March 18, 2021

How Anne of Green Gables Teaches us to Embrace our “Too-Much-Ness.”

I am not sure whether many people celebrate their favorite fictional characters’ birthdays, but I always have. 

The latest was Anne of Green Gables’ 113th birthday on the 5th of March; I made a special homemade carrot cake.

Just like Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, the powers of the universe conspired to bring Anne to me during the lockdown. I’d heard so much about her but kept postponing our meeting.

When a close friend and colleague who knows me quite well urged me to read the books and watch the series, I promised I would (without having the slightest intention to stick to my promise). 

Sorry, I should have trusted your insight since you know how much I struggle with fitting in.

I forgot all about Anne until months later when another friend brought her into a conversation. He told me that “Anne With an E” was the only Netflix series he’s ever binged on.

Hence, I started watching it one night and simultaneously reading the books. I finally understood what all the fuss was about; I never related to anyone the way I did to Anne, and I am sure I am not the only one who’s “ahead by a century.”

Here are some of the things that I truly love and admire about Anne. I am sure many, including myself, can see parts of themselves in Anne—even after 113 years:

    1. She is over-zealous and passionate.
    2. She loves animals and can connect with them. She went through hell and back to save her friend the fox.
    3. She is emotional and highly sensitive.
    4. She is independent and refers to herself as “The Bride of Adventure.”
    5. She is an over-thinker.
    6. She can be a drama queen, but that’s only because she feels everything deeply.
    7. She connects with mother nature and finds her solace and haven there.
    8. She messes things up so badly—in a way that only Anne can—with the boy she loves, Gilbert Blythe. She keeps denying her feelings for him, and even when she acknowledges them, she manages to push him away.
    9. She loves writing, particularly letters.
    10. She’s a hopeless romantic and practical at the same time.
    11. She cannot see how beautiful and special she is.
    12. She is multi-talented and a wordsmith.
    13. She loves reading and finds an escape in books.
    14. She has a vivid imagination and makes sure everyone is aware of it.
    15. She steps in when she’s needed and right when nobody expects it.
    16. She’s fearless and uses her courage to stand up for what is right.
    17. She’s vocal and can be the voice of the voiceless.
    18. She is extremely loyal to her friends, family, and values.
    19. She has values and can be stubborn when fighting to maintain them.
    20. She’s open-minded and progressive.
    21. She can accidentally gossip, spill the beans, babble—especially when nervous.
    22. She is wise beyond her years and in her own ways, although she can be silly due to her spontaneity.
    23. She believes in kindred spirits.
    24. She has an unmatched sense of humor that beautifully shines in contrast with her “dramatic” self.
    25. She loves beauty, elegance, art, and riches, but manages to stay simple and humble.
    26. She can be heroic, not only empathetic, as she would risk her life for others.
    27. She’s a great investigator and exceptionally intuitive.
    28. She understands that family is not blood and loves her tribe with all her heart.
    29. She loves so fiercely and cares way too much.
    30. She’s a rebel and can organize a march to turn things around.
    31. She’s a believer but has her own way of praying.
    32. She has a best friend (a bosom friend), Diana Barry.
    33. She’s hot-blooded, gets furious, then regrets it. (Who could forget that time she ripped Gilbert’s letter to pieces?)
    34. She loves her community and Avonlea as if it were its own birthplace.
    35. She can easily fall into the “depths of despair” and just as easily manages to come out of it.
    36. She has a horrible temper and can hold grudges for years despite her kindness.
    37. Her unique vitality is contagious, and she even manages to inspire her frenemies.
    38. She’s super creative, even in the way she apologizes.
    39. She has a sense of humor and zest like nobody else.
    40. She’s extremely smart and understands that kindness and empathy are the best way to show it.

No wonder Mark Twain described Anne of Green Gables as, “The dearest, most moving, and delightful child since the immortal Alice.”

For those of us who were labeled as “too much” for “too long,” let’s embrace our beautiful, unique selves. 

The world will eventually appreciate your light, and if it doesn’t, make sure you do.

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