This I Believe

Carolyn - Wildwood, Missouri
Entered on February 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: freedom

I believe in spontaneity. I believe in free speech. I believe in Frank Warren and his PostSecret project, allowing people to share their innermost thoughts to complete strangers. Above all else, I believe in spilling secrets.

My whole life, I’ve been threatened and forced to pinky-swear. I really want to be a trustworthy friend. I’ve tried desperately to keep stories, anecdotes, and admissions of guilt to myself. But I just can’t.

My secret: I can’t keep a secret.

I guess I enjoy spilling secrets so much simply because I’m not supposed to. I’ve never gotten used to the explosive feeling of excitement and fear all twisted together in the pit of my stomach— every time I tell a secret it practically knocks the wind out of me. And, I’ll never forget the trouble it has gotten me into.

Reading other people’s secrets on Frank Warren’s post secret webpage has become a weekly indulgence. The anonymous admissions are obviously freeing for not only the creator, but also readers just like myself. Some are humorous, some are dispiriting, but all are inspiring.

I especially love telling secrets about myself. Secrets from my childhood— as trivial as the time I ripped a page in a library book, which I’ve never admitted until now—still warrant the same, completely unconquerable confidence.

As a first year college student, every one in some proximity of my life has told me to use college as a time to “find myself.” Well, I’ve found me. And I find me, almost daily, on a futon in a generic college dorm room. Some girlfriends, more loyal than I could have imagined in high school, are witness to this daily discovery. We spill secrets—our own, and each others. Each one, while seeming irrelevant and probably quickly forgotten, brings me closer to my friends and to myself. They bring me closer to that inner, working definition of Carolyn xxx. The Carolyn xxx that has finally found acceptance, and a use, for her once criticized inability to keep a secret.

I am Carolyn xxx. I tell secrets. And, in this gloriously rude habit, I believe.