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Individuality: The Art of Being Different (Part 4)

I always thought that this piece was more than another assignment. So it shall see the light again on here, as a series of 5 installments..


Four Walls

Without oxygen a flame will not burn - a scientific fact that aptly describes the hampering that communal rules and regulations place upon the mind of an individual. Cohabitation is tiring, and the abundance of camaraderie that I received back in school (often sharing a single room with up to four people) may indeed be the reason for why I at times ponder leaving the modern world behind and enduring the freedom of feral lands.

The tranquil air and solitude of Alaskan plains have an appeal of unbounded solace and the opportunity to practice relying on solely the self; I empathize with Theroux in that regard. For as my friends and fellow boarders began to dissipate towards the end of my tenure at school – as students get older they are allocated to far more private living quarters – I began to acquire a sense of space that would allow me to get in touch with my inner self.

Seclusion is a powerful instrument for calcifying the backbone of an individual. For as you isolate you are no longer swayed to lean from one side to the other by the peripheral influences of your contemporaries, and the once overwhelming outside noise now falters to drown the vocalizations of your thoughts. It is a process, and one that often necessitates a bottle of wine, a blank page, and The Cure’s 'Disintegration' on vinyl - the embodiment of freeing your mind.

For some that particular era of life is a period of frivolity and oblivion, but to others it is a meditative state that brings forth an individual enlightenment. However, this is not to say that such methodology requires the temperance of monks, for on my own path to ascension I have endeavoured a number of garish and unsavoury experiences; but those are the ones that tend to shape one in the future.

As my somewhat eclectic tastes for fashion and life’s philosophies began to develop, it is needless to say that it made my comrades – geysers of exuberant machismo – rather uncomfortable; especially during the occasional Friday night sessions of gallivanting, when they were desperately trying to fulfil the prehistoric masculine duties to find a mate. In instances such as those, when one eventually steps out of the doors of introspective isolation, following a complete re-evaluation of ideals, the perplexed inquiries and derogatory assumptions (not to mention playful mockery) begin to announce their presence. This is the outside world, full of coercion and insecurities, a product of pretty, cunning marbles scattered across the carpets of interwoven conventions, and some time might have to pass - following your own self-discovery – before you find a refuge within a circle of like-minded people; that is if such a group exists.

However, these “collectives” are not formations of solid hierarchies, but rather just compounds of distinct personalities within a given space. They are far too intermittent to support a unified foundation – hence the concept of an individualistic structure – even though they are constructed of similar materials. It is these thoughts that perhaps drove me to invite that elusive prancing stranger over to our table before her friend could kidnap her prototype and fade away into the crowd… for it would have surely been a waste.


In a social state where such a theoretical threat as ‘anomie’ – in layman’s terms “normlessness” - is conceptualized by the masses, it is only sane to question the actual quintessence of free thought. I spent quite some time in trying to figure out how to appropriately nominate this section of my work – a nod to The Breeders for the inspiration – and given that individuality is a subject of personal growth, I believe that I have made a just call; for it is a long an arduous commitment to sustain the germination of the stem before the blossom.

This somewhat outlandish and rather trite botanical analogy of social fruition may perhaps outline the point of this opaque compilation – or on the other hand, it may just muddle things even further.

Granted that without certain boundaries there is always the possibility of becoming a stray…or loosing your mind for that matter. Once any attempt at successful inculcation of modern values evades successful integration, individuals become shunned into the wild, which in turn brings forth the separation of the human breeds. In a world where the majority are carnivores, a health conscious or vegan exception seems to immediately receive a skewer in the rear and an apple in the mouth.

I must concur that conjuring up an element of revelation in a world that has already seen its share of genius is a fairly arduous task. This can indeed be daunting. But it is not always about the triumph of blissful anarchy, it is the tenacity, the risk of exploration, the acts of pluck and the contribution that holds the meaning of true individuality. We are raised to aspire to a standard of excellence that has become limited and mundane, but given that at times it has provided an illusion of gratification, it has thus been accepted by the masses and solidified in the constitution.

Nevertheless, perfection can be perceived as tedious; for if Giaconda’s smile did not possess the enigmatic innovation of digression it would simply be regarded as a ‘beautiful work of art’. I often apply the common expression “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” to a trifle situation, but in the grand scheme of things, particularly within a mechanism that is in dire need of an oil change, it may be an enlightening idea to throw a wrench in the system; since the process of restoration may lead to some quite necessary upgrades.

The system shouldn’t be afraid of innovation. Steam-rolling enervated ideals onto those that see the world through different lenses will only agitate the natural balance, and thus one must thoroughly examine the paranoia of the apparent norm in order to determine who the actual infidels are; and, regardless of the stir, tomorrow I will still attire in the most effeminate galore imaginable, and come next week that girl will still be twirling at the center of the bar. For individuality is not a characteristic of an outcast but quite the opposite, it is an attribute of a visionary, and if one so chooses to step outside the circle and unto a pedestal of consciousness, it should not be regarded as an act of anarchy but as an expression of honest virtue and dedication to the social rejuvenation of the world.

© 2020 Anton Sanatov

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