The Perpetually Unsortable

IMG_0156Kelly has always been a Hufflepuff. My mom has always been a Hufflepuff. My dad is unequivocally a Gryffindor.

I, however, am the perpetually unsortable.

Just before Pottermore was launched for the first time, there was a surge of self-sorting. Everyone had an idea of where they thought they should be, where they thought their friends should be. And yet, one of my best friends said to me the night before we’d all be able to take our tests “Well, I can see you in Gryffindor, sure. You’re pretty Ravenclaw-ish. But with a Slytherin slant. Anywhere but Hufflepuff, honestly.”

I bet you can guess what happened next.

This was back when you had to wait to get a Pottermore username, but I knew some people high up in the Potter world (yes, they exist) and immediately after getting sorted into Hufflepuff, four of those people donated extra usernames so that I could take the test again.

And again, I got Hufflepuff. I got Hufflepuff three times before the test let me pick between Hufflepuff and Slytherin. When I took it again after the Ilvermorny launch I got straight Slytherin.

But none of these houses feel totally right to me. If you ask my sister, she puts me in Ravenclaw, with reservations. If you ask my friend Lauren, she puts me in Slytherin without a doubt. Anyone who has ever so much as looked at my sister funny has seen the Hufflepuff loyalty in me.

I’m not a Gryffindor though. I’m just not that brave.

sortinghatWhatever else we are, we are also the Harry Potter generation. Was does it mean for one of us to be perpetually uncertain of our house? I think we are all looking for the Myers-Briggs description and the buzzfeed quizzes and, yes, the sorting. But I’m never sure about any of it. I’m greedy for descriptions of myself from people I know, especially when they don’t necessarily match up with how I see myself. I’ve always felt pretty centered. I didn’t write my name all over my walls. My knowledge of myself feels innate, but completely indescribable. I find myself anxious and uncertain about all kinds of things, just like everyone else – decisions I’ve made or not made, social interactions, things I’ve never done before or don’t know.

But I don’t know what Hogwarts house I would be in. I’ve never trusted my Myers-Briggs (INTJ).

Kelly just walked in the apartment and said, “Well, you’re hard to pin down.” I’d like to believe this is true, because who doesn’t want to be inscrutable. But I suspect that I’m supposed to read into the more subtle messages of Harry Potter – sorting is just one way to understand ourselves. And perhaps not a very good one at that.


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