Self Expression Magazine

Post Secret Live: Bristol

Posted on the 10 January 2013 by Accordingtoamber @sgwennu

Post Secret Live: Bristol

I'm not a creature of habit. I don't have many rituals, apart from my tea-drinking addiction. I also love my sleep. However, you will find me up and awake every Sunday morning, cup of tea in hand on the PostSecret website.  Out of all the blogs I follow, this one I am never behind on. I check it religiously every week for the Sunday Secrets, which come from the PostSecret Community. The blog features thousands of secret mailed in anonymously on a postcard. This whole she-bang was started by Frank Warren as a community art project and it's just grown and grown over the years.  Since it started there have been several books published and Frank regularly tours the US to talk about the project. Recently, he came to Europe and the UK for the first time. I bought my ticket to the Bristol event the day they went on sale back in like, June, even though the even wasn't until December. Enthusiastic much?  I was just so excited for this event, and I clearly wasn't the only one - as so many people started tweeting about it saying that they had been waiting years for an event to come their way. 

Here's the music video for AAR featuring secrets from PostSecret! (follow the link to watch it on youtube)
So what's the point of it all? PostSecret has become a place of comfort for many and a community of acceptance for others. And for those like me, it’s a place to get a glimpse into the lives of others on a Sunday morning. Some of the secrets are heavy ones, and others are light and amusing - but to be a bit cliched/pompous/ridiculous, I think that reading PostSecret every week for the last however many years, has made me a more patient and understanding person. I guess it's made me realize that you never do really know what is going on behind closed doors.  The first half of the show was Frank talking to us about PostSecret and some of his stories. I loved how his mother thinks it's all such an awful idea and refused a copy of the PostSecret book. I love that he has a room at home filled with half a million secrets. I love how his post-lady reads all the post cards too. To get an idea of what this was like, you can watch his TED talk! The second half of the event was open to us. Two microphones were set up halfway into the crowd, and member of the audience were invited to come up and share their secrets.  I really wish I had gone up to say one or two myself now, but at the time I was too engrossed in everyone else's secrets. One girl read out a text she and sent to her boyfriend earlier that day to break up with him, which was heartbreakingly sad, and told of how destructive their relationship had been. There were many that had beaten depression, or had bounced back from a suicide attempt and one girl that said she felt regret that her last suicide attempt hadn't been successful. One mad told of how he had kept a daughter a secret for 30 years after getting his teenage girlfriend pregnant. Another had fed her boyfriend mushrooms with maggots in the night before because she was too tired to recook their stroganoff.  I found this part of the event so inspiring, and the general atmosphere was one of support and acceptance. Every secret was applauded, even the girl who regretted her unsuccessful suicide attempt, albeit cautiously.  There was a young girl say in front of me through the event that never stopped rocking back and forth on her chair as though being there was the hardest thing ever. She seemed so shy and anxious, I was so proud of her for coming to the event anyway and staying for the entire thing. Is it weird to be proud of someone you don't know?  I came away from the even feeling strengthened somehow. It reminded me very much of when I used to go to religious meeting, and you would come away feeling strengthen by the presence of all these like-minded people. It was the same feeling I get from the blog each week, only tenfold. 

It was so worth the drive to Bristol, although my friend did the driving (thanks Josh!) and I really do encourage you to take a look at the site yourself and maybe buy one of the books! I now have two, signed by Frank no less and I love them. Prized possessions maybe?

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