Why I Let “Harry Potter” Consume My Life
“You’re so busy. How can you possibly dedicate so much time to your job and Harry Potter?” I’ve heard that question so many times that I’m numb to at this point. I work a 9-to-5 job that sometimes has crazy hours (reporters are never really off duty), and most of my free time is dedicated to the fandom, either through my work with MuggleNet or simply rereading the books. I don’t really have that much “non-Potter” time. People always ask, “Why do you do it?” Well, I’m going to tell you why.
The number one thing on the list of reasons why I let Potter take over my life is, my days always have just a little bit of magic. Sure, I love what I do at my Muggle job, but dealing with the very real problems that face our society can be tiring. It’s a Godsend to be able to escape into something as familiar and pure as Harry Potter. There are troubles, yes, but good wins over evil in the end. While this escape is essential to me keeping my mind in one piece after I’ve seen some horrendous things on the job, there’s another aspect that’s bigger than me and my connection to those seven books: fandom family.
Where would I be without my fandom family? Probably in a dark and lonely cave somewhere living off microwave dinners that I can’t heat up because caves don’t have microwaves. Okay, that probably makes zero sense to most people, but my point is, that’s not really living, is it? Without my family, I would not be living.
I had problems making good, long-lasting friendships through high school and college. It was certainly not for a lack of trying. Living up to my Hufflepuff attributes, I was outgoing and not picky, talking to everyone, but I was considered a little different. My peers weren’t too keen on my bookish ways. With my preference to study over party and my inability to fake it with the cool crowd, I was a little lost.
Oddly, it’s a group of people from all over the world, most of whom I met for the first time on the Internet, that gets me more than anyone else does. These people accept my quirks and love me despite my flaws. I would have never thought it was possible to care so much about people I barely knew, but in a way, we know each other better than anyone else. We’ve all been through the same experiences. We’ve been misfits, bookworms, nerds, and “that Harry Potter girl,” or “guy.” We’ve camped out in bookstores and read all night, only to get to the end and sob our eyes out over who died. We’ve sat in dark movie theaters and gotten the chills when the Warner Bros. logo floats by. We’ve walked through the archway at Universal Studios and been overwhelmed by the number of childhood memories that all collide in that moment when you step into Diagon Alley for the first time. These people are the only people I’ve never had to “try” around. They don’t need to be sold some cleaned-up version of me that’s been polished up like a used car, trying to hide imperfection. They get it. They accept the dents and bruises.
That’s why I run home from my day job to jump on a two-hour conference call. It’s not work. It’s a conversation with some of the best friends I’ve ever had. Some people may think that’s strange, and they may say, “You can’t be best friends with people you’ve never met or only seen a couple of times in person.” To that, I say come join us on our next family vacation and see just how real it is. We may not get to see each other as often as we like, but when we do, we pick up right where we left off. I will never find another group of people this special and this kind, and that is why I Potter my life away. Because it’s the only way to live.