Snape’s Grudge (PoA 14)

Sometimes I think this blog should really be called The Wizarding World of Dealing with an Anxiety Disorder and Preaching Mental Health in Law School.

tumblr_static_6jad1rleycws0sgckck88808w_640_v2.gifSnape’s grudge is one that will truly unfold itself as the series progresses, but in this chapter we see it really start to be revealed to readers. The chapter begins with Harry and Ron visiting Hagrid. Hagrid tells them they should be nicer to Hermione and talks about his upcoming trial with the hippogriff Buckbeak. The next day is a trip to Hogsmeade, Harry sneaks out after almost being caught by Professor Snape, slips up and has Malfoy see him out from under Harry’s invisibility cloak. Harry rushes back but is caught by Professor Snape and questioned. Snape reveals his hatred for Harry’s father from back in school and Harry yells at Snape to shut up and that James Potter was a hero not a bully.  Snape has Harry empty his pockets and Snape confiscates the Marauder’s Map, calling Lupin in to take a look at it. Lupin takes the map, warning Harry of its dangers and Harry goes on his way back to the dormitory, where Harry and Ron find out that Hagrid has lost his case and Buckbeak will be executed.

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Being present allows you to build friendships that will last. 

One of the worst things I tend to do is not be in the present moment. My friend Lyn used to have this saying at all social gatherings (dinners, parties, wine nights, etc.): “Be Present.” This was a social cue that we or at least one of us was on our phone, not paying attention to the group. It makes you think though: how many times am I not being present, not paying attention to what is happening in the moment but instead living in the future or the past.

Hagrid tells Harry and Ron that they need to care for Hermione a little more. Both of them have been living in the past a bit hurt from either Harry’s broom being confiscated for anti-jinx spells (and then returned) because of Hermione or Ron’s rat disappearing which is blamed on Hermione’s cat. By living in these hang-ups they fail to see that Hermione is overwhelmed with school work and could use a friend right about now. Also in the fury of all of this and quidditch, both Harry and Ron have forgotten about promises they made to Hagrid to help him prepare for his upcoming trial. And then you have Snape who instead of playing the role of a teacher who should be caring for his students and lecturing them on how they shouldn’t be trying to leave the castle, he personally attacks Harry based on a grudge against Harry’s father from Snape’s childhood.

Living in the past or living in a fantasy future tends to make us unaware of our surroundings and the people around us.  Just this weekend my boyfriend and I were walking around the Garden of the Gods and I started talking about plans for the next weekend instead of taking in the beautiful rock formations and landscape around us. When we talked about it later, he said he wasn’t trying to be disinterested in what I was saying, but instead present in the moment.

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Being present helps you see the beauty in front of you 

It’s hard to always be present in the moment, to cast aside any past feelings, hang-ups or hurts or to cast aside any anxious planning and fantasies for the future. To be present means to actually have to mindfully stay engaged with where you are at all times. (Now don’t get me wrong, planning ahead and daydreaming are useful, and should happen whenever you truly need it to happen.) When we aren’t mindful of our surroundings, of the present moment, we mistake people’s actions, we miss out on beautiful moments, we don’t get a chance to see the world as it is.

 

In our spring semester I had a friend who started planning out the rest of her time at law school. She created a spread sheet to plan out what classes to take in order to graduate early and get out of school as soon as possible. I started thinking to myself, man that’s a great idea, I should do something similar and began to create my own plan to get out early, a race against the traditional law school clock. I took 10 credits this summer… 5 less than my spring semester and in a truncated semester. My goal was to take as many as possible so I could keep up, out pace the traditional law school path and graduate early, take the bar exam early, and start practicing as soon as possible.

Let’s just say… presently I AM EXHAUSTED. My goal of living this fast-paced future has been a tiring one, one that I didn’t plan out with any breaks or breathers. My goal to get to the future already didn’t take into account my spring semester fatigue either or my present (at the time of the decision and currently) desire to just relax and see more of Colorado. I tried to live in a fantasy world, an anxious world built on this need to keep up with the girl sitting next to me planning her future so she didn’t have to pay attention in her current class. And now, i’m tired and not enjoying myself as much as I would like.

