Sunday, July 11, 2010


"Adolescents tend to view themselves as somehow unique and even heroic--as destined for unusual fame and fortune. Elkind dubs this romantic imagery the personal fable. The adolescent feels that others cannot possibly understand what she or he is experiencing, and often this leads to the creation of a story, or personal fable, which the adolescent tells everyone, although it is a story that is not true" (Crandell, Crandell and Vander Zanden, 2009, p. 380).

Sometimes I read something that strikes a chord in me, and I have to come here and make my special kind of music around that chord before it stops ringing in my head.


I remember feeling like this. I still do on occasion. I was the hero of my own story, the main character, the egocentric center of my own universe. Nothing could happen to me, I would never make mistakes that wouldn't somehow work out in the end, and I know everything. I live the right way, believe the right things, and if anything comes up amiss, it will all get tied back together into a neat little package.

It seems a bit silly to all of you probably, because you're likely aware that life doesn't work that way. If you're not, perhaps you live in a personal fable.

Life is a mess. Life is full of broken promises, unfulfilled dreams, things that were supposed to work out but didn't, and all because people can't seem to understand that life is not about them. When they're confronted with this reality, they get very, very pissed off. They pitch a fit like a child, precisely because this is a tendency present in somewhat childlike people, adolescents.

Personal fables stunt our growth when we can't distinguish between them and life. But sometimes things run through them that are part of our potential. And what does it come down to? Naturally, choice. Because life is not a set of ideals, it is a tragedy. We write our own stories, but we must also realize that others write stories that interact with ours', and so does God. What a messy, beautiful, tragic thing.

Crandell, T.L., Crandell, C.H., & Vender Zanden, J.W. (2009). Human Development (9th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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