Wiping Away the Condensation

As some of you may know, last week I unearthed a post from my drafts folder and brought it back to life. It was a 2-year-old post and it just felt right to give it some love and attention – finally. And today, I find myself there again. Revisiting the maybe someday post moratorium.

Now, I admit, I’ve been a bit blue lately. It’s winter in New England, and although I’m okay with the weather most of the time, I hate feeling so confined. But more than that, I really long for my normal workout routine and not my modified winter one. I guess you could say I’ve been experiencing some discontent, and perhaps it is this discontent that brings me back to that folder. That ever so quiet nudge that says “open me.”

When I looked at the date of the draft it was from last March. As I read through the post, I clearly remember the day that I wrote it and what inspired it. It was a weekday, lunchtime to be exact and I had gone out to grab a bite to eat. The weather was typical for that time of year: grey, dreary and a bit of rain and snow falling ever so slightly. Just enough to make it wet and messy; and for me to regret that I had on boots with 3” heels. I can remember having to turn on my wipers to clear away the muck that had splashed up on my windshield from the car that had just sped by. And that’s when the idea for the post came to me.

Sometimes I get lost in the moment. That day happened to be one of those days. I’m always amazed at how something that seems so trivial can really turn out to be enlightening. I’m not sure what connected in that act of using the windshield wipers. But one thing was for sure. It reminded me of a time when I was afraid to clear away the so-called muck. And maybe, just maybe, in that instant I understood how all the pieces fit together.

And so I wrote the post below but I never published it. I could give you a million reasons why, but I’m pretty sure I covered that the last time. If you’re curious, you can find out why here.

Again, for me, it boils down to perspective and there are many ways in life that I’ve gained it. And there have been people who have helped me to understand it better too. People like you. The readers, the writers, the conversation starters and the passerby. The people who share their thoughts and their experiences and even those who don’t. Whether you know it or not, somewhere along the way you might be helping someone wipe away that condensation.

So here’s to the person who has a story to tell but isn’t sure whether or not to do so. Here’s to the person who really wants to write a comment and engage in conversation but hasn’t quite mustered the courage to do so. I say go ahead. Take the leap. Accept that voice that is telling you it’s okay to do it. Because you just never know.

As for me, if I hadn’t wiped away the condensation I’m not sure I’d have found my way here to share my stories with you.


Wiping Away the Condensation

Condensation filled the mirror. Yet I was not ready to wipe it away. For wiping it away meant seeing. Seeing meant accepting. And accepting meant change. And that was a trifecta that scared the hell out of me.

I had a professor in undergrad who once said: “if you cannot change something, then tolerate it.” Throughout the years, I’ve often reached for those words. While I felt that there was merit to what he said, I also gleaned new meaning; particularly with respect to change. After all, change is a powerful word and I am continually intrigued by its ability to evoke such a broad range of emotions.

For a long time, I practiced the latter part. I tolerated a toxic environment because I didn’t think I could change it. I tolerated my weight because excuses were easier. I tolerated the drama, chaos and numerous curve balls I found coming my way. And I tolerated the negativity that had besieged me; thereby fortifying a mindset that I couldn’t change things.

You see, what I failed to realize was that I could change things. Maybe not necessarily the circumstances, but I could certainly alter the manner in which I dealt with them.

I could change the way I think.

I could modify my habits to include a healthier lifestyle.

I could believe in me, my abilities and what I’m capable of.

I could think and say “I can” and “I will” instead of “I can’t” or “I won’t.”

And while I couldn’t eliminate the toxicity, I could certainly change the level with which I let it infect me.

Looking back, I was an enabler. I allowed my mindset to fester. It started out small and perhaps unintentional. But it was left unattended, it gained ground and then boom. Full-on inflammation! Crimson red and tender to the touch. Puffy, ugly, starting to seep. I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I had permitted it to enter and now I had to own it.

I had to own that I had let myself become someone other than who I recognized in the mirror. I became complacent in my quest for tolerance and neglected the power of change. I was lost in the intricacy of the maze and I needed to find my way out. I was finally ready to wipe away the condensation from the mirror and face me.

