Dear Anonymous

In my blog entry, “About as Naked as it Gets,” I wrote about finding a way through loss and pain. Stripped naked with a volcanic eruption of emotion, I transcribed my feelings into words about my journey thus far with grief. Deeply missing my mom and my aunt, who were two pillars of strength.

With Mother’s Day just passed, both of them have been on my mind. One might even say that I checked out on Mother’s Day by keeping myself busy, so I didn’t have to feel the loss – again. I also dodged social media a good part of the day. Some may call it avoidance, I prefer emotional preservation. I mostly succeeded until late Sunday evening after my husband and canine child were fast asleep. It was then that I let the tears acknowledging the day and my mom escape – all while cleaning the bathroom. Like I said – keeping myself busy.

Anyway, back to you Anonymous. It’s rare that someone leaves a comment on my blog posts here and that’s okay. I still keep coming back; albeit sporadically. But, this entry is dedicated to and inspired by you “Anonymous” because you left a message and it touched my heart.

I likely will never know who you are, but I need you to know that each time I go back to your kind words I smile. And sometimes when I read those words, it even brings tears to my eyes.

You say, “others will find something in your writing that moves them forward,” and I wonder, “will they?” It’s my hope as a writer – can I even call myself that – that something will resonate with someone. That, perhaps, when they read it, they will connect or feel inspired or also find the courage to share their story.

I’m not sure how else to navigate the waters I continue to find myself in other than to write. Except for those dark times when my mind takes me somewhere other than where I’d like it, and I retreat. Battling the internal demons, feeling like something is missing, wondering if I’ll ever fully commit. And yet, here I am. Back to writing. You would think I would get the hint.

But I am learning that this is where I work it out. Coming here allows me to map out the complexities in my mind and find the elixir to help me heal, to grow, and to learn. There’s always a blank page here to greet me. Quietly inviting me to let it out and me never knowing whose eyes may fall upon my words.

And, as you so clearly pointed out Anonymous, my “naked emotions are the healthiest showing there is, and I’m proud of you.”

To this, I say thank you, Anonymous. Sometimes letting myself show my vulnerability and wearing my emotions makes me feel like an outlier. But you remind me that it is okay to be this person. Although, I do struggle with being me sometimes. Then again, I always have.

This leads me to my next point. The part where you said, “Your mom made good stuff…that lasts.” I try to remember those words each day; especially lately when life seems to be challenging me at every turn. She was such a courageous woman. Never afraid to be herself. Never afraid to speak up. Never afraid to put herself before others. Never afraid to give me a good swift kick in the ass when I needed it.

I’m grateful to you, Anonymous, for reading my words and for sharing yours. Whether you realized it at the time, you were giving me the kick I needed to get out of my head. Slowly but surely I come back to your words for reassurance, for encouragement, and for inspiration. Thank you for giving me this gift.

I’ve been feeling lately like something is missing and I haven’t been able to pinpoint it. There have been so many changes in my life this past year and a half, and I realize in some ways I am still adjusting.

So, I’ve been remiss in writing and in exposing those inner layers of late because I haven’t been able to get out of my head. Until now. And that missing piece? Well, I’m pretty sure it’s this: writing. The place I stray from and come back to and stray from again. When it’s missing from my life, so am I. I guess you could say I am the prodigal writer returning home. Because when I’m here, I am home. Does that make any sense?

As for that “track for your journey,” Anonymous, here’s hoping because I don’t always feel like I am doing great. I try, though, and sometimes I fail. But here I am back it. Resilience in one hand and gratefulness in the other.

I don’t know who you are, Anonymous, but again I say “thank you.”


Laura Mikolaitis
Laura Mikolaitis
Laura credits her writing, which laid dormant for years, to her late mom, who always believed in her. Writing unabashedly from the heart and inspired by millions of moments, three tenets of evergreen advice that her mom always shared with her are her guiding principles. Whether it is poetry, fiction, or a personal essay, her love for the written word feeds her mind, body, and spirit. Laura’s creativity also comes to life in her passion for photography. Her ongoing love affair with the moon, her joy for family and friends, her connection to nature, and being a loving canine mom often become some of her best subjects. Laura has held many roles throughout her professional career, including Brand Manager, Project Manager, and Director of Global Business Development and Sales Operations. In addition, she has a background in consumer-packaged goods, manufacturing, and textiles. Laura currently works in biotechnology for Berkshire Corporation as their Product Marketing Manager. She holds a Master of Science degree in Communications and Information Management from Bay Path University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from SUNY Oswego. Originally from Northern NY, Laura resides with her husband and canine child in a small town in Massachusetts that captured her heart years ago.

