The following originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
PostSecret Saves Lives by Sharing Lives
You may have heard about a website called “PostSecret”. You may have also heard about their, now defunct, iPhone app, or maybe even their New York Times bestselling series of books. Then again, you may not have, so I will explain what the organization is and the power behind it. PostSecret was startedin 2005 by Frank Warren. He started an online campaign for people to send postcards to an address, all done anonymously, that detail their deepest and darkest secrets. He then used the postcards he received as a way of showing people they were not alone in their struggles by posting them onto his website and later even posting them inside of a museum exhibit. The response was overwhelming. Thousands and thousands of postcards were delivered in a matter of no time at all. Frank quickly realized that his goal of connecting people, making others feel less alone by showing that the struggles we sometimes face, are struggles others go through as well, had worked. He was connecting people all across the United States, and soon the World, by posting these postcards on his website and social media accounts and were encouraging others to reach out and communicate about their problems.
If you visit the PostSecret website, postsecret.com, you will find detailed instructions on what to do if you want to mail in a secret. Your secret can be anything that you want to share. Whatever it is that you feel you would benefit by writing down and sharing anonymously, write it down and send it in. According to their website, your secret can be “regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession or childhood humiliation.” Their website continues, “Reveal anything, as long as it is true, and you have never shared it with anyone before.” Step one, gather up a postcard or two. Step two, design your postcard in any creative way you want to and tell your secret on it, anonymously. Step three, stamp and mail the postcard. Step four, take a deep breath and allow yourself to feel the freedom of sharing your secret with the World. Step five, encourage your family and friends to share their secrets by the same means. Step six, visit the PostSecret website and join the community to show others they are not alone.
Their website also gives you a few tips and tricks to making your postcard really stand out from the rest. They encourage to be brief. “The fewer the words used, the better.” Also, “use big, clear and bold lettering”. You postcard will be no good if nobody can read it. PostSecret also recommends being creative. “Let the postcard be your canvas”. Then, they give you the address of where you need to send it. Send your postcards to, PostSecret, 28241 Crown Valley Pkwy, #F224, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
You may be reading this and wondering what this has to do with local news. Well, I play a part in that. Let me take you back toaround 2010. I had started a blog, much different than the blog and website I currently have, think more celebrity gossip and news and less food. The blog was really popular, and it was called, “It’s Complicated”. I had the blog for a couple of years before closing it for good and moving on towards different goals. During the time of “It’s Complicated”, I also reviewed books, food, music, movies and websites. I would encourage people to write their suggestions into me and I would give them a shoutout along with my blog post. A few months into asking people for their suggestions on things I should try and review, I kept hearing about a website called, “PostSecret”. I looked into it and was, at first, slightly confused. The more I dove into the website though, the more it made sense.
I heard from people who said that the website had saved their lives. They found out, simply through visiting their website, that they were not alone in their struggles. Whatever struggles they were facing; depression, anxiety, family drama, relationship problems, there were people on that website, experiencing the exact same things. A community was in the process of being created, right there in the forums and comments of the PostSecret website. The more I visited this website, the less alone I personally felt in my struggles at the time. I immediately wrote up a review for my website and published it. That post alone was my biggest ranking post of all time during the life of that blog. Local people, who followed me on that blog at the time, still talk to me about that post and how finding PostSecret saved their lives and how many times they have recommended it to their friends.
I call my original followers from, “It’s Complicated” my “complicated friends”. Even though that blog seems like a lifetime ago, and in parts it really was, I still have such loyal followers who have followed me into my current blog and website devoted to sharing food and recipes. That means so much to me. Over the course of that blog post, I have heard from people all around New Castle and the surrounding areas, talk about their love for PostSecret. Since that original blog post, I have made so many friends, both virtual and locally in person, who I would have never met without that post and PostSecret.
Before I decided to close my “It’s Complicated” blog, I decided to create a postcard and mail if off myself. I had been thinking awhile about what I could write, or wanted to share, and finally after talking with one of my “complicated friends” I knew what I wanted to say. It was about my Grandpa Max, who passed away in September of 2011. I decided to decorate my postcard with my favorite picture of the two of us. The photo was taken at Christmas time, with me holding a box of my favorite candy,from “The Original Good’s Candies” located right across the street from his house in Kennard. That year him and my Grandma Deloris had taken bets on how long that box would last. My Grandpa Max won the bet, by betting it would be gone in less than two days. I blew the photo up, pasted it on my postcard and in big, bold, clear letters wrote, “My Grandpa passed away. I am afraid I never made him proud”. After some crying time, I mailed the postcard. As I mailed it, I did feel a somewhat sense of relief by just actually acknowledging my feelings and writing them down and then releasing them into the World. I thought that is where the postcard would end but I could not have ever been more wrong about that.
Skip ahead a few months later and something magical happened. My inbox, just all of the sudden one day, was flooded with emails telling me to check out the PostSecret website. My postcard had been posted! I had skipped the anonymous part, of course by posting our picture but never really thought it would be seen by too many people. That thought, for whatever reason, did not even enter my mind. As I logged onto the PostSecret website, there it was! Third down on their list of postcards under their “Sunday Secrets” special. Now, at that time, you could click on a postcard and read other people’s comments, which would then lead you to their Facebook page and even more comments. I have always been a firm believe in never reading your own comments, but this was something different. As I scrolled down through all the comments, I started crying. All of them, every single one of them, were positive comments. Then I seen it. A comment that struck me just right there. The comment was just six words but have since, had a lasting impact on me. The comment was, “You did. He knows. No worries”.
In that split second, it was like years of healing took place. I realized, right then and there, the whole point of PostSecret and how it helps connect and heal people, together. If you are reading this and are an original “complicated friend” of mine, you already knew this. If you are a follower of my “Blaise the Baker” and “TrailBlaise” websites, you more than likely did not know this story.
I decided to finally share this story with my current website and blog readers and followers to let you know that you are not alone. Reach out to anyone, anytime, even online, to share your thoughts and feelings. Surround yourself with people who are positive and will give you hope about your own future.