maybe (adv.) – the cruelest word


“Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets” -Arthur Miller

There are a lot of powerful words in the English language, but I can think of few as two-faced and devastating as “maybe.”

Maybe fills you with hope and leads you on like the cruelest of flirters.

Maybe he’ll call. Maybe she’ll pull through.┬áMaybe next year will be better.

It strings you along innocently enough until it dumps you unceremoniously on the floor as it flutters away.

It’s the unknown that keeps us up at night, flicking through the possibilities that stretch between us and the rest of our lives.

We’re in overwhelming awe of all the things that could happen: Our dream job could open up, we might win the lottery, some day we really will go on that trip – maybe.

And then (how easily it changes) we’re in paralyzing fear of all the things that could happen: We could get in a car accident, we might lose our job, some day our vices really will catch up with us – maybe.

Maybe is a trap that makes us run around in circles, lifting us with hope and throwing us down with worry; enabling us with motivation and paralyzing us with doubt.

The truth is, we will never know which course of action would have been better, which words would have been the best to say, which moments would have been better off going differently.

Yes- Maybe he will call. Then again, maybe you’ll get hit by a bus tomorrow. But life’s too short to live stuck in what may be.

Maybe it’s time to start living definitively.