“It’s because I’m a Hufflepuff.”
“A Hufflepuff. OK, so…Harry Potter, right?”
“No listen. He goes to a magic school, but the school is also British, so it has houses. The houses are kind of like fraternities or sororities. They’re like teams. Each student is sorted into a house, and they have classes together mixed with other houses, but they can get points taken or of given to them for their house and at the end they say who wins.”
“Alright well I don’t know how houses in Britishland work, but in Harry Potter, they get sorted by a magic hat. The hat tells them where they should be based on really deep beliefs and personality traits. No one else can really tell you, just that hat. Because it sees within you.”
“OK. So there’s this website designed by the author of the books. She developed this test that asks you something like 13 questions that seem silly. Like, what path would you take if in X situation, and there are three cards, and you choose which. Based on all these questions, you get sorted into a house.”
I could feel her starting to get impatient.
“I got sorted into Hufflepuff. I always did. And…..Hufflepuffs are known for being somewhat…cowardly.”
My love for my House and the Harry Potter Kingdom kicked in and I quickly added, “though not all of them are, there’s very brave ones. One of them was selected for this really important tournament, and he would’ve won had Voldemort not bee—THE POINT IS— I’m very fearful. Pain. I’m really fearful of pain.”
My mother had been looking at me in a half confused half I-zoned-out look that I know so well in her. We’re both notorious for it. We don’t mean to, but sometimes we zone out halfway in the conversation.
But the last sentence had gotten her to click back.
And she sat there and listened, as she’ had been doing better and better as I got older.
It’s soothing, to be listened to, though sometimes my impatience gets the better of me, since there are times where what I want is insight, not silence. But not advice either. There are people that give phenomenal advice, even fewer that shut up and listen, and even fewer that have insightful things to add to your thoughts.
But at that moment, all my mother could do was listen to me ramble about my fear of pain, how it paralyzes me, and how all of this somehow tied in to me being a Hufflepuff in a world that she knows is very real to me.
The point of this story was for me to tell you that I know we can all be very fearful, and I am acutely aware of my own fear sometimes. I do not let it paralyze me, however. I let it set me free. And sometimes, the exact thing that does that, are songs. They help me process my fear, and as the music rises, so does my ferocity. As the lyrics roar, so does my fierceness.
My entire playlist would be Fun’s album” some nights, but for now I give you the song that started it all for me, the song that taught me that I was fearless.