I’m on it! (and it’s my best work) | diaries 1994-1996

 

photo from “1994 Was a Prison of My Own Making” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/14/style/enjoy-the-silence.html 

I quit blogging this weekend, and simultaneously found out that publishing what I consider my Magnum Opus – or Magnum “Opi” as the first installment is already going to be two books, not one! – that publishing this most significant work is probably not going to be the “muscle through it”- sprint I hoped it would be.

The reason I want it done is so I can start curating and solidifying my websites, my online work.

But publishing those two diaries 1994-1995 and 1995-1996,  including the very sexually explicit final chapters, seems to be more accurately categorized as;
Things that are going to massively freak me out.

Things I’m going to lose sleep over.

Things that are going to impact and delay the more easy-going, less-intense career I want to establish under my real name.

Something that is going to bear the characteristics of a marathon and not a sprint.

And I am not an endurance athlete, endurance writer, endurance anything. I m only good at things that forcefully push themselves out of me, despite me not making an effort, despite me not setting time aside.
My projects need to take over my life, if they want to get done.

Instead of having my life taken over a few days, publishing my Magnum Opi could take over my life for weeks or even months.
Which is definitely more than I am willing to invest.

I want them done this week, order them on Friday, and then within two weeks I will have them ready for sale and can start curating the website. With those two books successfully published, my most important work has been converted to print.
If anything happens to my content or I don’t store it right or something, then at least they were saved.

How to go about this?
This little twin monster of my most important work, two books, at the verge of taking over my life? (I feel they’re negotiating who gets to sink their teeth in which part of me!)
I don’t know.
Maybe praying to a higher power, would be my best option.

Anyway, as I was preparing to write you this quick update, I started looking for a New York Times article about a time travel project of one week, to 1994.
But instead I found a music scene documentary of the beginning of this 90s era.

It’s available on YouTube.

1991 – The Year Punk Broke

And Generation X in a Time Capsule
a New York Times long read about this documentary and its context.

But the article I was looking for, before I found the 1991 music scene documentary, was this article.
It is about a journalist who lives for one week as if she’s in 1994:

1994 Was a Prison of My Own Making
25 years ago was yesterday and a million years ago.
By Caity Weaver | May 14, 2019

So with the extra documentary I found some pretty intense and grungy stuff about the time period I was investigating.
Which has only made me more adamant  that ultimately writing about 25 years ago, or writing about the 90s, is my jam.

Last weekend I stopped blogging, online writing for The Diary Project, or the time travel project, but only so I can give it more,  and be even more candid in my writing offline.

That first diary I am about to publish – the one I decided with 99% certainty needs to be two books, not one – that is only the beginning.
It is the first diary, or they are the first two diaries of my Magnum Opus.

I will keep writing.

The diary project, or the time travel project, is my deepest work as a writer, and ultimately all my work here will somehow be tied to that. 

The reason I consider my time travel diaries my most important work, is because it is my most layered project, consisting of all the aspects that is me or my work or interests.

They are at heart a performance project, or time capsule project.
I cultivate the mindset and experience of being 25 years younger and live as if it is 25 years ago.

The second reason is, they are done as diary writing and letter writing, which are my most developed forms of writing.

The third is because I get to play with elements that reflect my development, choices,  and difficulties, in being a writer, and/OR a yoga teacher.
My real life career choices are in the books.

But most importantly of course, I like the books because they are rooted in my sexual life.
I don’t think I would be able to fully express my  sexuality if it wasn’t for the fact that I can write about my experiences.

Since I was a teenager I’ve known I need high levels of tension and excitement, to get aroused. From a wider perspective I would say my sexuality was more comparable to those of boys, than those of girls.
I needed to feel safe with someone, and was aware being a girl made me vulnerable, but I was less inclined to pushing or looking for relational security. I didn’t need a relationship to feel sexually explorative.

Although I was often very much in love, when it came to sexual experimenting I needed friendly comradery, more than romance.

Ever since then the road has been rocky, and at times I have given in to fears that made the road flat. I have been in long-term relationships that were ultimately not just sexually unsatisfying because they didn’t carry enough tension and excitement;
They were detrimental for my personal growth.

To me monogamy, defined as both me but in particular my partner only having me/each other to be physically and emotionally intimate with, that monogamy is damaging.
It’s the quickest way to create a life of stability and perhaps even physical health, because the stress levels remain low.
But I don’t grow in monogamous relationships the way I do when I get challenged b
y the unpredictability of other, non-specified and more playful, relationship styles.
They bring me more pleasure, more satisfaction but in particular because of their counter parts of jealousy, fear, and uncertainty;
They bring me more growth.

Sure all those aspects of my life give me panic attacks, and more often than not I think I am NOT cut out for this.
That it’s too much and all the stress of never being in a normal boy meets girl, princess and prince charming relationship or marriage, is eating me alive.
That I can’t take it anymore.

But then I know:
Of course I can.

This is what I am here for.

My Time Travel Project, and its first two upcoming books
A letter from a stranger 1994-1995
and
Dear Nikki 1995-1996
are about capturing that life, in between lovers, in between careers, in between immobilizing fear and insatiable fascination.
All set to a backdrop of the 90s.

And not just for a week.

.
Lauren

An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living.

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including the time travel project books Letter from a stranger and Dear Nikki.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Choose IT | The Covid Diaries (closing Chapter)

MV5BZDVkZmI0YzAtNzdjYi00ZjhhLWE1ODEtMWMzMWMzNDA0NmQ4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzYzODM3Mzg@._V1_FMjpg_UX1000_“It” is a sex positive antidote, a way for King to tell kids that sex, even unplanned sex, even sex that’s kind of weird, even sex where a girl loses her virginity in the sewer, can be powerful and beautiful if the people having it truly respect and like each other.

That’s a braver message than some other authors have been willing to deliver.

Grady Henrix on Tor.com about the book It (1986) by Stephen King

Yesterday I wrote a blogpost, a sexual explicit one and the first one of its kind in two months.
But this morning I deleted it, and it will never be back online.
It will go straight to paper, and although I will keep writing on at least one sexually explicit series of books;
I don’t expect to blog anything sexual, ever again.

The reason for my decision was that I woke up with the worst anxiety attack since the 90s.
My phobia for hiv and aids, and the social stigma surrounding that, was back full force.
It is a social phobia, not a hypochondriac one.
But in a way that nuance is beside the point. In particular to the potential danger it holds to call it “social phobia” instead of “aids phobia”.
It’s like saying Pennywise is an extraterrestrial force and not a clown; It’s true, but is it relevant?
No.
Pennywise, It is evil, It is dangerous, and if you wake up with It in your bed, calling it by its correct name should be the least of your concerns.

