Dear J.K. Rowling,

In my lifetime, the Lord has tested me in many ways. That means socially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. I wasn’t made to have the sky as my limit. I know my boundaries, and I know what I am capable of accomplishing. The difference is that when my friends are scrambling around the school halls and running to make it to class on time, I am driving. God decided to paint my picture in the world a bit differently than those around me. I can stand, but not as tall as the person standing next to me. I can walk, but I’ll never be able to win an athletic award for track and field. I am the same as everyone else from the waist up, and I’m not exactly shy or reserved. Within my individual personality, it is safe to say I’m just like any other teenager: spunky and social. I enjoy being loud, and I enjoy being involved with life - but I didn’t always.

As a child, I was pretty insecure about being different. Over the years, I became very good at concealing my feelings about the matter. Every once in a while, I would crack a joke about my handicap, and some people would laugh while others looked extremely uncomfortable. Life was never perfect, but that never meant it was awful. I’ve always lived in a fantastically accepting community with an amazing family and the best friends I could ask for. I just never understood why the Lord chose me. Why did I have to be the only one I knew who was made differently? Growing up in the environment that I did, the only person who didn’t accept me was me. I struggled with openly displaying my disability to the world completely void of shame. I tried to blend in, and I hoped in my own little world that life would change, and overnight I would miraculously be just like everyone else.

You taught me that I was wrong. I was wrong to hide myself. I was wrong to try and disappear into the crowd. Your books caused me to change my outlook on the world. I learned about equality, love, and friendship. I fell in love with every character within your stories. I could see myself and who I wanted to be inside each witch and wizard. With every new character quality I discovered, I found myself not only wanting to display the good in them, but also wanting to become my own character that I could be proud of: a character worthy of a spot within your magical world. Ginny Weasley taught me to never give up because your hard work will pay off in the end. Neville Longbottom taught me to own up to my self worth and gain some self-confidence when facing the world. He told me that I am more powerful than I give myself credit for. Luna Lovegood was always one of my favorite characters. She embodied everything I wanted to be. She cared about the good in people around her, and she knew that no matter who tried to knock her down, she would get back up and stand tall. She was exactly who she wanted to be and proud of that person. She taught me to embrace my quirky side and never feel ashamed of myself. Ron Weasley taught me to stay loyal to my friends and family in the hardest of times. He taught me that love and friendship is more powerful than even the strongest enemy. Harry Potter taught me that I am not a burden because I am different. I might need to ask for help sometimes, and that is okay.

Hermione Granger taught me to be courageous. My life has been full of trying times where courage and bravery have carried me to the other side of the mountain. She taught me that the sky is the limit because I get to create my own sky and my own goals. I had an unknown future when I was born. Most of the doctors who looked at me didn’t know what was wrong, and those who did told my parents that I would never walk. By the grace of God, I was able to walk on my own two feet into my fourth birthday party. It had a clown theme. Even though I chalked up the life-changing victory to a miracle, the doctors said it was determination – the determination that I embraced when I was sucked into the magical world. I am scared for the unknown. But Hermione Granger taught me to face it with my head held high and my friends by my side. It is okay to be afraid.

This book shaped me into the person that I am. I am strong, confident, and quirky in my own special way. I have embraced my differences and used them to the benefit of myself and the people around me. There is a reason God called me to live this life. Just because I haven't discovered it yet doesn't mean that I should ever be ashamed.

 J.K. Rowling, you are the reason that I am the vivacious and brave person that I embody today. You are the reason that I embraced my personality. I now walk with a look of determination and a huge grin on my face. No book has ever been such a rollercoaster of self-discovery. I am grateful for the ups and the downs, and I can face the world head on with no mountain that I can’t move. Through my journey, I have learned to conquer my problems, and break the world’s status quo. I am proud to be my own character in your story. I am proud to be a bookworm. I am proud to be a drama kid. I am proud to be handicapped. Thank you for my childhood.

 

Blessings,

Avery Gann

Page last modified: April 4, 2017