- the date on which in a previous year, an emerson castle dweller returns to the united states after a semester of learning, travel, and adventure
Today is my Castleversary. April 27, 2006. It’s been 6 years, and the weird thing is that as time goes on, I certainly remember and reminisce about the amazing time I had there, but at the same time, the details start to fade, and every memory just becomes another picture in my scrapbook. So in an effort to keep those memories alive, from now on, I’ll just recall a specific anecdote for my Castleversary. Living in the Kasteel and exploring Europe forever changed me, made me the person that I am today, and I am forever grateful. So it’s only right that I keep its - and my - memory alive.
The One With The Cheese Plate
In my educational life, I have taken a total of 6 years studying Spanish. One would think I’d be pretty close to fluent after all those classes. Despite the fact that I got a 2 (out of 5) on the AP test, I’d like to think that I can carry on a decent conversation from those years of espanol. However, there was a reason I got such a low score on the AP - not just because our teacher didn’t prepare us for the actual test - and it was never more apparent than when we took a trip to Barcelona, Spain.
It's like, all of my life, everyone has always told me, 'You're a shoe! You're a shoe, you're a shoe, you're a shoe!'.
And today I just stopped and I said, ‘What if I don’t wanna be a shoe? What if I wanna be a- a purse, y’know? Or a- or a hat! No, I’m not saying I want you to buy me a hat, I’m saying I am a ha- It’s a metaphor, Daddy!- Rachel, TOW Monica Gets a New Roommate (x)
One of the first nights at the kasteel, I was eating dinner with some new friends in the dungeon aka the dining hall. Since we were brand new to the castle, the people I was dining with began to make comparisons between Kasteel Well and Hogwarts. Keep in mind that I had actually not read any of the HP series at this point (I was a late bloomer, I’m sorry. My parents didn’t encourage reading about wizardry and witchcraft, and I was too busy watching Party of Five). The subject of which House everyone would belong to came around, and although most of us didn’t know each other that well, the kid next to me said “I think you would be a Hufflepuff. Definitely a Hufflepuff.” The others started chortling around me. They were probably in Slytherin. I looked up from my chocolate hagelslag and stared at him. “Um… is that a good thing or a bad thing?” “No, no, it’s not bad. It’s just a thing.”
A year later, I came to know and love HP, and thought about what that kid said about me being in Hufflepuff. And you know what, I thought he was pretty accurate. I’m not super brave, I’m not a genius, and I’m not a major biotch, so the kind and good hearted House is where I belonged. Seriously guys, what’s so wrong with being a Hufflepuff??
And then this happened.
I finally got around to putting on the sorting hat. After fighting to be a member of the Pottermore beta site last summer, I eagerly started on chapter 1 and didn’t understand the concept of clicking things so I gave up. Here we are again and I am at last sorted into a house. Lo and behold, I was not sorted into Hufflepuff as I thought, but rather into Gryffindor!!! LIKE, THAT’S THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS HOUSE, YOU GUYS. but you know. I just feel like I’m not worthy.
Anyone that’s read “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett (or seen the movie adaptation) will recognize that mantra. It’s one of the simplest and most positive affirmations an adult can impart on a young girl. Aibileen is constantly repeating it, making sure that Mae Mobley not only hears it, but absorbs it. Takes it with her. Carries it around. When I came across those words while reading the novel a few months ago, I couldn’t help but smile. Not just because of their poignancy within that story, but because of their familiarity.
As a toddler, my mother used to tuck me in every night. She’d stand by my bed and she’d ask me: ”Who’s the smartest? Who’s the prettiest?” And I would always respond with a resounding “Me!” At four years old, I hardly knew the impact of those words. I just knew that my mom loved me and made sure I drifted off to sleep with a smile. At twenty-four years old, I can look back and see exactly how those words affected me. They have made me confident and self-assured, even when I don’t necessarily feel that way.
I know that as my fellow twenty-somethings and I venture out into the world, wading through the post-collegiate abyss trying to find ourselves, it can get pretty lonely. We’re both free and stifled, grasping for things that are just out of reach. Making our own choices, decisions, lives. It’s not easy, and I often beat myself up for not being where I thought I’d be at this point in my life. And when I hit a low point, remembering those words that I heard while curling up with my blanket twenty years ago can be a source of comfort and guidance.
So as I work to shape my life, I am making a promise to myself to repeat that mantra daily. And I urge all of you to do the same. Ask those questions every night before you tuck yourselves in. And remember that it’s not about having an ego or thinking you are smarter, prettier, or better than anyone at all. It’s about believing in yourself and knowing that deep down, “you is kind, you is smart, you is important.”
And thankfully if I ever forget, my mother is just a phone call away to remind me.
molly is not just the smartest and the prettiest but she’s one of the most wonderful people i know, and i’m lucky to call her my friend. i love this post she wrote because there isn’t one person out there that couldn’t use a positive affirmation.
a while ago, if me or my friends around me were having a not so good day, we’d look at the clock and announce “___ o’clock affirmations!” then we’d have to go around and say one great thing about each other. it could be silly like ‘traci, i like you because you have straight azn hair’ or more thoughtful like ‘molly, i like you because you are not selfish and are always willing to do anything for your friends and loved ones’. and it always felt better after that.
so if you need some positivity in your life today, read this and it will certainly brighten your day!
“Sometimes I’ll be talking to someone and I’ll be like, ‘I’ve been really lonely lately,’ and they’ll be like, ‘Well we should hang out,’ and I’ll be like, ‘No, that’s not what I meant.’”—John Mulaney. (via nikovo)