So after I had decided I was not going to stay here, writing as LS Harteveld like I have for the past 16 years, I started wondering what had happened?
What had caused this fear that I had last seen in the 90s, to return? It was almost like It’s 27 year cycle to return, in the book and the movies It 1 and 2.

A fear so big I could feel the strength leaving my body and knowing with absolute certainty this would have the power to traumatize, immobilize, and to seal my fate of ending up in a coffin filled with regrets.

But how come now? After 27 years?
And what was it really about?
Because IT, your fear, is never what you think it is about.

And while fear of spiders and heights, will be met with an understanding that of course, you have some kind of mental projection short-circuit going on;
And of course, the solution can never be to lock yourself up in a spider sanitized box planted firmly on the floor and anchored with extra weights to make sure it doesn’t accidentally fly away and take you up;

That of course-ness is right out the window if the object of your fear is closer to home than dreading spiders and heights.

Fear, a shape-shifting force that is rarely beneficial, and in 99.9% of the cases tied to incorrect causes, becomes a lot more difficult to identify as the soul and life crushing monster that it is, once that fear is not tied to spiders or an irrational fear of heights, but to something everybody is allowed to worry about.
Like Aids in the 80s, Covid today, and cancer is timeless. You re always allowed, if not encouraged, to worry sick over that one. But let’s skip that for now, for clarity’s sake, an
d focus on Covid, because that is the Unlimited Fear of our days.
There is no such thing as worrying too much over Covid.

Of all the people who have expressed how they are giving fear of Covid a place in their lives – and it is of course never called out as “fear of Covid” but responsibility towards, et cetera – of all of those people none, a percentage of zero, have been met with:
“This fear is crippling you.You should start living your life.”

Everybody either has this fear of Covid, or they do not, but then they are aware that they are a minority and that it is inappropriate to ignore these fears in others.
If nothing else, we have reached consensus that although nothing has changed for the people who have uncommon fears, like the one for spiders, everything has changed for the ones who have attached their fear to Covid.
No one is questioning the nature of their fear, when it comes to this global pandemic.

And it gets worse!
Because Covid is an ideal host, the fear can spread in two opposite directions.
To pro- measures but against the virus or to the other end of the pole, against the measures and fearing conspiracies or unknown health risks of vaccination.
Fear can go both ways.

Both sides of this spectrum are afraid of different things, but they are both alike because neither one questions fear itself. They both project their fear onto aspects of life they have little to no control over.

I think this is the right time to take this characteristic by the horns and elaborate on it.
Because it is this aspect, to be afraid of something you cannot control (either a virus, and how badly people follow rules, or danger lurking from governments and big pharma) that brings out the sick, destructive nature of fear in all its disgusting glory.

It is once you give into THAT fear, of something you cannot control, that you are in deep trouble.

When we can all see that even dangerous spiders are relatively innocent and not worth turning your whole life around for; When it comes to intangible enemies most people cannot do that.

My social phobia or Aids phobia of the 80s, is why I started this diary about Covid. I was curious what the mass panic of this pandemic would do to me, and how fear, IT, would show itself.
Was the 2020-2021 fear of Covid identical to the fear of Aids?

Because I knew fear of Aids had had very little to do with an honest conversation about sexual risks, and all about not wanting to be confronted with sexuality at large and the sexuality of those at risk in particular.

So I was curious if fear of Covid was in fact also not fear of Covid at all, but of something far less tangible.

At least outside of the gay community and the sex workers community, fear of Aids in the 80s was an unhealthy one that served an entirely different purpose than to protect anyone from getting infected.
In the 80s, the discussion and even education, about Aids was never focused and definitely not limited (as it should have been) to things you could control.

Instead, it was heavy with moral judgement and inconsistent, imprecise and non-supportive with regard to the specifics of sex.

These are two topics I think a genuine education on safe sex should have covered;
-straight, homo, and bisexuality, and the sexual acts for each and every one of them indicating how to do them safer.
-dating styles, monogamy versus non-monogamy, and what types of people (and their sexual styles) you are attracted to
The nature of this conversation should be to illustrate that since your sexual orientation is largely a given, and even a fluid or adventurous style could be seen as a specific orientation, that we therefor all start out with a different base level of risks.
The word “Safe” sex implies something singular, a binary nature of safe sex=1, or not having safe sex=0
That is a lie. 

If we agree that suppressing who you are, and what your sexuality is, is unhealthy, then we also agree that for example I, a girl who felt attracted to sexually active, worldly men, and not to inexperienced boys, was more at risk than one who goes steady and they’re both each other’s first partner.
Generalizing what safe sex is, is harmful to anyone not going for a heterosexual monogamous relationship, and even for them it is less than ideal.

The base level of risk and your margin to play with, are already determined by your sexuality and can only be changed by suppressing, altering, and harming your sexual identity.

Now, why do you think conversations like this were not part of sex education in the 80s, nor will they every be?

Because the moment you acknowledge that the majority of risks are beyond your control, fear becomes manageable because it becomes specific. Suddenly the factors that you do get to choose are known.
This sounds great in theory, but the moment fear becomes known, specific, and manageable, you can no longer attach this huge chunk of unnamed lower-belly fear to it.

The desire to connect the primal sense of fear, that we all carry around inside of us, the desire and perhaps even THE NEED to project that onto something outside of us?
And preferably onto something other people agree on, and that you can bond over?
That urge is uncontrollable.

The desire to have some topic, group of people, some disease, to project this fear onto, will always be greater, and definitely easier, than to deal with this fear in healthier ways and resist demonizing something far less dangerous than what you are making it.

The desire for evil clowns in the sewer we can blame for everything, will always be bigger than our desire to investigate why we are so obsessed with finding things that scare us or could potentially harm us.

The reason 80s sex education was not about accepting the differences in base level risks, and then supporting teens on their journey of developing a healthy sexuality within their personal parameters, is because then parents, school, church, government, sex education centers, would all need to find something else to project that primal IT-sized fear onto, that was eating them from the inside.

When they could also just act as if they were educating, or act as if they were responsible because they told you to “be safe”, and you could just hear the “told you sos” that would be yours if you got hiv – or got pregnant for that matter, this style of sex education was definitely not reserved to Aids-
They could also do that, and then flock together as grown-ups and respectable institutions, all sailing in union under the same righteous moral flag of “Safe Sex”, which was code for Silent Sex, Don’t Bother Us Sex, Your Own Fault Sex.

