To Rule The World

Madonna at 23 years old

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup..

Dear Sara,
I can assure you this going all in, this stepping on it, and this upleveling like a mf, when at the same time feeling the same joyous August excitement I used to have when I was still a yoga teacher and could theme my next year;
That this did not come peacefully.
It wasn’t like I suddenly had a deep insight into what now seems God’s Divine Plan for my life, happily playing with that card deck I showed you, the one I created two weeks after my birthday that contained pictures of my dreams and desires.
My calling came after a lot more drama and despair.
But now that I see the big picture, or at least the potential of the upcoming year, the deck does start to make more sense.
The card deck contained, among many other things, pictures of what I considered to be role models or my different identities.
The picture with this blog post is Madonna at 23 years old.
I could understand why I had selected that photo to be in the deck, since my main project for this pseudonym LS Harteveld is still my 1995 project.
The time when I was 23 old.
Obviously, the Madonna was supposed to represent “me”, Lauren in 1995.
The 1995 project is about being a 23 year old Lauren Harteveld, a college graduate, who saw her first year as a working young woman fall into f’ing bits. 

A year where she has been working for a publisher, mostly from home.
A year where she lost her lover Bear, because he wanted to have a quote unquote real relationship, or at least that’s how she translated his announcement her five year affair was no longer to be consumed.
By now Bear has proven he does still appreciate their friendship, and he’s actually a better friend to her than he was during their affair.
But still.
Lauren has lost something that was very dear to her, and the discrepancies between her and Bear are accumulating.
Before his one year contract with a prestigious financial firm expired, he already landed himself a better job, which allowed him to start traveling the world and to run his own hustle.
A privilege rarely given to someone his age, where doing office face-time and making sure you were seen by the right people was usually all you could do for your career.
Bear had outdone her in the areas of relationships as well as career, and by now she didn’t even feel worthy of his love anymore.
She had lost a full year.
A year where, yes, she had figured out she wanted to be a writer. Or that she already was a writer and she should start monetizing it.
But that was months ago.
And she had done little to nothing to turn her life around, and didn’t know how.
She didn’t even like the ass-sitting hours of being a writer, and her goal was to have less of them.
So how then, was she going to be a writer?
Did she/ I even have what it takes?
I don’t know if I told you this, but the card deck was composed in an intuitive way. It contained pictures of things I found important to be part of my future vision, but of many I didn’t fully understand what they represented.
And then a second “layering” was added, where I – also intuitively – sequenced them.
Some parings were logical, like all the yoga cards together.
But some didn’t make sense to me at all.
One was the Madonna card.
To a certain level I could understand why I had looked for a photo of the 23 year old Madonna, and yet its presence especially at a crucial point in the card deck, right before pictures of what I assume will be my next boyfriend, didn’t make sense.
Why had I (under divine guidance, let’s hope) put this picture there?
Why had I linked reawakening my inner Madonna to Love, instead of to Success?
It would have made more sense in my real estate section, which closed the card deck and contained a card of a beautiful apartment building, copious amounts of Jon Bon Jovi pictures on stage, and countless interiors in different combinations of the colors white, black, and a dominant red. 
The real estate slash Jon Bon Jovi section did not contain an “identity card”; No card of “me- as this person who has all these things” was present.
So if Madonna was apparently to become a role model once more, and in particular her beginning years where she lived in New York, still “Livin’on a Prayer” so to speak;
Then why wasn’t she in the real estate slash success section of the deck?
Why had the Madonna 1981 card landed at number 4, in what I called my big arcade, similarly to the Tarot?
I m not exactly sure yet, but ever since I got up this morning with the vision of what my 2020-2021 (my 1995-1996) was going to look like, I do understand one thing;
That real estate section or not, the image of the 23 year old Madonna is the key to my success.
She did not land at the number 4 spot to illustrate that I had to become her in order to get the man on number 3, 5 and 6, whom I thought must have been a representation of my “main boyfriend”.
Oh and by the way his pictures, and how omnipresent they were in the deck, was another intuitive choice that had baffled me.
Because if they stood for whom I thought they stood for, I didn’t see how that man, the man I thought it represented, would ever come into my life. 
So initially I had been using a literal interpretation of the sequencing of the cards.
With regard to the man on card 3,5 and 6, and Madonna in between, I had taken it as:

