L.M Montgomery's Anne Shirley, the heroine of her Anne of Green Gables series, is one of literature's most beloved characters, and for good reason. Though I loved the original PBS miniseries as a kid, I didn't read the books until I was in my mid-twenties. And I'm still a little blown away by just how much the series has come to mean to me in my adulthood. Not only has Anne helped me cope when I feel anxious about the state of the world, but I'm continuing to learn valuable life lessons from Anne Shirley and her adolescence on Prince Edward Island. Because perhaps the most valuable thing about Montgomery's series is how she seamlessly combines the cruelties of the world with the magic of it, never shying away from the many ways that happiness and sorrow walk hand-in-hand, even down cherry blossom filled lanes.
In 2018, that pairing of sorrow and happiness is never far from my mind, and I'm sure it's the same for many of us. But the older I get the more I turn to Anne Shirley, who is honestly a perfect example of all the things I most want to embrace in the years to come: giving myself permission to dream despite the demands of reality; remaining a loving a faithful friend; being afraid but doing what I want to do anyway; learning from my many mistakes; and being eternally optimistic, no matter how many hardships life throws your way. If you want to follow Anne's example in the last half of the year and beyond, these 11 quotes from Anne of Green Gables are a great reminder to do just that.