Becoming a Muggle: 40 Days Without Magic

There are some things that I never thought I would do in my life. Giving up Harry Potter is on the top of that list.  At least it was until this year. In the beginning of March, I gave up Potter for 40 days in an attempt to refocus my life. At the beginning of this year, I felt very burnt out. I had not had a good article idea in ages. I felt myself growing apart from my MuggleNet friends and from my fandom.

When we had the idea for MuggleFast40, I knew that I had to join. I am not religious, so I didn’t do it for the idea that I had to give something up for Lent. I did it for myself because I knew that I needed to step back for a little bit. I needed to figure out what my life was like without Potter so that I would be able to see how Potter fit into my life. Luckily, I wasn’t by myself in this crazy adventure. Betty was there with me going through the exact same thing.

For the past 16 years, Harry Potter has been the most important thing in my life. It has always been there. The series taught me how to love reading. The fandom taught me how to make friends. I’ve met several of my closest friends through conventions. MuggleNet taught me to embrace my love of writing even though my grammar isn’t that great. I was molded into who I am today by Harry Potter. I don’t know who I’d be, or even where I would be today, without my favorite wizard.

Going into this adventure, I had the naïve idea that I would get a ton of work done during all of my free time. I overestimated myself a lot. I am a huge procrastinator, and somehow I was under the impression that it was all because of Harry Potter. I found out pretty quickly that it was just me. I went from being on fansites and reading fan fiction all the time to spending hours and hours on YouTube. I ended up being even less productive than normal. At least with MuggleNet, I had article deadlines to keep me on track, but without that, I had nothing to combat my procrastination.

To help me fully become a Muggle, I gave up most of my social media presence. This was actually surprisingly easy. It was a little difficult not chatting with a lot of my friends, but we kept in contact through a non-Potter group chat and Snapchat, which I was thankfully allowed to keep. It was really nice not worrying about what everyone else was up to. It gave me a lot of time to focus on myself, which was the main reason for me doing this. It also gave me a lot more time to think about how much I missed my fandom because when you try to not think about something you literally cannot stop thinking about it.

So the 40 days are up, my books are back in their rightful place, my posters are back on my walls, and my weekly trips to Universal have resumed. What does that mean for me? Did I actually get anything out of this other than frustration?

I feel a lot more comfortable with my place in the fandom. I’m back to writing articles for MuggleNet, and I actually have some decent ideas. I’ve rekindled my passion for Harry Potter and have decided to spend a lot more time reading the books and less time reading fan fiction for a little while. I never want to live without Potter again, but at least I know I can do it if the zombies ever come and I have to abandon my books.

Would I ever do this again? Nope, never. It was not fun, and I missed out on a lot of big things while I was gone. Including Jude Law, whom I’m still not sure about. I did get to reevaluate my love for Potter and where it fits in my life, and I got some great ideas out of it, but I didn’t have a big life-changing experience like I thought I would.

Rachael D.

Rachael is a Slytherin who currently resides in Orlando, FL. She works as a cook and specializes in food puns and sarcasm. In her free time, she enjoys bullet journaling, binge watching Netflix, and spending as much time as she can at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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