Screaming Never Gets You Anywhere
There was a time where I used to believe that I was on top of the world. That time lasted about five seconds I think.
I was in a tree, on the farthest branch up that could support my slim frame. I was perched up on that branch, holding a coke in my hand, the other clutching the branch above me. The wind was blowing gentle and my two sizes too large shirt was whipping around me. I felt like a superhero with a flowing cape, a mountain climber on top of Mt. Everest, the most fantastic person that had ever graced this planet. It was perfect. The moment was precious. It became ingrained into my memory.
And it all ended way too shortly. The coke can slipped out of my hands and fell to its splattering doom onto the ground. Instinctively and foolishly, I leaned forward to try and catch it. Of course I fell out of that tree. Luckily for me, I never hit the ground, which my ten year old self was very grateful to be spared of that painful event. My baggy shirt had ended up getting caught on a branch and I was left dangling upside down from that branch, eyes staring straight at the puddle of coke spewing from the red can.
And that’s when I screamed.
And of course no one was home.
Screaming never gets you anywhere. Not in those situations. at least for me. I think that was the first time in my life that I finally understood the words my mother had been telling me since I was five.
“Crying never gets you anywhere.”
Of course this time it was screaming, but it pretty much meant the same thing.
My mother had always been telling me and my brother not to expect crying to do anything for us. She’d often say “If you cry, who’s going to help you? Do you honestly expect strangers to come wipe your tears? Other than each other, me, and your dad, who can you depend on? So why cry? Why not do something?”
Neither me or my brother ever payed attention to what she’d say. We’d just nod along or roll our eyes and of course when shit went down, we sat down and cried like wimps, fully expecting someone else to make everything ok. And usually someone did, out of obligation.
But not this time. This time I was alone, hanging and terrified. I screamed over and over and I began to cry. But no one came. Not one soul came by wondering what all the commotion was about. Eventually, my sobs morphed into hiccupy sniffles and gasps and I realized that if I didn’t want to “die” I’d have to get myself down. I knew the branch wouldn’t hold me for very long and one way or another I’d be falling down either by choice or not.
I decided I’d get myself down. I remembered something about there being a specific way to fall to prevent less injuries and I figured that I could pull it off. It took lots of praying (offering not to bully my little brother anymore) and deep breaths before I twisted and grabbed the hem of my shirt. I had jerk around and twist some more until I finally was getting free of my shirt. At one point it felt like the shirt and me were both going to plummet to the ground, but gladly we didn’t. Soon I was dangling right side up and clutching my shirt while eyeing the spot I was going to land in. More deep breaths and frantic prayers.
And then I let go.
The second my feet touched the earth, I let my knees bend, and I awkwardly rolled forward in what I assumed was the correct way. Shaken, I laid there for a long while before I got up and went inside the house. I was relieved and mostly unhurt. I still felt stings of pain and I’d knew I’d be sore, but nothing was broken, twisted, or sprained.
I was quiet for the rest of the evening and avoided answering my parent’s questions, when they got home, about the shirt hanging from the tree. It was over and done with.
While I was spooked from what had happened, I did manage to learn a very valuable lesson that day. Crying and Screaming will get you no where in life. It’s fine to sit down and have a good cry but don’t ever expect someone to come by and lift you up and set you on the right path. Not everyone’s that nice. Get up by yourself and keep moving on no matter what. If you don’t help yourself, who will?