“If you’ll let me tell you what I imagine about myself, you’ll find it a lot more interesting” –Anne Shirley
There is something so important about imagination. It is what lets us create worlds inside our minds, what lets us dream up our goals and aspirations for the future, and what lets us sit down to tell a story. It was Lucy Maud Montgomery’s dream to write a book, and through the character of Anne Shirley and her wonderful imagination, she was able to do just that. She dreamed up the characters of Avonlea and she placed them in her favourite place in the world: her home of Prince Edward Island. Though she moved away from the island and found herself in Toronto later in life, L.M. Montgomery was always able to transport herself back home through her imagination – and through characters like Anne.
Anne saw the island as Lucy Maud did: full of beauty at every turn. The red and the white sands, the ocean never far, and the sand dunes so big that anyone would feel small in their presence. Lucy Maud never had to imagine a paradise for her beloved Anne to find, she knew exactly where that place would be. For Anne, arriving at Green Gables was a dream come true. It was a page from her imaginative storybook mind come to life.
Anne was constantly imagining different scenarios, different people, and different places, letting her mind take her anywhere it wandered. She believed that imagining was important, and that life without imagination would be pretty dull. She even imagined herself a certain way – perhaps a more interesting way, or a way that she aspired to come off as to those around her. Anne’s imagined self was her ideal self, the person that she strived to be.
Although the people we imagine ourselves to be might be “more interesting” as Anne suggests, I think it’s good to have imagined versions of ourselves. It is good to have a goal in mind. If that goal is bettering yourself to be the person you can see yourself as (even if the world might not see you that way yet), that is a powerful tool on the journey to figuring out who we all are. The people we imagine ourselves to be, or the people we want to be, inspire us to do more and to live better. They are the people we work so hard for, and the ones who we want to shape ourselves into.
When we talk about ourselves, we often talk about ourselves in the way of what we imagine about ourselves. This makes these things more true to us every time we say them. It’s good to have goals for ourselves and versions of ourselves that make us strive to be better and kinder people. These people we imagine ourselves to be become our aspirations.
Imagination has the power to take us places. Imagination can transport us to a different time, or to a different place. We can imagine ourselves with different people, with different jobs, with different surroundings. We can imagine entire lives for ourselves that can inspire us, and I believe this to be healthy. The imagined versions of ourselves might seem more interesting to those we tell them to, but to us, they are simply who we want to be.
How do you imagine yourself to be?
You can check out Anne Shirley in the Anne of Green Gables films, available online from Shop at Sullivan here.
By Katie Bull, Sullivan Entertainment