Have you ever noticed that your ability to sympathise with a literary character depends on the mood you’re in? I have. Whenever I’m feeling good about myself, I’m always the heroine; the intelligent one, the funny one, the cool one, or even the pretty one. When I’m having a bad day, however, I hate them . And when I’m feeling particularly bad, there’s one character I really identify with – but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Want to know which character seems to have been written especially for me? Read on!
I sometimes feel like I’m not working hard enough, I’m not doing enough, I’m not looking good enough, I don’t eat healthily enough, I don’t go to bed early enough, I don’t work out enough – suffice it so say, I sometimes struggle with a bad self-image. What happens then is that I get angry at myself. I get grumpy, I don’t sleep well, and I demand a lot from myself (and, failing to meet these admittedly unrealistic demands, I get even angrier, and feel even worse). On days like these, I’m not very kind to myself. These bad moods of mine are easily recognisable: I tend to sigh a lot, stomp my feet, curse at myself, and get so clumsy I walk into doors and end up with several bruises. Today is one of those days.
Today, unfortunately, is a Dobby day.
My boyfriend was the first one who compared me to Dobby, from the Harry Potter series; he, knowing me quite well, knows when I’m being particularly tough on myself, and he said it looks like I’m punishing myself, like Dobby does whenever he feels like he’s done something he shouldn’t have done. Remember how he smashes a lamp into his face, or irons his own fingers, all the while shouting “Bad Dobby! Bad Dobby!” Well, somehow that’s like something I could do whenever I’m having a particularly bad day. Somehow that comparison always makes me feel better, even though I don’t quite know why. I think it’s because it’s so ridiculous that it pulls me out of my negative thoughts, and I realise I’m being quite silly.
This Christmas, I received one of the best gifts ever: a Dobby doll. I’m still not sure whether it’s ugly or cute, but I love it. Whenever I feel like I’ll punish myself for whatever my mind thinks is unworthy, I take a look at my Dobby. It’s always there for me, and it always has a smile on its face. And it always makes me feel a bit better.
When I was stomping around at home this afternoon, I decided to hug Dobby for a while. I was kind to him, and took some pictures of him. And in doing so, I was kind to myself, too. I accepted that today wasn’t going to be the best day ever, but that that’s ok, too. I still managed to do some things, like cleaning up, and writing this post.
So here’s a lesson for anyone who’s having a bad day: be kind to yourself, do whatever feels right, even if you feel like you should be doing more. And, of course, get yourself a Dobby doll. Doing that shows you’ve accepted your inner Bad Dobby. Remind yourself that things aren’t always as bad as they seem, should help and that everything will turn out in the end.
Dobby is one of my favourite characters. He was a hero, and you can be one, too.
Which literary character do you identify with most, and why? When was the last time you unleashed your inner Dobby? And how did you eventually get rid of your inner demons? Do let me know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to follow me for more book-related posts!