Living in the future or living in the past doesn’t let your gut instinct have a voice. It gives your brain a voice. It gives your heart a voice, but not your gut. For Snape, living in the past gave his heart that voice that said he was still hurting from the way he was bullied in school while his brain told him to take it out on the next best person, his bully’s son. For me, my head was the lone ranger in this race telling me to keep up, get it done and be as cool as those around you. You need all three parts of your personality to have a voice. The head needs to be able to reason with your decisions and thoughtfully assess situations. The Heart needs to be able to whisper your desires, your pains, and your loves to the head in the decisions it makes. The Gut needs to be able to feel what’s right and wrong and scream that to the other two parts in order to make solid decisions. Without all three of them working together you make bad choices for yourself.

In law school its easy to see what others are doing and try to imitate it, following only the head’s voice or the heart’s desire to be loved and accepted. The gut feels like it’s usually snuffed out, that no one seems to always listen to it, but the gut tells us a lot about the world around us in the moment. With Anxiety my gut never gets listened to, I plan out and logically look at every scenario and choose which one to go with instead of feeling which one is right. It’s a mental decision, but not always the right one.

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Being present helps you bond with people.

Being present helps take that away. It helps ease the depressed mind or the anxious one and allows a person to feel, think and listen their way through each moment. When my friend Lyn would tell us to be present, to put down our phones and really connect in the moment, we always had more fun, or had deeper conversations. One of my goals this up coming semester is to be more present, to mindfully see every moment in the moment, listening to my head, my heart and my gut equally, letting go of all other distractions. I encourage more people to do this too. So try it this week or sometime this year, be present, let go of grudges, let go of plans for the future and just live in the moment. Make new friends, reconnect with old friends, explore with no plans and let yourself be uncomfortable, you never know what the present can gift us.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

 

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Gryffindor v. Ravenclaw (PoA 13)

Also Known As: Bravery v. Knowledge; Red v. Blue; Lion vs. Eagle…a short chapter….. and SUDDEN Death.

Okay, ignore that last one, that’s not a thing. But before we get into anything, the most important thing is to wish 2 people (one real and one character) VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAYS! Happy birthday J.K. Rowling, the woman who made this world a little more magical and tolerant through her books. Happy Birthday Harry Potter, the boy who lived!

In this chapter you can imagine what happens… there’s a quidditch match between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor! WOOHOOO… so pretty much here’s what happens. Every one is buzzing about the match. The Gryffindors add more practice sessions to every night of the week leading to the game. Percy has made a bet with his Ravenclaw girlfriend about the match and everyone is fawning over Harry’s new broom (including Madam Hooch). We finally get our first look at Cho Chang, Ravenclaw Seeker and Harry’s future crush. The match begins, Harry is flying quickly throughout the quidditch pitch, hoping to grab the snitch and shake off Cho Chang who is following him intensely. Some dementors show up and Harry whips out his wand doing a patronus charm. Harry catches the snitch, Gryffindor wins the match. The dementors turns out to be Draco and his goons. Gryffindors celebrate in their common room, McGonagall sends them all to bed, Harry is awoken by a yelling Ron who swears he’s been attacked by Sirius, no one believes him, McGonagall returns, turns out Sirius had a list of passwords and the temporary portrait hole keeper let him in!

What I like about this chapter is the buzz around the quidditch match. Ravenclaws and Gryffindors alike are excited and nervous about the great match in front of them. Nothing else seems to matter to the students when it comes to the big match… well almost nothing. I failed to mention in the small recap that Ron is still holding onto a grudge towards Hermione. The chapter literally starts out:

It looked like the end of Ron and Hermione’s friendship. Each was so angry with the other that Harry couldn’t see how they’d ever make up.

It’s funny how we tend to get tunnel vision at times. Having anxiety that happens a lot to me. This weekend alone I had a moment of panic, a moment where I couldn’t pull my mind out of the spiraling hole it was falling down, and it was all over finding a parking spot somewhere new. Ron can’t seem to pull his mind out of anger towards Hermione over Scabbers. Wood can’t seem to pull his mind out of a fixation on winning the Quidditch cup. Ravenclaws and Gryffindors can’t think about anything other than the quidditch match ahead of them.

