Anne, Laura, Mary, Sarah, Jo and Charlotte.
These girls helped shape who I am as a person today. They all had strengths and weaknesses. They weren’t perfect. They struggled, they persisted and they survived.
Jo from Little Women showed me how much being the oldest meant. I had a younger sister, and much like Jo I wanted to coddle and protect her. She also showed me that despite the odds stacked against me, if being a writer is what you want then that’s what you should go after.
“I want to do something splendid…something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.” – Jo March from Little Women.
Laura from The Little House on the Prairie series taught me even when life gives you potatoes, you can make the best out of it. With a tough spirit and grit you can overcome hardship and keep moving forward in life. She knew how to smile and laugh, but she also knew how to stand up for herself and her sisters.
“My goodness!” Mary said. “I couldn’t be as mean as that Nellie Oleson.” Laura thought: “I could. I could be meaner to her than she is to us, if Ma and Pa would let me.” – Laura Ingalls from On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House on the Prairie Series)
Sara from The Little Princess taught me the beauty of magic. When bad things happen, there is magic in hope and staying positive. Keep on looking for what you’re searching for. You just might find it.
“There is nothing so nice as supposing. It’s almost like being a fairy. If you suppose anything hard enough it seems as if it were real.” – Sara from The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Mary from the Secret Garden taught me that even if you are cursed with an unpleasant disposition or circumstances, you can rise above them and grow into a new and better person. You can impact the world around you even with the small things, like friendship and flowers.
“It’s so beautiful!” she said, a little breathless with her speed. “You never saw anything so beautiful! It has come! I thought it had come that other morning, but it was only coming. It is here now! It has come, the Spring! Dickon says so!” – Mary from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Charlotte from The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle taught me that sometimes, when you’re faced with decisions of morality, you can struggle through it only to find that making the right decision isn’t so hard, after all. She also showed me that things may not always be as they seem. You have to see beyond the veneer and look deeper.
“I certainly wanted to be a lady. It was not just my ambition; it was my destiny. I embraced it wholly, gladly with not an untoward thought of anything else.” – Charlotte from The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi.
And lastly, my Anne-girl. Oh Anne. You are my favorite and I cherish each and every memory of you. Your spunk. Your passion. Your poet-like soul. The beauty that encircled each and every page of your life. What you made out of life was so amazing. I wished I could be you. I wished I could encompass everything there is about Anne. But I can’t. She is far too amazing.
“But really, Marilla, one can’t stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?” –Anne from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.
Now, this guy, he sure isn’t a girl. But I just had to throw him in the mix. Couldn’t help myself. Who can deny what a powerful impact Peter Pan had on them as a kid? What kid doesn’t wish at some point that they wouldn’t grow up. What kid wouldn’t love to be the king of his or her own tribe of lost boys/girls? What child didn’t crave their own personal faerie? To quote one of my favorite lines that I actually use on my emails:
“To live will be an awfully big adventure.” – Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.
When you’re in the depths of despair, just remember to check in on these ladies (and Peter, of course!) once in a while. They might just lift your spirits and help you to soar above the clouds.