Friday, April 20, 2007

"So what?"

My post on secrets has caused me to think a lot more than usual. (Yes, this is possible).

As I struggled to produce something life-altering, shocking and pretty to look at, I found that I could decide on just one secret, and that the more I thought about it, the more secrets I had that I hadn’t previously considered as secrets, or even thought about for some time. But the main issue, when it came down to it, wasn’t the plethora of secrets buzzing around in my head, meticulously placed there by a concerned but disturbed BFG-like figure, but the difficulty of wording the secret.

Like most of my obstacles, the main cause of my procrastination was writer’s block, fueled by my recurring fear of feeling inadequate with a hint of mental exhaustion (and a pinch of salt)... My attempts at getting a secret down on paper, and creatively no less, felt very much like my struggle to post on this blog. I look forward to the final product, reading it later and wondering why I thought it would be so difficult to write, but still, I dread the process. It’s like someone crawling inside me and photographing everything inside, only to post it all on some drab wall in an obscure location. Out in the open for some people to sort-of see, but did it even make a difference?

Now back to the content of said secret. After I had finally, sort-of decided upon it, I actually started to worry that someone would recognize the secret as mine. By attempting to free myself of it, I worried that it would come back to haunt me. A postcard from the past, traveling right into my future. I started to wonder whether the risk was worth it. I also thought endlessly about the “creative” part.

I remembered those countless art contests my parents would enter me in when I was younger, expecting, not hoping, that I would win. The pressure was unspoken but immense, and I was frightened to death of failure. I worried that my secret wouldn’t be creative or shocking enough to make it to the Sunday Secrets. Mostly I was panicky at the prospect that my worst secret would be deemed trivial and silly by others. I was scared of being judged but even more terrified of someone reacting with a casually nonchalant “So what?”

So I’ve made a decision, and some of you may think I took the cowardly way out and it is no secret that taking the easy way out has been a specialty of mine. Anyway, it turns out that my secret wasn't ready not to be a secret…just yet, at least. Writing it down was difficult enough.

As I sat down to start my morning, some espresso was spilled all over it, mangling and obscuring my words.

Secretly, I took it as a sign.