This is just a cute kid; not a picture of my daughter ;)
My daughter is a year and a half old now. And one of the fun things about having a kid is watching them grow and develop. Witnessing each and every milestone is so bitter-sweet. I remember watching her roll over on her own and then later taking those first steps. It was emotional when she ate her first food and when she started to speak her first words.
She still only knows a few words but she seems to understand everything. When we ask her where her water is she will go looking for it. If we ask if she is hungry she runs to the fridge. When we get ready to leave the house I tell her she has to leave her toys behind so she sets them down and runs to the door because she is so excited to be going somewhere.
With these developments she has become quite independent. If she wants a specific item to eat, she will fuss until she gets it. If she does not want to get dressed, she will kick her legs and say "no, no, no" or "stop".
It's amazing to watch this little bitty person want to make her own decisions. It can be frustrating at times but we try to let her be in control of what she can. Sometimes we have to insist she do what we need her to (for example, put on some clothes before going out) but if it doesn't matter we let her have her way. She's a person with her own preferences and if she doesn't feel like eating a certain item or doing a certain activity, we get it. But there comes other times when we have to do things we don't want to do so sometimes it is necessary. She might pout or fuss for a minute, but she usually quickly gets over it.
This fight for independence probably won't stop until she is grown. And even then, she might keep fighting. It's a balance as her parent to try to be understanding, foster her independence, and allow her to make some of her own decisions while also requiring her to do what we need her to do sometimes.