For awhile I knew about the Pottermore sorting hat, but I didn't bother to try it. Was it because I wasn't curious? No, not at all. It's because I was so sure I'd be a Hufflepuff, I didn't think to bother.
When I finally took it, I tried to clear my head and approach each question alone with no bias. I told myself to welcome any house. I even turned the lights off and went into fullscreen. Yep, I was committed.
Big surprise: I got Hufflepuff. And when I read the welcome from J.K. Rowling, it matched up. Patience and acceptance and all that—bring it. I'm happy in my new home.
But here's the thing.
When I got up from the computer and was walking through the night toward the laundromat (where most epiphanies occur), I realized something. I think I've been trying to become more of a Hufflepuff for nearly 5 years now. No, not in the "please let me be in the house of Cedric and badgers" sort of way. But rather, I realized somewhere in high school that these Hufflepuff traits—loyalty, kindness, justice—were what I admired most.
Growing up I wouldn't have felt that way. I remember being fiercely competitive. I thought that wisdom and notability was the best way to go. I valued test scores and talent and popularity and skills and knowledge. But somewhere along the line, I realized that maybe wasn't me.
The change is probably less dramatic than I make it seem, but if you were to ask teenage Joel what Hogwarts house he would've wanted to be sorted into, I doubt he would have said Hufflepuff. But I feel halfway certain that this new me does. At least for now.
Are we too complex to fall into four categories? Yes, a million times over. Is it fun anyways? Yes, of course.
(from December 2013)