Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree and Rising.
My office cleared out early—Relay for Life, family problems, emergency dental work, scheduled time off—and I was left as one of only a few in the building and in charge of my office. The big talk at work is about the retirements being offered because there’s not enough money to pay Federal salaries. People have until the second week of May to put in their paperwork and then they can leave after 1 October. I’m not eligible, but there’s talk of RIF’s and furloughs, too. And of course, they’re not hiring any replacements or they’re officially “delaying” hiring until October.
But that’s no secret. People are talking about their plans, trying to decide. I feel a bit in the dark since I’m one of the few people on my floor who didn’t get the “letter.”
Of those left in my building by afternoon, some mentioned that there’s no such thing as secrets in these days of MySpace, Facebook, etc. They were upset at the lack of secrets among their neighbors and in their community, yet at the same time they felt that loving couples should have absolutely no secrets from each other.
I like that idea of a couple having no secrets. I think it’s unrealistic for most people.
I had secrets from my ex. He from me, too, though it took a while to figure them out. Most of my secrets were small things that I didn’t feel I could share—my feelings about something he disliked or disapproved of, usually my religion—so I kept it to myself rather than be subjected to his opinion on it and early on, that was just fine. It was less fine the more I wanted to be accepted for myself.
Would I keep secrets in a new relationship? I’ve given it a lot of thought over the past few years, and I don’t think so. I’m not at a place in my life now where I want to hide any part of myself from a partner or feel I won’t be loved if I’m open about a particular opinion or desire. I’d rather not be in a relationship than have to erect shields around me so the real me won’t be seen.
But hey, maybe that’s the point because I’m not in a relationship right now.
I have very, very few secrets in my life right now, though some things I don’t openly discuss because I don’t want to hear anyone else’s opinions. It’s so freeing to be open about who I am, what I believe, what I want out of life—without being particularly concerned what anyone else thinks. I don’t ever want to go back into the closet about who I am as a person.
As for the secrets I do have now, they are all to protect someone else because public knowledge might hurt or embarrass them. The only people who might figure them out would have to know me extremely well and be able to figure out how my mind works.
And I think if anyone ever did figure out how my mind works, there’d be no need to keep any secrets from that person at all.