The other day I saw a trailer for the PostSecret app for the first time. If you haven’t I suggest you do. It’s a beautiful piece to watch, and in my case at least it’s been kind of thought-provoking.
The trailer starts by stating that everyone has secrets. I don’t think of myself as someone who has secrets. After all if you’ve transitioned from apparently male to living as female, there really aren’t likely to be all that many high impact secrets left to reveal to the world. But that statement still got me thinking about whether I actually have any significant secrets or not.
It really I suppose comes down to how you define a secret. Is a secret simply a thought you keep to yourself? Or is there something more to what goes into making a secret?
Well I have hundreds of thoughts every single day which I never share with anyone. Everyone does. We all have those short fleeting thoughts that mean little and would only be wasted noise if you did bother to verbalise them. So I don’t feel that keeping your thoughts to yourself is really the same as keeping a secret.
No, I’ve come to believe that a secret is possibly one of two things. It could be a piece of knowledge only you, or very few people, hold. A piece of knowledge which if revealed could have a significant positive or negative effect for the holder of the secret, or for someone else.
Or a secret could also be a piece of personal knowledge/information, shared in confidence by another person.
Well I have quite a few of the latter type. Again most people do. We all have someone for whom we are their ultimate confidant. Someone for whom our trustworthiness represents a very necessary safety valve.
But even after I finally defined what a secret is for me, I still find myself struggling with the question of whether I possess any of the first type. And yes, yes I know you could define the shared knowledge type as being the first type, but here I’m speaking about secrets of my own, not secrets I hold for others.
Well after some serious thought I really still just don’t know. I guess that’s what comes of wearing your heart on your sleeve. I think everyone I’m in love with knows it, unsurprising when you consider I have all the subtlety of a half-brick between the eyes. I’m pretty sure that everyone know’s what I actually think of them, for the same reason. Hell I can’t even keep a surprise gift to myself long enough for it to actually be a surprise. Admittedly I do keep a lot of the details of my creative projects to myself, but surely as a writer that’s just protecting my intellectual property, protecting my work…
I guess this is a question I won’t be able to answer anytime soon. But I suppose for now at least it’s an interesting question to sit and think about, while I practice my ukulele, or lying in a bath, or being half drowned by doggy kisses.
P.S. I have, since beginning writing this article, been reliably informed, by my group of friends very own Velma Dinkley (in a good’n hot way), that the PostSecret App is a waste of both time and money. Pity that.