It's like my life (okay, yours too) was written down and set in a series of phases before I grew up and spelt Phases correctly.
Phase 1 was when you were the tiny person, first in diapers, then in squeaky shoes, then in your first school uniform and hankie pinned to your pinafore, who cried when upset and who barfed in the car with enviable consistency. You got spanked once daily and hated your mum for about 10 minutes before toddling off to either look for something to eat or something to do. Then your mum served you dinner, you ate, farted, and went to bed.
Phase 2 was when you didn't realise that the charm of adolescence and then early teenage has nothing to do with growing up, but in being able to laugh incessantly at everything. A teacher slipping and falling in the hallway could convulse you as much as dirty sexual jokes. That gift of perpetual merriment actually pulled you through the tough teenage years when we either started looking really gawky or developed permanently good skin. Either way, we laughed.
Phase 3 was when we entered college and realised a) that the dirty sexual jokes in school were plain silly and the opposite of funny and b) that school was such a cool place to be in, a truth that we missed completely when we were still in school. Stupid only. We were initially flattered, then daunted, then finally hysterical at being forced into premature adulthood. Then we turned 18 and were reminded that legally, we were adults now. Nobody ever noticed that I was never legally sane, 18 or otherwise. And legal adult meant we could have our own bank accounts and could vote, but could not have sex or our own landline phones without the parents hacking us to pieces. You realised for the first time that there are double standards to everything.
Phase 4 was learning to accept that we were legal adults. Everybody hated it, especially the realisation that there are two types of adults - one, the adults who do cool stuff like have jobs and make money and buy their own houses, while the other did silly things like give exams and study and beg for an increment on their pocket money. But what you hated most was those little adults, some from your own class, who studied and made money and actually enjoyed being an adult in every sense. Phooeey.
Phase 5 was changing colleges for your graduation year. Along the way, you realised just how much life had taught you so far (Nothing) and just how much you needed to learn (Everything). We did our degree college studies, did our parents a favour by passing the exams mostly on the first attempt, made some really kickass friends and yup, learnt how to get the laughter back in our lives when there was very little funny happening in the first place.
Phase 6 was graduating but not feeling any pride over it because heck, we started working four days after the final exams ended. And come on, we expected to pass, we're not that dumb (mostly). We enjoyed the job immensely till we stopped enjoying it - then with typical pigheadedness, we quit and sat at home till the next job came along. In this phase, we changed jobs like we changed our minds - suddenly and without warning. And did not regret it either.
Phase 7 was when we turned into our parents and started thinking about settling down and saving money and not overspending and not go changing jobs like we changed our minds. Okay, so we thought about it for about five minutes, but bhavnaon ko samjho. Then we compounded our own miseries by actually falling in love for no reason other than it seemed like a good idea at the time. And to prove that we really hated our own guts and wanted nothing more than to get back at ourselves for no earthly reason whatsoever, we got married. Then we further sealed our fates by having children.
Phase 8 was when we looked at all the seven phases in our life and wondered, Man, why have I lived so long?
Phase 9 was when we decided that there was nothing we could do to change ourselves, mostly because we must learn to accept the way we are, and also because it is too hot. Then we toddled off to bed because the burden of existing was too much to carry on our shoulders just then.