 

The catch is, when we fixate on something new (whether good or bad) to us we tend to forget old truths about ourselves and the world around us. Ron is stuck in his angry bubble over the loss of his pet rat. All he can see and feel is his anger towards Hermione and her cat. His brothers try to pull him out of it, reminding him of how much he complained about his rat, how Ron hated how lazy his rat was becoming. Ron agrees with his brothers, but is still upset about his rat. The only thing that somewhat pull Ron out of his angry funk is the chance to ride Harry’s new broom after Harry’s quidditch practice.

The mind is a funny thing, some of us fixate on our feelings, our comparisons to others, our judgements of others, our strengths, our weaknesses, our hurts and our hang-ups. When we do this its all we can see. We lose sight of being empathetic. We lose sight of how we relate to others. We lose balance within ourselves. We lose small pieces of ourselves to whatever feelings we are enduring in the moment. It’s not easy to pull ourselves out of that spiraling hole either.

During my first year of law school, my first year with a roommate, and my first summer internship, I’ve witnessed this happen to me and by me a lot. It’s easy to fall into the comparison spiral, especially when you enter in a new realm of life. Going into law school I felt so much less than everyone around me and I let that consume my life. I had and still have some amazing friends, but as the year went through its ups and downs, my grades came back way worse than I had thought they would and my anxiety started to take over my life, I think I broke some of those friendships.

When I started to fixate on how I wasn’t as smart as people, how I wasn’t as well-versed in the law or political news as people, how I didn’t have long-time friends and family as close as they did and how I just lacked in so many things, I started to only be able to see myself as this frail, stupid, lesser person. But that’s not who I am at all. I’ve actually done a lot in my twenties, from writing a book and starting my own not-for-profit, to running a multi-million dollar business, to volunteering at church and other non-profits, to making amazing friends and visiting amazing places. But when you are in something new, a new place, a new program, a new life, you tend to forget those truths, the truths of who you are or what you know.

So how do you remedy this? It’s not easy, oh it’s not easy at all, but you can take baby steps towards fixing the issue. I’m by no means cured but here’s a list of some things I’ve done this summer to help me be me again and get out of the spiral:

  1. Take a Step Back:  make some space between you and others, take time to think about where you are and how you are feeling.
  2. Journal: I know I push this one a lot, and I don’t do it as regularly as I would hope to do, but when I do take time to journal, doodle or simply stare at a blank page (sometimes this happens) I start to really digest my thoughts and feelings. After I get how I am feeling out on the page, I suddenly don’t feel as weighed down.
  3. Live Your Truths: Now this one is very difficult, but its worth it. You know who you are. You know what you like. Live that out. If you like tacky quirky home decor, decorate your space that way, don’t decorate the way you think a law student or lawyer should. Be You! You will not be happy if you try to be something you aren’t. You will not be happy if you try to be what you think a proper law student or lawyer should be. So don’t do that.
  4. Cut Negative Forces From Your Life: We are constantly told to be nice to your enemies all the time, to be nice to everyone because you don’t know what battle they are fighting… but you don’t deserve to be treated lesser than you are. Cut those things or people who are holding you back. Keep the people who are walking beside you or propelling you forward in your life and cut loose all the others. You’ve got to build a great support group in law school and continue to utilize the one you came to school with, those who aren’t helping you keep your sanity, you need to let them go.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

No matter how you approach it, you have to make sure your mental health stays strong through law school. There are so many tragic stories of students and practicing lawyers who pass away due to mental health related issues. The fixation spiral, the comparison game, the striving to be something you aren’t, all of it can start to weigh too heavy on you, and life Ron and Hermione, you may bring friendships or opportunities to the brink of destruction over something small, something you honestly could talk out and move past.  Law school is stressful enough without this type of destructive behavior, and it’s only made worse with it.

So go fly a broom, go find your truths, cut out some negativity and stand up for yourself. Your future self will thank you for that.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

PS I included some pictures that I think help me remember to live my truths… these are moments that I cherish and hold onto when I need a serious pick-me-up.

The Firebolt and the Patronus (PoA 11 &12)

What. A. Summer.

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http://sandradeillustration.com/artwork/619386-Patronus-Practice.html

The past month has been one hell of a ride between an internship, my part-time job, a 5,000 word essay, a 10-pg essay, a 1,000 word essay final, a 1500 word final and numerous mini-assignments for my summer seminar class. But, now that they are all either done or wrapping up I have ALLLLLLLL the time to write Harry Potter blogs again. It’s perfect timing with Harry’s Bday coming up next week!

