You are the Glue

You are the Glue

My name is Laura, and I have a confession to make. I struggle with being enough. Despite my best efforts to manage my self-care and to keep my mindset flowing positively, sometimes I fail. Miserably. Some days, that strong, confident, resilient, work in progress that I am gets lost.

There are days when being on social media makes me feel like I am not enough, and I hate that. As much as I love to write, I sometimes sit back and ask myself, “why am I doing this?” and “will this lead anywhere?” As blessed, as loved, and as happy as I am in my life, somedays I can’t help but be envious of those around me. As many small successes as I’ve had, suddenly, they don’t seem so successful. Even though I exercise regularly and have made great strides in improving my mind, body, and spirit, there are days when I feel like my good isn’t good enough.

From a mindset that, more often than not, thinks, “why not me?” it becomes “why me?” 

Then, I fall ever so slightly back.

I recoil.

I brood.

I cry.

I withdraw.

And sometimes I break.

Sometimes the pieces are scattered on the floor. They stare back at me. They beg me to pick them up and glue them back together.

I look at the pieces, and I wonder how did I get here?

I say to them: “I don’t have any more glue. So, how can I put you back together?” 

Only to have the shards of the layers that fell to the floor say back to me: “YOU are the glue.”

For any of you who know me or have read any of my previous musings on personal introspection and the quest to persevere, you know it hasn’t been an easy road. Even though I am in a healthy space most of the time, lately, I have been struggling, especially with believing that I am enough.

Here’s the thing. Deep down, I know that I am. But knowing and believing aren’t always mutually exclusive, and it’s taken me a while to figure that out. I know I can do a lot of things, and I have. But only after I believed that I could. It’s easy to lose sight of that latter part.

Somewhere, however, between deep down and the surface lies a middle layer that isn’t always sure. It’s where all the mixed up, gelatinous, uncertain, and sometimes sour ones congregate, and they can be a hot mess. It’s those mass of feelings that bubble to the surface and try to negotiate their way into my life. And they aren’t quiet about it!

Shushing those feelings isn’t easy, and navigating them isn’t always a cakewalk. Sometimes, they win – temporarily. Most times, they don’t. While I don’t always come out the victor right away, I continue to learn ways to manage better.

However, what stands out the most is that I am human, and I have feelings. Whether they are good feelings or bad ones, they are mine, and I own them. We are inextricably connected.

There are often implications in society that we shouldn’t let our vulnerabilities show. I say, piss off. And I say that as a person – and as a woman – who has picked up the pieces over and over again.

I am the glue, and I am enough.

So, if you are ever having a day, a week, a month – or even a year – where that hot mess bubbles to the surface, please know that you are not alone. I’m right here with you, and I’ll happily share some glue with you anytime.


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. What, are you a mind reader, too, Laura? I periodically wrestle with this question and now is one of those periods. It’s rainy and dreary here in NYC on this Sunday, WHICH DOESN’T HELP! My “am I enough” question surfaces when I finish something major – like the book I just finished – and then my ol’ inner critic shakes off the dust and says something tender like “Well, what’s next – or are you just going to sit there?”

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful vulnerable self.

    • I can assure you that I am not a mind reader, Jeff! Too much pressure. However, there is a fortune teller character in the short stories, Garnet & Jewel, that I write about on my blog. Her name is Madame Vadoma.

      It was rainy and dreary in Western MA yesterday also, and I felt very blah all day. So, I understand. The weather played a hand in how I felt. Thank you for sharing with me that you sometimes feel vulnerable too. You finished writing a book, so remember that piece. That is a significant accomplishment, and I admire you for doing so.

      I think it’s easy to beat ourselves up and lose sight of what is right in front of us. For whatever reason, my inner critic is beating me up hard lately, but I’d like to shut her up. Perhaps, as a good friend suggested, I need to shift my focus.

      Thanks so much for sharing, Jeff. I appreciate your honesty, support, and encouragement.

  2. Excellent Laura. I had one of those moments last weekend. I thought, “why am I spending all this time and getting nothing but nice comments”? When you share your vulnerabilities, it speaks to the majority of people. Most everyone goes through those feelings (it’s what shame does). So we fight through it. Encouragement from others help but we must ultimately learn that we are enough. Thank you again.

    • Excellent points, John. Thank you for sharing that you also have those feelings and days. It seems that there is so much focus on success and wins and feeling the euphoria that comes with it, that to let ourselves feel less than that isn’t acceptable. The truth is, however, that it is okay not to be okay. I say it frequently to friends and family. Taking my advice, however, isn’t so easy.
      I do think that part of the issue is that I know that there are some dots out there waiting for me to connect them, but I haven’t yet. I also think that with some challenges at work this past year, it all reaches a boiling point. But, I am becoming more aware of the temperature and hopefully better able to recognize and manage whatever is on the horizon.
      I appreciate you sharing with me here, John. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

  3. Oh Laura..i do understand the life of being told I was not enough..made me struggle too. The day I figured out to say. “ that’s ok!l was a game changer. To actually accept that it was ok to feel this way instead of feeling guilty that I did feel this way. Make any sense? There are triggers in each day, but there are tools for us too, thank you for sharing so we get to chat! I’m here too! And you are enough! We all matter!
    Chin up!?❤️??

    • Paula, thank you for chatting with me here. Accepting that it is okay to feel, is a big step toward exploring the freedom that comes with embracing your vulnerabilities. Most of the time, my head and heart are in a positive space. But lately, I detect a shift. Then again, this time of year is when I feel a need to hibernate.
      I have a good friend who tells me to allow myself to feel all the feels, move with the funk instead of against it. I forget this at times, but when I heed this advice, it does help. So, thank you for reminding me about this and for the support and encouragement. You are a bright light in my day!

