At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.
At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.
At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
At age 28, Wayne Coyne ( from The Flaming Lips) was a fry cook.
At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.
At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.
At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs.
Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.
Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.
Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 40.
Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career and landed his first movie role at age 42.
Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first major movie role until he was 46.
Morgan Freeman landed his first major movie role at age 52.
Kathryn Bigelow won the Academy Award for Best Director when she made The Hurt Locker at age 57.
Grandma Moses didn’t begin her painting career until age 76.
Louise Bourgeois didn’t become a famous artist until she was 78.
Whatever your dream is, it is not too late to achieve it. You aren’t a failure because you haven’t found fame and fortune by the age of 21. Hell, it’s okay if you don’t even know what your dream is yet. Even if you’re flipping burgers, waiting tables or answering phones today, you never know where you’ll end up tomorrow.
Not all Gryffindors are brave, and most feel fear. Gryffindors aren’t in their house because they are super courageous; it’s because that’s what they want to be. That’s why Peter Pettigrew was a Gryffindor. More than anything, he wanted to be brave, something his friends were but he was not. That’s why Hermione was in Gryffindor; she loved intelligence, but she wanted more than anything to be brave, to stand up to her bullies.
Not all Slytherins are evil, and in fact, most aren’t. Slytherins prize ambition over anything else. That doesn’t mean they have a disregard for other people; it just means they’re willing to manipulate, cheat, and lie to get what they want. Some Slytherins have a very strong view of right and wrong, a very black-and-white view of justice, and no matter what, they won’t cross the line. Others are flat-out willing to do anything for power.
Hufflepuffs are not all pushovers. If that was their defining characteristic, Peter Pettigrew would be one. No, Hufflepuffs are loyal. They’re loyal to the end. Our perception of them is that they’re soft, the “potato house” as I’ve heard them be referred to. But that’s a complete misconception. More than anything, Hufflepuffs prize loyalty, and they make the best friends because of this.
Ravenclaws are not all geniuses. In fact, many suck at school, because they’re too busy pursuing whatever information they want rather than what they’re told to learn. Ravenclaws prize intelligence and more than anything else, a questioning mind, a thirst for knowledge. They’re not always the smartest people, but they want to be, and they’re never done learning.
You’re not sorted into Houses because you are brave, ambitious, loyal or intelligent; you’re sorted into Houses because you want to be brave, ambitious, loyal, or intelligent. It’s the qualities you value, not the qualities you possess, which earn you your placing.