Today we are combining two chapters and looking at how we can be blinded by our negative emotions AND how we can unblind ourselves by getting our own “patronus.”

So let’s start with a quick recap of the two chapters and then dive on in!

The Firebolt starts with Harry storming back through the secret passage ways to Hogwarts from Hogsmeade after finding out the Sirius Black was the reason his parent were dead. He then has a horrible dream about the whole thing. The trio goes to visit Hagrid who tells them all about dementors and his time at Azkaban. Christmas comes and harry’s got an anonymous gift under the tree which turns out to be a Firebolt, the fastest new Quidditch broom there is out there! Hermione tells the professor’s who then take the broom because they are worried its hexed or jinxed and they wanna run tests on it before Harry can use it. Harry and Ron get mad at hermione. The Patronus chapter begins with everyone still mad at hermione as the holidays wrap up. Oliver Wood hears about the Firebolt and tells Harry that Harry needs to get his reaction to dementors under control before they lose the Quidditch cup this year. Harry starts his demeanor fighting lessons with Lupin where Harry starts to work on conjuring a patronus charm. After a few tries harry manages to conjure a weak charm and Lupin and Harry talk about Harry’s parents. Harry learns more about dementors, gets his Firebolt back and everyone makes up with Hermione until Ron finds blood and Hermione’s cat’s hair on his bed, but not his pet rat.

What’s funny about this post that I am writing at work today is that I could really use a patronus charm right about now. Social Media is overflowing with posts about how sad people are to at their last day of their internship, or how happy they are to have made all these new friends this summer. I’m extremely happy for them, but at the same time I’m trying to fight of the negative feelings I am starting to drown in. My summer internship has been one of extreme loneliness. I’m the only intern in my department (well for the most part, someone just started but only works Fridays) and most days I sit alone at a cubicle waiting for the time to pass because there’s not a flux of information requests coming in. I’m very lucky to have this internship and have learned a lot, but its extremely lonely at times, and not something I enjoy immensely.

It’s hard to not get stuck in negative feelings. Looking at these two chapters there are negative feelings everywhere. Harry has anger and hatred towards Sirius Black that causes him to lash out at friends or isolate himself. Hermione is stressed with class work and isolates herself from others (but also is isolated because Harry and Ron are mad at her for her worrying over Harry’s safety with the Firebolt broom). Ron is consumed with jealousy towards Harry and uses snippy remarks in celebrating Harry’s new broom. Wood is consumed by a desire to win and even admits to Professor McGonagall that he doesn’t care if Harry falls off his broom again so long as he catches the snitch first. And lastly Lupin is stuck in a nostalgic rut failing to see the hurt Harry is going through as they discuss Harry’s parents at length.

Negative feelings tend to blind us. These feelings cause us to only see our hurts or hang-ups and not be able to view the world clearly. For me, negative feelings tend to rule my life. I tend to dwell on the things that aren’t going right, the things that feel strained or hurtful in my life and I act out of those emotions instead of the numerous positive ones that surround me daily.  But then Lupin described a patronus and it made me start to think that there’s something to truly having a positive mindset.

The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the demeanor feeds upon- hope, happiness, the desire to survive- but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the dementors can’t hurt it.

Dementors are commonly compared to depression, that very deep despair people can feel until they feel nothing anymore. And sometimes a positive mindset doesn’t help in the deepest of depressions and you should seek professional help when depression sets in that deep.

But when it comes to warding off negative feelings and thoughts I think being able to conjure up your own patronus of sorts is an important thing to do and it takes dwelling on positive memories, ones that aren’t tainted with a hint of despair, but feel us with hope, happiness and the desire to survive. So here’s my little outline for conjuring your own patronus:

  1. Find a happy memory, like super happy!
  2. Focus on that memory, journal about it, dwell on it, live in it for 5 minutes
  3. identify why you chose that memory and how it makes you feel
  4. No hold on tightly to those feelings
  5. Go and face your troubles with those feelings and memory as your shield
  6. If you fall victim to negativity, it’s okay, eat some chocolate, get back up and try again.