They could pretend that the monster they were warning you for could be fought with a condom just like they pretend Covid can be fought with simplified rhetoric of either mouth masks and vaccinations as the holy grail on one side, and an array of concerns and conspiracy theories on the other.
The simplification is wrong.
The simplification then, just like the simplifications now, are what make it evil.

Today’s simplifications look practical, just like a condom advice in the eighties looked practical, but there is a disturbingly large element where that practical approach, is all just one big cover up of conversations we don’t want to have.

Under that simplified solution, under choosing a polarized or simplified perspective, we are able to hide our biggest fear.
We are able to hide IT.

My fear of Aids was able to hide my fear of being rejected by society.
Society’s fear of Aids, was able to hide their fear of sexuality.
Today’s fear of Covid, or the fear of the vaccination strategies, is able to hide unnamed, uncomfortable fears and truths, that we don’t want to face.

Covid is the biggest, global container of underbelly angst, the world has ever seen.
It holds all of our unnamed fears, and it is functional, in its own sick way. Because speaking of Covid, disagreeing on Covid, and arguing over Covid, is way easier and definitely more welcomed, than having a conversation about who does the real work in this world.
Who earns the money.
Who we pay.
Who we ignore.
Who has chances.
And who hasn’t.

There is financial violence, at least in The Netherlands, of a government that eats its poorest alive by ripping support systems out of still breathing families.
The housing market has been thrown to the wolves. Directors have left years ago, their pockets filled with money that was supposed to house the poor, leaving their organizations bankrupt.
The coops and the housing market at large, both intended for people who actually go live in the house they rent or own, both are taken over by private investing firms. 

In The Netherlands no one can get a new house anymore.

Just like the town of Derry, Main, in the movie It, the society where I live in, is rotten to its core. Evil has taken over.
I imagine everyone can judge if that is true for where you live, but that is The Netherlands.
And evil has a head start because for the past 18 months we’ve been bickering over Covid.
Oh sure, every now and then a politician is sent home, and our entire government is theoretically demissionairy. Seven months later and they re still all there. And based on the elections we had, they will probably rise from their ashes and become the exact same government.

Sometimes there are big reveals, national or European reports of exactly how ill-functioning our systems are, but they are as obsolete as the newspaper articles about the big fire in a bar, a historic event of Derry Main’s violent past. 
Papers that turned yellow and will be forgotten.
Or they are like Derry’s flyers with missing kids on them; No one reads them, even when the topic is so important.

The reason I am quitting blogging as LS Harteveld, the parallel universe where I could share myself, my thoughts and fears in their purest form, is because I am leaving this place. 
I have to move out of this town, just like they did.

In a way I was like the one boy from the gang of children that fought It, that I was the one boy who stayed in Derry, Main. All the others left, and lived their adult lives in different cities, and they forgot what happened to them. Until this boy called them back. 
His name was Mike Hanlon, he stayed in Derry and became a police officer and spent the rest of his time in the library, studying the history of Derry, and anything he could find on It.
He was the one who made sure that if It returned, they could fight it.

Just like I studied the Aids pandemic, as the root cause of my social phobia or Aids phobia. I have overcome those fears, they no longer haunt me. Or they didn’t until this morning.
Which is why it is time for me to leave.

This blog post is the final one to a book I will be publishing, called The Covid Diaries.
I expect to have it ready late this year.

This post is the only one that will stay up, as the rest of my work for this site is like the scrapbooks of Mike Dolan; They served a purpose, but it’s time to wrap up.

Was I successful in fighting It? 
No, not as clear cut as the adults in It, returning to their childhood hometown. 

But I hope that by having documented It, the fear of Covid and the fear of Aids, I have at least pointed out that fear is the real enemy.
That you must be very strict with yourself.

You carry that It sized fear monster inside of you. One that feels far less scary if you tie it to a simplified perception of what our common enemy is, tie it to the accepted root of all evil.
But you are feeding a monster.

I was feeding a monster when I was afraid of Aids in the 80s, and I have been feeding it the past days, in the form of social phobia.
I was afraid certain people would reject me, and this morning the fear had shape-shifted back to its classic 80s and 90s form, of a painful Aids phobic panic attack.
Others are feeding their fears directly into the fangs of Covid but I will never feed my fear to anything ever again.
I will resist with the mightiest of might.

In my kitchen I have a note, and if I had done what it said, I would not have been trembling with fear this morning.
It says: “Only one fear allowed.”
I am allowed to worry, I am allowed to have fear, but only about one thing, and I have chosen to worry about dying with my life still inside of me.
With a sex life, toned down, altered or even incomplete with experiences missing, because of fear of Aids.
Career,under my real name, toned down or kept safe, because of fear of social exclusion. 

I am going to choose life, choose sex, choose faith.
And if I feel fear, panic, anxiety, if my phobias get the better of me, I will be saying to myself:

“Remember you’re only allowed to have one fear. One.
Choose.”

It will not be Covid, and it will not be Aids.

My fear will be to die with my life still inside of me.
And nothing, nothing else.

.
Lauren

An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living.

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including The Covid Diaries.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

[ all posts will be deleted ] | 1996 Dear Nikki

ed9182b51537ecfcde4b802abeadedfe
Nikki Sixx as English bootleg trader and record store owner Nikki

I’m sorry, but I have decided to delete this post, and I will be deleting all my old work here.
I am suffering from anxiety attacks, something that was briefly mentioned in this blog post. My work lies elsewhere but my anxiety has been tied to what I share here,
I just can’t have my LS Harteveld work hovering over me or hiding under the bed.

I will stay active on 
my Facebook page
Twitter: @LSHarteveld
And I will continue curating and publishing the work I wrote online from 2010 – 2021.

Within three weeks I will have what I consider to be my magnum opus, ready for you for sale.
It is book 1 and book 2 in the 90s diary series, published in one cover.
The title will be A Letter From A Stranger.

And this site will stay online, and I will too!
Because the anxiety could pass, or because my work could switch to being LS Harteveld again one day, but mostly because I want to stay in touch.
By subscribing to this site, I will have a way to reach you. 

Let’s hope it all pans out, and that the anxiety stops. It’s crippling, and I don’t just mean to my websites 😉 

Speak to you soon.
Take care.
And subscribe!

Lauren
An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Good for one thing | & 3 new juicy books available

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara (new website!)
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

“I m only good for one thing in life. That’s teaching.”
Michael Douglas in The Kominsky Method

Let’s be clear that I consider myself to be good at more things in life than just teaching yoga.
I am for example, if maybe not a good writer in the traditional sense of the word?
A prolific writer.
A not stopping at anything writer.
A not ever having had a writer’s block in her entire life writer.
So yes, there is that.

