Unshouldering – Heart Dump

A vulnerable open letter.


This post straddles a place between rant and open letter, hopefully more the latter. It’s a heart dump. I’m not entirely sure why I’m writing it except for the fact that last night something started to change. So I am sharing it with you.

Yesterday, on a crisp fall evening, I took a long walk and just as the sun was setting I sat outside a shrine to the Madonna near a local church. I didn’t do much, other than cry. I guess I was waiting for the inanimate statue of Mary to come over and give me a hug or maybe a few dozen doves to show up and sky write “we love you” or something. I don’t know. But whatever I was hoping for, needless to say it didn’t happen. However it’s not that NOTHING happened. Because for no reason at all I woke up in the middle of the night and told myself, “I can’t shoulder this anymore.”


I hope this doesn’t come off as complaining or like I’m belittling the battles each of us faces. I just feel a need to get this off my chest, and I’m sure some of you can relate.

For a long time I’ve been carrying around an albatross, trying to “figure out my shit,” “hold it together,” while also “FEELING everything.” Aspiring to the belief that my experiences, my challenges, my losses will enrich the overall human experience. Trying to tell my story while wallowing in all its sadness. That said, I know I’ve been blessed and have, in no uncertain terms, seen the worst this world has to offer. Yet, just like everyone else, I haven’t always had an easy go of it. So I’m writing this very honest post today to simply say I will be living life a bit differently from now on. Or trying to at the very least.


I’m Laura Marie Genova,
I’m a person with bipolar disorder. I am sometimes depressed. I am sometimes manic. I’m anxious. I play the “battle of the brain” game every day.
I had a miscarriage that has exposed a grief I didn’t know a person could feel. It’s opened a wound in me that perhaps will never heal.
I’ve loved, I’ve lost, been bullied, been betrayed, and my faith has been tested time and time again. But maybe, just maybe, all this time spent holding onto hardships has prevented me from more fully seeing the good.

We’re human. We do this. We use use our sadness as a crutch. Justification we are “undeserving” or “unworthy” every time things go awry.
So maybe it’s time to let the old ways die.
To say, I can’t shoulder it anymore. I’ve realized that while my challenges certainly make my life more complex, I have to let it go.


As the anniversary season of the happiest times in my life is fast approaching, my wedding and my honeymoon, I’ve got to learn to live again. Make a concerted effort to revel in the good. And this will be reflected on The Cheeky Genova.

I’ll be focusing on the things that bring me joy. On the things that make my life worth living. I hope my writing and sharing of the good inspires you to wake up, feel the sun on your face, and go into your day a bit more positive and hopeful. Embrace the “I’m a fairy princess” vibe (see last post). That’s my charge. Living of a good, happy life. Believe it or not this can sometimes be difficult for me. So I’ll be sharing updates on my shelfing rather than shouldering of the hardships.

For a little inspiration to get us going, Whitman everybody:

“Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

  Answer.
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”
O Me! O Life! – Walt Whitman


Let’s get on with it, shall we?


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