Tuesday, April 26, 2011


What is it about secrets? What makes us want to keep things to ourselves? Do we learn to keep secrets or is it a natural tendency? Do we keep them to gain control? power? save our image? protect others? protect ourselves? Do we even realize the things we keep a secret?

We are told as kids that "Secrets, secrets are no fun, secrets, secrets hurt someone!" We all have them. I know I do. They can be funny, silly, quirky, serious, sad, hurtful, or even destructive.

A friend of mine recently posted some of her more personal, but silly secrets. This particular post struck me. Yes, it was funny. But even moreso, it was honest. I appreciated the honesty and courage it took to write them out and share them with the public.

Here are a few of my own:

In first grade, I stole my teacher's mini-stapler. I saw it sitting on her desk and swiped it like a pelican swoops down for the jumping fish. I have always had a passion for school supplies and the temptation of the cute little purple stapler was far too much for my 6 year old self-control to resist. When she questioned me about it, I denied it and gave her my most angelic smile to convince her of my innocence. To this day, that is the only thing I have ever stolen.

When things got particularly bad with my Freshman year college roommate, I would read her journal. I am not proud of this, even now. At that time, our communication was limited and full of disdain. Instead of trying to talk to her, I took the cowards way out and read her feelings about me. I always wanted to defend myself, but knew I couldn't because she would know about my secret reading material!

I have no musical talents per say, but I have always wanted to play the drums. The trouble lies in the fact that I have no natural rhythm. I would uproot my life today if somehow I had any talent in the musical realm. I think I could totally rock out the punk hair with colored extensions and all-star sneakers.

A few years ago a friend of mine introduced me to a social art experiment. Its main focus is secrets. The goal of the project is for people to reveal their most intimate secret, but anonymously. People can send in a postcard with any secret-- that has never been told before-- and open it up to the world. I imagine that this exercise is liberating, therapuetic, and defining for many people. I make it a part of my weekly routine to check in on the new secrets posted every Sunday. Again, what makes us keep secrets? But on the flipside, what makes us reveal them?

Check out www.postsecret.com and you will never think about secrets the same again!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

After the Stumble

I love to ride my bike. Let me clarify, the words "Let's go on a bike ride" make me smile, jump up and down, and hurry to put on my shoes. I did not realize this love until two summers ago.

When the four of us first started riding, I was skeptical about the whole situation. I was never a risk-taker as a kid. I played things on the cautious side. I knew what my limits were for safety, and I was sure to stay within them. I was never the spontaneous, impulsive kid with bruises and scrapes. So, when taking my first ride, on my new bike, as an adult-- I was shocked to have new feelings about bike riding! I felt: free, careless, powerful, and young! As the four of us raced down the road, I wanted to be 8 years old again. I wanted to knock on the door of my friends' house, call them outside, and race off to the woods or pool for a day of summer fun.

It didn't take long for my sense of power and carelessness to be checked with reality. By that point in the fall, we were on a routine ride through G-town. It was a brisk afternoon, full of vibrantly beautiful trees, making the transition through seasons. J. decided to jump a curb. Because by that point, I was feeling very confident in my bike riding abilities, and because I didn't want to seem like a wimpy girl I went ahead and followed suit. However, I didn't realize that all of those beautiful leaves I had been admiring earlier were also on the ground. This made the distance from the road up to the sidewalk seem much less. Before I even knew what happened, I was on my face instead of on my bike! I couldn't move. My arm hurt, my legs were twisted between the frame of my bike, and my sunglasses were a few feet in front of me. Even though I didn't cry, my confidence had disappeared like the skin on my knees.
The moments after this stumbling were more important than all leading up to it. My first thought after realizing what had happened were "What now?" Even though my confidence was absent I was able to straighten myself out and get back up on my bike.

I learned that confidence or no, the only choice is to get back up and keep on keeping on.

So, when faced with the idea of this new blog and the task of writing consistenly and for an audience, even if I stumble a time or two, I hope to hop back up and ride...er, post again!