And also let’s be clear that I am writing this in a week where I am not doing any of those things. Not writing, not teaching yoga and not even publishing my books, even when I did manage to unlock three new books last Friday*, what in hindsight was the last day I didn’t know how badly I was thrown off track.

The Friday when I thought I was on a roll, and that nothing would stop me from going on publishing my books, writing my blogs, and rebooting my yoga career.

Except I had already stopped.
I was already taken out by an unexpected responsibility that considers multiple parties, and a desired outcome that I have no idea how to accomplish or what the costs would be if I did know it.
I have no idea how to fix this, or get the best outcome, and last Friday I had not realized yet, that I am in way over my head.

Oh, and it’s not just my problem of course, it’s something that will hurt a friend if I mess this up. 
And that’s also why I am not going to explain it, but either way:
I didn’t know all that Friday.

If you’d asked me last Friday what the things were I thought I was good at, I would have answered writing, publishing and teaching yoga, but I was also still actually DOING those things.
Or close to be doing them/ picking them up.

As opposed to now, when I m only writing you because I always do so before our call.
I have not written for what seems ages, I m off social media, and I would not have written this, if it had not been because that is what I do before our call.

And yet.
Even though this will go down as what others would call a holiday week, and what I call a “I can’t see myself doing any work” week, still the dialogue from an acting coach/ teacher/mentor played by Michael Douglas in the Netflix series The Kominsky Method, rung a bell.
A big one.

Because in season 1 he sees the reality that although he is a good teacher, who establishes great breakthroughs with his students; He is bad at everything else that has to do with running an acting studio.
Which is why he has hired his daughter Mindy, to take care of that a long time ago.

At the end of season 1 he realizes that she deserves to be in charge. Not him.
That the one who deals with the daily grind is the one who deserves the credit. Not the one who shines for a brief moment between 7 and 8.30 PM, teaching an acting class.

In the past few weeks, I have established a freedom-based format for any work I want to be doing for an extended period of time.
It came down to not wanting to commit to obligations that are going to limit my options.
So for example (and I m going to nuance this, but this is what I came up with last time I wrote you) I didn’t intend to ever commit to weekly classes, scheduled appointments/ calls and so on.

So my preliminary conclusion was that work that was gonna last, was work that could be chosen, time and time again.
Work that I was never obliged to deliver because it had already been paid for.

Now it’s not that there was necessarily anything wrong with that; It is definitely true.
But the scene with Michael Douglas and his daughter made me realize that the reason I feel trapped if I commit to scheduled appointments/ work, is not because I mind the REAL work to being scheduled!

The reason I seem so allergic to commitments is because it means the grey area of daily grind, is in the commitment.

But if I had someone else running my yoga studio, doing the marketing, answering calls and emails;
And me just showing up?
Oh, I could handle just absolutely anything!

So in this strange in-between week, where like I said I am offline and don’t write and have not picked up teaching yoga, and all I focus on is the situation that arose that is asking so much of my attention and that I do not know how to handle properly, it was great to find out that I have way more options than just doing one-off gigs.
I can do reliable, dependable, and I can do it consistently.

But ONLY of the things I am good at.
Writing.
Publishing.
Teaching yoga.
In their absolute purest, stand-alone form.

That it was never the work I did not want to commit to.
It was everything else.

..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

* Yes! 3 New Books Added To The STORE !!! 

1. The Mistress Speaks
channeling a lost archetype

2. The Beach, C.
Diary, letters and essays inspired by Basic Instinct’s Catherine Tramell

3. Star Wars is finally telling women *cross out* everybody to start enjoying The Thing
And other deeply personal blogposts about the sequel trilogy that did not age well

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU 
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

 

Three Stars Are Born

 

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara (new website!)
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

I have so much news, I don’t know where to begin!

(and I give everybody reading this blogpost, including Sara, permission to stop at any point, including now!)

I already sent you a private in-between email about me finding a way to work under the same terms professionally, as I have found as my relationship style.
How freedom needs to be the basis of anything in my life that is worth holding on to.

But I didn’t know why. 
Why was I so allergic to people claiming my time, and more specifically my future?

The good news is:
Now I know why.

The bad news is:
This is indeed a precarious situation, where I cannot afford to take my eyes off the ball.

And it doesn’t even matter, technically, how many or how little hours I have for my own freedom-based business model;
What matters is that I spend every minute I have exactly on the right thing.

What I learned since the last email I wrote you, is what a serious attempt and dedication to this free professional lifestyle looks like.
One where I do not have to look back on my deathbed and say “I wish I”.

So results are not guaranteed, but making an attempt is.
Do or die trying.

The picture I see before be, contains two parts which are not related, or perhaps loosely related.

1 Warhol

I ve totally fallen in love with the work of Warhol and its meaning. It’s such a coming home, and for the first time ever, I feel I have found an artist with whom I can relate.

His topics, his work, its meaning, his themes, but most of all his desire to let creation happen through processes he did not control. And share it without clearing it up;
That’s me.

By studying Warhol I now know how I want to publish my books, making use of the multiplicity and the prolific nature of my work.
And that vision of the artist that I am is so strong, unique and expansive, that it’s as if I can almost touch everything I thought I had to sell my soul for, and cut myself off, until I fit into some tight little prefab container.

This is a vision that is FULLY expansive, into everything I was, am, and will be.

After seeing and understanding Warhol, I feel I can create without the motherfucking handbrake on.
For the first time EVER!

.

2 My Daily Who Does What

Two weeks ago I wrote the blogpost about who I am;
Including an A4 drawing with circles, who my different creative personalities are and where they are “located”.

That schedule already contained the different creative expressions for every character/ side of me. But it didn’t yet have a strategy of how to manage them, or how to go about my days.
And I made that schedule today.

I have to warn you, it is messier, and asks way more effort to understand it (so feel free not to!).
But I will do my best to describe it/ guide you through it.

Here is the new drawing I made today: 
2021 08 15 activity categories and priorities

It has one non-negotiable (taking a shower) at the top left corner,
and from there it starts to indicate which daily activity should or will get done.

category I – all (social +work) interaction, commitments and agreements

This category also includes my entire work + social life.

But also things that have to get done.
It’s a very mixed category, but what they have in common is that they’re somehow promised to someone, or that I have to do them in order to live my life (f.e. your finances).

The general gist is:
When I have promised I will do something or to be somewhere, I will do it.

On such a day, I will not first do my own work or something: I will always do this.

