Tuesday, 27 October 2009

I day I posted my 100th secret...

Here is my very special 100th secret! I will keep this short as there is a long celebratory post to follow. This secret was created by using some brightly coloured paper, a silver gel pen, a pink fineliner and some very cool mushroom stickers.

As part of the celebration of reaching 100 secrets I have collected the favourite secrets of other people along with some words explaining a little bit about why each secret was chosen. I think the most significant part for me of reading why other people have chosen each secret is the feeling that I am not alone in the secrets I reveal on AI. The aspect of postsecret that I have long admired is the ease with which I find secrets which I instantly connect to. Although my secrets are very personal to me, what I have always aimed for is a certain level of ambiguity which makes them easy to relate to. I believe that from the way each person speaks about their chosen secret that I may have, on some level, achieved the accessibility that is such an integral part of postsecret. This, more than anything, really makes the whole process worthwhile for me - so thank you for sharing.

Here are your favourite secrets:

H - So I’m not sure that it is allowed but I have selected not one but two of my favourite AI’s. I simply couldn’t choose between them...

I have selected this AI as one of my top two because not only do I whole-heartedly agree with the message behind it, I also LOVE the design. The texture created in the background and the ‘roughness’ of the printed letters, in my mind, only serve to emphasise the meaning of the message. The bold ragged letters seem to highlight the raw emotion being conveyed making it one of my all-time favourites.

This AI is the other of my two favourites. I think the design is beautiful (even more so since seeing the real-life version). I particularly like the way that the words seem to be suspended from threads that perhaps suggests that although the under-tone to the messages is essentially “Fuck You” there is a sense of fragility to this sentiment. Love you, love your work and will always support you.

M - My favourite secret constantly changes but at this moment it is "Getting Older Scares Me" because it relates to where I am now. The future is the great unknown - will I be happy, will I achieve my goals, when will I die? There are no comforting definites to cling on to; we are left with nothing but the certainty of uncertainty. Sometimes I worry that I worry too much about the future. Maybe I don't worry enough.

A - I’m going to have to start this with the caveat that this isn’t actually my favourite – not just because I’m too indecisive and averse to committing myself on such important questions, but because my favourite genuinely depends on my mood and what’s happening in my life at the time. However, this is a pretty strong contender for the title. I see postsecret (and AI) as being about discovering how your own experiences and feelings are there in the secrets which others reveal, and this one chimed with me instantly. I think about a lot of people a lot of the time, probably far more than I should – and I like the way this secret has an almost guilty tone to it. I also especially like the design. Black and white is possibly the best combination ever, and I love how simple it is, yet strangely complicated: at first I couldn’t tell if the creatures were birds or bats, and it was hard to say which way they’re flying. They seem to evoke the randomness and uncontrollability of thought perfectly. Both the words and the image made me stop and think, and now this secret is sometimes the subject of my thoughts itself.

P - I absolutely love this secret, not just because of how amazing it looks - the colours, textures etc - but because this is something that I think a lot of people can empathize with, yet not be able to express themselves. I think coming to terms with something in such a beautiful and creative way is extremely commendable and while I know that other secrets probably were harder to admit, I think this secret expresses that in a really quite stunning way.

A - My favourite secret is the one with the pressed flowers on it, it says 'I am fragile'. I think this one is really pretty and I like how each flower is perfectly placed and how the red writing stands out but not too much so it makes the picture kind of 'soft'. Pressed flowers are fragile and delicate so I like how you have used them for your secret. The style of this secret is victorian/edwardian which I really like as victorian things are also old and delicate which is good for your secret about being fragile aswell as the pressed flowers. The tea stained background gives the flowers a subtle tone and it really matches with the colours in the flowers. Altogether I think this secret is really really pretty and it is my favourite.

E- Of all the AIs, this is my favourite. The delicate flowers put together with the sharp red letters make it really striking and a nice contrast. I like the washed out yellow background too, it’s cool how it’s peeking through the flowers, blending it all together. Also the planning involved makes me think this secret deserves to be the best. Although I do have to slightly disagree with the message, as you do own a sufficiently lethal punch, which I have felt on many an occasion. I am fragile? I think it’s more ‘I am deadly’. Peace Out x

A - There were so many secrets I nearly chose for this, but recently this subject has been on my mind a lot. I really agree with this; and although I want to do certain things first, I want to be a father SO much, I can't wait. And although I see how stressed out my Dad can get and know the kind of freedoms I might lose; I can't wait! Perhaps It's not as strong a feeling as a maternal one, but it's there all the same and the sooner, the better! (maybe in 4 or 5 years though..) (but definitely before I'm 25 I hope!). Also, I like the way you made this one, much as I really like like your gold leaf ones (they really hit the spot) I made something in a similar style recently and still have glitter EVERYWHERE. How manly! Amelia, or Mills, I really admire you for doing this, for the time and effort you put into it, and the testicles to put things up that may offend and may expose things about you that you would never normally show. SO GOOD SHOW OLD BEAN!

MJ - This is my favourite secret of Amelia's because it applies to me as well. I also go to Oxford, and there are times when I feel like it's too hard, like I don't deserve to be here and like there's going to be nothing for me when I finish. Even though I've got friends to help me get through the bad times, when you're up until 4am and your lecturers don't seem to understand and you haven't got enough money to last the term, sometimes the anonymity of the Internet helps. 'Amelia Is...' is one of those websites that cheers me up every time I read it because it reminds me I'm not alone and that everyone has secrets.

M - This is my absolute favourite because for me it expresses hope and fear at the same time. We are so busy planning our futures thinking that it will be exactly as we want it to be... But what if it turns out compeltely different? Would that be such a bad thing? Personally, I can't wait to find out - I am quite in for a surprise, keeps life exciting. Thanks for sharing.

A - I think you already know my favourite secret is the very first one you made. I guess it's because I connect to this one the most as I know the whole story behind it. Of course I also connect to other certain secrets but this one in particular has always drawn me in. We spent so long sitting in NB5 with cups of tea and biscuits talking about how "I should've done Geography" and conjuring up ways to leave our courses without feeling like failures. However, I don't think either of us was ever 100% serious about it. I could NEVER leave Oxford because I met you and all these other amazing people who I love more than anything in the world. Last year was so hectic and stressful at times but I always knew that I could count on you or Alice or Marja or all of our other friends to be there and make it all ok. I look back on it and think about all the fun (and slightly odd) times we had. I could never regret coming to Oxford.
Then the exams came and we all panicked over revision. The results arrived and I felt as if I should just hide in a tiny little corner of the world, undisturbed. However, you were there for me too even though we were all at home for the vac. That long talk on facebook made so much difference after all that had happened and it really summed up the year for me. No matter what, I knew that I could always count on someone to be there and make it better. I think we both went through similar things last year in different ways. However, our conclusion was (and still is) the same; no more negativity. I love our new house and being a second year.

There doesn’t seem to be a much more appropriate way to conclude this section about favourite secrets of other people than right back at the beginning where I started all those months ago. I am very grateful to all of you who have told me about your favourite secret and, as I do with every post, revealed a small part of yourselves in doing so. The response I get from the people who read AI is what encourages me to continue to make secrets each day and I truly hope this never weakens. So all that is left for me to tell you in my 100th secret post is which of my secrets so far is my own favourite…

I have chosen this secret as my favourite because it gives me a small indication that I will be able to maintain and strengthen this project as I continue to work towards my goal of a year of secrets. The fact that I have managed to create 100 secrets still surprises me as I not only considered myself to be an honest person but I also thought I had very few secrets to actually share. However, AI has taught me that secrets can come in many different forms - it is not simply about revealing something painful that we try to keep hidden, it is instead about saying the things which you don't always have the courage to admit to other people, or even yourself, whether they be good or bad. This secret also gives me hope that I will be able to, someday, reveal to you and others the secrets which I find most difficult to commit to paper. Taking ownership of the secrets I expose on AI is the hardest part of the whole process. However, I think it is also the aspect of this project which has made me stronger and, hopefully, brave enough to reveal the hardest secrets of all.

Thank you for following my life in secrets so far and I hope you are looking forward to the next 100 secrets as much as I am. Enjoy!


  1. Happy 100th secret! Here's to hundreds more: your blog is a wonder and an inspiration and I'm so glad to be able to read it...

  2. Thank you, I am so glad it has lasted this long!

  3. I've looked forward to this post for ages. Thanks for keeping us engaged for so long! MJ has summarised everything for me...


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