Scientists Confirm ~ We Become Our Heroes and Heroines

Read this today after seeing the tantalizing headline on Reddit:

Psychologists Discover That People Subconsciously Take On Attributes Of Their Favorite Fictional Characters

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The 12 Heroines of Christmas ~ Mary Lennox

10. Mary Lennox

If you’ve never read The Secret Garden, please do so. It is free, a quick read, and has little of the schmaltzy crap that ruined Frances Hodgson Burnett’s other famous book, the awful A Little Princess.

But mostly, read it to meet the most wonderfully horrid little heroine of all: the spoiled, brutal, ugly Mary LennoxContinue reading

The 12 Heroines of Christmas ~ Sailor Moon

11. Sailor Moon

If my Christmas countdown was organized like a ranking, this post would have been saved for Number One because, you know, AHHHH SAILOR MOON. But since this is more of a narrative, I am sitting Sailor Moon down here. Meaning, if Sarah from Labyrinth reminds me that adults can draw on fantasy as an empowering source of strength, then Tsukino Usagi naturally follows with the lesson that

Love is strength. Love is power. And, love is everywhere.

Wait, wait, waiiitt. Is that cheesy, sentimental schlock? Stick with me here a bit.

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The 12 Heroines of Christmas

12. Sarah of Labyrinth:

There are some wonderful analyses and funny takes of the complexities of this cult classic, but in this series of posts, I am going to focus more narrowly on a leading question.  Today I ask:

What role does fantasy play in our battles with responsibilities?

Labyrinth (1986) focuses on Sarah, a teenage girl frustrated with mundane suburbia and the “unfair” demands placed on her by her family. Continue reading

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be”

Vonnegut penned that line in Mother Night (1961), a postmodern spy romance on the ambiguity of true identity in a post-Auschwitz world. It has been taken to mean at least a few things; either we as individuals are truer than our purported social roles or that the artist must protect their soul in the face of our actions or that we can will ourselves into any identity since “identity” is a modern falsehood. In any variance, it is powerful and tumblrized into a well circulated inspirational quote.

But thinking about it, isn’t it true that we can consciously re-create ourselves into a vision of our values, dreams, and hopes? I believe we have that power. I’ve been thinking about this blog, which seems to have supplanted my old one (on self-help, productivity tips, motivation) and wondering how I ended up merging my goals of self-transformation with the dreamy nostalgia of my old favorite heroines. And it came to me very clearly this morning — namely, that my joking about becoming a magical-girl-super-hero has turned into a more self conscious project on remaking my life to be more…

More fun? More colorful?
More beautiful? More empowered? More self aware?
More ambitious? Stronger? More goal oriented? More sophisticated, 

Just better. 

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