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  1. Wow… I love this so much, Laura! I’m so sorry for your loss and your pain, but I’m so glad that you have found an outlet for your feelings. I, too, write as a way to get “out of my own head.” There is something about putting your thoughts on paper and seeing the written word that gives them a voice – even if it’s in my personal journal and the audience is just me. But as you say so eloquently here, few things are as rewarding to a writer than knowing your words have resonated with another person and maybe moved that person to think a little differently even for just a little while.

    “I’m grateful to you, Anonymous, for reading my words and for sharing yours. Whether you realized it at the time, you were giving me the kick I needed to get out of my head. Slowly but surely I come back to your words for reassurance, for encouragement, and for inspiration. Thank you for giving me this gift.”

    A gift, indeed! Thank you for sharing it with me.

    • Thanks so much, Melissa. I’m glad that this piece resonated with you. It’s freeing for me to get the words out of my head, especially when I’m feeling anxious or blue. So while it gives my thoughts a voice, it also calms my mind. It’s my art therapy.

      I’m grateful for all the people who take time to comment, and as you know, it builds a sense of community and often enhances our original insights. That’s the magic of communication and why I love it so much.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and contribute. As always, it’s a pleasure, and I value your feedback.

  2. Thank you for sharing your letter to Anonymous, Laura. Writing can be such a pathway to the inner depths of ourselves and a way to connect to the outer world of people-even if we don’t know them by name-if we haven’t even met them in person. By writing from this place of open, honest, vulnerability you see what is human in all of us-not just Anonymous but many others including me. Grieving the loss of ones we still love can be an intense heart-opening wail. I appreciate your words, writing, and you.

    • Thank you for your lovely words, Laura. I know you understand the depth of vulnerability in writing, and I thank you for your continued support and encouragement. Some days it scares me to peel back the layers and share what I do, but for whatever reason, I feel compelled to do so. And so here I am.

      I forgot that this piece was one I submitted to Dennis early on, and I am grateful for the timing of the recirculation. It’s like the universe is giving me these signs over and over. I should probably start to listen to them.

  3. Laura, as always, exquisite! I love reading everything you have written and am grateful for having the privilege of seeing your gifts. Think about all of the anonymous people whom you have touched. You may not know, but they do. Thank you!?

    • Thanks so much, Darlene, for your kind words and insight. It doesn’t always cross my mind that my words could be resonating with people without my knowledge, but I will carry that with me as I continue along this journey.
      I appreciate you taking the time to read my work, and for the continued support. It means a great deal to me.

  4. “Coming here allows me to map out the complexities in my mind and find the elixir to help me heal, to grow, and to learn.” I’m welling up with feeling, Laura. Your writing is so gorgeous and heartfelt. I could float in the buoyancy of it all day. Friend, you have so much to say. I hope more and more find you, and find as much connection, resonance, and safe arbor in reading your writing as you do in the act of writing.

    • Mary, thank you for your wonderfully kind and reassuring comments. It warms my heart to know it resonates with you, and what you say about floating in the buoyancy of it all day is so powerful. Thank you for your friendship and for being a fabulous chief encouragement officer. Your words carry positivity and inspiration, and for that, I thank you.

    • Thanks, Larry. I think that’s why the comment touched me the way it did because I have no idea who left it. I will probably never know either, and that is okay. I only hope the person is aware of how much their words impacted me.

  5. Laura, nice to meet you and read your writing here. The pain of loss is always with us in various strengths and at different times. Except for my husband I have lost all members of my family, the desire to touch, talk and love those no longer here is at times so strong. It cannot be otherwise as they were so much part of our lives.
    Trying to find others to fill the gaps left is hard. Now that i have made new friends, the pain is easing, never gone just readjusted. I hope you manage to reach a more comfortable stage soon.

    • Penny, it is a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for stopping by and reading my essay. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. I’m sorry about your losses and can imagine that it must be painful.

      It is good to know your pain is easing, and mine also has. It’s just stronger some days than others. Thank you for sharing the insight about “never gone just readjusted.” It’s such a healthy way to describe it. I’m thankful for a loving family and friends who are family – they are a great tribe, and together, we embrace the memories and move forward. One step at a time.

  6. Laura – Thanks for sharing this and reminding all of us that the comments we make here in the BC360 forum are important because they are kind, respectful, and offer encouragement. They can uplift – even when our names are hidden – and that can make a big difference to the author and the other folks who read the post and comments. You just do not find that in other social media sites. Glad you shared this – you touched my heart.

    • You’re welcome, Len. Thank you for reading and for sharing in this forum. I agree that what happens here is stimulating – the respect, kindness, and encouragement we exchange uplifts and inspires. It makes me want to write more, read more, and share more.
      I guess you could say when I was lost, I found myself through writing. Even to this day, it brings me home.

