answers.

Enough about academics, there’s a lot more to my final year or so I hope. I remember when I was fifteen and standing outside Xavier’s and wondering if I’d ever get in and get to experience the college life that seemed so utterly enamouring then. And I did get the chance, and it seems as though I blinked four times and four years have gone by. At nineteen, I can now look back through my years and see how much I’ve grown (a full three inches and some) and how many wonderful experiences I’ve had. If my final year has half of them, it’s going to be a great one.

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I’ve made so many friends, lost some of them, I’ve participated in things I didn’t know I had the talent for and then polished that talent into something that resembles a career plan. I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone, forced to think outside the box and cajoled into experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

At the end of the day though, Xavier’s is just a structure – what brings it alive are the people within. Which includes all of my friends, acquaintances, the seniors I looked up to and emulated, the juniors I respected and loved, the faculty I learned from (in more ways than one) and strangers that have taught me something or the other. I know I sound like this is the last day ever, but I know across these eight months I’m going to wish death on several people, including myself, either due to academics or extracurricular activities or life in general. So this post is supposed to be a reminder that I’ve wanted to be here since seventh grade, and even though some days are particularly difficult (I’m thinking of you, romantic poetry), Xavier’s has still given me some of the best times of my life. And here’s to eight more months of it before it’s gone forever.

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In other news, I went to a meet up for Bombay Bookstagram folks on Sunday. Twelve bookworms, a hell lot of books and some amazing food turned it into one of the best days this year. It’s weird how much fun you can have with people who share your interests and invite you to learn about something new.

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People who support what I read without dissing it are my favourite kind of people. And since I’ve always believed reading to be a solitary activity, our little band of misfit readers makes me happy to be wrong. Reading is something that makes me utterly happy, and I’m glad I get to share my hobby with such amazing folks.

If any of you are reading this, know that you are brilliant and you made my day.

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Bombay Bookstagram.

For the others, I’ll write as soon as my brutal curriculum gives me some time to breathe – which will hopefully be sooner than I think, because it certainly sounds as though Armageddon is coming dressed in poetry and classics tomorrow.

Goodbye, Summer 2016. You’ve been great.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

 

 

 

On (NOT) Dealing With Failure

I know it’s been a while since I blogged about anything. I know I said I would write more this year, and it’s the first day of June 2016 and I haven’t exactly kept that promise. I’ve lost the motivation to write, to be honest, and for a while there, also the motivation to read anything – arguably two of my only interests unless you count YouTube as one.

My blog’s called Freedom and Inspiration, with the site address having Inspiration and Writing and for the last two months or so I’ve been neither free, nor inspired to write anything. My mind has been a blank, and even if I wanted to write something, I would’ve second guessed myself and not put it into words at all. I’ve been writing this post in my head for over two weeks, rewriting and scrapping until two days ago, when my best friends told me how important it was to express myself in the way I know best and why I shouldn’t really give up or take a break from writing simply because I got rejected from a couple things I wanted to be a part of.

So here’s the deal: I’ve always thought of myself as someone who didn’t take failure to her heart, who used it as a stepping stone and all that jazz. Unfortunately though, this past month taught me I’m more sensitive and less sensible than I thought I was. I even nicknamed myself the Anti-Midas there for a bit, you know the person who fails at everything they attempt – the one whose touch can cause failure and bad luck to befall anything.

I didn’t realize how big a part of my life it was until it was taken away, you see. I seem to have placed an extraordinary amount of trust in the fact that I’d get to do it one last time, not knowing I already had. I’d fallen in love and it didn’t even know I existed in the cruel twist of fate I did not expect. It became such a huge part of my life and now I don’t know how to deal with it.

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I’ve been rejected for a particular post I wanted several times, heck it took me two tries to become Subhead itself and another couple to become Editor and never have I taken it so badly. I’ve turned to moping and feeling sorry for myself, having a pity party for myself every day. I’ve turned into someone I don’t recognize anymore and I don’t like it one bit.

My best friends tried to talk some sense into me, what I’m after won’t matter in the long run anyway and the fact of the matter is that I didn’t want it anyway. A bit before I got to know I wasn’t going to be doing it this year, I wondered if I really wanted to do it on someone else’s terms and I didn’t. My brain recognizes it was the best thing, my heart, not so much. It was set on those three months turning into those three days, making memories with other people and all, one last time. I think it also stems from the fact that my last experience wasn’t a good one and I wanted a do-over. I didn’t get it and so I’m not happy, or at least I wasn’t. I’m working on fully accepting it now.

Back in school, I never got the opportunity to become head of anything post primary school and the fact that two people, one of whom was my best friend then, got asked and refused it and I didn’t even get a chance stung me badly. I’d never gotten over that, storing it in a deep mental list of my failures I didn’t even know about. That list reared its ugly head when I got rejected twice in a row this summer. I knew it was a long shot for one, but I thought the other may just happen. The fact that I’d expected it made it harder for me to come to terms with the fact that it wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t lose the chance; I didn’t get it at all.

