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Honest & Open This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      Last night I wrote a column for the school newspaper that described how I feel right now in brutally honest terms. I emailed it to our wonderful editor, and while she loved it, she also asked a very good question: “Do you want the entire school body, including our senior class, the staff, and the nuns to read this?”

That question pretty much matched my thoughts. I’m not a very open person; I tend to let only a few friends know exactly what’s going on in my life. I suppose that’s where my personality contradicts itself, because I’m also an honest person.

Being honest is difficult. It involves taking risks - huge risks - and putting yourself on the edge. Opening up to someone can be the hardest thing in the world and either lead to hurt feelings or stronger friendships. During the course of my life, I’ve experienced both.

In some ways, being honest can be a relief. Pretending is not only difficult, it’s downright exhausting. Last year, when I discovered that I could be open with two people whom I was already good friends with, the load on my shoulders felt much lighter. It’s comforting to know that I can say almost anything without fear of being judged or mocked. Telling someone your innermost feelings is scary; trusting someone with your heart and soul is hard. Of course, putting one’s feelings into print for the general population to read is also rather frightening.

When I write, my brain turns off, which allows my subconscious to do the talking. Half the time, I don’t even know what I’m rambling on about but somewhere in the incoherent babble comes feelings straight from my heart, unfiltered by my brain and its twisted thinking process.

I blew off my homework the other day to finish a book called Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. It tells the story of a girl who hides her feelings, burying them deep inside. Buried feelings, however, resurface at random moments, and you always have to be ready to repress them again. Hiding behind a wall might keep you safe for a while, but eventually the pressure will shatter it into a million pieces.

Both keeping and telling secrets is hard. But then, life is hard. There are never easy answers, and it seems as you get older the questions get more complex. Life’s difficulties, however, are made easier when you have someone to share them with. It seems that answers are always changing, and there’s always another side to ponder.

Now I have a new quandary: which column should I have published? The utterly honest and open column, or this one, where I contemplate being honest without actually revealing anything? Should I take the risk, or continue to hide under my mask, in my safe corner?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 6 comments. Post your own!

iCanReal8 said...
Aug. 29, 2009 at 1:39 pm:
You remind me of myself so much. except i could never give somethings so personal away so everyone could see. Ask yourself, who do i want to know all about me? If you really want everyone to know these things, take the risk. But if you dont thats ok to. Apart from my other friends, I have one trusted friend that i tell everything to, and she for the lost part turns to me to for things like this. Also you may want to get a Penzu account? Remember, you dont HAVE to tell anyone, if you feel like it... (more »)
 
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Leanne B. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 6, 2009 at 7:37 pm:
"CutiePie"
Last time I checked you were in control of your actions, not God. And if you left God control your life, you're going no where. Rachel P sounds like the kind of person who's ready to deal with her own problems and not shove them off on someone else. Wonderful writing btw Rachel. I think you'll be fine. :]
 
AmnyR replied...
Sept. 7, 2009 at 6:25 pm :
if you dont let God into your life you arent going anywhere. only in God will anyone have success. He isnt there to "shove your problems off on", He takes on your problems with you whether you ask or not because he loves you.
 
awesomeaugustThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 7, 2009 at 8:00 pm :
hi to the author,
I really enjoyed this article and thought that not only was it really well written but gave me a lot to think about. Sometimes I have trouble being completeley open and sharing my thoughts myself. I didn't used to have very good friends and couldn't tell them anything I didn't want everyone to know. To this day I don't share any of my secrets with my friends even though I have really good ones now. It's just the fear that I might not be able to ... (more »)
 
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CutiePie said...
Apr. 5, 2009 at 10:05 pm:
i think this is wonderful piece. I commend you on the way it was written. I can totally relate to the topic that holding things in is extremely hard. Some times you just have to let go and let God deal with it.
 
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tasharocks said...
Dec. 15, 2008 at 12:20 pm:
take the risk
 
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