“Someday” can be a thief in the night.

One of my least favorite words is “someday.”

It’s worse than “no” because “no” closes a door and allows you look at other opportunities. It’s firm and direct, a blunt word that strikes through reality and changes things. Or maybe, “no” doesn’t change anything at all. Maybe “no” means that you need life to slowly erode away at you until you become the person that you were supposed to be. “No” allows for any of that but “someday” means you’re in the exact same spot you were with no changes to spot on the horizon. “No” can be the safe option.

It’s worse than “yes” because “yes” can be a dynamic game-changer. “Yes” gives you a new title, a new role to fill, a new relationship. “Yes” can destroy an entire nation with the push of a button or launch the research to cure cancer or spark a new invention. “Yes” means something new entirely, something fun, and something possibly dangerous. “Yes” can be the fearless option.

“Someday” is the day you can do whatever you want, the time when all your goals can be achieved, the moment when nothing is impossible. “Someday” is the day you look forward with innocent smiles on high school graduation day before dreams are dashing on the cold hard rocks of reality. “Someday” is the day you look forward to on your wedding day until the ring on your finger is replaced with the steely cold sting of divorce. “Someday” is like the greasy salesman of life telling you that if you sign your name on the dotted line, you will have everything you wished for and more with a lifetime guarantee if you pay $19.95 every month for the rest of your life.

It’s worse than commitment because there is no guarantee with someday. Someday is fleeting and yet, timeless. Someday is always in the future and yet we can tell when it’s slipped through our fingers. Someday is the most unreliable promise. Someday is full of misplaced hope, unguided optimism. Someday is a subtle “yes” with the inflection of a disgruntled “no.”

There’s nothing worse than “someday.”

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