I m pretty reactive here – I really need a clear agenda with no ending time to an activity, to do my own work.
Maybe I will be able to be more flexible, but I m not the one who hustles five minutes at a time.

The shower + category 1 are the top of the schedule and the only two things that will always get done.

The Three Hijack Arrows

2021 08 15 activity categories and priorities
activities categories and priorities large: https://laurenharteveld.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/2021-08-15-activity-categories-and-priorities.jpg

Three parts of my personality, the baby koala, Lauren Harteveld and Rock Star Suzy, all have the capacity to hijack my life, when they are absolutely mesmerized by something.

The Baby Koala is seduced by crafting and archiving;
Lauren Harteveld by sexual adventures (which she processes by writing, but writing comes second here)
And
Rock Star Suzy by music, entertainment and (pop)art.

The schedule gives an indication of how to keep these sides satisfied, and somewhat under control, by feeding them regularly;
But ultimately I cannot control them, and these parts could hijack my life.

The upside to these personalities is that they have superpowers;
The Baby Koala, Lauren Harteveld and Rock Star Suzy can all concentrate for hours or days on end, hardly need sleep, are naturally thin and good natured.
They have no ailments, they are completely in flow with Life.

For example:
If the Baby Koala would start publishing my books, it would be done with so much joy!
Just that absolutely nothing else would get done.

When Bon Jovi came to the Netherlands and I forgot to pay the rent of my yoga studio, twice;
That’s Rock Star Suzy studying and being creative in the weeks leading up to the concert, and needing weeks to come down.

These three personalities in flow are both a gift, and a liability.
That’s why they are The Three Hijacking Arrows;
Once they have left the bow, the rest of the schedule will not get done.

.
category II – House & Body 

There’s three activities here:
Clean house, do yoga and cycle.

Cycle is last, because I will always do that, unless category 1 got out of hand.
So even if I would write all day, there is a chance I ll still cycle at 6 or 7 PM

And cleaning my house is first, because I detest doing yoga in a dirty house.
It’s as if yoga just doesn’t “work” if the house is dirty.

I also see my physical exercise as my work (because I m picking up my yoga career),
and physical exercise is the only thing you can’t redo if you’ve missed a day.

So providing the day is not full with category 1 and/or time for the three arrows whether planned or unplanned, category 2 will get done

.

category III – (Online) business hours 7-10 PM

This is the category that anyone wanting to create what Warhol called “Business Art”, the art of building a business from your art, MUST do.
It’s about connection, messaging, posting to social media, showing up for the conversation.

It’s about paying your bills, selling, adding calls to action, to what you put out.

This is hustling.

And this is what is the difference between hustling/III and what I called “Dead Writer Hours”,
which is the fourth category.

category IV – Art | Content| Curating| Legacy

(Dead Writer Hours)

Now WHY is it called Dead Writer Hours?
Because what you create here, is what is left of you after you’re dead.
Which illustrates both its importance as well as its utter unimportance.

Ideally the activities here, go straight to one of the Hijacking Arrows! 
Publishing books to the baby koala.
Making videos to Rock Star Suzy.
Writing to Lauren Harteveld.

But with this fourth category, being designated in the time window left open
between 1 (commitments, social life) and 2 (house and body)
and then 7 PM when the business hustle begins;

I finally understand why there always seem too few hours in the day for anything.

After category 1, worst case scenario the day is already gone. 
Or if I have a day without obligations, then I focus on 2, which could still not get done if the day is hijacked by one of the three arrows.

Baby Koala crafting.
Lauren Harteveld, writing.
Or Rock Star Suzy studying art, Bon Jovi or yoga.

And today that IS what happened!

I ONLY had Category 1 activities!
But they were fully in flow:
-7 hours making the drawing/schedule (Baby Koala) and writing this email (Lauren Harteveld)
-6 hours a date with a friend, call with another friend and grocery shopping (all Rock Star Suzy)
And I cycled (category 1) because I had to get to the cinema.

So I had a fantastic, fulfilling day.

And I think I now know what my definition of success is.
Which is a question I think you asked me in 2018 already…. I don’t know what I answered.

My definition of success is:
When ALL the categories, but IN PARTICULAR category 1,
Are done by the three hijack personalities Lauren Harteveld, Rock Star Suzy or the Baby Koala.

That’s when I am truly free.

Like today. .

..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

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Undocumented Birthday Sex (NSFW) | 1996 diary

Sunday August 8, 1996

10996657_679931672111769_717209370486383676_nWhy do I keep doing this?
Having sex with Bear and then refusing to write about it in my diary?

Is it still the fear I will freak out when I think/overthink letting him come in my mouth?
Are the Aids phobia and the panic attacks still haunting me, is that what this is?

As if I would not take any risk for him, for Bear.
Maybe it is because this fear has been with me for as long as I can remember, longer than Bear.
The fear is more a part of me than Bear is, that much is certain.

But was it really taking that step, about six weeks ago or something, that has made me so careless with cherishing the memories of us having sex?

Or is it the unease of being his mistress since we started having sex again this year?

Why do I throw away memories of something that is so precious to me..
If he decides to stop seeing me, I want to hang on to them, have them in a little box and caress them with my fingertips when he gets married, has his first child, moves to the other side of the country or possibly even migrates, given his work.
I need to build a memory of him, if I can’t build a life.

Yet just like last time, I didn’t.
I didn’t polish that memory and didn’t put it in a jewelry box.
But I did write about it to Nikki, and photocopied that letter before I mailed it out to him. So I have that here in front of me, hoping it will make me remember more.

In the letter, I compared Bear to a professional football player, able to score with the smallest window of opportunity.
Of course! It starts coming back to me now.

I didn’t feel like having sex, and he had made it into such a fun experience. The letter to Nikki was about my understanding that I had to get better at this.
I wanted to be the one who could do that, make things really good in bed and be there when the other is dropping out.
Yet my new year of life started off being just as flaky with sex as ever!

It was Bear who saved the day, and me feeling wishy washy and being totally dependent on his magic.
Even when I should be the one who is flexible and talented, because if I want to have more sex, more lovers, or who knows maybe even a man-
I was about to say “a man for myself” but that is of course not what I want at all.

But let’s say, if I want to have a boyfriend to whom I am the most important girlfriend;
Then I need to “man-up”! 

I can’t keep relying on Bear to warm me up with that deliciously long menu that he serves me a chef’s special of every time I m like:
“I don’t know, I m just not feeling it”, when we’ve already kissed, and I m in his arms and I can feel I m wet, but indeed telling the truth when I say I’m not feeling it.

