The Power of Keeping Secrets

Secrets are powerful things. Not just for the person who has been entrusted with the secret, but the person who gives the secret to someone else to keep safe.

Something strange happened this morning. I was told a secret.

The secret isn’t really that important, but it is to the lady who told me. I gave her the only advice I had to give, and it was mostly made up of things I’m trying to teach myself.

  1. We only get to do this once, so we should at least try and  be happy
  2. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. If you are comfortable with yourself and your decisions, then that’s what matters.
  3. It is nobody else’s business

Then I realised, by giving me her secret, she’d made me feel important. It’s nice to be trusted. It’s a big compliment. And that there is where the power lies…

It’s like a currency really.

Then it started me thinking, is this lady my friend? We’ve known each other for a couple of years, and we always laugh together. But when do you stop being someone you see a few times a week because your paths cross, to actually being friends? When do you move into that other box? Does she think we are already in that box together and I’m lost and lagging behind in the other box?

I can be slow accepting friendship. That’s an understatement. I often wake up years later, and realise I have a “new” friend, who has been trying to get me into that other tick box for AGES. Take my climbing buddy for example. We used to work together. We haven’t worked together for maybe 8 years. We’ve kept in touch all this time and it was only after two months of climbing together every frickin’ week that I realised, hey, this guy is my friend!

So why am I so resistant to it? I don’t know if it’s a trust thing or if I am just a little bit oblivious to those opportunities. I feel self conscious. I don’t think I make good first impressions. Or second impressions. Hmmm. I feel uncomfortable trying new things by myself. Which is why I am forcing myself to do it so much at the moment.

In the last ten days, I’ve done four “brave” things by myself:

  1. I went to a brand new climbing place – and I loved it
  2. I did my local Parkrun – and I made a friend, so what if I never see her again
  3. I went to a Rabble meet up – the group was small, so I spoke to everyone, I really enjoyed myself…
  4. I went to my usual climbing place by myself – I spoke to the only other lady climber there and learnt some new and exciting things.

I can’t explain how free all of  this makes me feel. I like to think I push myself, but I think maybe I ignore this particular comfort zone because it’s the one I am most, well, comfortable ignoring!

By proving to myself that I can do these things, by myself AND have fun, it’s making me feel so good. I feel free, full of hope and opportunity. It is actually freeing my mind – I’m having all sorts of ideas. I feel like I can just say yes to things, I don’t have to keep placeholders anymore out of some false sense of duty.

It’s great, everyone should try new things, especially if they make you feel uncomfortable.

This turned out to not be about secrets at all. Woops.

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