Twitter just asked me to sum up my 2018 with an emoji.
I chose a burning container.
One of those big ones they use on ships.
Which I saw as a positive interpretation of this year.
Because I do believe you need to make space, and burn way more boats than you intended to, in order to achieve your goals.
And create the life of your dreams.
Since I quit the yoga studio, but especially since I started my new company under this name Lauren Harteveld ten days ago – I feel anxious.
Not because I live in the past, angry over everything that was burned in the proverbial container. Nor do I feel resentful over the things that didn’t come into fruition.
I feel I’m racing against time.
Against my courage.
Against the outside world closing in on me, who will one day force me to accept a real job if writing “still” has nothing to show for.
I noticed this week’s social occasions being unexpectedly straining, or having more awkward moments than usual. Initially I wasn’t able to pinpoint it.
At the beginning of the week I had even made the resolution to make more space for my social life, because I assumed it would be part of my goal to have daily Lighthouse Moments;
Moments to shine and recharge!
Yet by the end of the week, I was convinced social activities were way too unpredictable to be labeled as Lighthouse Activities. The only unapologetic lighthouse moment I had experienced, had been a network meeting.
Where I hardly knew anyone.
In other words: my true Lighthouse Moments were when I could completely identify with my work.
Which explained why I had labeled the pretty hermit activity, to create videos for my channel (intend to pick that up!) instinctively as a lighthouse moment.
Just like the network meeting, recording a video as Lauren Harteveld, was a moment where I would fully identify with my work.
I thought I had been changing my name, at the Chamber of Commerce.
But what I had done, was to breathe life into the writer side of me.
The lighthouse moments were Her moments.
The connection with friends and family, were not.
In retrospect it was no coincidence at all, I was experiencing so much trouble in my social life.
I also quit writing about my love life this week.
I assumed because it was starting to turn against me.
There had been some irregularities between my secret lover and me, which had been bothering me for a while. And I was just so done trying to make sense of it.
Besides, if after 12 years of being single, you start wondering why you don’t have a man to sit with under the Christmas tree.
Or even why you don’t have a Christmas tree.
It’s time to abort ship.
So I assumed my choice to wrap up my diary Project M, and focus solely on work, creating a biz, and all the personal breakthroughs that would come from that – was simply because I was calling it quits on foretelling or analyzing what the fuck was going on in my love life.
But of course that too was a direct consequence of choosing to become Lauren Harteveld!
The first Dutch, 7-figure, rock star writer is not going to waste her holidays waiting for a guy to show up.
She ain’t got time for that, Baby!
So no wonder I had an extremely rough week.
I had already become Lauren Harteveld, yet I expected to feel fulfilled within the delicate social structures of those who loved “me”.
Neither was it a coincidence that I was feeling increasingly restless.
Everything, my insecurity, the confrontations, the disappointments, the entire drama filled week;
It could ALL be explained by my choice to become Lauren Harteveld.
I had chosen my work over my social life.
I had chosen my work over love.
And my standards has raised tremendously.
In January, the renovation of my building is moving fully indoors. This means that for three weeks my house is supposedly still livable, with an emergency toilet, one cold water tap, and an electrical stove.
While my kitchen, hallway, toilet, bathroom, sewer (I will have to throw my water out the window, like in the middle ages!) are out of order.
Now old me, thought she would just go live with her mother for three weeks.
New me, tried that for two nights this week (because of the asbestos renovation) and patiently explained to her mother this was not a good idea.
That she appreciated she could always stay here – and she stressed she would return the favor if her mother ever needed her – but that she was going to look for something for herself.
New me, Lauren Harteveld, was not going to be someone’s guest for three weeks. Nor was she going to live in a house, where she had to sleep next to her poop for three weeks.
In defense of the building cooperation:
There is an apartment nearby where tenants can shower, cook and leave their turds. So technically you don’t have to camp in your own home, if you’re willing to leave your house and walk a few doors down for shared facilities.
My mom and me had our conversation about the change of plans, early this week. But I didn’t actually realize I was going so hard limit with having a real house, until this weekend.
There was a problem with the heating which had broken down, after it had finally been fixed the day before.
After having issues for over three weeks.
So within 24 hours of getting it running smoothly, it broke down again.
I called the emergency number and in the afternoon a mechanic came over.
While he was working, I told him the renovation had been hugely straining. Due to the extra asbestos removal and the unexpected replacement of my radiators which then in turn had been causing ongoing trouble with the heating.
I was already at my wits end and dreaded the “official” 3 weeks of indoor renovation.
I also told him I had been looking for alternatives, of apartments where I could stay. But that they looked remote and lonely.
He informed me there was alternative housing, but you needed a medical certificate for that.
Naturally, neither him nor me, had any idea if I would qualify.
But after he left, I started to make arrangements and along the way something strange happened.
I suddenly knew I actually AM crazy.
Not in the sense that I believe the housing cooperation owes me alternative housing (that’s up to them). But crazy in the sense that the way I ve been handling this year’s burning container, is extremely risky.
It is NOT what a normal person would do.
It’s one of the things I ve told to many people!
That I have two choices.
One is I take therapy and learn to put my failed yoga career into perspective, lower expectations a bit, learn to be content with maybe a little bit less drama, and a more regulated life.
“And maybe in three years time I ll be fit enough to take a job,” I usually add.
I leave it all behind.
Burn the boat.
Everything I once was.
And start over.
The second option is to move forward and to never look back.
I was never going to do normal.
I’ve always known that.
By becoming Lauren Harteveld, the candid blogger and erotica writer, I have made sure I can never go back.
But Lauren has limited time before her resources run out.
Time she is not going to waste camping between the turds.
Nor jeopardize it, feeling isolated in a remote holiday resort.
Nor is she going to stay over at her mother’s, like a stray cat.
Lauren Harteveld knows that every day in her life is important.
But those three weeks?
Are when she will build her life.
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living
7-Figure Rock Star Writer
Jump is episode 7 of my project 7-figure rock star writer
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I quit writing
I ve been writing about my love life, pretty much non-stop, since 2006, the moment I became single. And although it has brought me many things – in particular the opportunity to have relationships that are way out of my league – it has now started to constrict me.
The cage of self-reflection and transparency, that I built to protect myself, has become a prison.
I need to start living, and start experiencing life, without the pen.
Or at least without diary writing/ blogging about my real life.
I m going to use this time to create my four new books
One Dutch book with columns:
Verhalen over mannen, macht en dagjes uit
One English book with columns:
I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
One English book about Mistresshood:
The Big Mistress
And one diary 2017-2018, called Reboot.
Which will also include my last diary Project M.