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!