Life is the story we tell ourselves;
The internal litany of who we are vs the external actions we take. The conflict points, the breaking points, are where our actions run contrary to the litany; for the most part this is not a breaking, in truth, but is instead a slow disintegration.
Eventually this erosion leads to either a breakdown, if the self was brittle or an epiphany , if the self was flexible; as we age the natural inclination is to allow our self to wear down into comfortable grooves; but this very comfort leads to a hardening of the self which leads to the brittleness aforementioned;
Into this we inject the maelstrom other people and we are forced to make a choice; to be the pillar or the reed; to allow others to shape us or to bend but still have our core intact; I suppose it comes down to how confident you are;
Are you enough without the influence of others? Are you desirous enough of change to make your own choices to shape your own self? Are you conscious enough to make that choice?