My love of the website PostSecret… ironically, is not a secret.
I last wrote about it almost a year ago… about the first postcard I sent in. Since writing that, I’ve made more postcards (like I said I would) and sent them in. Probably about 5 or 6 more. It *did* get easier to send those in. Some, I just wrote simply on the postcard, others I tried drawing.
None of them were ever posted… but like I said before, if you send it in with the expectation of them appearing on the site, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. The guy gets over 1,000 a week, and posts 25 of them. Odds aren’t in your favor.
But it’s the telling of the secret is the key. It’s entrusting it to a complete stranger… even potentially the world. Maybe even getting away from it. Giving the secret to someone else… because you don’t want it anymore.
Since last year, the site now has a presence on MySpace and Facebook, of which I also check every now and then (though not as often as the main site). These sites are mainly used as “what’s going on” with the site, and upcoming seminars/exhibits and whatnot… while the main site is solely for the weekly postcards, and nothing else.
Last Saturday, I was looking at the latest MySpace blog… and people have started posting their cell phone numbers in the comments section… for the purpose of letting strangers text-message secrets to them. The “instructions” just said to go to the latest one posted, and send it to that person. I thought that it could be dangerous… but honestly… I think the only people that READ the PostSecret MySpace blog… or the main site itself… are the kind of people that wouldn’t abuse it. Plus… you can always go back and remove your comment if you get too nervous.
I sent off a few of my own to some numbers that were posted. And a few minutes later:
I posted my own cell number.
Within 2 minutes… I got my first text-secret.
It… was a bit heavy. More so then I was expecting. It definitely showed me that this is an experience that isn’t F**king around.
But the trust it shows… to send that to *me*, and who the hell am I? It absolutely humbled me. Sorry, I won’t say what it is… because it *is* a secret. Entrusted to me, and I don’t tell secrets that aren’t mine to begin with. I took the secret so this person wouldn’t have to keep it. Hopefully, it helps them… they said it did.
Within the hour, I got several more. For the next 3 hours, until I went to sleep, I just lay on my bed, texting secrets back and forth to strangers from across the country… some told me their names, some asked for feedback. But I always exchanged a secret for a secret. I believe that’s part of the trust.
It felt… very intimate. Sharing some things that even people I’m close to don’t even know about me. I actually felt connected to so many people at once… it kinda feels like falling in Love. The trust I felt… the trust I gave… the vulnerability, seeing and feeling it… and especially NOT suffering embarrassment for it, or having it shoved back in your face.
I think I can honestly say… it was one of the most Beautiful experiences I’ve ever had. And you know I don’t take the word “Beautiful” lightly.
I was still texting a few people the next morning… continuing conversations. Now, I don’t have unlimited texts… but frankly, I don’t care. I’ll pay the extra fees… this experience was too wonderful to not continue as long as I could. I even got some new people texting me… even though there were more recent numbers posted after mine.
I wanted this to continue… I wanted to do something more.
So, I wrote out several secrets of mine… and when I went to the gym for my daily masochism/work-out… I placed them all around. (I don’t think anyone saw me) Didn’t put them in obvious places… but hopefully places where they would be found. I did notice a few people actually saw them… fewer actually picked them up to read them. But I don’t think anyone threw them away… at least when I was there. But the next day they were gone. So… I put out a few more. I’d like to think that someone was picking them up and keeping them… and not tossing them in the trash, but who knows? Maybe the gym isn’t the most empathetic place to hide secrets at… but the place does advertise itself as a “judgment free-zone”… so that makes it sound kind of appropriate. It’d be hypocritical if they frowned on my behavior… don’t you think?
Hiding those secrets… was fun. And a bit cathartic. Because like the texting and sending in the postcards… it’s a way to get away from the secret. To get rid of it, in a sense (though not really).
This whole past week has been filled with PostSecret for me. I discovered that there’s going to be a “PostSecret Event”… basically a seminar and exhibit, given by the founder, and it’s coming fairly close. By “fairly close”, I mean about 3 hours away. But it’s the closest the tour has come to me yet… about 7 months ago, another was scheduled that was closer… but it got cancelled a few days before it happened, much to my chagrin… so I’m not skipping *this* opportunity. I’m taking a half-day at work, and driving up for that evening. Sure, coming back so late will suck… but I think it will be worth it.
And I’m sure I’ll do another update when that comes up in a few weeks. Count on it.