It’s not a fool proof method, it’s truly one that you have to work on, just like Harry. Even Lupin says qualified wizards have trouble with the Patronus Charm, but it doesn’t mean you can’t try to make the most of every moment, every time.  Hope, happiness, and the desire to survive are the quintessential parts of getting through anything hard, including a job that turns out not to be what you thought it would be, law school and tough patches in life.

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A memory I hold onto… 80s dress up day…

But as long as you remember there are so many beautiful parts of life to counter those negative, hard parts you’ll make it through. I believe in you. And for me, today I am focusing on using humor as a means of curing my loneliness, because all the time I have spent laughing with good friends makes me have hope that I can get through anything.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

 

P.S. log onto pottermore.com and see what your patronus is! Here’s mine:

 

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That those who take the form of dogs tend to be friendly and loyal is no secret. The borzoi dog usually marks someone who is also easy-going, often quiet, and possessed of a good sense of humor. They have active, intelligent minds and are experts at amusing themselves, being content alone or with others. Rare is the borzoi that can manage to keep themselves bored for long. The tendency to find humor in almost anything is also common in borzois, from the mundane to the macabre. Though, naturally, the range depends on the individual. The humor comes with a helping of class and, when applied properly, they are quite eloquent people that can navigate difficulties in life with easy grace.

The Marauder’s Map (PoA 10)

There is nothing I love more than a good summer escape. A couple of summers ago I got the opportunity to escape my hometown 3 times in one summer. In June, I went to NYC for a week long vacation with my friend Kalle and her family. In July, I went to my now home, Colorado to hangout with Kalle and her sister. In August, Kalle and I drove to LA for a little Taylor Swift and Disneyland weekend.  It was one of the best summers I ever had. Full of fun, full of laughter, and full of exactly what I needed: a chance to escape.

In this chapter of HP Harry is  released from the Infirmary. He goes and talks to spin about the dementors’ effects on Harry compared to other people. Late in the chapter the holidays are approaching as well as another Hogsmeade trip. Fred and George approach harry before the students leave for Hogsmeade and give him the Marauder’s Map (a magical map of the Hogwarts castle where you can see where people are at all times). Harry uses the map to sneak into Hogsmeade from Hogwarts undetected. He meets up with Ron and Hermione. As the three head to get some butter beers at the Three Broomsticks they overhear a conversation from some Professors and the Minister of Magic. During this conversation it is revealed that Sirius Black is not only Harry’s Godfather, but also the reason his parents are dead.

What I love about this chapter is that we find need for escape shown in three ways:

  • Sirius’ escape from Azkaban: when you need to escape from something bad
  • Ron’s depiction of the Holidays as an escape: When you just need to let loose
  • Harry’s escape from Hogwarts: when you escape and face some hard truths.

As we find out later in  the book, Sirius escapes from Azkaban for good reason: it’s a bad place he doesn’t belong in. Ron asks Hermione to stop being a rule follower and let Harry have some fun for once because of the holidays. Harry sneaks out of Hogwarts to go and find his friends but then finds out that the reason Sirius is a wanted man has to deal with he deaths of his parents.

It’s interesting to see how similar yet different each of this depictions of escape are illustrated. They all come from a place of needing to get away for various reasons, but they all end in a place of sorrow or deep realization.

You don’t need a vacation, when there’s nothing to escape from- Jason Mraz

For me, anytime I feel a need to escape it also ends in a place of deep realization. That summer I went from place to place, trip to trip, I used it as a way to escape from the heat, but also to escape from my realities. Each trip helped me realize that I was unhappy in my current life. I felt unfulfilled, unwanted, betrayed, bored, sad, frustrated and above all else needing to get out of my current situations. In day to day life we don’t always have time to sit and ponder life. We don’t always have the ability to reflect on how things are going we just see a planned vacation, a map for the getaway, a chance to drink and laugh with friends as a light of hope to getting out of our misery.

Then when you finally get away you have the chance to sit and reflect. The chance to really have to face life and reality. When Harry has to sit under a table and listen to people talk about his parents being betrayed by their best friend and then murdered because of it, his seemingly innocent escape form Hogwarts to be with friends becomes a hard dose of truths he didn’t know he wanted answered. All of a sudden it all made sense to him, he realized why people told him to not go after Sirius no matter what. He realized why there was panic when Sirius showed up to Hogwarts. He realized a lot about the world around him.

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Looking official at my summer internship

The summer I described above gave me a much needed push to start looking for a new job, to start looking for new friends and things that made me happy. It pushed me towards law school. This summer, I haven’t gone away looking for an escape, but in escaping the throws of law school classes and being around other students constantly I have found that I might want to change my law school focuses to a different area. It’s a scary thought, but an interesting one to face. Now all I need is a weekend away to process it.So whatever it is you need an escape from this summer, do it. Go and wander. Go and get lost. Go and face some much needed truth about your life. You won’t regret it, even if its frustrating and a bit sad. Let loose, be you and find comfort in knowing that life is always changing and sometimes you just need a change of scenery to change with it.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

 

Grim Defeat (PoA 9)

Law school and friendships have one thing in common: an overwhelming feeling of defeat always looming with every interaction… or maybe that’s just my anxiety talking.

There is a difference between an actual defeat and a perceived defeat. A lot of the time we run into these little things we see as huge defeats. Whether its losing a friend over something silly, not getting to eat somewhere you’ve always wanted, missing out on big events in life, not doing cool things for holidays or something as simple not getting your way. These defeats are frustrating, but they are small battles lost, and usually they are lost because they are meant to be lost. Real defeats occur when there are no options left on the table, when you’ve done all you can and you are stuck with the results. Perceived defeats always have more options left on the table.

This chapter of Harry Potter, aptly titled Grim Defeat, shows a lot defeats both perceived and real. it begins the same night that the Fat Lady’s portrait has been destroyed. Everyone is sleeping in the Great Hall as the Professors check every part of the castle for Sirius Black. As classes resume that week, Professor Lupin is out ill, Snape teaching the class in his place, giving the students homework on Werewolves, a subject they have yet to cover. Quidditch takes place a few days later and during the game dementors attack as Harry goes for the Snitch. The result is Harry falling from his broom hundreds of yards above the ground. He wakes up in the infirmary only to find out that the Hufflepuffs won the match and Harry’s broom was destroyed by the Whomping Willow.

One of the best showcases of a perceived defeat in the chapter is in the description of Oliver Wood’s reaction to Gryffindor’s loss of the match. When asked where he is, Fred replies: “Still in the showers…. We think he’s trying to drown himself.” Disappointment is a real branch of defeat. It always seems to occur when you feel like you’ve been defeated. Here Wood is true disappointed over losing the match, something that happened due to circumstances out of his hands. He stands in the shower unable to see ahead, to figure out his options, to know if there is a way for the Gryffindor team to make a triumphant comeback during the season. The defeat is not concrete yet, but doused in some disappointment and heightened expectations, this perceived defeat can feel very real.

My life tends to be composed of perceived defeats.  This past week I had it in my head that I wanted to have a cool Fourth of July Adventure. I wanted the food, the fireworks, the friends, the parties, everything. At the end of the day, I had the friends, but not the other cool things that I kept seeing pop up on Instagram. It was not that huge of a deal, but in my mind I felt defeated. I felt sad, disheartened.  The thing is, I could have done some many things. There were so many options left. I could have done so many things to get out my disappointment, but instead like Oliver Wood, I stood in my sorrows and let them take over.

For me, a lot of my perceived defeats come from my need to be a people pleaser. Instead of going for the things I want, I tend to sacrifice those wants for others wants. I like to make things easier and go along with everyone else. My entire life has been built on this desire to be the person that goes with the flow. And in my mind that meant to do whatever everyone else wants to do. But it’s not healthy because it ends up in the exact same way it always does: my feeling defeated. My trip to Italy showed me that I needed to stop this behavior, and my Fourth of July sadness for like the 3rd or 4th year in a row showed me the same thing.

So here’s my advice (well my boyfriend’s advice) to myself and to everyone else… don’t get bogged down int he need to people please, don’t get bogged down in the expectations of the world, social media or the people around you. Go for what you want, realize that you are the one who controls your life and that there are no real defeats in everyday life. There are always more options… there are always more opportunities. Even when there doesn’t feel like there are, realize that things happen for a reason, you just have to find that silver lining, fixate on that and keep pushing forward. Defeat never hangs around long…

Lose a Quidditch match? Who’s to say that you’ve lost the entire championship yet?