It sucks more because my best friend is doing it and there’s a part of me that desperately wishes I was doing it with her. And the other one wants to chill and do something else for a change. And then there’s the third part saying I’ll never be good enough, not as good as the others anyway, not good enough to ever amount to anything. It isn’t easy to deal with this when it seems like everyone else is getting what they want, is doing what they want. There’s a twisted piece inside me wishing for unhappiness for everyone so they can feel what I feel, feel how useless and worthless I feel because it hurts and I don’t know when it will stop hurting because I can’t do anything about it except suck it up.

I’ve never faced this complete and utter loss of hope before so I’m a little unsure on how to deal with it, and I don’t think snarky little taunts from others are any help. I know I’m supposed to ignore them, but it’s difficult when they manage to wrangle their way into my mind, making me doubt everything I believe in.

But it’s been a month and I’m tired of moping and my friends aren’t getting any happiness from seeing me waste away and not put what I know to good use. One of my best friends said that what I lost was simply a way for me to get into writing and how ironic it is that now that it’s gone, I’ve let it take my words away from me. And whether I was okay being a weak person, because if I call myself strong, I should be able to deal with this failure, learn from it and move on.

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And I don’t want to be weak anymore. I don’t want to covet someone else’s happiness because that is not me. I want to be happy again. I want to write again, for me, not because I want to be published or because I want to be a part of something that doesn’t want me. I finished my first book in weeks last night; this post is the first one I’ve written in over a month. It’s going to be slow, it’s going to be difficult but I’m going to get over this.I’ve enjoyed being miserable, having a pity party for too long. It’s time for it to end.

And until it does, my best friends have my back. Thank you.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

P.S – Listening to Troye Sivan’s Blue Neighbourhood Trilogy and Halsey’s Colours wasn’t very helpful, but oh my god, they are so fucking good. Please, give them a listen.

 

Saying Goodbye

Hey guys,

[Unless you’ve been living under a rock or you don’t really care or you aren’t a Xavierite, (I suspect it’s one of the latter options) you’ll know the department I was part of for three years doesn’t exist anymore. I’m quite heartbroken, a bit pissed (at the right people, might I add) and I’ve accepted it. And this post is my way of saying goodbye.]

I was sixteen and in love with writing when I first saw the charts that invited applications for all the amazing departments Malhar has to offer. As I read through each one, I knew I hadn’t found my place until I looked at three – Raga, Literary Arts & ETC. Raga had the thing I wanted – Free T-shirts (AKA souvenirs and proof that I’d done Malhar, and I didn’t know every department got them) and free hugs (which I vehemently refused until they broke me down). I’m wearing one of those comfortable Raga’13 t-shirts as I write this.

And those were the three departments I applied to.

It was pure chance that I decided to place my Raga app in the front – those were printed compared to the other departments’ which were handwritten in my semi-legible (on a good day) handwriting. And there was no interview (I think there was something new being tried) because I was in – an OG called me to say that I was selected and that I was officially part of Malhar now.

I was very, very intimidated by all the OGs and the OC who seemed (and are) extremely talented. I wondered what I was doing there; I didn’t believe my writing was worth being part of Malhar’s official newsletter. But I was part of them, so I must have something they’d seen and liked.

Raga 2013 was a mix of JC friends, seniors who guided and impressed me and people I looked up to. I made some fairly unbreakable bonds with the people in that department, in that year. Other bonds, strengthened on being part of something we believed in, on something that believed in us. Raga 2013 – I may not have been OG then, or even one of the more popular volunteers, but it certainly was a brilliant Malhar for me. I loved the people, the department and I walked out believing a lot more in my writing, believing a lot more in myself.

I decided to apply for OG in 2014 – Raga had gained The Malhar Blog. And I loved blogging – might as well try it out, I figured. I didn’t get it, but I went back to the department as a volunteer. This time, my co-volunteers were the ones who inspired me. If you are one of those SYs, TYs or JCs that became my friend and the ones I had a “special bond” with (inside joke) – know that you are amazing and you made my time in Raga 2014 a happier one.

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This time, I walked out of Raga believing a bit more in people, a bit more in friendships, a bit more in loving what I do – even if others don’t get it. (Of course, it wasn’t all roses and sunshine, there was extreme stupidity, people behaving like dicks, being mean etc. happening, but I choose to view the bit I loved as more important.)

In 2015, I applied to be OC – didn’t get it. And I knew I wouldn’t – I didn’t have the required experience, but I certainly gained some while applying. I applied to be Blog OG again, and this time, I made it. The Malhar Blog was mine to run, mine to write for. I liked my team members (some of them at the very least) and I loved my volunteers. But the best part was that being Blog OG, I interacted with almost every department in Malhar – I made so many friends (whom I later stalked and embarrassed on the blog) and I learned so much.