His jam-packed box of tricks.
The way he pokes around in my head to see what angle I respond to…
We role-played for the first time since we got back together this year, and damn that felt good. It was just a light, exploring session that definitely did not have the emotional danger and intensity we had experienced in our best years.
But Christ, how good to be home.
To be doing this again, him and me.

When he hugged me goodbye at the top of the stairs, and descended to the front door, I stayed there watching, through the long rectangular window in my door.
I admired the determined way he took the concrete stairs to the street, and all I thought was;

“I m fucked”.

And not just literally.

“I asked him to take me in doggy,” I wrote Nikki.
“And that was risky, because it hurts. I could have ruined it all, but I think I was so into the role play that I really wanted to be taken like that. And he did.
I m not going to tell you how dominant he was, because it’s like it ruins it. Like I betray the moment.
But it was so good!
Bear said exactly the right things, everything I wanted to hear and needed to hear, to fully submit and let it come.
It hurt so much, I had forgotten all about it. You can’t remember pain, not like that. Yet I wanted it, and I definitely did not want him to stop. I was afraid that if I expressed the pain he would back down, but I couldn’t help myself.
I was totally into it, the pain, the agony, and a pleasure so deep and raw I had never experienced anything like it.
For the first time ever I came like that. And so did he.
In sports they’d probably call it a team effort.”

.
~Lauren96
An unexamined life is not worth living

New diary entries are posted on my Facebook page ;
And are published together, here on this blog.

Undocumented Birthday Sex (NSFW) | 1996 diary
is the fifteenth chapter to
1996 diary 

Find the subscription button on this page.

Archive:
1994 A Performance Project
and “1995-1996; book 2 of my performance project
.

.

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
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Quick update! 💃🌎💥

8b7737610c9d3868977f124e33d7b299
Despite last weekend’s letter to my coach Sara
– with a very welcome “Map To Who I Am” folded right in! –
the past week but in particular the past 36 hours were really, really tough.
I have not felt this bad in years, but I think it was in particular due to the startling roller coaster nature of my internal processes
(although there were outer physical, financial, and relational circumstances as well),
which made it extremely challenging.
.
The infamous “wanting to destroy all my work”  type of challenging.
.
And yet, ultimately? Man!
This was SO very very worth it!
.
Because right now I feel better than I have IN YEARS.
Maybe even decades…
.
I m setting up shop in a fully aligned way under my real name for the first time in my life.
.
I finally know what I want professionally, and also why all the other more common professional arrangements (a steady job, freelancing, being a service provider, and even running a business) were never going to work for me.
And yet, why they may of course be more than enough for most people to choose from!
.
I m sure we’ll get around to it one day, but then again maybe not because I have no idea how relevant this is here..
But the gist of it, is that just like I do not do well playing the girlfriend or a wife role in relationships, but am a born mistress or lover instead (something I know because I have investigated that part of my life as Lauren Harteveld, since 2006);
Quite similar to that, I needed to create way WAY more freedom in my professional work.
.
That if I wanted to free myself from the cycle of wanting to blow up all my work, part of my work, or a tiny far corner of my work, depending on how bad I felt;
Then I had to give myself free rein professionally.
 
My freedom needed to become a non-negotiable.
..
And once I got that, which was a big Aha! that I had JUST this morning?
Everything fell together at lightning speed, and decades worth of loose ends were tied together in the most harmonious “of course”-way.
.
And now I have the blueprint for my professional life, that gives me the same freedom as I have in my love life.
.
This is mainly a thing for work under my real name, where I have struggled the most.
So that could mean the diary writing/ book publishing that I do as Lauren Harteveld, may not change much or even suffer a bit, time-wise.
In theory.
Because I think it will benefit from it!
.
I expect having this deep understanding of who I am professionally, and WHY, will ripple out to both of my professional names, all of my websites, all diaries, the published books and so on.
I think even the furthest corners of my work, the ones that until recently I would have destroyed to express a deep agony I felt inside- that those will blossom too.
.
I expect today to mark the beginning of a whole new era.
Where this blog, this name, and all the things I do here, are an integral part of all of it.
As are you.
.
Thank you for being with me here.
Not at the end of all things, as I know I ve taken my readers to the proverbial pits of Mordor often enough;
But for sticking with me, and being with me here, now.
.
At the beginning.
.
..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU 
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

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Yoga Teacher Me (2008) and three other personalities, each with their own skills

The photo as found by Baby Koala-Me, as it indulged in unlimited playtime with my hard drive when I was suffering from a headache

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara (new website!)
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

This is going to be the tiniest email I ever sent you.
It’s Sunday night, and I did not get any work done this entire weekend.
And I want to make YouTube yoga videos tomorrow, for two accounts!
But I also have a deadline tomorrow afternoon, which will require about four hours of work.
 
So that’s why I think this email will be smaller than usual.
.
The weekend went awol because I finally broke down when a week-long mostly one-on-one birthday fest, was finally punished with a headache on top of the Oh-God-I-Feel-Awfulness that seems to have become my standard Good morning.
And Saturday’s grogginess did not go away either.
It usually clears up after a few hours.
.
I wasn’t feeling sick with migraine, it was not that bad.
Just a mild headache and tired like when you have a hangover.
I quit drinking about six weeks ago. To no avail, except that I now know with certainty the grogginess never had anything to do with alcohol, but is my response to pandemic stress.
As is the sensitivity to headaches I ve had since spring 2020. 
.
Either way, Saturday was written off, and I started going through my old archives. Something I had been meaning to do for a very long time, mainly because there is a lot of double stuff on there.
This Saturday the repetition of going through the files and deleting things and moving them, had a numbing yet satisfying effect.

The task was appealing, and I was not bothered by my headache at all.
But when sorting it out, which I spent like 1.5 days on!, something interesting happened;
I discovered a whole new personality, which belonged to something I was going to start doing this week. Which was teach yoga on YouTube in Dutch.
.
And next to this Dutch yoga teacher personality, which was discovered by finding a photo of myself in 2008, I discovered a fourth personality.
Because today, I started drawing up a circle within circles scheme of the three personalities I had found so far.
.
The first two you know, I ve written about them frequently:
.
Catherine Tramell played by Sharon Stone, Basic instinct (1992)

 

1. Lauren Harteveld

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My alterego under this name, writer, publisher, Catherine Tramell-fan (Basic Instinct). Signature era: The 90s!
Lauren96, the diary I keep as the 24 year old me, is one example of what I write under this name.
.
2. Rock Star Suzy
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The English speaking alterego under my real name, who ties everything she does to Bon Jovi. Her identity matches Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan.
Decade: The 80s!
.
And then the third, as mentioned sparked by both my plan to start teaching Dutch yoga on YouTube, as well as by the photo of 2008 me from when I was in my 15+ years of teaching yoga professionally.
.
3. Suzanne Yoga Teacher NL 2021 (YouTube only)
.
This was a really cool find, because although I knew I wanted to pick up teaching Dutch yoga on YouTube, it didn’t really have a vibe yet.
But the moment I found that picture, I connected back to the zeros 2000-2010, when yoga in America (I read Yoga Journal) was so damn cool.
With all the yoga studios, being super contemporary and having that happy brightly colored vibe!