“Become 23 year old Madonna and the man in the pictures shall be yours.”
And with regard to my real estate section and JBJ’s presence:
“Run your business like the Jersey Syndicate (the name Bon Jovi used to refer to themselves in the late 80s) and all this wealth shall be yours.”
But I felt a shift.
A big one.
And it was a happy one, considering I had been spending I think 48 hours or so, immobilized by my phobias closing in on me.
The same social phobias that had been haunting me since my teens, caused havoc in my sex life for decades, and that miraculously seemed to have slept through the first five months of inconsistent, confusing Dutch Covid regulation.
And JUST when I was letting down my guard.
And JUST as I had decided to stop giving fucks about trying to please everyone and be a perfect example of Covid Responsibility, and start taking more risks in the social life and sex life department;
It was back.
I was offered a job interview at the end of days of social debauchery and totally froze up.
The thought of something (Or someone, Sara! Or someone!) that I had engaged with (this was a euphemism) for the last 14 days, would report me to our health services as someone they had “spent more than 15 minutes with in the same room” (oh, more euphemisms Sara), that these sweet moments of human interaction would end up being clinically dissected by health services?
Totally unacceptable.
I DO value sex enough to risk sickness, two weeks of quarantine and being not the safest person to meet. My friends and family make a conscious choice to see me, and I have been vocal for months that sex is coming back on the agenda. Covid or no Covid.
But the thought that if I have sex while I am also “in the loop” with a workplace?
That my social and sexual indulgence is going to spill over into having conversations with the temp agency and coworkers?
Phobias the way I had not experienced them in decades!
God, what a cluster fuck it was.
My first response to being back at trembling anxiety and sleepless nights was to cancel IT ALL, in order to be able to work.
So to cancel all contact with friends, family, lovers, for the upcoming 12 to 18 months or as long as it took, in order to be clean enough to work.
I would make up some excuse for this current job offer, and start clean in the second week of September.  
That way my social and sex life was orderly, orderly meaning non-existent.
No residues left.
As long as I would maintain a social anorexic state, I would never have to have embarrassing conversations since all exposure would have been in service of God and Mankind.  
My conscience would be as clear as a saint’s, since I would not have any real life, aside from the workplace one.
As incredibly clever as that was, I ultimately did not choose for this solution as the thing that was going to save me.
But I did do two other things.
The first thing I decided was to find help for my returning phobia.
I had successfully beaten its first 15+ year round in my life, where I autonomously conquered the hiv/aids phobia that had limited my sex life and had set me off on the wrong foot, pursuing long-term monogamous relationships which did not excite me one bit.

Not even when I was 17.
But due to Covid and a messy week of new government regulation being declared by decree, then pulled back through push-back from opposition, and ultimately GASLIT UPON US- 
the fears were back.
It was as if all the things I had done to tackle the first phobia, had failed, and the beast now had two heads where there once had been one.
I was not going to do this alone, again.
I always heard phobias are kind of like psychology’s 101. You could be cured by the intern so to speak, that’s how simple phobias are supposed to be.
So this made me decide if they ever returned, I would not go through the hassle of solving them myself.

