Twenty three and three

Hello friends!,

I decided last minute to make this posting today. I have had a TON of people including co-workers, friends, and even family ask me what the meaning behind twenty three and three is. Since today is the twentieth anniversary of us simple muggles being introduced to the magical world of Harry Potter, I thought what better day than today to share my favorite Harry Potter quote of all time which happens to introduce the meaning behind twenty three and three?! I had originally planned on saving this post for the anniversary of my dad’s death but as I was in the shower tonight I decided today was just the day. My best ideas happen in the shower so I normally try to listen to them.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, let’s just go ahead and say I have a slight obsession with Harry Potter. If slight means decorating your house in Harry Potter décor at the age of thirty-two, then yes, slight is the word. The first Harry Potter novel coming out twenty years ago today would mean that I was twelve years old. While I would love to say that is the age I was introduced, that simply isn’t the case. I was a tad bit older. I was a junior in high school when the first movie came out. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Which in fact was titled as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone when the novel was first published in London. Fun little fact for ya.  Anyway, I’ll never forget going to see Harry Potter for the first time. I went with a friend who was a couple years younger than me and who had actually read the books. I knew nothing about Harry Potter or this wonderful, magical world that J.K. Rowling had created at this point. But after that night, my life would be changed forever. After I saw the movie I went and picked up all the books that were already published and devoured them. Greedily waiting for the next ones to come out, standing in line at bookstores waiting for their release. I saw the movies opening weekend. I cried when it was all over. My first date with TJ was to the Universal/Islands of Adventure parks here in Orlando with a friend of his and his now wife. We spent the first half of our first date exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, me in my “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good shirt”, geeking out, and falling in love with the man who brought me there with no judgment.

See, the thing I truly love the most about Harry Potter is the fact that no matter how old I get, every time I read one of the books or watch one of the movies or even go to the theme park, I am transported back to that sixteen year old girl who didn’t have a care in the world. It’s like my own little youth time capsule. Because let’s face it, getting old can suck sometimes. Life gets hard and you can get overwhelmed with responsibility.

At this point you’re like “yeah, yeah, get to the point”. So how does this all relate back to the name of my blog you ask? My favorite quote from all of the books is the wise words of Albus Dumbledore, “happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light’. It’s a fantastic quote to begin with, but after I lost my dad last year to suicide, it took on a whole new meaning for me. Obviously I had some really dark days after he was gone. It was hard for me to pull myself together. Sometimes, it still is. But one day a few weeks after his passing I noticed something. I was sending in his death certificate to his car loan company so that they would come take it back from me, when I was staring at the date of death. The twenty-third. My favorite numbers have always been three and twenty-three. Well it just so happened that we had my dad’s funeral on the third. So now, my two favorite numbers are haunted by the fact that it’s the day my dad killed himself, and the day we had to say goodbye. But like Dumbledore stated, we can find happiness in the darkest of days “if only we remember to turn on the light”. My mom’s birthday happens to fall on twenty-three and wouldn’t you guess it, my sisters is on the third. Twenty-three and three. Now when I’m having a bad day I just think about those numbers. Yeah, there’s my darkest days attached to them, but there is also my best days (the light). So now you know. And my hope is that you can find light in your dark days. It’s something different for everyone. But it’s there. Just have to turn it on.

Cheers!

-Ash

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