William Liao

October 2, 2021

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.