This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.
I know it’s still one week before our call, a week where I hope to regain my strength and the absolute joy and the high I have been on for two months, minimum.
So then why write you now, one might wonder.
Why not wait until Wednesday or Thursday, and have the starting point of our conversation at a point with the bar higher and the mood brighter?
Because I think something important is at play.
Something as important as that time I went in to get vaccinated.
It was my personal choice, in order to not make it a topic of discussion.
If it was possible to get passively aggressively vaccinated, then that’s what I did. It was the ultimate: “Well, let’s not give you the easy target of making that an object of discussion.”
And to a lesser extent: Taking one for the team, because we live in a society, and when in Rome – etcetera.
I went in and while most public responses to it were praise of how well it was organized, all I thought was:
Let me rephrase:
I felt an ungrateful and overly sensitive citizen, yes.
But nonetheless: OMFG.
All I could see were rude bouncers, ill organization, and contagion wise unsafe situations with regard to holding social distances, indoor waiting time, questionable ventilation, and mandatory 15 minutes waiting time in that unsafe space, after the vaccination.
I did not praise the efficiency and instead thought the impersonal treatment, the windowless building or the tent straight from wartimes, and us being herded like cattle called for associations so horrendous that I thought about quitting all my artistic expression and all effort to contribute something to this world or make something out of my life.
Because if these vaccination locations were actually praised, and no one found them horrible;
Then what I said didn’t matter.
I, didn’t matter.
If a windowless building where parents and their teen children were separated, without hearing why, was enough – no, it was GOOD?
Then I had nothing.
Then I was bonafide done trying to contribute anything, ever.
That was the “me in the pandemic” story, that I ve told in different ways over the past two years.
But now I got a similar response to my own birthday, but the setup was of course entirely different!
You don’t celebrate your birthday because you re taking one for the team, because it’s expected, or because it makes communication easier.
And although initially, I did it because people around me started asking and making suggestions;
Ultimately, when I sent that email invite?
Man, it rocked!
It was a hundred percent personal, and it was a birthday celebration I looked forward to.
Now between sending that invite and the birthday, a lot happened of course.
There were the problems I told you about, that made me cancel our last call.
Not ask: “Can you squeeze me in next week?”
No: Cancel. And then you followed up with some great emails, so I ended up getting coaching after all, but my initial plan was simply to cancel and cut my losses.
In the light of events, that money was not among the main things to worry about. In fact: I was so in distress I would not even feel the financial loss of one coaching session.
All I knew was that I didn’t want to lose you.
And that I was in such a bad mental place, I didn’t want to put myself in front of you, being such a mess.
So naturally those, here unnamed, events left their mark. At the time I even considered cancelling my birthday celebrations.
But after making peace with the fact that it was just going to be a toned down one, a not-letting-this-moment-drop one, and that it didn’t have to be perfect, since it was obviously never going to be perfect anymore, I got it back on track, and decided to continue as planned.
To hold the course of having a birthday party.
So there was that.
But that did not explain for what happened.
Something I can only describe as an experience that mimicked the vaccination tent one, as different as the situations obviously are.
Because I am feeling so disempowered by the interaction surrounding my birthday. Not all of course – but everybody matters equally.
I picked up a distinct Single Ride To Pension vibe.
As if the only thing I had achieved was my age, and I was never going to achieve anything.
And realizing that: They could be right.
Which means I need to hurry as fuck to make even the slightest bit of the time that’s left of me count, now that even people who know me are starting to lose faith.
That to many, maybe even to most, even when I have achieved more, they may not understand.
That after a year of hardly writing anything here as LS Harteveld, to focus on working under my real name; My impact is zero.
Not just in terms of people not understanding what I HAVE done, but also in me still being in the dark about so many godforsaken things.
To then have this reminder that the people you love, and your next of kin, will in all probability NEVER see you in your power;
NEVER acknowledge your work;
NEVER understand who you were and will only remember you as the woman who once turned a certain age, and maybe died after a long life or died after a short one.
That, is disheartening.
Which is why I have decided to start writing everyday for LS Harteveld, and have another look at how I want to divide my time and resources.
If I really want to put all my eggs in one basket under my real name, and choose creative work that gives me an identity to the real world and to the people who are close to me.
Something they can relate to.
Or if I take all those sweet baby eggs back over here;
To LS Harteveld.
Where they motherfuckin’ belong.
An unexamined life is not worth living
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