As much as we believe in the concept of individualism, I think in practice, it is quite hard to maintain a high level of individualism especially if your peers are radically different from you. The aphorism ‘You are the average of the 5 people you hangout with everyday’ carries much more value than I had realized. The process is slow but self-reinforcing.
I found out that in the past one year, I had been isolating myself and doing something unlike my peers. Practically none of the people I hang out with have side-projects. And even if they do, it is usually art / music which I am not interested in. So our everyday discussions are around topics which are inconsequential.
(This particular essay is still in progress. I haven’t reached a conclusion yet.)