Helen Rose
January 8, 2019

Author’s Note:
I wrote this post in early 2019, before JK Rowling outed herself as a trans-exclusive radical feminist. I do not remotely condone Rowling’s beliefs or statements about the trans community and I am heartbroken that my childhood hero turned out to be so closed minded and harmful. JK Rowling did let me down. I’m keeping this post live because I think to delete it amounts to digital gaslighting, but I no longer consider JK Rowling to be one of my role models. I hope one day I can apprecaite Harry Potter again, but right now I just don’t.

JK Rowling has never let me down.

When I dressed as her for my fifth-grade wax museum project, my deep interest in her writing and journey earned me top marks.

Even earlier than that, when I was once grounded from reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the umpteenth time, she and Harry were right there when I was able to return.

She brought me to friends who shared my fanatic interest in her wizarding world. She brought me messages about challenges, hope, perseverance, friendship, truth, and love. In short, she helped me believe in magic in a world that very desperately needs it.

When I decided to get my first tattoos in 2014, I knew one of them had to be a small lightning bolt. I’ve had to defend myself and my ongoing devotion to my childhood heroes a few times. What I keep coming back to is this:

“After all this time?

Last week, in a fit of doubt, I decided to stop writing the book I’ve been working on. I was ashamed that I had even attempted it and cringed at myself for the arrogance of thinking anyone would want to read or publish my work.

The book in question is about my journey. I envision it as a fairly short collection of stories and essays, perhaps with some poetry and relevant journal entries and miscellaneous quotes thrown in. It’s much like my blog, to be honest, though I picture it being less about me and more about what I’ve learned.

I am sometimes prone to anxiety and self-doubt. I still have to remind myself sometimes that I matter. I still have to remind myself that the inherent worth and dignity of all beings includes me. I’m unlearning how I’ve lived and thought thus far and learning who I truly am and what that looks and feels like.

Last night, my dear friend Allison sent me this photo:


At the exact time it was sent, I was listening to a song that evokes a lot of feelings for me. I was wrapped up in myself and some old pain that I’m still working through.

“I was literally having a moment when you sent me that.”

“Sometimes the universe takes care of you.”

“The Universe always takes care of me. I just have to let go and let it.”


This morning, I was thinking about letting go. In my newfound intention to live more gently I have realized that things can still be ok if I am not the one controlling them. As a student of Life on this planet, it is also ok for me to change and evolve in any way which serves my highest good.

In early 2015, I got two tattoos. One, on my right wrist, said This too shall pass. The other, on my left, was a small lightning bolt.

A lot changed between early 2015 and early 2018, when I had both tattoos covered up by an amazing tattoo artist.


This too did pass. I no longer had a mediocre flash piece on my arm. I now have a beautiful piece of custom artwork – a vibrant sunflower, my most favorite flower, radiating brightness in color and spirit. A year later, I still love it and marvel at it often.


My lightning bolt became the flame of my right-wrist chalice, a symbol of the spiritual tradition that means so much to me and I intend to serve as my profession. I am glad that I did not have my lightning bolt covered completely, because Harry Potter was an incredibly important piece of my childhood  – it is only appropriate that I carry it with me into my bright, beautiful future.

This morning, JK Rowling came through for me yet again, in the form of a post on her own website.

This section struck me especially hard:

“The harshest critic is often inside your own head. These days I can usually calm that particular critic down by feeding her a biscuit and giving her a break, although in the early days I sometimes had to take a week off before she’d take a more kindly view of the work in progress. Part of the reason there were seven years between having the idea for Philosopher’s Stone and getting it published, was that I kept putting the manuscript away for months at a time, convinced it was rubbish.”

If JK Rowling can be convinced her work is rubbish and overcome that harsh critic in her head, so can I. I am going to finish my book – one day. I am going to take it slow, trust my intuition, and let the story tell me when I need to step away and when it is finished.

The Universe always provides.


One response to “Always”

  1. […] does not look like abracadabra or Rubeus Hagrid knocking down our door to take us to Hogwarts. Magic is in the lessons we do not realize we are learning and in the way everything always works […]


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