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Don’t wait for next time

When I was at a beach in San Diego a few weeks ago, my brother asked me if I wanted to go into the ocean.

Thought I knew I would enjoy it, I had this strange — almost reflexive — feeling of reluctance.

I told him “next time”.

Immediately after I said that it occurred to me that eventually there will be a time when I say those exact words — “next time” — and by virtue of unanticipated circumstances, that “next time” that I was expecting will never actually come.

Remarks about the brevity of our time on Earth is a cliché that has withstood the test of time and as a result, it’s easy to take those remarks lightly.

The sense that tomorrow is somehow always going to be available to us is something many experience at a visceral level, yet it simply isn’t true.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

Struck by the humbling reminder that the future is something that we can only ever hope for — not expect — I promptly walked into the ocean.

And, as expected, I loved it.

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William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)