A Revelation! You don’t know when it happened, how it happened but u know you are out of it! The Phase is finally over! In the middle of the day you realize you are not thinking about her anymore, your mind is less obsessive and you know you have moved on. The end of a ‘painful breakup phase’. Your kid comes up to you and says “Mom! I am not a kid anymore!”. The end of ‘smothering your kid with kisses in public’ phase. You get the courage to tell your co-worker that you can’t put up with his bullshit anymore. The end of ‘being rookie’ phase. You tell your Husband ‘You’re not going to pick up his dirty laundry anymore’. The end of ‘being the submissive wife’ phase.
Phases! What would we be without them? We define Life through them; we learn what Life is through them. Given a choice, I wouldn’t want to go through them but when you are out of it, you are glad you survived through them. Each phase tests your character. Your strength. Your attitude. Your perseverance. The strangest thing about phases is that you may not know you are in one until it is almost over. Your best friend who is in love with a Chinese woman is not going to like your suggestion that he likes her because he couldn’t find any desi’s to date. Because he is in the ‘Phase’. Tell the smart intelligent financially independent wife to leave her abusive husband; she is not going to listen because she is in the ‘Phase’. Somehow it’s a process that each one has to go through themselves to realize that they have reached the dead end where there is nothing to give anymore. Why did you waste your time all those years? Why weren’t you smarter not to take this decision before? Because you wanted to make sure whether the problems were a phase or a never-ending repeating story. And because you were in a phase of ‘it will get better’, you didn’t want to get out of it.
Each phase shows a different avatar of us. From a timid shy child to talkative teenager to worried early twenties to confident thirties to explorative forties, each phase takes us on a new adventure with ‘us’ as the hero morphing our character along the way. Someone asked me what my age was and I told him 18 and he couldn’t stop laughing. Ofcourse, he didn’t know that I measure my age by the number of phases I have been through in my life. The more phases you go through, the more you become prudent, sensible and mature. A 25yr old with 15 phases is lot more mature than a 35yr old with 10. It’s the experiences that are the real indicators of age not the number of years from birth.
Reminiscing phases can be good as well as bad. We all can recollect our worst phases in an instant because those are the ones that have shaped us more. I have often wondered when someone cries for the pasts even though their present is much better, for whom do they cry? Do you cry for the pain caused by someone? Do you cry for the lack of comforts at that time? Or do you cry for the people who aren’t there anymore? And then it stuck me! We cry for the helpless ‘little girl’ or ‘little boy’ in ourselves, who was put in that situation without anyone to protect. You know you became an adult in that moment. You grew old in an instant with all your innocence and wonderment lost in a second. You stopped believing in Santa’s, Superman and Cinderella’s all at once. Would it have been better if you didn’t have to go through that phase? I don’t know.
We don’t choose the phase we enter into. But I know I am not afraid of them anymore. I have been through them so many that I know it’s an inevitable part of our life. As we get older, we have the strength to steer its course. The Phases don’t control us; we control them. The question is whether you have the courage to plunge into the ocean of phases, swim through the tides, weather the storms, know when to change course and reach the lands. Whether you drown in it or swim across with your chin up determines who you are. But when you do survive them, it would be a journey worthy of your life! Maybe it is the ‘Life’!
Written on:Friday, 24 September 2004