I first stumbled upon a PostSecret book when I was at Urban Outfitters in Georgetown, D.C. years ago when the first book came out. I remember looking through the book and the concept of the book forever stayed with me, especially when I saw the address of where the secrets are sent to. Couldn’t believe something so unique was being created so close by to where I live. I thought to myself that it would be so cool to be a part of something utilizing such a creative platform. However, I didn't know how to get myself involved with it. Several years later I tried to see one of Frank’s shows at UMBC and was unable to attend. PostSecret would over the course of eight years, reoccur in my life. More so, recently PostSecret reoccurred as I came up with an idea and realized something of that magnitude already existed. I proceeded to look up PostSecret online to see what it has developed into over the years. Just so happened to check the forum and saw a picnic was to be held about a week or so later at Great Seneca Park. Since, I live not far from there, the spontaneity in me said, “hey, why not”. So, I went, had a great time and had the opportunity to meet Frank. Right off the bat, I enjoyed his energy and it was apparent how much love and respect he has for what he does with PostSecret. He mentioned there were some internship openings available and I jumped at the opportunity to partake in such a special experience. Luckily, Frank offered the internship to me and I gladly accepted.
On the first day, it was surreal to have finally come full circle and see PostSecret from a different point-of-view, not as a reader. One would think being in a room with so many secrets and plenty of them being dark secrets of peoples’ pain that one would be overwhelmed with heaviness; as if you have walked to the vault of darkness. However, I found it be quite the opposite. I see it as the vault of liberation of peoples’ pain, shame, embarrassment, and whatever other emotional release they might have felt after sending in their postcard. It is almost as if it’s a room of indirect connectedness of so many people. As I read through many postcards, some of them I felt an instantaneous bond with the author as I empathized with their words. We’re all more alike than we think we are. It’s just the secrets that we hold within ourselves that may sometimes keep us separated.
From a metaphoric standpoint, I imagine Frank as the male Statue of Liberty safely guarding all the secrets in his arm thus allowing the freedom of people letting go of their secret.
This is what is so special about Frank’s project of collecting secrets is that it brings people together who otherwise wouldn’t have connected on some level. Even if these people who share the same secret never meet, it’s allowed them to feel less alienated in their secret. Not all the secrets are dark. Many of them are lighthearted or downright comical. I’ve enjoyed being a part of the project thus far.
So, may I ask…what is your secret? You already know the addy so send em’ in.