.
And suddenly I also tapped back into the business coaching for yoga studios, but also the business coaching from Denise Duffield Thomas (I always kept following her, just far less actively than I used to);
And I rekindled the love for my first business coach that I really vibed with, which was Amanda Daley who taught marketing to health coaches.
.
I never made all the business training for yoga teachers/ local businesses “work” and in retrospect I SO understand why! 
Because the whole niche thing, and find your tribe thing, is very hard to pull off when you work locally.
Or at least: You have to be better at marketing/ finding your voice than I was!
.
I got stuck because I/ my yoga never got past being selected for “what time are your classes”  and “where do you teach”.
I was selected on location and service, not on niche or who matched with my personality.
They chose yoga, not me. 
.
And that doesn’t mean I regret it, in particular the final years were awesome and I had students I really liked. And they me. But at the same time, if I had known how to really attract people who vibed with me, instead of “ending”  with people who vibed with me, but being unable to move further into authentically being me and calling in my truest of clients?
Oh, well, then maybe I would still be a yoga teacher.
.
Or maybe it is simply impossible to do the niche thing, and someone should go tell the yoga teachers that market is simply not suitable to select your soul tribe unless you’re a marketing genius.
Which I, in that case, was clearly not.
.
But I loved the marketing around the studio, and I have marketing books about how to market your yoga studio. And like I said Denise Duffield Thomas and Amanda Daley, they were around 2015 really my go-to for inspiration.
.
After finding that yoga picture of 2008, and starting to see myself as a Dutch yoga teacher again, I connected with their study materials again as well.
They were the perfect marketing coaches to give me the feel of the Dutch online yoga teacher I wanted to be.
.
Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan

So Suzanne yoga teacher (2008) was the third personality which I discovered, on top of the other two (Lauren Harteveld and Rock Star Suzy) I wrote to you before.
And as I was drawing all these circles, about which personality did what, created what, and what coaches did they have and so on;
I also drew a circle of activities that did not seem to have any meaning, yet every now and then they took A LOT of time!

It were the activities you called my “happy place”.
Sorting my notebooks and diaries of decades and decades and lining them up on the shelves next to my desk.
Making a visionboard card deck, and every now and then spend a day making new cards. And I always laminate them.
And now the activity of going through my digital archives and spending the weekend there.
.
I didn’t quite know what the purpose was of this strange inner circle that had such luxurious concepts of time dedicated to whatever the f it wanted to;
But then it struck me!
Of course I knew who was in there!
 
4. the baby koala
.
It was the little baby koala.
The me who only wants to do cute things, and it makes drawings from love duckie, and takes photos of little bear Puux.
.
It was the little baby koala who was in the inner-circle at the truest core of who I was.
And who was absorbed in archiving and loved playing with stationary. It could bind and unbind anything and had hole punchers for three different types of ring binders. 
.
And then around this koala, so the personality who I thought was the most “me”; I had drawn the circle from Lauren Harteveld!
How fitting!
Of course, she was the perfect person to protect the little koala there.
.
And around that came Rock Star Suzy.
Whose main relationships are with other Bon Jovi fans (I forgot to put that in my final schedule I will post in a second)
.
And around that came Suzanne the new yoga teacher 2.0:
She had the most interaction with the real world. Her main relationships were with not so much clients, because I do not have a business and also do not aspire to get one;
But her main relationships will be the one created over teaching yoga.
.
She will be a yoga teacher without a studio, it will all be online on YouTube.
.
And that’s all for now, Sara!
 
Little baby koala has taken its blue and red pens, and as soon as I had figured out how all the circles should go, we made a schedule of it.

 

Because it was A4+ it required some work to get it into a file, but here it is.
2021 08 01 4 Different Identities And What They Create

And this weekend for sure, that little baby koala has been the most productive from all of us.
.
click the image to enlarge
..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

 

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU 
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

 

I Couldn’t Look Away For Four Entire Days | The Covid Diaries

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INTRODUCTION TO
“I Couldn’t Look Away For Four Entire Days”
July 31, 2021

I’m creating a book The Covid Diaries, from posts I ve written since March 2020.

It’s powerful stuff, but the erratic, unpredictable nature of the pandemic, has reflected in the material.
Some chapters are written as a stand-alone essay.
Some as part of an official series “the C Diaries”.
And some jotted down in a Facebook box, I think because I hoped that way I would keep them short.
Only to find out the majority of them is so long, they deserve their own post.

“I Couldn’t Look Away For Four Entire Days” is one of those posts that were originally on Facebook.

It’s not very long; I could have posted it with other diary entries.
But the one written before this was an entire essay,
2021 04 11  Emphatic* Thoughts On Why You Should Take The Vaccine
– the post you re about to read starts the day after writing that!-
that’s why I have chosen to post this separately.

If you’re lost, you can always check the project page
https://laurenharteveld.com/the-covid-diaries/

That is where all chapters will be posted, after I ve reviewed them.

An interesting thing, is that the “billion dollar sideshow of commercial testing” I write about here, is currently still costing a million euros a day, and it is hardly used.

Illustrated with an image of Pennywise from the movie It, this is what the post from April 17, 2021, said:

.

tenor (35)I COULDN’T LOOK AWAY IN HORROR FOR FOUR ENTIRE DAYS
17 April 2021

I don’t even remember what my mood was Monday, but I assume it was a transition day.
A day where I realized that yes, Sunday’s meaty, passionate piece on why you might want to consider vaccination, had taken more time than I intended, and was definitely not the energy giving weekend activity ones hopes to have;
But that it had all been worth it.

That the fact that I did not do anything creative on Monday, and felt spent, was compensated by knowing I made a valuable contribution to the Covid vaccination discussion.

I really wrote something that acknowledged, and honored, basically every viewpoint on the topic of vaccination, and that came with a narrative that was acceptable if not inspiring, to all.

