Everything I Know About Relationships I Learned From Harry Potter

Last fall, Emma Watson, being her amazing usual self (she makes the rest of us 20-somethings look like terrible slackers) interviewed my personal hero, J.K. Rowling for Wonderland Magazine. You can read the text of the interview here.  And while you’ll find–if you read the article–that what Rowling and Watson actually discuss is not quite what the media made it out to be, journalists–and subsequently fans–were in an uproar because a quote leaked from the interview seemed to suggest that Rowling thought she had made a mistake in pairing Ron and Hermione together. Instead, it seemed as though Rowling thought Harry and Hermione should have wound up together.

I’ll admit, I was one of those fans that immediately felt the need to state to the entire world of social media that I was very upset by this suggestion. It wasn’t that I didn’t think Harry and Hermione, as characters, could have worked well as a couple. It was more the whole principle of the thing. Now, having read the entire interview, I am much less offended (I get very emotionally attached to the works of literature that I love, if you can’t tell) by Rowling’s comments. The whole ordeal has led me to consider why I felt so strongly about this bit of news, however, and this is what I realized:

Everything I know about relationships I learned from the Harry Potter series.

I think part of the reason Harry Potter became such a big hit was the thought that Rowling put into her characters and the Wizarding World. Every character had a background, story, and flaws. Rowling put a lot of thought into who would wind up with who according to compatibility and personality, not just because of she’d seen it in literature structure before, or because she thought certain characters needed or deserved love.

Though, apparently, this was less the case with Ron and Hermione.

I like Ron and Hermione together, though. Not just because that relationship was a long-time coming throughout the books. I like Ron and Hermione together because they aren’t perfect, and their relationship certainly isn’t perfect. So often stories get written as though romance is really a giant bandage that heals all wounds and covers all flaws. But it doesn’t. If anything, it fleshes out these flaws and brings them to the surface. Successful relationships are the ones that can acknowledge, work-through, and move-on from these flaws, accepting that these things are just a part of life. They aren’t going away.

People want to pair Hermione and Harry together because they are both strong, talented, independent and confident in their abilities, and that makes sense. But to me, that’s like when I was four and I would pair my ken dolls to my barbies according to hair color. It doesn’t matter. You could say that Ron and Hermione should be together because they balance each other out: Hermione is a confident, logical thinker, and Ron is a supportive, emotional thinker.

What Rowling’s novels taught me is that there is no right or wrong answer. There is simply knowing yourself well enough to know what’s right and wrong for you. Relationships are about accepting what you can’t change and working through it, like Lupin and Tonks; Honoring one another in decisions, like Ginny and Harry; and Supporting each other in everything else, like Mr. and Mrs. Weasley.

Oh, it also taught me that finding a date to the Yule Ball is a stressful affair and often winds up not living up to the hype.

Still, I think these are pretty good take-aways for a 20-something potterhead like myself trying to navigate this whole dating thing. Then again, if I’m taking dating lessons from a children’s book series, perhaps I need to re-evaluate a few priorities in my life right now.

-tlc

 

This is Happening, People.

Hi there. This is my blog. Welcome.

I’ve always been terrible at transitions, so I’m just going to hop right in:

You know how you find a piece of really, REALLY good music, and it just speaks to you?  On a depth more than emotional–almost spiritual?  No? Is that just me?  Well it happens, people. It’s like finding your tunnel song (Perks of Being a Wallflower, anyone?), or hearing that swelling orchestration that just tips you over in a really emotional (spoiler if you’re not up to date on Doctor Who) theatrical scene.

Still no?  Well I’m going to make my point anyways.

See, I’ve always been a bit jealous of those dramatically orchestrated scenes in films and television–I don’t know if it’s because I can be a bit of a drama queen myself, or if it is just because I enjoy music and stories so much that I really appreciate when they come together at such perfect moments (I’m one of those that would prefer to listen to a film score over any other type of album).  I’ve always wished that I could experience the world around me and the moments in my life with as much emotional depth as I experience those moments in film and television, and frankly, I’m a little sad people don’t just have their entire lives orchestrated.

This might sound a little weird and quite random, but the idea of experiencing life in more depth has been on my mind a lot, lately. I think it’s mainly because in four months’ time I will jump off the academic diving board and enter the world of working oblivion.  Basically, I’m scared out of my mind, just like I imagine most of my friends are as well.  Honestly, how does everyone keep it together so well?  I want to tear my face off right now and just cry.

See? Just a teensy bit of drama queen.

But something I’ve also learned from emotionally-stirring orchestrated theatrical scenes is that they don’t abruptly end after the climax of the scene is over.  No, just like the falling action of a beautifully conceived piece of literary work, these songs have a resolution. And if it isn’t a completely happy one, it is at least a satisfying one.

And that’s what my graduating in four months’ time is really like. Well, here’s to hoping, at least.

But really, job searching and my future after graduation has been on my mind for quite a while now, and so I’ve been doing a bit of research, looking into the lives of people I consider to be successful and my role models, and finding out what the path of their lives has been like after college.  And you know what?  It’s helped relieve a lot of stress (though there is still plenty more to be had!) in thinking about my future.  Why? Because many-if not most-of these people started from the bottom, from scratch, nothing to loose, hardly anything to gain (at first), just like me.  Many of them didn’t have jobs waiting for them straight out of college, and lots of them still have not found a career that they have solidly settled into.  Instead, they became path-makers instead of path-takers, and have been much happier, in my opinion, for it.  Why?  Because even though they may not have a 100% steady income, or a back-up plan or job to use as a crutch, they are doing things they love.

Who are these people, you ask?  Well three that I can think of right off the top of my head are J.K. Rowling, Tina Fey, and Youtuber, Jenna Marbles.  Rowling, as is probably common knowledge at this point, was living below the poverty line while attempting to support her young daughter and herself while writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. And it took her five years to complete the first manuscript.  But she persevered, because she loved writing, and wanted to tell her story.  According to her autobiography, Bossypants, Tina Fey spent her two years after college working at a local gym, something that had nothing to do with her interests, before earning a starter position with one of the traveling improv groups that Second City in Chicago sends out all across America and working her way up through SNL and launching her career in both writing and acting.  And Jenna Marbles, as you can watch in her draw my life video, here, just seems to have drifted into all sorts of interesting things before realizing her passion in making video blogs, and hey! it paid off, so go her.

My point is, I’m really freaking out here, but I’m consoling myself in the lives of people I aspire to be like, and I hope you do the same thing.  And if not, then you can at least follow me on this journey because I’m going to be documenting it along the way, not only to hold myself accountable, but also prove to myself and others that this frightening transition period in one’s life is completely survivable, and probably not the scariest thing you will ever deal with in you entire life (unfortunately).

So meet me back here every Monday for the next (only God knows) how many months, as I try to keep things cheerful and funny, and let you in on all the little awkward moments that happen to me as I stumble through this last semester of my college life and attempt to jump gracefully into the real world.  And please excuse the giant, imaginary friends who will probably be holding my hand along the way. I promise I don’t have schizophrenia, I just really like television, and stories in general, and like to pretend that fictional characters and celebrities are my friends.

That’s normal, right?

Well, anyways, here’s to hoping.  See you next Monday.

Yours truly,

tlc

I Am the Best Friend in All the Movies

Sometimes, I wish I wore midriffs, and hoop earrings, and pulled them off.  Sometimes, I wish I enjoyed Latino club music, and looked good dancing to it.  Sometimes, I wish there was a point to this blog.

But, as usual, life evades my sometimes-desires.

I’ve spent years trying to make my awkwardness look cool.  My sophomore year of high school was spent wasting all of my first-job earnings on sequined tops that resembled everything in Hannah Montana’s closet. I was described as ‘quirky’ by all of my classmates, and I spent the rest of high school hoping that Zac Efron or one of the Jonas Brothers would show up in class and ask me to prom.  (A fact that proves my inability to determine what was actually cool from what was inherently just an extension of my awkwardness).

In college, I started to embrace my lack of coolness a bit more, but that may have been a subconscious effort to fit in with the hipsters.  Besides, my awkwardness has only increased ten-fold with each year.  It’s to the point where I fall up the stairs 99% of the time.

Still, I’ve learned to love my un-coolness. I may not be the skinny, pretty blonde lead, but I’m okay with my best-friend status in life.  You see, if there’s something I’ve learned from every single Disney movie ever, it’s that the lead characters are never the most interesting or entertaining.  In fact, Snow White and her many princess companions are really kind of dull beyond their looks.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney princesses (maybe a little too much).  But they aren’t particularly entertaining.  Pretty face, pretty voice, but they don’t make me laugh. They don’t have brains. (Well, that point is arguable, but I won’t get into that here.) No, if you want to make life interesting you have to be a Dwarf. Or a mouse. Or Robin Williams.

That’s why I’m okay with being the sidekick. That’s why I’m okay with being the average looking woman with a great personality (maybe I’m a bit bias since I have to live with me for the rest of my life).  Someone’s got to carry the film and make sure it sells.  I’m okay with that. I don’t like sappy romance movies, anyways.  They’re a little too obnoxious for my tastes.

I do kind of wish I didn’t fall into so many awkward moments, though. That would make my life 100% more comfortable.

In other news, my infant nephew has been dubbed “Poolander” (Get it?).  A chip off the ol’ awkward block, eh?  Looking forward to the many years I have ahead of me, teaching the little guy that it’s okay to be Luke and not get the girl, or Han Solo and not be a Jedi. We’ll see where his priorities lay.

So, to sum up: My life is basically Hermione minus her intuitive awesomeness and ability to woo sports celebrities, and I’m totally happy with that.  Maybe someday I’ll spill my coffee running into some poor chap and we’ll bond over my awkwardness. Maybe we’ll live happily ever after. Or maybe I’ll get a really lovable, fluffy dog, and that’ll be great too. It’s all up in the air at this point.

Life: A fine, smelly, metaphorically awkward cheese. How delicious.

Until we meet again,

 

Yours truly,

tlc