A Retro Writer’s Guide To A New Life

Writer Carrie Bradshaw in her apartment, Sex and the City.

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

Dear Sara,

Initially I thought I had forgotten all about our last conversation.
That I had made a fuss about having to recover from my personal early- and late Dark Ages, respectively January 2018-February 2020, and March 2020 to March 2023;
Only to then forget all about it.

The very last of the C. measures were lifted last week, on Friday 10 March. The official ending, both of the pandemic as well as of my personal Dark Ages.
Two eras that seemed never ending, until just like that, they did.

I still praise myself lucky I am a middle-aged woman, when these darkest years hit me. That I have decades and decades of normal, healthy life to look back on and to get back to.
I have an understanding of what went wrong these years.

What went wrong, partially due to personal circumstances, but predominantly through global ones. And that what went wrong was in all probability inevitable, because life could not have unfolded in a different way.

Just like when I was 30 and became a yoga teacher; A profession that at the time was not taught to young people.
You had to be in your late twenties to start the education.
Had I known I wanted to be a yoga teacher earlier, it would have been hard to start training and none of it was government funded.
So spending my early twenties at university was a great choice both socially as well as professionally, because it gave me the foundation for my life as an independent because I studied business.

But in terms of career, I had to start all over again, in my late twenties. Professionally, my early twenties had not computed to anything lasting.

I try to go about my Dark Ages in the same way;
They were not wasted, just that they did not lead into a clearly defined career  or skills, anymore than my university degree did.
And they lacked the renaissance spirit of college years, and were indeed more like Dark Ages, where life went around in circles.

Yet ultimately those 5 years were inevitable or necessary, none the less.

So the past weeks I got a new perspective on them, which was already helpful.
But I also did something that came so naturally, I almost forgot it was something that was in sync with the intention to mark The End Of The Era, to heal, integrate, and most of all;
To get the f on with my life.

I dated and organized all my cds, dvds and all my 20th century books. They are now visually dedicated to my Lauren 1998 project;
To living 25 years ago. 
At a glance, I can see all materials I, Lauren, would have had access to at the start of 1998, and I have marked anything being issued in the year 1998 itself, with the date it was released and Lauren 1998 would have been able hear it, read it, or see it in cinemas.

And furthermore, I have split these collections into two separate time capsules;
One for my Sweet Sixteen self, to bring back the remarkable productivity, the stunning health, and the tremendous calm of the 80s. 
And one for my 20s self, for Lauren 1998, who is still struggling to juggle her ambitions as a diarist with her freelance work.

There are still hurdles to take, because just like Lauren 1998 I  struggle keeping even more balls up in the air, starting my new online business (I’m back to fully online, and will write off the money I spent on three months at the local business center. It was driving me nuts to even think about real life networking) and setting up a sustainable marketing for ALL my creative outlets.

I can’t post a few inspiring memes, and start selling my online coaching. I am NOT that kind of business owner.
I will always be a creative because I coach creatives and am creating a whole Rock Star Universe for decades to come.

You don’t Content Calendar yourself out of that, I need to keep creating!
I need to keep writing.

And not just for my real name, but for this name, Lauren, LS Harteveld as well.

But one ball didn’t make it.
It slipped and I know I cannot pick it back up;
My yoga practice has completely flatlined.

It is just undoable to be a writer under two names, run a company, do my marketing, make yoga videos and other videos, get daylight, exercise, and do interesting things to live a life worth writing about-
And to also have a home yoga practice.

I need to give it up, and move to “All yoga is for video”.
I need to be an online yoga practitioner, not an online teacher.
Which feels more vulnerable, yet in a strange way, also more exciting.
But it was not how I had envisioned it. I thought this year I would become a strong, offline, yoga practitioner again.

Now I know that all yoga will be teaching it.

The coaching company which I started in February, has been an incredible blessing, I feel that is what is the biggest difference between the Dark Ages and now.
That I now have a monetizable purpose.

But because I also want to build my yoga channels, and do all my writer and storyteller work, under two names, it has also revealed something has got to give.
And I know this is the offline, private, non-monetizable yoga practice.

I know not having a yoga practice is risky.
That after a 5 year midlife crisis of strain, stress, tremendous losses, frustration and major changes in every and all areas of my life (bar my love life, which has been surprisingly stable considering its “loose” setup! 😂) something that can serve as a physical form of therapy, would be the wise thing to do.

March’s changes of having a company and building yoga channels, two things I would have loved to have had over the past 5 years, will come with a sacrifice of my personal yoga practice.
There is no other way, since I prioritize writing under two names, marketing, publishing books and giving Lauren an offline, 20th century life worth writing about.

So from my previous letter to you, a realization that I need to implement something to undo the damage of five years of Dark Ages, I am moving to an understanding that my way of getting over my 21st century Dark Ages, is not by moving forward. Nor by moving inward.
But by moving outward, into the world.
And back, into creating an offline 20th century life.

Which makes sense, because despite all the drama, what I experienced more than anything in those five years, was being forced to stand still.
To stand still and to see what I called a life, crumble away, die, move out, or otherwise slip between my fingers.

It was the hell of seeing my whole life disappear into a five year void. Leaving behind only loneliness, and old age.
The year I turned 50 was the worst year of my life.

Therefor my path out of the darkness can never be contemplation.
the solitude of a daily yoga practice.

I need to run this new, 21st century online business; Yes.
But all my free time will go to giving Lauren 1998 a richer, fuller life!

A 20th century offline life;
FILLED with professional, personal and sexual adventures.

Adventures, worth writing about. 

An unexamined life is not worth living

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