    • Thank you Len – as we’ve said often, we are simply the very orchestra conductors, blessed with the opportunity to share the music authored by so many talented writers – we appreciate that – and we appreciate you!

  7. Laura, you speak for many of us in your response here, that we write to explore our own internal messages, to express ourselves in a way that heals, and helps us grow. I can also relate to the idea of sharing to help others process their own experiences, knowing they’re in the company of others in similar situations. I’d also like to thank your friend, Anonymous, for encouraging you when your regular readers might miss a cue here and there. Your voice is missed when you take those much-needed breaks from using it.

    • Thanks for your lovely sentiments, Sarah. It means a great deal to me. It doesn’t occur to me that people might miss my voice when I’m absent from writing. So, thank you for mentioning it. You made my heart smile.
      Writing is such a great escape for me, and it’s taught me that it is okay to unfold the layers and to expose the intricacies if I so choose. But it is also because of people like you that I am here, Sarah. Your writing always inspires me, as do you – and it made me want to try it. So, thank you for being there and for cheering me on. You make a difference.

  8. Oh Laura, I just adored this piece you so sincerely wrote. So much was said in you giving thanks to Anonymous. It gave me the feeling that you were conveying that it is surprising who can affect you and how. To have faith that inspiration comes and someone can truly see you when and as needed. I am so happy you received the impetus you needed to release yourself from your mind and move deep into your heart.

    I truly feel in this work, this was all heart and so very very authentic.

    Thank you Laura, I love reading your work at whatever point of your journey you happen to grace us with.


    • Maureen, thank you so much. The comment from Anonymous moved me, and I felt compelled to write about it. I am always grateful when someone takes the time to engage, but there was something about that particular one. It spoke to me on a level that I didn’t expect, and I hope that Anonymous knows.

      I’m so glad that you enjoy reading my work, Maureen and I do appreciate your support and encouragement.

  9. This is beautiful, Laura. And beautifully written. Make no mistake: Your words definitely resonate with me. As a lifelong writer, and someone who has struggled with anxiety for just as long, I get it. When the demons take root, it takes everything we have to fight back. They are vicious and deceitful. They will tear us down if we let them. Tell us we’re not good enough, or strong enough. Or…anything enough. If we give in, we’re done. I’m sorry about your mother and aunt. I understand the pain of such a loss. I lost both my parents within two weeks of one another from Stage 4 lung cancer. Keep writing and sharing. And I will keep reading.

    • Sherry, thank you for sharing with me here. I’m sorry about your parents. I can’t even imagine how painful it must have been to lose them so close together. I do miss my mom and aunt deeply, but I am comforted by their memory.

      I agree that it is hard to fight back when the demons take hold – and it can take a while to come out from the darkness. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and believing in myself is the most challenging thing I’ve had to do. But the battle is worth it in the end as it makes me stronger and more determined to keep paving the way.

      Thank you for reading Sherry and for being a part of the conversation.

  10. Somehow I got drawn into watching a movie called “5 to 7.” I don’t know if it is critically acclaimed, or if anyone else thinks that it is any good. I loved it, but it was my attraction to the characters that did it, as it usually does. Without a huge spoiler alert, I won’t divulge the story or the plot, as it isn’t really germane to my point here. In that movie, the protagonist, a young writer says and I have to paraphrase: “Sometimes the very best writing anyone can do is written for an audience of one.”

    Or John Steinbeck said it earlier “Your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person-a real person you know, or an imagined person-and write to that one.” And we never who that one will be, or how it will strike them, or how it will play out. And maybe it won’t resonate much with the one person we direct something to, and someone else will think it the most eloquent thing ever written. We can’t know how what we write or say will fall upon the eyes or ears of someone who finds it. A writing seminar that I went to one time taught me this: The best writing is something that plows its way through the noise and cacophony of the world and enunciates a central truth, to either yourself or a single reader, or a bunch of readers.

    That we could all have that one critic, reader, fan, whatever- anonymous or whomever, who clangs that bell and stands up and yells “Bingo! – You nailed it.” Honestly, as I write, I never know if what I am clacking away at is the biggest pile of crap or something pretty profound, all that I know is, at that moment, it had to be said, or I won’t sleep tonight, or I won’t be able to get untracked to get anything else done. And sometimes, that is enough.

    I may not always stop and take the time to respond or tell you how something resonated with me Laura, but you always make me think. Thanks for clanging my bell.

    • Tom, thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I love the idea of writing for one, and the quotes resonate. Like you, when I write, I’m never sure how it will be perceived. All I know is that I am compelled to write, and if I don’t do it, then I feel off balance. Sometimes I don’t publish what I write, but just getting it out of my head makes a difference.

      I appreciate your taking the time to read my work, Tom, and I am pleased to know it makes you think. Your writing invokes the same in me. Thanks for being here and for sharing your words with me.