Abby Hevert ’15
“Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.” -Paul Tournier, Christian Physician & Psychotherapist
Sometimes, when I am walking around campus in between classes, I take a break from checking my phone and look up to see my Providence College peers. They are, on the surface, practically perfect. Scenes of thin, pretty girls clad in Hunter Boots and J Crew sweaters fill my eyes. Handsome boys in similar preppy or athletic fashion also pass by. Both genders talk about the quizzes coming up in their classes, the people they have been texting, the events coming up this weekend, and their respective club meetings this week. They have everything going for them. Most have been on sports teams in high school or took part in student council. Providence College students are, no doubt, successful people. However, I am also curious about what happens to us when we close the door to our dorm rooms. When we get the bad news. When we get rejected. When we embarrass ourselves. When we have to go see the doctor. When we get scared. When we have trouble paying our bills. When we can’t sleep. When we call home. When home calls us.
I have written, at this point, a few different articles on being imperfect and experimenting with failure. Many people have reached out to me, throughout the PC community, who have expressed the relief in realizing that there is at least one person in this world who shares one of their same fears. There is so much peace in realizing that we are not alone. Yes, we may still get hurt. But, at least we know that we get hurt together. We are not some exceptions to “the rule”; every human goes through hardship. The difficult part about hard times is that we sometimes convince ourselves that no one else is going through them as well. As a result, we bury our secrets inside of us. We decide to not tell anyone about the things that make us squirm, make us doubt ourselves, and make us lose sleep. And, so, what happens? The squirming continues, the doubt morphs into paralyzing shame, and the insomnia makes us sick. We begin to seclude ourselves and continue to cultivate this shame. After all, everyone has two stories. One people want you to know, and one they do not.
I am in the quest of finding out what is not so pretty about us, what makes us nervous, what makes us sad, what makes us disappointed, what makes us…us. After all, if we knew more about each other, our compassion for each other would increase exponentially. We would know just a little bit more about the lives our peers really live, and not just the ones they pretend to live. We could also feed our own souls by knowing at least one other heart in this world may beat with not-so-perfect vibrations as well. We could find other hearts that say to our hearts: “you are not alone.” Oh, these hearts exist. They exist in your dorm hallway. They exist in your economics class. They exist in the library. They exist at Providence College.
So, it is now that I ask my PC classmates: What is your second story? What is one thing that you would never want anyone to know? It is through the vehicle of this article that I ask you all to participate in a new movement called P-Secrets. Similar to the literary phenomenon “Post Secret” I am asking for anonymous submissions of secrets about yourself, and no one else. Comments will be censored for slanderous language about other people. This is not a time to confess anything to any one person in particular; it is a time to let a secret out into the world in order to promote the notion that “we are not alone.” These secrets will be submitted through an anonymous survey so that I will not even know the names of those who submit. It will be through this survey that I can compile a new article about the things we hide from each other for the sake of seeming perfect to one another. It will, hopefully, become one that we can all reference when we feel as though we are in this battle against ourselves by ourselves. After all, the battle at keeping our secrets has been long and hard. It is time to put down our armor and expose our hearts. The time, now, is for rest.
Now is the time for respite from the things that secretly plague us.
Follow the link to take part in P-Secrets: