How Harry Potter (Apparently) Taught Me Confidence

I don’t get soccer.

I don’t get how a game can be 1.5 hours long and still only have two points on the board. I don’t get how it can end in a tie, and I don’t get how Americans don’t give a crap about the sport for three and a half years at a time, then suddenly flip a switch and become big patriotic fans.

Needless to say, I’ve been a little bit of an outcast the last few weeks.

You know what I do get, though? Quidditch.


Which is why, when someone was recently explaining America’s standing in the World Cup – and how in certain situations, the number of goals scored will come into play… my very first thought was “Oh! Like in quidditch!” (Because, for those of you who haven’t read Harry Potter, winning isn’t everything – points matter.*)

I know, I know, I’m letting my freak flag fly a little here. This revelation alone would have been nerdy enough if I just thought it quietly to myself. But did I think it quietly to myself? Of course not. I said it aloud, in a meeting with all of my coworkers.

(…And then I put it on the internet.)

Now luckily, I have the very best coworkers in the history of the world… and not only did they not make fun of me, some of them even echoed my assertion. (Readers, I expect nothing less of you.)

But it got me thinking about how unlucky it would be if my coworkers were not as amazing as they are. Might I have swallowed my quidditch comment? Would I hide my love for Harry Potter altogether? What other aspects of my personality would be altered? WOULD I PRETEND TO LIKE SOCCER?

It’s fascinating, the many different personas we wear to embody all the different versions of ourselves. Like Eleanor Rigby, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door. (Come to think of it, would I ever pretend not to be a Beatles fan? …Nahh, who am I kidding? I couldn’t cover that up if I tried.)

I’ve written about weirdness in the workplace before, and I think the issue stems from a fundamental obsession with other people’s thoughts. I’m certainly guilty of it myself, exhausting every possible watt of brainpower worrying about being liked.

Maybe it’s a result of getting older, or my new job, or my new city, or just generally loving life right now – but for some reason, I didn’t think twice about letting my geekiness show this time. I proclaimed my love for a book about a bespectacled young wizard, I revealed my true self to the people I see every day, and we all had a good laugh about it. And you know what? I’m no worse for wear.

So if you’re in a new job, or meeting new people, or are generally timid about showing your cards, take it from someone who used to stress a lot about what these coworkers thought… trust me guys, it ain’t no thang.


…Unless you like soccer, in which case you’re on your own.


*(You wouldn’t know this if you only saw the movies. Because in the movies there is no point system. Oliver just tells Harry, “If you catch the snitch, the game is over. You catch this, Potter, and we win.” Which is totally absurd because if that were the case, why the hell are there other balls and goal posts or even other players? Obviously there are more factors at play here, HOLLYWOOD. Gahd.)

4 thoughts on “How Harry Potter (Apparently) Taught Me Confidence

  1. Jumping on a bandwagon is a way for people to feel like they “fit in”. I love your post! We are our own worst critics sometimes. 🙂

  2. Well, Susie, I love you AND World Cup soccer. Quidditch did not ever make sense to me and I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. It just seemed like they flew around, scored a few points, but the only thing that actually mattered was getting the gold thingie (the snitch?). You do a great job of sharing yourself with both humor and insight and I’m jealous that you can get things out nearly weekly. Your posts also have that quality that I get accused of from time to time. Several people have commented that they appreciate how “honest” my writing is. I don’t even know what that means except that I’m not afraid to tell embarrassing anecdotes about myself. But all of your postings have that real sense of authenticity.

    P.S. I am very glad that you would never deny your devotion to the Beatles.

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