Everyone has secrets obviously. There any many types of secrets in the world. There are secrets you keep because you are bound by oath like confessions to priests. Secrets you keep because it’s the law: insider trading. Secrets that have lives hanging on the line line like where the next attack in the battle is going to be.
I’m not concerned with those now. This is just about the secrets about you.
We don’t live in glass houses — literally or figuratively. We live our lives in a series of overlapping compartments of knowledge. Most secrets involve people so the secrets must be shared with someone. Different secrets box in different people. Secrets force you to keep the boxes apart; to keep the boxes from touching, the worlds from colliding.
Sounds like a video game in a way — the object is to keep the boxes apart.
What makes a secret anyway? The whos, whats, whys and wherefores actually define the secret. The whos are the boxes, the whats, whys and wherefores fill up that box with their juicy goodness.
Secrets that have no “who” other that you simply make you dysfunctional. The dreams and wishes that you don’t let out of your own box merely stew within. These are the secrets we keep from everyone. Why? Perception. The perception that others have if they found out. If they found out that you wear women’s lingerie under your suit (assuming that you’re a guy — if you’re a woman, well, then it’s just expected). That you want to go to college when that’s not your station in life. That you want to do something silly like climb a mountain when you have a perfectly good home with a roof over your head. The little tattoo that you have on your back or somewhere else inconspicuous. The perception that you’re different. Why is that an issue? These secrets define who we are — it is only the fear of how others look at us that make a difference. We’re all different, just in different ways.
As a person you’re no different wether or not someone knows your secret. The same Joe or Sally exists either way.
Intolerance, on the other hand, does exist unfortunately. If you need to make a lot of people “like” you you might well be screwed. A politician needs to be vanilla. If you’re LGBT you might need to cover things up a bit since people are prejudiced. That being said, it’s not the secret, but other person’s stupidity that gets in the way.
Me, well sometimes I like to drop hints about my secrets. My general policy is that if you ask me a direct question, I’ll give you a direct answer. You might have to push me, but eventually I’ll stop beating around the proverbial bush. If you dig around I’m sure you can find all sorts of tidbits — if you know what to look for; hidden in plain sight. Just be a bit perceptive I guess.
Which gets us to some of the last bits: what’s wrong if someone discovers your secret and it’s not a secret any more? The people that are your real friends just accept the new side of you. The people that want to be just like everyone else slink off to the shadows to make sure that they aren’t tainted by your acquaintance. Almost sounds like a good thing, eh? I’ve had people ask about my secrets, most times it was mostly just curiosity, sometimes a friendly jab, but all in good fun.
What if what your secret is something illegal. Well, can’t really help you too much there. What did you do in the first place? Perhaps the laws are broken? Sitting in the whites-only section of the bus and movie theater? Killing someone? In a war? All shades of gray. Are you making a point or just running away? Hard questions all that require more pondering.
Why don’t I write all my secrets here? Now? Well I’m not quite an open book — yet. More one that’s on the bookshelf waiting to be pulled down and read. But that’s my personality too: shy, waiting to have someone challenge me about something.
To those who read through this whole shemozzle — Happy new year! Cheers!
(Random thing that’s almost interesting — I wrote this back in May. Getting this off my chest was one of the contributing factors to start up the blog. I was just waiting for the right time to post it. A new year brings new opportunities. Well, it doesn’t really. Every day brings new opportunities. Every moment. But it’s an event that crystalizes the passing of time. So this is as good a time as any!)