I would love to be one those people who look back at my time with Harry and equate it to my childhood but it would be a grievous error for me to do so. I was well raised by a mother who believes heavily in the power of the imagination and holds a fancy for dragons, faeries, and magic. And while, many of my peers immediately threw themselves into the world J.K. Rowling created, I did not.
At that stage of my life, I struggled greatly with relating to those who were my age. Ridiculed, and mocked for my own interests, I did not believe that something that appealed to so many of them would be anything I would be remotely interested in. I was terribly terribly mistaken and despite this I cannot feel sorry for it. When I finally began my relationship with Mr. Potter the first four of the novels were already out and many of my peers had begun to lose interest but it could not have been a better time.
Harry Potter and his amazing world are not my childhood, no, they are so much more important than that. Harry came into my life at a far more important stage, early adolescence. I had just given up my fanciful dreams of becoming a veterinarian for, perhaps even more fanciful, dreams of being a writer. But as fanciful as these dreams were they were also undeniably realistic. I was no scientist nor would I ever be able to act on some of the harder aspects of a veterinarian’s job. What I was good at was reading and making up stories.
And while it was not Harry Potter, but rather my first Tamora Pierce book, that made me want to be a writer, Harry Potter did show me the extent to which writing can impact a person. To this day when I read any book in the series I am awe struck. This awe was in no way lessened when I went to college and others in my department mocked my rather vocal love for a series they still considered childish.
At 23 I have yet to encounter anything that can bring me joy or to tears faster than Harry Potter. The series came to a proper end on paper and film but it is far from over as evident in the number of very different people all over the world impacted by Rowling’s work. And perhaps that’s the impact Harry Potter had on me; making a social misfit like me feel connected to so many others she’d never otherwise know.
My time standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers at a Harry Potter midnight release may be over but my journey with Harry and what I can learn from him has barely begun.
And, yes, I know how cliché and corny this all sounds.
I am glad for Beth Revis' contest it gave me the chance to try and put to words all of the Potter induced emotion.
The contest is a great opportunity to explore what books you prize and what they mean to you.
check out the contest post here.