We all, no matter who we are, have secrets. They can be silly little embarrassing secrets of no real consequence to anyone except ourselves, or they can be massive great big secrets with the potential to affect many. It doesn't really matter whether they're big secrets or little ones, they're still a part of who we are.
I have plenty of secrets. I don't flatter myself that any of them have the potential to be earth-shattering for anyone should they be revealed - the worst that can happen is that people will look at me in a different way. The sensible and mature part of my brain knows that that isn't a big deal. People already look at me differently after losing weight, so letting them in on my 'secrets' isn't going to make all that much difference. That doesn't mean I'm going to do it though. There are certain things that don't need to be shared, unless its with somebody who loves you and supports you unconditionally, and who you trust implicitly. Or a therapist. I don't feel the need to offload these things onto my friends and family, and even if I did there is nobody who I would feel 100% comfortable in telling (that includes a therapist). And that's ok, because they don't need to know, and I don't need to tell them.
I digressed. This isn't a post about my secret life as a superhero (damn, busted) or my many trust issues. I don't want to offload on you guys anymore than I do on my 'real' friends. Its more to do with the attitudes that people hold towards each other - namely, the assumptions that people make. There is not a single person in my life who knows everything about me - to be honest I'm not sure that even I know everything about me. And yet there are people who seem to think that they know and understand and empathise with my deepest darkest secrets. They don't.
Maybe its because I'm so open about certain parts of my life, that people assume I'm the same way about everything. My weight-loss, my time at university, my family life, my friendships...those are, to a certain extent, an open book. Those are all things that go towards defining who I am, and I'm proud to be able to share them. But that doesn't mean that I share everything. There are plenty of things that I hold back from people - the things that are really personal. I'm not ashamed of these things - it is what it is, it happened and its part of who I am.
What brought this post on, I hear you cry. Would you believe, of all things, it was the weather? For those of you who may not be aware, we are currently experiencing something of an Indian Summer in the UK - cue shorts and strappy tops and the revelation that yes, I do have a tattoo on my back, and no, I am not going to tell you what it means. Three years on and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight I can see that having quite a personal tattoo on a fairly visible part of my body and not expecting an endless barrage of questions every time I wore a cami was a bit stupid. Whatever, I've learnt to deflect the questions, they don't bother me all that much anyway. What really annoys me is when people assume that they know what it means or why its there. I suffered the pain of the tattoo because it meant something to me, not so I could explain and justify it to everyone else. Maybe one day I'll share my secret with somebody that deserves to know, but until then its my secret, and its staying that way.
And in the theme of secrets, a few of my favourites from PostSecret this week....
all images are taken from here.