And once I did, I embarked on a cathartic journey – at times long and arduous but definitely worth the miles. I used to think that life had different plans for me. However, as it turns out, I had different plans for life.

Writing from the heart…always.

Thank you for meeting me here. Feel free to read, share, like, comment. Whatever you choose, I’m glad you stopped by.


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. Laura, I must apologize if I did not comment on or acknowledge your article. Let me start off by saying you did a superb job of writing. We all have our perspectives about who we are along with things we know or want to change. Our ability to make that change depends on how willing we are to take this challenge on. When it comes to change some of us can be like children and reactively as many children hate and resist change. They will do what they can to stop the change from happening or letting their feelings be known inappropriately at times. You deserve a ton of credit for being truthful with yourself by admitting there are changes you want to and have to make and then putting these thoughts into action. Winter here in New York can have many gray days which impacts moods especially mine. Driving or walking in snow that has turned to slush or ice is no fun. I hope you have a happy, healthy and satisfying year.

  2. “I used to think that life had different plans for me. However, as it turns out, I had different plans for life.” Gorgeous writing, Laura. AND, thank you for sharing this story, not only the rescued post, but the intro too! “I became complacent in my quest for tolerance and neglected the power of change.” I can relate to this sentiment, and the resulting inflammation and pain. Thank you for helping me move just a bit, the needle on the gauge in my mind, toward self-empowerment.

    • Thank you, Mary, for your uplifting comments. They mean a lot to me as do your support and encouragement. I’m thankful that Dennis recirculated this article for me. The timing is spot on too. Sometimes I need to be reminded of how far I’ve come and the growth that accompanies it. It keeps me moving forward when I need it most. I’m so glad my words helped you in some small way.

  3. Laura, thank you so much for sharing this personal and powerful story. There are so many pieces of this that really resonate with me. I think everyone has been in the much and it’s easier to pretend we can’t see that thing right in front of us and often the obstacle to happiness, success, love, fill in the blank with whatever you chase. I know I’m guilty of it and sometimes it takes work and courage to step up and “wipe the condensation away” to see what is really there.

    I’m glad that you pulled this one out of the dark and shared it with us!!

    • Melissa, thanks for your kind and thoughtful comments and for taking the time to share them with me. I’m glad that in some way it resonated with you. It’s good to know that I’m not alone in feeling this way. For too long, I thought I was a victim of circumstances – and it ate away at me. It was such an awakening moment when I realized that I was a survivor of them instead. Being able to own it and figure out a way to rebuild wasn’t easy, but it was what I knew I needed to do to find my way to the surface.

      Somedays, I think back to that time, and I don’t recognize the person who used to be there. It’s still me but a different me – stronger, more accepting, and better able to manage the muck. I still struggle, and there are challenges that test me to the core, but my mindset is healthier. I am healthier. So, I am better equipped to wipe away that condensation, take that deep breath, and dive into the layers.

      Thanks for the support, Melissa. It means a lot to me!

  4. Beautiful reminder that the shift happens on the inside of us- in the new choices we make, the brave letting go of what no longer serves our lives, the step into what does lift our hearts out of the murk, the muck. Wiping away that condensation does help us see clearly-like clearing some clutter in our physical spaces or our hearts. Jumping into the driver’s seat of our lives becomes such an empowering moment. Thank you for your courage, for inviting others to join the journey to heart/mind/body/soul liberation.

    • Laura, thank you for reading and for sharing your insights with me. Dennis kindly recirculated this piece that I wrote a while back, and it is an excellent reminder to me of how far I’ve come in my journey. It wasn’t easy wiping away that condensation and facing forward, but it was necessary. I’m also grateful for a loving, supportive, and encouraging tribe who cheers me on along the way; especially on the murkier days when it is harder to wipe it away.

      Thanks again for being a part of the conversation, Laura. I always enjoy it.

    • Thank you, Johnny, for your kind words and encouragement. I appreciate you taking the time to share them.