  4. As someone who was told I was a “worthless piece of s&*^” and a lot of other nastiness over and over again as a child, teen, young adult, grown woman, I can completely relate to your essay, your heart, the glue that is you, that is me. Those pieces I have discovered in myself as voices of young ones asking to be loved. I continue to learn the power of loving them in the best way that I can when these “inner children” show up attempting to take the steering wheel of my grown up vehicle in which I usually love driving. I have even given them names (Pity Party Patty, Happily Flattered Florence, Envious Erica, Sulking Sarah…) so I can hold space with compassion to hear what they need to say to me, what they are aching for, how they might be stuck in some past time warp rather than noticing the year is actually 2019. Being human seems to hold all of it-thoughts, feelings, memories, joys, hurts, pains, and the wet rag over the heart that feels “not enough.” I thank you for this honest, vulnerable, and beautiful essay. I see you. I am with you, Laura. Yes, please pass the glue or the purple glue stick because that’s my favorite.

    • Laura, thank you for sharing these words with me. It seems that we all have had challenging waters to navigate, but despite the rough seas, we can sail toward whatever it is that makes us whole – even if we don’t always feel it.
      It occurred to me this morning that this shift is also indicative of the changing season. The days get shorter, and as I mentioned to Maureen above, my body, mind, and spirit, want to hibernate. The past year, although good in many ways, presented its unique challenges. So, I think it’s a realization that I need to shed a layer to welcome one.
      Regardless, it is difficult sometimes to not give in to the negativity negotiator. Deep down, I know I am enough. However, I also know that there is so much more waiting to blossom. That latter part can be the difficult one, especially when you aren’t sure what is waiting to bloom.
      Thanks for your insight and authentic sharing, Laura. I appreciate your support and encouragement, and I am happy to share the purple glue stick with you any day.

  5. Laura, there is something about your musings that I have appreciated from the first shares I happened to read. In you sharing this I am even more intrigued by you and your work. It sounds like you are a very feeling, sensitive, and sensing woman in the world and that can feel like a vice and a virtue. It also appears it has groomed you to be that true dot connector that within these experiences of the light and dark, the sun and the moon, the desert and the jungle – you have embodied wisdom. Your statement and revelation about feeling and knowing “you are the glue” is exceptional. All of what you have experienced, myself and I know others, many others can relate to at varying degrees. Your story is respected and your courage is beautiful.

    • Maureen, thank you so much for such beautiful and encouraging words. I read your reply later in the day on Friday but had company all weekend. Your words lifted me during a time when I was feeling down and carried me through the weekend.

      I cannot escape the feeling that there are some dots that I need to connect as a result of what I’ve been feeling lately, but the connectors aren’t quite visible yet. But it is part of the journey, and, as hard as it can be, I keep going knowing that it will work out.

      It’s also this time of year, I think, that causes a shift in my thinking. The days get shorter, and I feel like my mind, body, and spirit want to hibernate a bit – a refocus if you will. Like the leaves, I need to shed a layer so that I can welcome whatever it is that is waiting out there – and say goodbye to whatever it is that is holding me back.

      Thank you again, Maureen, for your gift of expression. It holds a special place in my heart.

    • You have absolutely lovely energy, Laura. I understand about the seasonal aspect being a shift. I know things will illuminate and the dots will connect for you as they are meant to. Shedding layers…scary but exciting. Stay in touch anytime. It is a pleasure to hear your reply and share in your metamorphosis. Thank you for making my morning a softer and sweeter place to be in today, I hope yours is too. ??❤

  6. Thank you, Laura, for giving us the opportunity to “understand vulnerability and in- adequateness” , which we all feel quite often. I love your statement, “I am the glue, and I am enough” .I recognize the uniqueness of “stickability” and can appreciate ‘glue’ in a new way.

    I take encouragement from David J. Schwartz’s words, “You are what you think. Think enthusiasm and you’ll be enthusiastic. To get high-quality work, be enthusiastic about the job you want done. Others will catch the enthusiasm you generate and you’ll get first-class performance.”

    Thank you again.

    • Thank you, Jonathan, for being a part of the conversation. It truly is a challenge some days to work beyond the voice that tries to renegotiate the positive path I’ve worked hard to build. But I also realize that there are bad days to help us recognize and appreciate the good ones even more.

      Thank you for sharing David J. Schwartz’s quote. It is a keeper and resonates with me. I wish you a good day and week ahead.

    • Thank you again. Laura.
      It is encouraging to realize that it is hardships that make us stronger and help us grow. It might sound crazy, but the best approach would be to be thankful for every difficulty because it gives you a chance to prove yourself and at the end of the day to be your own hero.

      Believe in yourself and all that you are, know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle. – Christian D Larson

      Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. – Dale Carnegie

  7. As a woman, I have struggled with that so many times but as a person, I’m pretty solid. Why is there confusion between the two?
    I think voices from the past speak louder than our confidence so we allow them in without even realizing we do it. Thank you for sharing the glue.

    • I love this thought, Jacquline: “As a woman, I have struggled with that so many times, but as a person, I’m pretty solid.” Thank you for saying this and sharing this perspective with me. It makes so much sense! I do believe you’ve hit the nail on the head. Thank you for this insight.

    • Thank you, Larry. Indeed we must endure both. As painful as the challenges may be, there are still lessons to learn and silver linings to be found.

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