The Secret Gold by Nevada McPherson
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Nevada McPherson as she shares with us “The Secret Gold.” Enjoy!
I can’t remember if it was a message in a fortune cookie or a daily horoscope but the other day I read a sentence that gave me pause.
It said: “Your deepest secret is your greatest strength.”
That got me to thinking about what might be my deepest secret and how that could turn out to be my greatest strength.
I’ve been considering writing some personal essays this summer (in between working on some screenplay rewrites) and what I might write about, but to tap into my deepest secrets is a little scary. Why?
Because sharing personal aspects of my life is not one of my favorite things. It makes me feel exposed, a little paranoid, and somehow at a disadvantage.
I don’t even like repeating gossip or secrets…
…about others because it makes me feel uncomfortable (i.e. exposed, paranoid, etc. even if it isn’t my secret).
Just not saying anything enables me to avoid the sickening “Gee, I wish I hadn’t said that” moments along with the knowledge that once something is said and one can’t unsay it and then it has a life of its own and like a cat out of the bag can go anywhere, hide under anything.
And yet . . .
And yet when I read the personal essays and first person articles by others who have garnered the courage to speak their truth no matter how unflattering it may be, I’m transfixed by the honesty of it.
I’m grateful for uncomfortable honesty when others share it about themselves.
I learn from their stories, often identifying with them, and discovering that I am not alone at times when I would have thought I was totally alone in what I might be experiencing, whether it be painful, embarrassing, or just a plain case of utter failure in some area where I should have known better, should have seen it coming.
I appreciate others sharing…
…their deepest secrets and through their choice to do that I can see their strength and come closer to discovering that strength in myself.
What if my willingness to share will do the same for other readers, and renew my strength as well?
If I can share a secret that would by itself be a debilitating force in my life unshared, can good come from it if other people find courage and inspiration from my story?
Sounds like a worthwhile pursuit but perhaps one hitch could be that when we share our deepest secrets and biggest foul-ups, disappointments and hard lessons, we don’t always come out looking good.
These aren’t our proudest moments after all.
Is it possible people read these stories to look down on us, to feel better reading about someone else feeling badly?
It’s possible, but more likely people read about others’ former secrets to see how the writer persevered, survived and even thrived.
When that happens, the secret loses its power over the person sharing it, and readers learn something that will help them on their journey, from someone who may be a little further down the road of experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nevada McPherson lives with her husband Bill and rescue Chihuahua, Mitzi in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she is an associate professor of Humanities at Georgia Military College. Nevada received a BA in English/Creative Writing and an MFA in Screenwriting from Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge. She has written over a dozen feature-length screenplays, plays, short stories and the graphic novels, Uptowners and Piano Lessons. Queensgate, the sequel to Uptowners, is her third graphic novel. For more information, visit www.nevada-mcpherson.com.