For as long as I can remember, I have always been called “La mensa que siempre llega tarde a todo” which translates to “The dummy that is always late to everything.” Growing up, I always had my mother wake me up, give me breakfast, and make sure I was on time to school, family gatherings, concerts, and much more. Truth is we love a mother who does everything and anything to make sure we are on the right path to success. It wasn’t until I turned fifteen that I got my first job and started doing certain tasks on my own. For example; Cooking my own meals, washing my own clothes, starting up a bank account, and budgeting my money. I learned so much within that year and had her help along the way but I started realizing that without her waking me up every morning, I was lacking organization and started arriving late to important appointments, special events, and even work. I worked around the corner from my job so if I would go in at nine in the morning I would wake up at around eight forty-five or sometimes eight fifty. I would skip breakfast, and not be fully prepared for my work day.
Fast forward to five years later, you would assume college changed these bad habits but to be completely honest, it has not changed. I graduated in twenty sixteen from high school, and my first two years of transitioning were difficult. Due to my bad habits, I did not pass my classes. I would be late to school, miss my classes, and lacked motivation because I did not know how to manage my time. I thought about different techniques that could help me get rid of these bad habits but I never acted upon them.
On May third of twenty nineteen, my family and I were having dinner. We were sitting at the dinner table when my brother said to me, “China, DO NOT, and I am emphasizing on the DO NOT PART. Don’t be late to the mass for Esme’s wedding tomorrow!! It is a very important day, so make sure you set up as many alarms needed so you have time to get ready and all!” My mother laughed, “Ella nunca organiza nada, la reina de llegadas tardes, I would not be surprised if she sleeps through all her alarms!!” My mother expressed that I never organize myself, that I am the queen of late arrivals. Well at least I am queen of something, am I right? After dinner I washed dishes and went up to my room, I started getting my dress out of the dry cleaner bag and hung it up on my closet door. I set up all my makeup on my vanity table, and sat on my bed thinking about my sisters big day. I heard a knock, I opened the door to see my sister. “What’s up?” she said while smiling at me, “Setting your stuff up I see, that is a very smart idea.. I was just here to remind you to not be late. The videographer is going to arrive to the hotel room at around seven A.M, please be there I need all my bridesmaids but especially you Ms. Maid of Honor!!!” I smiled, “I promise I will be there, I will not let you down!” I gave her a hug and kissed her head goodbye.
The next morning I woke up to loud knocks on my bedroom door. My mother had her makeup nice and done, her hair curled to perfection, and had on the most beautiful mauve colored dress. My brother was standing next to her with an angry look on his face.. His arms crossed. “ WHAT THE FUCK DID WE TALK ABOUT LAST NIGHT DUMMY??? Hurry the fuck up and get ready, mass starts in fifteen minutes. You better be in my car in exactly five minutes. If you are not here by then, mom and I are leaving without you!” I got up out of bed, put on my dress and my heels, let my hair down, and brushed my teeth. I walked out the door and got in the car. It was silent in the car and the air was full of tension. My mother started crying and my brother looked at me sternly and said, “Not now mother, I will have a long talk with her later today. You have got to smile, it is your daughter’s wedding day.” My mom shook her head and just looked at me with disappointment. Once we arrived to church, we quickly got in line and started processing down the aisle, I was so distracted that I messed up my part by walking to the seats instead of walking to the front of the altar to wait for my sister. Everything went smooth right after. We celebrated and had a great rest of our day. I will never forget this day one being my sister’s wedding, two waking up so late that I didn’t come out in the pre-wedding pictures with my family or my sisters bridesmaids, three making my mother upset, and for letting my sister down.
The day after the wedding my brother sat down with me and we spoke, “Janet, you are twenty years old, mom cannot be doing everything for you, you are an adult and will be treated as such, time is the most important key to utilize in this life, stay organized and you will go far. Managing your time is super important and I know after yesterday’s incident you have realized that. I will not yell at you or bother you anymore but you need to be ready and responsible” I let everything sink in and drove around town, something I do when I am in need of reflecting or just in need of getting away. I parked at the target parking lot and got off, immediately walking myself to school supplies aisle. I bought myself three planners, some color coded pens, and other supplies. I learned that in order to be on time I must write everything down, and color coordinate to know all my different tasks, I started going to places earlier, and avoided watching netflix or being on my phone the last hour before heading to bed. Slowly but surely, I started noticing changes with my time management and realized that if I would have done this earlier in my life, I would be much more ahead in many aspects. Time is all we got and we have to learn how to make use of it. Now, my family calls me “The Princess of being Punctual”. Now, I am twenty minutes early to everywhere I go. It is better this way.
I learned that it’s not an overnight process to suddenly change my old habits but by slowly modifying certain tasks like writing everything down in my planners, agenda, and white boards. Instead of sleeping late, I try to sleep early and avoid being on my phone, I also changed my sun-blocking curtains to white ones to let in the sun. I live across the street from my old high school so something that has helped the process as well is keeping my window open to hear the cars, the birds, feel the fresh air, and see the beautiful sunrise. I have come along way since May and feel like I can accomplish anything. What I learned through this rough experience is that time is our biggest gift from god. We can utilize time in many ways, so we have to make it count and do something that will benefit us for the future.