Thursday, October 21, 2010

Keeping Secrets

Have you ever heard of PostSecret? This guy named Frank Warren started a blog where people sent him postcards that they designed themselves with messages that revealed their secrets.

I've never sent in a postcard of my own, though I have thought about it. I do reveal a lot about my life in this blog, but there are several things that I never talk about. It does raise the question of what you're comfortable revealing about yourself to other people, and how much is too much. And there's also the fear of being judged, as if people will laugh at you and say, "I NEVER think anything like that! FREAK!"

But I do have a few secrets. Hopefully you won't think less of me once you know what they are.

Sometimes I wish that all undergrads would get abducted by aliens so that I'd never have to teach again. (No offense to the readers of my blog who are college students.)


I'm scared that I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life.


When I worked in retail, I wanted to tell all of the rude customers, "GET OUT! Do NOT come again!"

I've been in grad school for years. And I still have no idea what I'm doing.

I thought I wanted to spend the rest of my life as a college professor. But there are some days where I hate teaching.


I never had the urge to yell at anyone in public until I moved to Chicago.

I think that going to bars is about as much fun as getting my wisdom teeth pulled without anesthesia.

 I wish I could drive out into the open road and never come back.

So those are just a few of my secrets (though some of them might be too long to put on a postcard). I have other secrets, of course, but I'll only reveal them if I'm under oath. Or if I was given a lifetime supply of free Frappuccinos and M&Ms.

What about you? Have you ever thought about sending a postcard to PostSecret? Do you worry that someone you know might recognize your secret?


  1. I don't know why anyone would do this really. I like how you did your own postcards. That was really creative, clever, and interesting. But it was for a particular audience. Your audience. A random site? No I wouldn't do it.

  2. Never coming back has been a life-long temptation.


  3. Sometimes, I'm tempted to scream and scream until no sound comes out.

    I've been so stressed a few time, I've wanted to smash every glass in my cabinet against the wall.

    For the past couple of year, I've worried that people have been judging me, thinking I'm basically unemployable.

    I can't believe I'm 40 and still haven't really begun my career. And can't believe I'm still this unsure of myself.

    For the past week, I'm disappointed in myself for being intimidated by angry fourteen-year-olds.

    I'm a mess.

  4. I LOVE this post. Thanks for opening yourself up and sharing. =)

    My secrets? Hrm...I'm pretty open. My biggest fear right now is that I won't lose more weight and will be stuck at my current weight and will never get back into my skinny jeans. Sounds trivial, but it bothers me.

  5. There's also this thing called ljsecret, which is the same thing only it's on livejournal and they post secrets every day of the week, around a hundred of them, and they're jpg files, not actual postcards. One online friend and I used to submit a few every once in awhile and I always could pick out the entries that had secrets from her and she could pick out mine. But it was okay. Half the point of the secrets, for us, I think, was just about realizing and articulating what our secrets were. And once we'd done that, we were okay with them, or at least on our way to becoming okay with them.

  6. I've heard about that website, but I never felt tempted to send in anything.

    I totally agree with your retail one! And the bar one, too.

  7. Hi Karen,
    I think you're right. If I did send postcards, they'd probably be different ones because the audience would be different.

    Hi Malcolm,
    I think that a lot of people have thought about going away at some point; there's something freeing about the open road.

    Hi Theresa,
    Don't feel bad about feeling intimidated by the fourteen year olds. I felt the same way when I taught that age group; I think that younger teenagers are particularly tough to deal with because they're going through so many changes at that time. And more than once I felt like I was being driven to the breaking point (and sometimes I wanted to scream and scream too). And you're definitely employable; I can tell from your blog that you're dedicated to teaching and that you're good at it.

    Hi Shannon,
    It's not trivial at all. I think about weight a lot too, which is why I often check out my reflection in windows to see what I look like. :)

    Hi gem,
    ljsecret sounds interesting. I'll have to check that out. I think that articulating our secrets can be helpful, because it can help us realize things that we might not have been thinking about before.

    Hi Talli,
    I'd send something if I could figure out how to make a postcard like those other people do. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels that way about working in retail or going to bars. :)

  8. I've thought about doing PS...I just have never gotten around to it. Hmm.

    I do like how you did this entry though! If I had a more anonymous blog, I might do something similar. Ah well. I'm sure no one would really want to read it anyway :-P

  9. Hi Catherine,
    I'd read it! :) I think, though, if my blog wasn't anonymous, I might have put up different secrets. They'd still be true, just different.

  10. Love the postcards. I feel the same way about grad school.

  11. Hi Tara,
    Thanks! It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels that way about grad school.