PostSecret Live

I tried to explain the appeal of PostSecret to a friend yesterday before I drove to Albany for the live event, but I came up short. It's difficult for me to explain, I do believe there is an certain ineffable quality to the project. Everyone has secrets, and as Frank Warren points out: some secrets we keep, some secrets keep us. By revealing these secrets - to someone we know or anonymously to a guy who lives in Germantown, MD - we allow ourselves to let those secrets go, or take control of them if need be. And by sharing those secrets, we realize that the parts of ourselves that we consider to be the most personal - thoughts, struggles, experiences - may be personal, but in reality are far less unique than we may think. PostSecret allows for the breakdown of invisible walls that secrets can create, and helps people feel connected with others, however anonymously.

If you're at all interested in PostSecret, I encourage you to get to a live event. Frank Warren talks very openly and honestly about the history of the project, as well as some of the struggles and secrets that he's dealt with throughout his life. He also shares some select secrets he's received over the years and the impact that they've had on him, on others, and on the direction of the project. But the best past of the event is the last segment.

In the last few minutes of the presentation, Frank opens up the microphone to anyone who wants to come up and share a secret. This is when the anonymous secrets on the website and in the books lose their anonymity and truly step into reality. I heard people tell secrets about feeling bad for not getting the understanding of a parent, losing a loved one who doesn't want to commit, believing your not good enough, not wanting to use the bathroom around a boyfriend, losing a loved one to sickness, depression, suicide, and about getting help.

At the end of the night Frank asked everyone who could relate to a secret they had heard to raise their hand. There were more hands in the air than could be counted. Powerful stuff.

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    © STEVE SCHULTZ