Have your broom destroyed? Why can’t you get an even better one later?

Have a holiday that doesn’t turn out the way you hoped? Go find the fun in whatever else you wanna do!

At the end of the day, don’t fall victim to your defeats… Control those defeats!

Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.    – Dumbledore

So go turn on the light.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed.

Flight of the Fat Lady (PoA 8)

“No man is an island”- John Donne.

At the start of this summer I went a social media detox. The reason for the detox was this constant feeling of FOMO. I would let people’s fun pictures or events or status updates ruin a day if I felt like I should have been there. My anxiety would soar when I would turn down an event but then see everyone loving it. I would let myself get bogged down in the comparison game and feel shitty because I didn’t have a summer job yet. I was starting to be a little out of control with my feelings. So, my solution? No social media for a while. At first I was going to do the whole summer, but then I realized after being in Italy for a month and then being back that I was seriously missing some of my best friends life events (since we don’t live in the same state anymore) and jumped back on, 7 weeks into summer. Getting back on social media felt strange. I wanted to see what people were up to, but i didn’t feel like I needed to check every time I had a slow moment in conversation or downtime in general. What did I learn from my detox? Sometimes Isolation can be a good thing for the soul.

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Finding the Beauty in the quiet moments– Venice 

This chapter of Harry Potter begins with just a normal school day. Professor Lupin looks a little rough in class, Oliver Wood pushes the Gryffindor Qudditch team hard in practice, and Ron fights with Hermione over her cat trying to eat his rat. The first Hogsmeade trip of the year approaches and Harry, who still doesn’t have a permission slip to go, approaches Professor McGonagall about the trip. She shuts him down, refusing to give him permission to go and send him on his way. Feeling alone as all of his friends head off to Hogsmeade Harry hangs out Professor Lupin who explains that the reason he didn’t let harry go after the Boggart in class because Lupin feared it would be Voldemort that appeared in front of the class. Ron and Hermione bring back tons of candy for Harry from their trip. After the Halloween feast, the Gryffindors head back up to their common room to find the Fat Lady’s portrait slashed and the Fat Lady missing.

f8bf735828f935ca6fb7347b7245c597038fb44f_hqOne of my favorite parts of the movie of this book is when Harry and Lupin have a conversation out on a bridge. Everyone has just left Harry behind to go to Hogsmeade and he wanders around finding Lupin.  They have a touching moment talking about Harry’s mother and father. It’s a beautiful scene in the movie. What I like the most about it though is seeing these two isolated souls existing next to each other. Lupin always seems a little off kilter, someone that people chastise and make fun of for his appearance, and Harry is constantly feeling left behind or alone.

It’s only in this moment of isolation that the two of them find a mutual understanding about life. They can relate in this moment because there is no one else around them. There is quiet. There is a moment for them to come together without the hustle of school and friends. In the movie they are alone on this bridge looking out over the Hogwarts campus. In the book they are alone in Lupin’s office.

IMG_0810When I was in Italy and on a social media break I found myself feeling a little isolated from the world at times. Everyone around me (every time we had internet) would whip their phones out and start texting, facebooking, Instagramming the day’s photos or snapchatting. There was little room for conversation in these moments, but when we didn’t have the internet (and no one really had any data) we were able to sit and connect. There’s beauty in those moments when you feel isolated from the world. When we are most isolated, cut off from out normal lives and we see other souls in the same condition, we gravitate towards them and share our isolation with them. Some of the best friendships I have ever made are with those who feel isolated on the outside of the inside social groups.

Isolation gives you room to think, to breathe, to approach life apart from the status quo. Taking a social media detox helped my brain rest and reflect on the world around me. It gave me an opportunity to talk to people i would normally not talk to and appreciate the beauty of the world around me. For Harry and Lupin, this moment of isolation brought them together and gave Lupin a chance to answer Harry’s questions.

 

So, as the summer jobs reach their peaks and summer fun takes over social media, try and find times, small moments in the day to isolate yourself and check in. How are things going? How do you feel about the world? Your job? Your friends? Your life? Are there any unanswered questions you have lingering in your mind? let your mind wander and see where it goes. You may find out things about yourself that you didn’t know.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed