Why I Keep Secrets
During my 15 hours flight from New York to Guangzhou, China, I was watching the second season of 13 Reasons Why. (I know, I’m late but better late than never right?). Anyway, during the episode, Tony was talking to Mrs. Baker and he said somewhere along the lines of: “Sometimes we keep secrets not because we want to hide them from others but instead, to protect others”. Like many others, I have my own share of secrets—some more serious than others which is why this quote really resonated with me. I grew up with the typical overprotective Asian parents but compared to the stories of some of my other friends’ parents—mine were not nearly as bad on the spectrum of “overprotective”. Sure, they might ask for the exact address whenever I head out of the house, the names of whoever I am hanging out with, their phone numbers—and yes, in extreme cases they would ask for my friend’s parents’ phone numbers. Despite this, they did give me the privacy and leniency that comes with transitioning from middle school to high school and high school to college—and I respect that. But I realized that there is a boundary that I clearly cannot cross when I am home in Brooklyn versus when I am dorming in the middle of Manhattan. My neighborhood in Brooklyn is real quiet at night, in contrast to the hectic nightlife in Manhattan—both of which raises red flags for my parents. They would say: “A young girl walking alone is bound to encounter “bad men” even in this little quiet neighborhood in Brooklyn”. The same reason applies for the bustling nightlife in Manhattan. That means that my late night 3AM trips to McDonalds just to get an order of medium fries are off limits. I still do this when I dorm in Manhattan but my appetite for fries can wait till the morning when I am in Brooklyn.
Midnight trips to McDonald’s by myself is merely a trivial example of what I mean by “secrets”. Of course, when I do decide to keep these so-called “secrets”, I exercise caution and access the situation. If I tell this other person my “secret”, will it cause harm or cause them to worry? If yes, then this secret will remain between me and myself. To me, I think that sometimes, by means of protecting others, it is better for them to know less.
I mention this topic of secrets because this ties into my personal goals and ambitions. If you can’t already tell, I have a “travel bug”. This basically means that I always yearn to travel—whether that is one state over to new jersey or on the opposite side of the world. That is why one of my mid-2018 goals includes going on a solo trip to anywhere. It doesn’t matter if this is to a bumblefuck state in the USA or overseas in Europe. Ever since I was young, I’ve always considered myself to be an independent person. It’s not that I don’t want others’ company or others’ help, but it’s because of the feeling of bothering others when I know that I can complete a task myself if I invest a little more extra time into the task. I’m not sure how I feel about calling it a “self-discovery” trip, but I’ll update y’all on that when it happens—hopefully before the end of 2018. But in order for me to do this, I have to keep this a secret. Causing my friends and family to worry gets me worried so we are all in this endless washing machine cycle of unnecessary stress. This also ties into my backpacking Europe trip that I already know that my parents will not be fond of. I’ll get more into that later. But in the meantime…
I would love to hear your biggest “secret”. You can comment anonymously—or not. You can even DM me on Instagram so we can exchange “bad decisions make good stories” stories.