This post is inspire by the PostSecret exhibit. It is held at the Museum Of Us in San Diego, California.
Learn more about it at https://museumofus.org/exhibits/postsecret/
We tend to keep things hidden.
Why bring up the grief that has passed? Why speak fears into existence? Why recognize the consequences of ambition?
But soon enough, the intricacies begin to sprout and complexities replace roots.
Secrecy become but a burden, and a sloppily kept lie.
Happier Than Ever (Billie Eilish)
Talking about the people who did you wrong only grants them a lasting effect.
I should know. For all of high school, that’s practically all that I did.
And just recently, I’ve learned that letting go is the hardest step toward an easier life.
I haven’t been the best at letting go lately, but before high school I was a star player in it.
I’d let it happen, I’d talk about it to my friends or my parents, speak about the pain I had felt as a way to find out how it made me feel, what I wanted to do with it. And then, if it called for it, I let them go.
I didn’t say anything more, I didn’t ask questions or become curious of how they were.
I simply let them be.
But when high school started, and as it continued, I only kept talking. I talked until everyone grew tired and told me to shut up, I talked until they heard and it started up again, I talked and talked and talked and never made any attempt of letting go.
It started with a letter from a friend, and the end of that title.
I read the letter and locked myself up in an small room inside my brain, away from friends and family; away from all other pieces of myself.
That time, I kept it secret, and securely hidden. I ranted, I screamed, I wrote letters and poisoned their words. I took porcelain plates and glass cups and launched them up and down and sideways. Each time they hit the floor or the walls, they cut and nicked me, until I had blood all over my clothes and tears pouring from my eyes. I let myself do it until I grew tired, and when I regained energy, my anger took over and made me do it again.
Without me realizing, the people had started to pour in. My parents, my siblings, my friends and peers all stared at me in shock and horror at what I had done to myself. I hadn’t locked the door as securely as I thought I had.
Instead of stopping, I turned it into an interactive show and added some of them to the list. I smashed things in their names, I screamed at and about them until I was blue in the face, and I dragged them through trenches until I felt done.
I was in pain, I was distraught, and I turned it into anger. One that was vicious and willing.
By the time I had realized what I was doing, I felt like I had been in that room, throwing and shattering things for centuries.
Realizing the damage I had caused left me on the floor, in a puddle of my own despair, grieving what I’d already lost years ago. It made me feel greedy, and vengeful, and disgusting, and that’s not what I wanted to feel anymore.
It’s not who I wanted to be.
So I washed myself up, patched myself over, and changed clothes. I salvaged what I could, and for the rest, I grabbed a broom and a dustpan. I threw them all in a bin; my clothes, the shards, the letters, the screenshots, the words. I threw in a match, I closed up the bin, and I watched them all burn, from the inside out.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Never was, and never to be, anything more than that.
LA Song (Delaney)
This is a secret shame, a secret pain.
It’s the way that fire fuels ambition and eats away at the other parts of me. The lick of those flames that take home in my belly eat away at all other hopes, leaving doubts in place of dreams.
What if I’m not cut out for film? What if my ideas are horrible and the people who think they’ve got potential only live in my denial with me? What if I spend the rest of my life on a dream that will never come true?
What if they were all right?
When the sun takes her bow and the moon begins her dance, I let these thoughts soak my brain. They generate a fear that dampers the bonfire I had during the day, and makes me question myself down to the very center of who I am.
The thoughts put me in a perspective that allows only the worst visions and versions of myself to come to focus.
I can only see the way it takes me hours to write these simple little posts and the way I slack and abandon my best.
I can only hear the thoughts of other criticizing my work, mocking my attempt at these passions that I’m no good at.
I can only feel the shame, and the regret, and the embarrassment that I welcome all to easily, because of how much of an imposter I’ve come to feel.
When I was in theatre, I feigned a confidence I hadn’t had since first grade. I made everyone think that I thought I was good, thought I was worthy.
Of course, the opposite was true. There wasn’t a thing I did in an audition or a performance that I thought was okay. Every pitch my voice was in felt wrong, every word I spoke felt like a joke and I was so sick and so tired every day, feeling like the worst at something I loved best.
I spent years like that, and I’ll spend years more. Never feeling good enough, never feeling satisfied.
Still, I get up the next day, chop more wood with the media I consume, and toss the logs to the fire, in hopes that later that night, it’ll be a little harder to diminish.
But even then, I wonder.
How long will it be until I get up and find that I’ve run out of wood?
Vienna (Billy Joel)
The map in a labyrinth of hopeless devotion.
I have always been one to work myself until I’m tattered. My father does it, his father did it, and I’m sure it only traces up the tree.
I pack my schedule with no time for me to breathe, and instead of being able to focus on what I love, I forget that that’s what I’m working toward.
It caused a lot of problems for me, mentally. I was doing everything that I was supposed to, I thought. I was taking AP’s and doing two shows and I had a job and two clubs. I was someone that everyone needed me to be, and I thought that meant I was supposed to be happy.
But everyday, I woke up, devastated and dreadful.
I was working towards schools I didn’t want to go to, toward a passion that I was starting to hate, with people I didn’t want to be around anymore. My only saving graces were my friends, my family, and music like this.
I’ve only now come to understand it. Only now come to take his advice and calm the f*** down.
But it took me years of miserable exhaustion to get here.
My time will come in what I’m meant for, and hopefully what I’m meant for is the same as what I want to be.
Thanks for reading my list of secrets.
I hope me sharing them brings you comfort.
Or at least, the knowledge that you’re not alone.