Already the first night of having my demons return to me, I emailed the psychotherapist who would have done my diagnosis, had I still needed help at the beginning of this year.
I wrote her a letter, stating that although the problems for which I had been referred in 2019 had been handled by myself successfully, old fears dating back to the 80s had come back to haunt me.
Awakened from their dormant sleep by Covid.
And that I was hoping I could be treated by their practice, or receive a referral to a colleague.
So that is, to me at least, definitely a surprise. That I actually asked for mental health help, since I was so done with it earlier.
But also, when I didn’t need it anymore, earlier. 
If all goes well – and my healing is complete! – not only will I be able to sport having a job or any social or sexual interaction of my choosing next to a career of being, eh, Madonna I guess!
I will also calmly carry the responsibility of this human interaction.
Including the responsibility of having an unusual sex life that will never be your average transparent, run of the mill, monogamous relationship.
I will be at peace with the fact that human interaction comes at a price.
And with the fact that my body is a chemical weapon that calls for having your entire social circle being round up like the a terrorist organization and suffering government repercussions for taking your mini-chemical warfare body out into the streets to go grocery shopping.
As you might have picked up, I am not quite there yet, in terms being judged on whether or not I am or am not an open sewer today.
And if I could have known I was an open sewer because I showed signs of being an open sewer or because I have been into contact with people who were showing signs of being open sewers.
Where open sewer can be replaced by “chemical bomb”, “radioactive waste” or “leper”.
But hey!
Psychology 101 right?
Let the healing begin.
Since I seem to be the only one who translates every traceable human interaction into the possibility of two weeks of quarantine and your entire social network hearing from local health services your reckless behavior has risked their lives and all their loved ones to the third degree;
I m clearly missing the Don’t Worry Be Happy take on things.
I m making this way too difficult.
Just like my entire generation, except me, managed to cheerfully develop their sex lives and ignore the Aids/hiv brochures our government printed in blood spatter, I kid you not.
Even in the 80s letting yourself get upset by the combination of social control with deadly diseases, was for softies.
Every intern knows that.
Forgive me for my rant, although I imagine it does illustrate why for me the idea of having heavy ass shit like this follow me into the workplace, is unthinkable without breaking into a cold sweat.
So that was ONE!
One major thing I did in the wake of those events.

I asked for help for the two headed phobia monster that was now chasing me, instead of taking it on by myself.
I mean, why would you, when its psychology 101 right?
Oh, and there’s me being sarcastic again.
So anyway, realizing that the practical job in a non-office, non-desk working environment, was in Covid times not going to be the easy going social activity I fancied it to be, put my immediate future into a whole different light.
If working among other people was basically mY wOrSt fEaR right now, then what?
Was I going to squeeze it in regardless, or do something entirely different with month 7 to 13 of the Covid era?
And there it was.
The vision.
The thing I had been chasing for so long!
I have not unpacked it fully, to be honest. But from the first look of it, everything is in there.
It’s like an IKEA box, that you still have to put together yourself and we all know that might take a day where you thought it would be 30 minutes;
But who remembers that in years to come when your utilitarian but also beautiful piece of furniture has taken its rightful place in your living space, and gives you joy everyday?
No one remembers the day of unpacking then.
Of wondering how it would all fit together.
No one will even remember that if something was missing or if you needed extra tools to put it together, that you went back to the store, or borrowed a hammer from a neighbor you had never spoken to before.
It’s all forgotten.
Today is the day not of my new bookshelves but of my vision.
And in the end all that will be remembered is its happily ever after presence in my life.

My vision PART 1: Made by Lauren

Although my vision encompasses all areas of my life, it is really rooted in this pseudonym, in the work I do as LS Harteveld.
And specifically in the project Lauren 1995.
In my vision I see Lauren moving away from working full-time at the publisher’s (a job I invented to cover me publishing my own books), into:
– Lauren 1995 working only part-time, like one or two days a week, as a copy-editor.
– Lauren 1995 publishing her own diary 1994- 1995
Just like Anais Nin, she’s going to do it herself.
– writing her second book, the 1995-1996 diary
This was an offline “endeavor” or at least it would have been, if I had been writing anything!
Aside from small daily notes in my journal.
But in combination with cleaning up my love life (see, The Vision part 2), I think 1995-1996 could be written online.
I haven’t decided yet.
And finally I “created” a new job, which ties Lauren 1995 to current day me, writing and YouTubeing about Bon Jovi under my real name;
– Lauren 1995 is going to create all the material for the Bon Jovi fan club
Under my real name I have a YouTube channel discussing old Bon Jovi concerts, and I have a website with Bon Jovi related stories.
And although I ve been in heart and soul, with Lauren 1995;
I always knew this work under my real name was my future.
That it was My Thing!
But I also knew that I would have to tie it into the 1995 project of my pseudonym. That I needed the best of both worlds.
Giving Lauren 1995 a job as content-creator avant la lettre, for the Bon Jovi fanclub;
That’s IT, Baby!
A 23 year old Lauren, reviewing concerts of her favorite band, writing about them. It’s like a crossover between being a VJ (remember those?) and a rock journalist (remember those? Sadly one of the professions we seemed to have decimated with the coming of the internets) gives the 1995-me a way to interact with what I do online in the real world.
Lauren 1995 is going to work for the Bon Jovi fanclub three to four days a week.
That is part of my vision.
And here’s the other part of my vision, where I incorporate the lessons from the panic attacks and the recurring social phobia:

