Am I an individual?
An individual huh, well I would sure like to think that I am an individual yes, does that answer the question? Of course there has to be more to it, why do I think that? Well I will just start by examining what an individual is. For me being an individual is simply about having substantiated beliefs, likes, dislikes, and opinions. I cant honestly say that I can give a reason for every single thing that I like or do, I don't think anyone can, and especially when it comes to likes, sometimes you like things just because right? Well I don't think that's entirely true, everyone has a reason for believing in what the believe and liking what they like, even if the reason is not their own. So why do I think that I am an individual, well to me it's simply because I can safely say that I am different from anyone that has ever lived, same goes for every other person out there. We are all different, and these differences are what makes humans such interesting creatures. I can safely say that everyone is interesting, no matter how "boring" someone might seem on the surface, there is something unique about each and every person's life experience that if shared makes for one hell of a story.
I think that one of the most important things that I have learned over the last three and a bit years is examination of the self. Yep, taking a step back every now and then and asking yourself what exactly it is that you are doing and why? This comes up often after something like a family dispute where accusations are thrown around and your individual self is put into a position of maybe having to accept that which is being said. Examining oneself is not easy though, you have to take a "subjective" approach which really is impossible, but worth trying. Realising your flaws and mistakes I think brings you closer to yourself and makes you grow as an individual and allows you to discover yourself. One of the most difficult things about looking at yourself from another perspective is accepting your flaws - we all have flaws, for some they seem obvious, for others it takes very specific events to trigger these flaws to come out, changing your perspective of that person in an instant. I will use a conversation I had with one of my friends last year as an example, and I don't even remember what we were talking about but the sentence that he said really got to me, and then it got me thinking, he said "You know, you don't have to understand everything". This was a first for me, and perhaps without realising my friend pointed out one of my own personal flaws, trying to understand why all the time. This particular flaw of mine related more to the way people think and act, and I have always asked that, more so in my longest ever relationship I had with a girl, mind you this lasted for just over two years, and still I am asking questions to this day.
Life experiences are one of the things that grant us our individuality, help us grow mentally, that is if you can apply that self examination method once in a while and not disregard every experience as something that "just happened". Everything that happens you can learn from, you just have to be awake enough when things happen and take it in, take a step back and evaluate it. I am an individual because my past experiences have shaped me into the person I am at this present moment, and that person is different from everyone else in one way or another.