Last night the ladies and I attended the Post Secret event at the University. Frank Warren, creator of Post Secret, shared some of the secrets that couldn't make it into the books and discussed some of his secrets. He waived his speaking fee so that proceeds would go to The Centre For Suicide Prevention.
The evening for the most part was quite enjoyable. Hearing about the stacks of postcards Frank receives daily, the secrets that people feel free to release to him anonymously, and the secrets that he has carried and released himself was entertaining. His message that all it takes is one idea to open conversation among a community was inspiring. His hope that people can learn to feel safe enough to share the secret of thoughts of suicide to save his or her life was powerful.
The uncomfortable part of the evening, for me, happened when the floor was opened up and audience members could walk to the mic to share a secret. Strangers dropping the shroud of anonymity to feel release from a captor was in a sense empowering, but also felt awkward and, at times, as though the secret sharing had become a contest of who had the darkest one.
The beauty of Post Secret is that it connects people, showcasing that we are not alone and as weird or strange as we may think we are. And that the life events we go through - good or bad - are also being mirrored by other people out there. Post Secret is also fabulous because it allows one to get a secret off of his heart or out of her head without having to worry about the fear that everyone will know. I feel that microphones at an event like this takes away from the nature of the project in a sense and turns the evening into a free-for-all therapy session.
After the event last night, I thought about some of my secrets that I could create onto a postcard and submit. Different secrets filled my head: hopes, fears, memories and regrets. Secrets that have been holding me captive and secrets that are motivating me to keep moving forward. I had some beautiful ideas surface, but at this time, strongly feel that my secrets are safest within me.
If you have a chance to attend a talk from Frank Warren, I suggest you do. But, if you are like me, and uncomfortable hearing strangers share so much personal feelings, be prepared for the half hour of awkward that takes place at the end.