My vision PART 2: my love life and social life are clean and simple

Call it a Covid thing, call it a focus thing, but when I manage to get the funds to kick-start this year, or nine and a half months it is; I do not have time for drama.
I do not have time for occasions, events, and people, who might come at unforeseen costs.
For example.
If you now go to a bar or cinema, you may be contacted by health services and lose two weeks of your life to quarantine.
Simply because you were in the same space for longer than 15 minutes.
Don’t have time for that, ain’t gonna risk it, sorry!
No more cinema and no indoor cafes and restaurants, unless there is an extreme case of exception going on.
But this is also why I’m not going to work for a temp agency, or for another job, in the upcoming months:
I can’t waste another night or nights worrying about who I am going to infect, and if I should or should not go to work because I sneeze one time too many.
Until I can be around people without my phobias being triggered (this is where I put my faith in good therapy), or until loneliness from running my own book biz starts wearing me down, until I start missing having a sexual secretive affair, or need the money of a normal job;
I m going to stay away from anything that gets under my skin.
Jobs with in person colleagues, cafes, cinemas, and secret affairs.

For the upcoming year, year and a half, I m going to keep an impeccable clean social rep sheet, and focus on my art and my message instead.

My vision PART 3: What the Madonna Card really meant

Part 3 is the final part of the vision, as I have seen it today.
Before I get to that, I have not told you why it’s 9 months. And why now, in August. Although maybe I told you a bit of why now;
Because I m always inspired by the school year.
Most yoga teachers end their classes early June. And if you re in your final year of high school, you have exams and they end late May as well.
June is the month where you get your diploma, and the month the yoga courses end.
So I m setting up my year to start in September, and end on June 13:
The day of the Bon Jovi concert in 2019
I m seeing it as a year to create my own education, my own business. Creating the foundations of a new life.
So, the final part of the vision:
The 1981 Madonna.
Contrary to my initial assumption that “she” stood for the woman I would be, or would have to become, for the man on card 3, 5 and 6, the early Madonna stands for determination to rule the world.
I think it was a 1983 interview where the host asks her what she wants to achieve and she answers; “To rule the world.”  
By that time she had lived in a cockroach infested apartment where she ultimately left the door open when she went out, because she was tired of thieves breaking her locks and having to replace them every time.
She had to overcome sexual assault, when she was molested on a rooftop by a stranger with a knife, without anyone to talk to but her walls.
I can’t remember if she stared into a mirror or at photos of her idols, that were a representation to her of what she wanted to achieve.
But I remember her saying this was the moment when she wondered if she should just give up on her dream and go back home or have a normal career.
She asked herself: 

“How bad do I want this?”
The rest is legend.
My phobia was always the same; It was a social phobia.
Whether it was linked to aids/hiv, to Covid, or to a plain and dull version of being judged and having them talk behind your back because they don’t understand you and therefor keep looking for reasons to hate you.

The phobia was always something that had to be dealt with, before I would push through and make it big.

The .phobias returning were my night of looking at my own walls, of looking in the mirror, pondering;
“How bad do I want this?”
I want all of it.

~Suzanne/ Lauren
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

I usually don’t do this, but if you’re interested in following my Bon Jovi related content under my real name, you’re invited to follow the following accounts:
Rock Star Writer (blog)
Rock Star Writer Facebook
my personal Twitter under my real name

Books LS Harteveld/ Lauren

Lauren’s books are available at LULU
New books will also be added to Lulu, as sites are being curated.


I am Suzanne, the real name of Lauren Harteveld,
Lauren/ LS Harteveld was my second identity under which I wrote about sex, relationships, pop culture, from 2006 to 2020.
Lauren is now in 1995, so she will write offline for us.
Her first year 1994-1995 is available online:

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
Nederlands blog: