Tag Archives: slytherin

How being a Slytherin is saving my life.

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Two weeks or so ago I wrote about how I came to terms with being sorted into Slytherin, which you can read here. But before that nasty little business with Ravenclaw (see the previous post), the real story that I wanted to get to about embracing being a Slytherin is that it might be saving my life.

slytherin my intention to be the best

That last sentence was only a little bit hyperbole.

After I got married, I slowly started to put on weight, as I think is pretty common. But after my daughter was born, I gained weight more rapidly. This is something that did not happen overnight and there are a thousand different factors, but one of the main factors is that I always put myself last.

I was so busy taking care of all of my external responsibilities- making sure I was the BEST mother, the BEST wife, the BEST friend, the BEST therapist, etc, etc, that I forgot to take the BEST care of me that I possibly could. I didn’t listen to my own advice to others- that if I didn’t take care of myself, I couldn’t do my BEST at anything.

I passed all of the usual indicators that make people take notice and take action- numbers on a scale, BMI, moving from regular clothes stores to plus sized clothes stores, taking medication for high blood pressure, taking medication for high cholesterol, seeing multiple family members go through major heart surgeries. None of those did the trick.

What really got me was that the pain in my lower back was so bad I couldn’t do simple things like walk to the end of the block so my kid could ride her bike without excruciating pain. That and the humiliation I felt when I was too big to ride several of the rides with my daughter at Legoland. What got me is that my health was impacting my ability to fully engage in and enjoy the world with my daughter.

But still. I felt powerless over this element of my life. I have never had a healthy relationship with food or exercise- not even when I was thin and LOOKED healthy. I have been very successful in many things in my life- but never that. And I felt afraid of change.

And then one day in September last year, when I was trying to figure out WHY I couldn’t get a handle on this, I said, “Fuck that- You are a Slytherin. There is NOTHING you can’t do if you don’t put your mind to it.”

And so I did.

I called my doctor the next day and made an appointment. I have been taking medication to help, but more importantly, eating healthier and exercising. Little lifestyle changes that are becoming bigger. In 5 months I have lost 40 pounds, which is great- but what is better is that I FEEL better. I have energy. I can do things again. I can walk miles now- much father than the end of the block. I enrolled my daughter and myself in martial arts classes. Last week I even started bringing my walking shoes to work with me in case I am able to slip away for a bit.

By taking care of myself, I am being a better mother, a better wife, a better therapist, a better friend- a better me- and hopefully one that will be around for a long time.

When I start to get frustrated or disappointed, I use a little self-talk and remind myself that I am a Slytherin- that I can do this. You just watch me. But- when I indulge- which I do on occasion and without guilt (this is a lifestyle I’m living- not a diet) don’t even think about saying anything to me or raising an eyebrow. Remember- I am a Slytherin- I will bite and I have sharp fangs.

slytherin I will win

I don’t even know who I am anymore.

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Like many, many people, I love Harry Potter. I have read the books several times and recently started reading the series to Newt. The movies? Own them all and tune in every time ABC Family (Now called Freeform- because, let’s face it- there is not much “family” in their programming) does a Harry Potter movie marathon- even if it is just on in the background. Ok- that’s not entirely true- it seems that channel exists only to play Harry Potter movies, Pretty Little Liars and (thankfully) Hocus Pocus in October. So I probably tune in about half of the time they have a marathon.

Several years ago I sat at my computer after everyone else had gone to bed. I was finally prepared to be sorted into my house. There are many “Which Harry Potter House are you in” quizzes to be found, but only one true quiz. The one JK Rowling herself developed. The one from Pottermore.

Ravenclaw_Crest

I knew I wouldn’t be in Gryffindor. Gryffindor is great and all, but I am know myself and “bravery, nerve, daring”- not really how I would describe myself if only allowed a few words. Ravenclaw is where I longed to be. Intelligence, wit, wisdom, creativity? THAT is my style. The name is awesome. Colors- Blue and Bronze? Check- love them. But alas, in my heart of hearts, I knew I was destined for- sigh- Hufflepuff.

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Look- there are great wizards from Hufflepuff, such as Cedric Diggory and my favorite character (from the books anyway- grossly underutilized in the movies), Tonks. Hufflepuffs value hard work, dedication, patience, kindness, tolerance…basically the social workers of the wizarding world. There is certainly no shame in being a Hufflepuff. In fact, the traits they value are the same traits I value in real life. The traits that I hope to embody. But, it is so not the cool kid house. So not glam or sexy.

So, there I was, sipping wine, taking my quiz and steeling myself for the yellow and black badger crest to appear when I hit submit, when I found myself instead spitting out my wine as a green and silver crest with a snake appeared.

Slytherin™_Crest_(Painting)

SLYTHERIN!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOO! Clearly the test was mistake. There was no way in this actual world that I was a Slytherin. I suddenly knew how Harry must have felt when he sat there with the Sorting Hat on his head whispering, “Not Slytherin, not Slytherin.” Except, no, Slytherin was not even an option for me. Not even a thought in my head.

As I said, everyone in the house was asleep and though I was having a virtual identity crisis in my dining room, I thought better of waking the husband to process this new information I just learned about myself- he did have to be up at 4AM for work the next day.

Instead, I examined the evidence. The first thing I did (after I poured myself another glass of wine), was read the Welcome Letter, which you can read here. You can read the paraphrasing of my inner dialogue right here:

Emblem is the serpent, wisest of creatures- ok- I like wisdom. Dormitory is in the dungeon- not cool- oh wait, it is under water. I like water. I might be able to see a giant squid from my bedroom window? I can live with that.  Dungeons feel like a mysterious shipwreck? Ok- so the dorm is pretty cool. Reassurances that not all Slytherins are dark wizards… well that’s good. Wait a minute- Merlin was a Slytherin. Not too shabby. The “coolest and edgiest house.” Why, that is the opposite of Hufflepuff. I can be cool and edgy. No- I AM cool and edgy and FINALLY someone sees that (the someone being JK Rowling of course). Let’s see- I don’t like all of the negative talk about the other houses, but I do play to win and I do take care of my own. “Greatness” is a word I like. I want to do everything better than mediocre- I want to be the best. Maybe I AM A SLYTHERIN.

 

When I think about it, the evidence has been there the whole time. I am a Scorpio- a water sign. Slytherins are associated with water. Scorpios and Slytherins are also the badassiest of their respective categories. And it’s not just me that makes the connections between Scorpios and Slytherins, see here. Additionally, I was born in the Year of the Snake and the snake is the symbol of Slytherin. Coincidence? Apparently not. I am resourceful, ambitious, clever, determined, a good leader….By the time I went to bed that night, I accepted my new reality and shortly after, fully embraced it. I even have a “Proud Slytherin” board on my Pinterest.

Fast forward to today. Over the past few days, I a blog post has been germinating in my head about how by embracing my Slytherin traits I have found the strength and determination to make much needed, positive life changes. It was going to be a really good post too- very empowering.

But then I read something somewhere about how the Pottermore website was revamped. Being curious about the changes to the website, I decided to log in. With the revamping, I had to sign up anew, which is fine, since I always have to dig up old emails to find my username as it used to be generated from Pottermore and was LumosWillow666 or something equally annoying. Now your email is your user name. Once registered to the new site, you have the option of either choosing your previously sorted house or taking the quiz again. In order to choose your previously sorted house, you have to enter your previous user name- which I already established would have taken some extra time and effort. Now that I have firmly embraced my Slytherin identity, I figured the quiz would be the easier route.

I had zero anxiety as I submitted my sorting quiz results. I was so sure of my rightful house. But this time, instead of my now beloved green and silver crest, up pops the crest of Ravenclaw!

What the what?!?!?!?!?!?

A few short years ago, I longed to be in Ravenclaw and here I am, officially sorted into that house. But now, I’m pissed. I have zero feelings of connection to that house. I frantically searched the site trying to find a way to retake the quiz, or enter my previous house, or cancel my account- to no avail. In fact, in several places, Pottermore makes it clear, once you are sorted into a house on the new site, this is your house FOREVER. I considered cancelling my email account so I could reboot everything and start again. It only took me a few seconds to realize I only needed to create a new gmail account, to create a new Pottermore account and enter my previous sorting results to take my rightful place among the other Slytherin of the world. But then I decided to approach it like a true Slytherin and I have this to say:

You are dead to me Pottermore. Dead to me.

*Side note- I spend a fair amount of time taking non-evidence based personality assessments (Thank you Buzzfeed), but it is all in good fun. I fully understand that my choices are my own and not because of my Sun Sign or Hogwarts House. The fact that I will cut you if you cross me has nothing to do with being a Scorpio Slytherin, just another part of my charming personality.