It's a secret.
I'm an open person; it is quite possible that I share more than I should.
Still, I always hold a number of secrets at any given time.
I remember when I was in the middle school and distinctly felt that until I told my girlfriends about something, it hadn't truly happened. My younger self thought the mere act of re-envisioning an occasion by transferring your experience verbally somehow solidified its existence.
I still experience this urge to "word-vomit" the things I experience, but now I've come to the realization that exposing my secrets is not always in my best interest.
For one, the obvious, inevitable exposure of your secret promises the verbal transfer will occur eventually. I do not believe secrets can remain buried forever, even if they become exposed years later.
They will end up exposed and bare, bringing back unwanted emotions, for secrets are secrets for reasons.
We are all to blame for this casualty.
I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say that I never told others' secrets. I think we can all admit we divulge secrets because they are secrets for a reason—raw juiciness. I enjoy story time with my cross-country friends, repeating the theatrical lives of my Tennessee tribe.
Even though they don't know Jack and Jill, I'm still telling someone they went up the hill.
On the other side of the whisper, sometimes the secret you must keep is the betrayal of someone else's secret-keeper in the first place: "I promised not to tell so you really can't say anything."
I get this precursor often. If we could track a secret, I'd bet it gets around to a dozen people in a dozen days—for every person you tell, they probably tell two more.
Our secret clientele's inability to keep their mouths shut is reason enough not to spill the beans, but our clientele's appreciation for our secrets proves much more demeaning.
Secrets are secrets because they hold weight in your psyche and expose a litany of vulnerabilities: your biggest mistakes, shameful encounters, precious moments, prideful exhibitions and passionate ideas on life.
Nothing is worse than undressing your thoughts while your friend SnapChats or interrupts your gift-giving with mindless drivel: "O-M-G. I broke a nail... sorry go on."
I redress myself and move along.
After sharing a secret with someone who doesn't cherish it as much as I do, I feel perturbed inside, as if I someone walked in on me changing. They shouldn't have seen what they saw—now they know parts about me that I wish they didn't.
You cannot take back what you have said, just as you cannot erase what someone sees.
I've kept a journal since middle school and yes, I've re-read them; I had to, despite the embarrassment. I had to read my secrets, because otherwise, I would never have satisfied the beliefs of my younger self, the girl who needed to share her secrets with someone.
I've also confided in a few people: different people for different secrets, and only those that understand the vulnerability of the raw self.
Before you get all excited about revolutionary experiences, thoughts and actions in your life, hold onto your secret for a few days. Instead, write it down and wait for the perfect person in the perfect moment.
When someone addresses you with valued information, be there for him or her. Listen. Put your phone down and don't interrupt. It is not hard to tell when someone is stripping in front of you—vulnerability is written all over his or her face; dripping from their tone; moving within their body language. They are naked.
Whether beautiful or shameful, respect the openness. Close your mouth.
Julie Mrozinski is a junior in English. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.