Strangers’ posted secrets provide hope

by Amy Devito

Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor
Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor

Secrets are not fun, unless shared with everyone. Hidden deep within the soul of every individual lays clandestine memories and meditations of the psyche.

Some secrets are harbored inside and kept at a safe distance, even from friends and family, for the simple reason that exposing the truth can be frightening. However, candid release can sometimes bring a profound sense of enlightenment. Postsecret.com offers that window of opportunity.

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard. The initiative is not to embarrass or bring shame to those revealing cherished memories or affections, but rather to give a sense of hope and liberation through the publishing of secrets.

By allowing thousands of viewers to peer into the very core of someone, a new value of connection and mutual comprehension may be established. People confess to the most profane yet genuine thoughts, revealing absolutely anything from fevered obsessions and love proposals to frightening childhood stories. Some postcards are hilarious, such as people owning up to pulling pranks on their bosses. Some admit to rather grotesque and unimaginable rituals, and then there are the deeply moving narratives that reflect upon traumatic experiences.

PostSecret encourages followers to remove the shackles of secrecy in the most awe-inspiring and innovative ways possible.

“I think of each postcard as a living work of art,” founder of PostSecret Frank Warren said. “And as art, secrets can have different layers of truth. Some can be both true and false, others can become true over time depending on our choices.”

The website is adorned with drawings and photographs infused with poetry and creative artwork to produce a plethora of unique, personalized displays. Thousands of people send cards in the hopes of being featured, and every Sunday the website is updated with new entries. Each one is completely unique from the next.

“I check the website rather religiously,” English junior Laura Palosari said. “Every Sunday I read through the new posts with great excitement.”

Postcards are pulled from several generations and nations to illustrate the vast range of emotions and experiences shared among many people. It may come as a surprise how much inspiration naturally blooms from the works of others and how touched one can feel after reading another person’s card.

Streams of jubilance and love can be found alongside dark and disturbingly unfortunate realities. For this reason, PostSecret works to be proactive and helpful while working closely with suicide prevention agencies and other health organizations.

PostSecret has also published several books of confession throughout the years. Additionally, the organization has just began hosting PostSecret Live in select areas in hopes of promoting stability and unity among the larger communities throughout the nation.

The website aims to foster a better understanding of self and serves as a portal for all to confide. So whether seeking to reveal a deep-rooted frustration or a lovesick obsession, PostSecret grants the public the chance to let out revelations of all proportions on one tiny postcard.