Life Lessons from Anne with an ECaitlin Fitzgibbons

Anne Shirley, aka Anne of Green Gables, is my kindred spirit. Sure, she’s a fictional character, but I feel like she’s been my role model and best friend for years. Author LM Montgomery invented her character in 1908, but Anne is still so modern and relevant for me – I’m always forgetting she’s 103 and I’m 24.

We hang out for hours when I watch the Anne of Green Gables television movie trilogy created in Canada between 1985 and 2002. I believe there are like, 10 hours of Anne between the three and I obviously own them all. The set makes a great gift. If you aren’t willing to make the investment, you can catch them frequently on PBS telethons – although you’ll have to spend the entire day indoors to see all three, which to me is an added benefit of the series.

Here are some life lessons I’ve learned from Anne:

Make the most of your life situation.

Anne Shirley was an orphan. When she finally gets adopted, she finds out it was by mistake. The family (brother and sister Cuthbert) had wanted a boy. She doesn’t let that discourage her and always lives her life with a vibrant imagination. People come from all different types of families or create families made up of the people around them that they care about. The ability to move forward made Anne a strong person.

Additionally, imaginations are incredibly important to me. What I may project as sheer insanity is actually just me continuing to use an imagination and I think that’s perfectly acceptable at any age. I learned this from Anne.

Adults aren’t always right.

Anne had to deal with plenty of nosy and gossipy people in Avonlea. She lived her life with her chin up and did her thang. Adults make mistakes and if Anne ever feels like she’s being taken advantage of by an adult who should just mind their own business, she tells them. You better believe I’m all about that. It’s pathetic when you encounter an adult with less maturity than you have, but it happens all the time.

Learn to love your weave.

Anne has some crazy red hair, giving her the nickname “carrots”. She often imagined she’d awake to a head full of hair that was raven black but like, that wasn’t happening. She even dyed her hair once but it turned green.

The thickness of my hair is my problem. I think I have the hair of about 5 normal people on my head. It’s so bizarre and I nearly pass out every time I blow-dry. However, I’ve accepted the fact that hairstylists are not going to be my BFF like other women because they are to exhausted by the process of highlighting, cutting and blow-drying my hair. That’s fine, I hate small talk anyway.

Strong writing is an important and powerful skill.

Anne excelled in academics and was at the top of her class. She worked hard and had an accomplished educational career for a girl during her time period. Outside of academia, Anne was passionate about writing. It became an excellent outlet for her to channel her imagination and wild thoughts.

I love to write and always will. Whether it be creative stories, blogging, sketch comedy – it’s all therapeutic and a great creative outlet. Anne taught me how powerful writing can be for yourself and for those around you.

Look for a man like Gilbert Blythe.

Don’t ask about this photo of me and Gil (you can make your own here.) Instead, focus on Gilbert. He is perfect: incredibly sassy, romantic, smart and adores Anne. I also value his persistence.

Anne is a strong and independent girl and most guys around her just don’t cut it. Gil was Anne’s soulmate. I like how he can handle Anne’s bold personality and I love that they challenge each other. I’m serious here – they are my favorite fictional couple. I think a lot of guys date girls that are wet blankets because they don’t like to be challenged. Not Gilbert.

Hopefully, these lessons from Anne will be inspirational. Let me know if you have others to share and if you haven’t seen those three movies- track them down.

Kindred Spirits 4 Life,

PS. I need to go visit Prince Edward Island soon.

Images via,,,, and

  • Jewel May Isleta

    its a very pleasing story .I like it so much .

  • Caitlin Fitzgibbons

    Thanks Clare! Looks great – I’m glad you liked the post.

    • Anonymous

      I could watch Schndiler’s List and still be happy after reading this.

    • Anonymous

      Enlightening the world, one hflepul article at a time.

  • Clare Hill

    Hi Caitlin! I work for Sullivan Entertainment and blog for their website I really enjoyed this post and wrote a blog about it here:

    I hope that’s ok with you! Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to add/change.

    Clare Hill

  • Erin Sipes

    I found this via the Shiksa in the kitchen and I think I”ve found a kindred spirit! It is not possible for me to agree with you more about the awesomeness of Anne Shirley.

