I have secrets. They are not big or important. They are not damaging or hurtful. They are just my secrets. And I intend to keep them.
Some secrets are personal. They are my hopes and my dreams and my wildest imaginations. They are the things I think about as I’m falling asleep, that I wish on birthday candles, and that I write in journals stacked on my bedside table. These secrets are the inner-workings of my mind that swirl around in my brain but are not finished yet. Just like me, they are a work-in-progress. They are my to-do list that I don’t want you to see in case I cannot finish. They are the stories in my head that I may never get on paper. They are the people that I will probably never be.
Some secrets belong to others. They are a fourth-grade crush on a boy or a moment of weakness. They are long gone, but not quite forgotten. They do not belong here. They belong to lost friends from years ago, to people who are no longer the same, and to a version of me that no longer exists. I have these secrets, but they are not mine to tell. They are not even mine to keep, and I would give them away if I had somewhere safe to put them.
Some secrets are hardly secrets at all. They are the things I am not ready to share and the things I do not trust you to keep. They are the inconsequential moments, the somethings that became nothings, and the fears that came and went and never took hold. I do not share these secrets because they are not me. They are moments of failure or behaviors that were out of character. You do not need to know them because even I do not need to know them. They are useless and they are fleeting.
These are my secrets. They may not be big, but they are important to me. I will show them to you in my own time, if or when I am willing. But you are not entitled to them. They are not yours to reach in and grab, like a penny or a mint.
My secrets are the threads that hold me together; the stitching that connects the parts of me that you know and love. Just because I keep them from you does not mean you do not know me. It means there are parts of me you may never understand because they are not yours, just as there are parts of you that are not mine. Keeping them to myself does not mean I do not love you, or I do not trust you, but that I cannot even begin to explain all the hopes and fears and failures that molded me into my current shape.
They are just my secrets. And I intend to keep them.