The Night City Tango

It's later than you think.

The Night City Tango
Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi / Unsplash

I've heard "you could die tomorrow," so many times it's lost any meaning.

But equally true is, "you could die in 10 years." Somehow, that seems more real, more jarring.

I'm 20 now. My years on earth could be 30 instead of the 80+ I had always imagined.

What if you think you're in the first quarter of your life but you're actually in the third?

Does 30 still seem far? How about 29? 28? 27?

7 years to 27. You can do a lot in 7 years. It's still not enough.

That's not tomorrow, next week, or next month, but it's soon. Sooner than I expected. Sooner than I wanted.

If 27 is my expiration date, would I give into the same distractions? Pick the same arguments? Let my ego win so many times?

So far away--nearly a decade--yet somehow stunningly short.

27, not 80.

What matters more now?

Being right or being in love?
Being successful or being present?
Winning or living?

If I'm on my death bed so soon, I'll wish I worried less about my retirement plans after 59 1/2. That I lived a little more and planned a little less.

In the grand scheme of all time, 27 vs 80, what difference does it make? Not even a nanometer on the universe's timeline. Yet the difference feels infinite.

Every day is a wonderfully cruel dance with mortality. In this game of musical chairs, when will the music stop?

To someone who dies in a freak accident, the day before they passed felt like any other day. They assumed they'd have tomorrow's tomorrow. They didn't know the game was almost over.

Death is the cruel suitor sitting in the shadows, patiently waiting his turn, watching with a smile as we enjoy our dance with Life.

But one day, he's going to walk over, tap Life on the shoulder, and say, "Excuse me, may I have this dance?" and Life will have no choice but to step aside.

When someone dies who was living a good story, people say they died too soon. When someone dies who was living a boring one, they just died.

Deferring life plans is a dangerous game. Do that thing you've been putting off. A conversation, a hug, a risk, or all three.

It's later than you think.

The cover photo was taken in Lviv, Ukraine. Below is the picture's accompanying story by the photographer. In light of what is happening in Ukraine right now, I found it immensely moving.

"The Night City Tango It was something unreal, something from another world, a piece of past and forgotten epoch. It looked like you [were] trapped in a time machine. Among the crowded streets of Lviv city, we ran into the small platform filled by light and nice music. About five pairs were dancing tango on that. Slowly, sensual, savoring with every movement. There wasn’t [they weren't] artists, just ordinary people who prefer body language than words. The show was stunning."

How painfully timely. What a needed reminder of the fragility of this grand experience we call life. How lucky we are to live it.