  • Ina Williams

    This blog entry is totally AWESOME! I love Anne of Green Gables and grew up with her. Not having cable really made PBS one of the highlights of my TV time. I loved the movies so much that I took to reading the books, and that’s right, you guessed it…they were awesome too.

  • Stephanie Ann Staadt

    i was more of a fan of Emily too but L.M. Montgomery wrote a heroin for everyone

  • Stephanie Ann Staadt

    Oh Man this makes me want to go watch this now…. I own all 3 movies on VHS and have the books.. I love Anne Of Green Gables =] I visited Prince Edward Island about 10 years ago and it was so amazing to see the place Anne Loved so much.. =]

  • Celeste Owens

    Gilbert, I’d smash a slate over his head!!! <3

  • Taylor Wendt

    Yes! This post makes me want to go watch them again. Seriously, like now! Bye!

  • Sarah Elizabeth

    Oh, Anne! I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve read book/short story written by LM Montgomery that is still in print. All of her gals are mad imaginative and independent from day mother-f’ing ONE. Anne is such a positive role model for ladies everywhere – great idea to utilize her character in that way. PROPS.

  • Abbey Lile-Taylor

    You just made my day!! I <3 AofGG!

  • Madison Collins

    I loved watching these movies growing up! Gil is so hot.

  • Tara Uebelhor Bayse

    I got married at that Anne of Green Gables Museum, and I’m from Indiana. I was hooked by the movies on PBS at a young age. Read and re-read the books wheni was 25 after my Dad died. They were such a comfort. I wasn’t muchof a reader before then, but I guess it helped to slip into Anne’s world. I also name our cats after characters.

    • Gabrielle Segalla

      OH please tell me one of them is named Prissy Andrews. That would be a great name for a cat. :P

    • Caitlin Fitzgibbons

      That’s sooo awesome. What are the cats’ names (so far)?

  • Elizabeth Loretto

    As a kid I had Anne of Green Gables and Avonlea on book tape, read by Megan Follows, I listened to those every night as I fell asleep. It broke my heart the day that the tapes got too worn to listen to anymore.

  • Jane C. Dioguardi

    @Hannah, I so agree! @Caitlin, not so much–the third movie has nothing to do with the REAL ending of the Anne saga.

    • Caitlin Fitzgibbons

      I’m sorry there is nothing like checking out a bad sequel at least once. Plus, more Gil time. That is all.

  • Lily Db

    so lovely! I reed this books and this story is amazing, one of my favorites :D
    I love Gilbert too… he is not a coward! :D

    • Anonymous

      So that’s the case? Quite a reevltaoin that is.

  • Wilma Faye Inocencio

    i need to have an Anne of Green Gables marathon soon! I haven’t seen the movies in awhile, and i’ve read the books over and over again since the 6th grade :)

    • Anonymous

      Econoimes are in dire straits, but I can count on this!

  • Dana Boone

    I have gone so far as to read the books that occur after Anne and Gilbert are married. SPOILER ALERT: they have like 20 kids.

  • Karen Maria Hickey

    What a lovely post! I have lived on Prince Edward Island my entire life. Needless to say, we are all about Anne! You should definitely plan a visit! I recommend July or August because that is when Cavendish (aka- Avonlea) is at it’s prettiest.
    It’s always nice to find Anne Shirley groupies. She is an epic redhead, there is no denying!

    • Mora Thompson

      I went to PEI this year and although there wasn’t a Lake of Shining Waters, there was plenty of scope for the imagination!

  • Hannah Greene

    Do not, I repeat DO NOT watch the third film. The first two are absolutely perfect and the third will destroy all joy. Seriously. As far as I’m concerned that third film does not exist.

    • Lauren Semple Stroman

      AGREED wholeheartedly! that’s ok, i just pretend in my head that someday they’ll fix it and resume in the right place–Ingleside!

    • Caitlin Fitzgibbons

      This is true, but like you still have to watch it at least once just to see how the story ends. It’s like the Godfather 3.

Need more Giggles?
Like us on Facebook!