It’s Sunday morning. I roll over, grumble a little as I realize my phone says it’s only 8:30 and it was my day to sleep in, and throw the covers over my head to shun the bright lights. When I almost suffocate from the lack of air flow under the covers, I face the reality that it’s time to wake up. I prop my pillows up behind me and say good morning to my other half. Instead of the old school couple who reads newspapers at the breakfast table in their robes, my boyfriend and I are the epitome of the urban 21st century couple. We open up our Macbooks, check our emails and Facebooks, glance through the headlines on CNN.com. Perhaps we’ll watch a Youtube video or two. But since it’s Sunday, I never forget to head to my weekly dose of crack: PostSecret.com.
I started following PostSecret in 2004, the year it began, when a good friend sent me a link to this uber cool art project online. After a couple months or so of seeing these secrets creatively drawn on postcards, I decided I was going to make one. It was on a piece of poster board, cut to the size of a postcard. I used a yellow piece of lined paper, and made a copy of the list I had been keeping with my best friend at the time. This list consisted of quite a handful of boys I had made out with, with numbers next to each name. The card said, “I keep a list of all the boys I’ve kissed. And then I rate them.” I never actually sent it in, but it felt liberating just making it. She and I were the only two who knew about the list (and I’m certain the boys on it would not enjoy the idea that they were being compared to others), and even though I did not send it in, it felt like I had still shared my secret.
After that first secret, I made many more. All of which are stored away in my closet somewhere safe. Each time I would make one, I would feel a little more free. I felt like it wasn’t such a burden, keeping that secret, if it was written down somewhere. It was almost like keeping a journal, but it took more than just writing paragraphs to a diary; it took thought and creativity, and you had to find the perfect few words to get across a point that fit on a 4 by 5 piece of blank poster board. Each secret helped me move on, even if just the slightest bit.
I don’t mind sharing my secrets, now that they are in the past. I made one that said, “I don’t want to be the other girl. I want to be the only girl.” It was made out of cut out words and had a poster of a friend’s in the background. Another was, “Why won’t you let me in?” It had a set of bright blue eyes. The only secret I ever sent was about one of my best friends. It was a chopped up map from Google starting at my house and ending at his that said, “The only thing stopping our perfect relationship is the distance. I love you.” I sent it when I was 17, I think? Instead of sending it to PostSecret, in fears it would get lost or not get posted, I sent it straight to him. He really was my best friend, and had helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life. I had the courage to tell him, rather than a bunch of strangers. That is when I realized PostSecret helped me in ways I did not recognize until I sat down and thought about it. It gave me courage, it gave me hope, it gave me the chance to use my creativity in ways I had never imagined.
But what I want to thank Frank Warren the most for doing, is allowing me to feel like I’m not alone. Since 2004, I have saved hundreds and hundreds of secrets (419, to be exact) that I can either relate to now, have related to, or have inspired me. I found myself saving more when I felt lonely or depressed; it was nice to know that others felt exactly the way I did. Other times, when I was in a happy relationship, I saved the sappy, sweet secrets. Recently, I have been saving more inspirational ones (despite the lack thereof). I’ve found that when I’m the happiest, I find less secrets to relate to. Is that because more times than not, peoples’ deepest, darkest secrets are that of pain and suffering? Or is it because we tend to share joy and hide pain? I don’t have any secrets of how happy I am. Everyone knows. My family, my friends, random people who read this blog (which I know is approximately zero, but we’ll get there one day). Either way, I’ve realized the rate of secrets I save each week has decreased substantially, despite my weekly dedication to the blog. Frank, we need to see some more happy secrets. Maybe that should be my next one.
So here’s to PostSecret. Here’s to each and every person that PostSecret has touched, helped, inspired, or saved. Here’s to Sunday mornings being dedicated to something worth committing to. Here’s to happiness and joy and inspiration for years to come.