It takes years to realize, you are not unique. It is disappointing, then depressing, then comforting. Most people are raised by their parents as if they were the most unique human ever. It is just a protective mechanism that gradually decreases as you become capable of handling the disappointment.
The good part being that you realize pretty much everyone has done stupid shit just like you did. Those that never did generally become School committee members and worry about things like trying to stop bullying behavior with rallies and t-shirts.
I think self-defense classes are a better idea. Bullies are just crying for help, they need to have their asses kicked. I say we help them by training everyone to do that. We can have t-shirts made “Beat a Bully to make them Better”.
Shakespeare wrote “there’s nothing new under the sun” and there’s nothing (about) you that is different under the sun.
It is not being different that makes someone special, it is being human, just like the other 3+ billion of us on the planet, and doing something different with our fleeting moment, in this particular configuration, in this universe.
Prior to, at my best estimate, October 1955, all of the atoms that coalesced into the fertilized embryo that became me, were part of something else. (for purposes of explanation I was born on July 25th, 1956, doing the math of a normal human embryonic fertilization and development, the sperm and egg that became me met sometime in October, 1955). I try not to think of the reality of that matter, jeez it was my mother and father, eewwhhhuugh.
I was, perhaps, the benefit of the romanticism of a full October moon. Or more likely, knowing the limited time off my father had at home as a Rhode Island State Trooper, a moment of opportunity.
Perhaps the atoms in a grill cheese sandwich that my mother enjoyed, or a glass of milk that my father drank because he didn’t like coffee, became me.
At any rate, it was something else, then it was me. Not different, just arranged differently.
We really are all stardust.
The cells of the hair you spend so much time arranging in perfect symmetry are composed of atoms that were once, perhaps, an element of a Roman sword, or Aristotle’s toenail, or part of a grain of sand on the beach of Normandy. Or, for those that would enjoy this, formerly an atom of a Victoria Secrets model.
Perhaps, it is in the efficiency of the recycling processes of nature that we should recognize God.
No Atom left behind.