This year, 2016, I’d planned to apply for OC. My app is all charted out, I’ve even written about 2k words worth, but now, I’m keeping it as a memory. Of something that might have been (if people had kept their fucking egos out of department politics and been a bit more respectful of their peers). I write now to express my love for this department – the one I’ve made jokes about, the one I say I’m never returning to, only to stick to my word this time.

I write, because that’s the only way I know to share. Raga may not have been the best department of Malhar – some certainly don’t think so. But it was my department, and I loved it. It taught me so much. It taught me to believe in my writing, taught me people can be the best and also the worst, taught me the value of friendships and the consequences of holding on to grudges. In some way or the other, Raga has shaped the person I am today. And even though it doesn’t exist anymore, it will always be my safe place. It will always be the department I made friends in, the department I loved for all its flaws.

Thank you, Raga. Thank you for being there for me when I needed you. The Malhar Blog was some of the best of my work (in my very biased opinion) and I am honoured I got the chance to work for it. I have lived my dreams and now I change the ones I had to better fit the present.

After all, at the end of the day, that JC girl staring up at the Raga chart calling for volunteers who’d get their own free t-shirts, grew up to be someone who loved writing and believed in it.

Thank you, Raga & goodbye. You will be missed.

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“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

Back To Blogging [End of Hiatus]

Hey guys,

I know, I know it’s been a while -a month and a half, to be exact. The last time I was here I wrote about turning nineteen and about the new experiences, responsibilities it would bring. I know the title of this post sounds like one of those Animorphs novels I’ve been reading (it is one of them, actually) but that’s to signify that I’m working on blogging regularly and this post is a start towards the same. [The Return was the original title, but Christina posted hers before mine went live and so, the change.]

It’s been a dry couple years, writing-wise. The last time I wrote any fiction (in the form of a novel) was in 2014. Since then I haven’t had the inspiration or the inclination. On the other hand, I’ve read an awful lot since then. It seems like one cannot exist without the other – either I can read or I can write and I need to figure out a way for both those things to co-exist because I can’t really call myself a writer if I’m not writing, can I?

This writer’s block comes from the great place of insecurity and feeling that whatever I write cannot match the amazing stuff I read on a day to day basis. Over the past year and half I have read some truly incredibly books and I really feel the need to step up my game if I ever want to be read by people – or so I feel. (Then I see some utterly crap books that have been published and I wonder, what the fuck is going on?)

So when you see the goals I’d penned down for 2016 – the reading is going splendidly, but the writing (both blogging and otherwise) has such abysmal progress (none at all). I’ve got to work on that, so I’m going back to my bullet journal (which is a normal journal now) and using it to note down ideas and hopefully using these holidays before my final year at college to write something.

A friend has begun writing again and I couldn’t be happier for her, I wish you all the best with the books, S. And hopefully, some of your writing persistence will rub off on me.

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And neither will my writer’s block.

And now for a little update on what I’ve been doing with life and my time:

  • I’ve read 43 books so far in 2016 – a mix between short (10 pages) and long (824 pages), graphic novels (Death Note), contemporaries and classics, and even two Indian author books.
  • I’ve been binge-watching Arrow – and that show is SO GOOD. Or maybe I’m biased because I’m clearly in love with Oliver and Felicity and Diggle. OTA forever.

I have a type, I’ve realized – I watch shows where everyone is ridiculously attractive and the characters never die / can be resurrected. Examples include: Supernatural, Arrow, The Flash, Doctor Who, and Sherlock among others.

“Come for the plot, stay for the pecs,” seems to be the motto of every show I watch.

  • I’ve hit a short reading slump – I blew through books during my exams and in the sixteen days since April began, I’ve only managed to complete Me Before You which wasn’t that great. I’m looking forward to the film though.
  • I’ve started re-reading The Raven Cycle in preparation for The Raven King that comes out on April 26th. And I am not ready for the utter destruction of my feels. #SaveGansey
  • I’ve done some adult colouring, and they’re turning out pretty fine (according to me) and I’m really enjoying the calmness and the patience it brings along. You can see them here and here.
  • I’ve also been doing Bookstagram – (@perceptivemadness) and I really like taking pictures of books and interacting with other bookstagrammers. There’s a great group of Indian Bookstagrammers I’m friends with and I really like talking to them.

That’s all that I’ve been doing – watching shows and trying to read. I’m also all caught up on the shows I watch regularly:

Quantico (don’t ask me why), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (SO GOOD, you must watch), Castle, The Big Bang Theory (refer to Quantico’s bracket), Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, Modern Family, Grandfathered and Permanent Roomates.

So yeah, while my batch-mates go out and intern at fancy places and make money and gain exposure and all that, I’m sitting at home and probably gaining glasses. Good job, eh?

Until next time, (which I promise will be soon)

Nia Carnelio.

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Thank you for reading! ❤