Canadian Idol

No, not the reality singing competition; I’m talking about tangible human Canadian idols that influence us a great deal as important role models. There have been a lot of people I’ve been trying to be like (other than myself), and it’s quite easy to follow trends of the twenty-first century in terms of behavior and style; but it’s far more difficult to strive to be an optimistic kindred spirit with a thirst for adventure and a passion for life. Thus being said, I’ve found an idol in an islander schoolteacher that I’ve known ever since I was a little girl… and she isn’t even a real person.

The fictional character Anne of Green Gables has been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. I first read the novel in grade two, and read it once every year since then – understanding more and reading more in between the lines as I matured each year both mentally and physically. I then discovered the later sequels, and then the movies in grade five, where I watched Megan Follows and the rest of the cast portray the characters of L.M. Montgomery’s story almost exactly the way I had pictured it in my imagination. It is the one movie that I think was equally as enchanting as the book, and not only was it a timeless classic, it was ageless; for even today I understand more of it each time I watch it.

Anyways, I ‘ve digressed. Of course being a woman in olden society was not easy, but I had always longed to live a day in that generation where men were men and women were women (to a certain societal degree). But times being as they are, I never thought it practical to choose Anne Shirley – a young countryside school mistress – as an actual role model. Then I realized that it wasn’t just about popularity or fancy hats and dresses – it was Anne’s exuberance and joy for the miniature things in life and utter intolerance for defeat that inspired me. So here’s to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s ingenious birth of Avonlea’s Anne Shirley – a real Canadian idol.

I went looking for my ideals outside of myself, but I realized it’s not what the world holds for you, but what you bring to it.

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