So Monday was kind of written off, but on Tuesday I started to slide, and for four days I have basically wasted every free hour, hour? minute!, reading my TL on Twitter, and my news feed, in absolute horror.
Every night I went to bed, making the resolution to just disconnect from all media and become in the moment, and in the real world.
There were so much better things to do than to bear witness to the pandemic and financial downfall of the country I was living in!

Because really, either the madness would not be stopped;
Madness meaning government hinting at entirely random dates to open shops and terraces, going from one vaccination cluster f to the next, pausing vaccination programs all.the.time,
setting up a billion dollar sideshow of commercial testing that will determine the fate of us all in our Brave New World to come.

Or it would be stopped.

And I knew that I, personally, was powerless to stop it.

The future of the Netherlands was no longer my business.
Even if we’d all get vaccinated, and who knows maybe the words I had written last Sunday would inspire more people to go if the invitation finally was for them;
Even then the country would go bankrupt on the billion dollar testing organisation for which a law was being built.

A law was, is, being built so that in order to access a restaurant, a cinema or other non-essential place, you would first go through testing in the commercial testing street which was largely funded by the government but still required a €7,50 fee per test;
And then if you tested negative, your result cleared you for 24-40 hours.
The time window had not been decided on.

It was for everybody, whether you had been vaccinated or not, and supposedly it was a temporary measure that only applied to times when it otherwise would not have been possible to have these facilities open to the public.
Read between lines: official, preventative testing to do normal things, is never going to leave.

Especially not because now there will be a monstrous testing organization that sucks the government dry for billions.
It will demand to be fed.
And the law will provide for its needs.

One minister can spend 1.6 billion dollars on commercial testing streets and organizing exclusive, highly dangerous, uncontrolled parties for a few thousand people, before there even is a law.

These events have been going on for days, and will be going on for the upcomings days, weeks.
It’s absolute maddening to even think about it.
Some are festivals with 10.000 people!!!!
AT THE HEIGHT OF THIS PANDEMIC!
They have been tested beforehand, but the test afterwards is voluntary;
No research or measurable results will come from these fieldlab experiments, as they are called.

Maybe it is forgivable that I spent 4 days to watch the destruction of the country I live in, but it feels like I ve been watching a horror movie, with an uncontrollable train with 18 million peoples railing into a ravine.

In last Sunday’s piece I said that it was up to you, not to make individual choices, but to stay connected with what the people around you needed from you.
Stand by your people, whatever that means for you.
And however big or small your tribe might be.

But with the absolute madness I ve seen since the vision-less press conference last Tuesday, the financial destruction of 1.6 billion and contagion mayhem of the fieldlab pilot events that are happening daily;
I have little hope something as simplistic as love and loyalty is going to save us.

I feel, that evil is among us.

 ~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

I Couldn’t Look Away For Four Entire Days
is part of The Covid Diaries

You can follow The Covid Diaries coming to life
on Facebook
& Twitter: @LSHarteveld

.

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

April this year: the official reboot | The Covid Diaries

hug-guns-n39-roses-axl-rose-Favim.com-7192065INTRODUCTION TO
“April this year: the official reboot “

July 30, 2021

In April 2021, 13 months after the pandemic started, I started writing both Facebook posts as well as entire blog posts.
At that point I had written about Covid for a year, but it were these diary like entries, that set the tone for what is now becoming The Covid Diaries.
The full blogposts, were posted on this blog. But those shorter Facebook posts in between, stayed dormant. I never posted them to this blog.

Tying in the first of the two missing Facebook diary entries, to their next official blog post,
this is what it said:

tenor (33)NEW SERIES
The Covid Diaries – Countdown to free hugs

| report on the final months of social distancing
8 April 2021
post 1

Today was the FIRST time I accidentally, thoughtlessly, removed my face mask, when I was packing my groceries.
A fellow shopper reminded me to put one on, as I started to happily make my way out of the grocery store.
Which I did, but I also wondered:
What happened?
Why NOW?
Only to then immediately remember “why now”!

Because my post-Covid life has started ever since Guns N Roses has announced a 2022 concert here in the Netherlands.

And although technically I know we’re not there yet, especially in The Netherlands since our vaccination “strategy” is breaking in to a whole new level of the word cluster fuck;
Yet, at the same time I know that ultimately, we are there.
There is no way back.

The German Guns N Roses concert has already been postponed twice, which proves that planned concerts do not mean a concert will actually happen.
But just like the poor Dutch vaccination strategy is no reason for me to think the concert will be cancelled delayed, neither are these facts.
This is the one.
No turning back.

We really ARE there.

For the Netherlands this means that I think that in 1 year and 75 days, when Guns N Roses play The Netherlands, we’ll be there, breathing right next to each other. In each other’s hair.
We won’t wash our hands all day.

And everything will be as if we went straight from 2019 to 2021:
Without a trace of Covid or social distancing.
This new series will be a report of that.

170725972_4085352978153030_5544184134015770382_nWHAT I READ TO STAY HUMAN
9 April
post 2

I’m not much of a fiction reader. In fact: I would not even call myself a reader at all.
Not anymore.
The moment I started writing, I stopped reading. Something I seem to be quite alone at.
Most writers are also readers, or if they are not readers they were never readers.

But I used to be a reader, it’s just that the urge and the need to write is so much stronger.
And the urge and the need to read is weak.
I have accepted this, and from the point of “choosing ones battles wisely” I never tried to make myself read.

There are exceptions in the form of the occasional novel, which I get as a gift and then like it so much I am temporary enchanted by the idea of reading.
But those episodes are short lived.

My only reason I currently have, to read, is because my lust for life and sex is just as feeble as my urge to read books.
And with the entire society under the spell of Covid, there has been little to no inspiration from there either.
No one is setting a positive example.
Even the word positive has taken on a whole different meaning!

So that is why I have turned to reading erotica from Anais Nin.
As a remedial therapy.
Something to remind me that there is more to life than Covid.

That underneath the loneliness, and the failing Dutch Covid policies, and behind the promise of “One day things will go back to normal”;
Things will go back to normal.
And it’s our duty to keep our minds open to mystery, sexuality, and our view on the world and life broader than our travel bans permit.

While things are being sorted out, it is our job to stay alive.
Not just not die.

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EMPATHIC THOUGHTS ON WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE THE VACCINE
12 April
real blog post

I used the word emphatic thinking it meant empathetic.
But it means:
Emphatic: done or said in a strong way and without any doubt

I did not change the title.
It is indeed, emphatic.

You can read this blog post here:
Emphatic* Thoughts On Why You Should Take The Vaccine

 ~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

April this year: the official reboot
is part of The Covid Diaries

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& Twitter: @LSHarteveld

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