No time for excuses.
She had short black hair that brushed the top of her shoulders, and bangs that ended at the top of her eyebrows. She changed her hairstyle every year.
Her name was Maya, and she did things by her own rulebook. She wore what caught her eye, listened to what she liked, and she did what she wanted.
Maya was fierce, bold, and unashamed. She was also stubborn, too loud, and impatient. She often made choices that suited her despite the consequences. Usually they were tough decisions that others would take too long to make.
Sometimes they were as big as dropping out of college, and sometimes they were as small as deciding to drink 2 cups of caffeinated coffee even though it made her pee every 10 minutes. (She’ll never forget the day she almost wet herself in traffic on the way to visit her mom.)
Maya was someone that others found strange. She’s too different, they said. She knew that it wasn’t the fact that she was different that scared them, it was the fact that they were too similar too everyone else that did.
Maya didn’t want that fate—a life where she hides herself simply because she wants more people to like her. It didn’t make sense to her. What was that thing Dr. Suess said?
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
She agreed, and so she lived her life according to it. It was that simple—if you agree with something, you follow it or you fight for it. There was no hesitance for Maya because there wasn’t time for it.
No time for excuses. That was her motto. It was the thing that stopped everyone. Bullshit excuses, keyword: bullshit.
These were things that always surprised Maya’s parents, Mateo and Delilah. Maya was terrified of countless things as a child. She didn’t learn to swim until she was 12 because she thought she would drown. She slept with a night light in fear of monsters, ghosts, and intruders. When she was 5, she cried every single day for 2 weeks when she started kindergarten.
Now, Mateo and Delilah believed Maya to be fearless. They thought that she had used up all of her fear as a child so there wasn’t any space left for it. Of course, Maya’s parents were wrong. Maya wasn’t fearless, no one in the world was fearless. It’s impossible.
In fact, inside, Maya was still the little girl who was afraid of the water. She still had countless fears that made her freeze in place, her heart stopped suddenly like a vexing alarm clock.
Maya was brave, not fearless. Everything she did scared her, made her want to turn back around, change her hair back to her natural brown color so no one would laugh again at the dark green color she had one day that didn’t match with her clothes. But she never forgot her motto—no time for excuses.
She wouldn’t back down, hide, or put on a mask because caring about what others said about you was a bullshit excuse. It was a bullshit excuse that would end up with her in a retirement home filled with regret, a poison that she would feel swimming in her veins as if bit by a snake.
That is not to say that Maya hadn’t been bitten by regret before. That’s not to say that she has had times where she froze like an ice cube only to melt too late, missing the opportunity that had come.
Maya was not perfect at being imperfect to the rest of the world. She would get angry at herself for doing that, for getting too scared and backing out, and she would allow herself to feel the anger.
She would punch a pillow, scream into the sky, or smash plates in her soundproof basement where no one could hear and call the cops. Then after 20 minutes or so, she would look up, take a couple deep breaths, and take out a piece of paper.
She would write down where she messed up, come up with a new solution (no matter how crazy, even if she wasn’t sure it would work), and move on. Then, she’d write her motto: No time for excuses.
No time to waste. No time for excuses.
She doesn’t remember when she changed her mindset from Fuck it, this is too scary to just Fuck it, but she was glad she did.
Life wasn’t always easy. Sometimes she got angry or sad, sometimes she failed, sometimes she lost her temper and hurt a friend, and sometimes she got angry at the world for being ugly.
But no matter what, she had to be her. It was the one thing she would never lose track of, herself. People come and go, but you’re always stuck with you. To not love yourself and to not be confident in who you are is a waste of who you’re meant to be.
Caring about what others say about you is the number one bullshit excuse. Maya sometimes did care, but she’d look up again, take a couple breaths, and think, No time for excuses.