Finding Courage Through “Harry Potter”
Last month, MuggleNet began a Harry Potter reread. It started at the beginning, obviously, with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. While I was rereading this book for the hundredth time, I was reminded of how much I am capable of. I found my courage and was able to go out and do something that I had been trying to do for over a year now.
I am a very anxious person. I hate meeting new people or being in new situations. Change has never been my favorite thing. Occasionally, I will have these short bursts where I’ll do something out of my comfort zone, but once they’re over, I normally go back to doing what I’m comfortable with. I’ve been working on it a lot and even managed a solo move across the country about two years ago. It’s hard, but I can force myself to do new things when I set my mind to it.
In February, I was inspired by my Harry Potter reread and my 25th birthday to finally join my local Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow cast, something that I had wanted to do since I moved down here but couldn’t find the courage for. I’m definitely not a Gryffindor – I’ve never had a lot of courage. My self-preservation streak is a mile wide, but while rereading Sorcerer’s Stone, I found that I have a lot in common with Harry – and I mean a lot. The thing that most stuck out to me is that if Harry, an 11-year-old child, could leave everything he knows to join a new world and eventually face Lord Voldemort, then surely I could go out and join a shadow cast. Even if it did mean surrounding myself with strangers.
It’s still not easy. Every time I go to a rehearsal or a show, I have to talk myself into it. I know that, eventually, it will get easier, and that’s what keeps me going back. As Dumbledore once said, “There are all kinds of courage…” (SS 306). For me, courage is not necessarily taking on a mountain troll. It is something as simple as going out and trying something different. It’s going out and meeting new people. It’s finding out what makes my heart beat fast and my hands shake and confronting it head-on. I’ll never be as courageous as a Gryffindor, but that’s okay.