I was hanging out in Borders for a little while the other week, and I picked up this book randomly called Post Secret. Inside were photos of postcards hundreds of people had made. On it they wrote a secret. Some were funny, some were shocking, and some were eerily familiar.
A couple days later I stumbled across this blog via Facebook (one of the reasons I love Facebook...): http://postsecret.blogspot.com/ It's the Post Secret guy's blog, and every week he posts new post cards people have sent him. He even holds events, which I would totally go to if there were one in our area.
So, I started wondering about what my post secret post card would look like if I made one. What it would say on it. And I had to figure out why this was so fascinating for me. Everyone has secrets, and usually, even when you learn someone's secrets, it doesn't affect you the way that these post cards resonated with me. And I think I have figured out why I am so enchanted with the post secret idea besides the fact that I love finding out secrets and I'm trying to work on better honesty in my relationships and life. I think it's because that when someone tells you a secret, usually what they tell you is the facts. When I was little, I did this. When you were gone this happened. Sometimes I think this. But these postcards don't just tell you what happened. They tell you how these secrets have changed the people's lives. How they're part of a person's psyche. What a person thinks about. These secrets could change someone's life. One of my favorites is a post card with a receipt stapled to it, and all it says is "If I don't get rid of this receipt, I'll call the number on the back and regret it."
There's this extreme honesty in these post cards that I don't feel even when I'm talking to people about secrets. You can still feel yourself or them hanging back from telling you exactly what happened. And giving you the facts of what happened, that's an easy way out because you're saying your secret, but you're not revealing it. But to say how it's affected you, why you did it, to show how it's changed your life or, in some cases, hasn't, the ways it's wrecked or helped your dreams. I don't know. Maybe someone else can say why these post secrets are so different.
I think I'm going to start writing my secrets down the way these post cards are written. I picked up my journal again for the first time since the summer. We were watching a movie in Spanish, and there's a boy who's an aspiring writer who's killed in a car crash. And his mother starts to read his journal. Someone is a completely different person in what they write, sometimes. I looked back at a couple of things I wrote over the summer, but I didn't really read a lot. There was one thing I wrote down that I wrote that was so blatantly truthful, it surprised even me. Sometimes I wonder, when I'm gone and I've left them to whoever, my children maybe, what they'll think when they read them. I got to know someone through reading what they left behind. Will they be surprised? Will they wish they had known me better? Will I make them feel like it's ok to be as broken as ever is but no one ever says they are?
Do you think everyone wants to know the truth? I don't think so...