My missing piece

Madonna and Sean Penn photographed by Herb Ritts

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

Dear Sara,

This email is going to be even shorter than last, because I only have 45 minutes at most. 
My late hour for this email (I usually write you over the weekend, and it’s Monday evening here now) is symbolic of the absence of writer energy as a whole, in my new life. Now that I am actively an entrepreneur.

I have put writing, in particular writing under this alter-ego LS Harteveld, at the top of my priorities half of the time; 
And in the slipstream of that, to live a life worthy of writing LS Harteveld stories about. A life with sex and fun and adventure.

And the other half of the time I have put my body, picking up my yoga practice, recreating my yoga teacher body or even teen or 20s body, at the top of my list.

But I can put at the top of my list all I want;
The past half year all that I have really done is setting up my business.

And it is now that the daily rhythm of marketing, selling and working in my business is finally taking shape, and the smoke of the startup is clearing, that the reality of the rest of my life, and those top two priorities only deeper buried in dust than they ever were, covered with more guilt than I had 6 months ago:
It is now, that I both feel intense sadness for all the lost years, and the understanding that I never stood a chance to begin with.

That my social life, my friends, my love life, all hung by just a thread that losing my business in 2020 cut like a knife through butter.
That my entire sense of normalcy, was wrapped up in that simple local identity of I am a yoga teacher.

My business was still in transition when Covid hit;
To this day I am convinced I could have rebuilt a profitable business back. There was a lot at stake, but I also knew a lot, including how to built a healthy business.
Spoiler; It is never, to just blindly take on the business model your industry has come up with.
Maybe there was relief when late 2020 I ended the lease of the yoga space and gave up.
I have been carrying the grief of not being able to build a profitable yoga studio, for a while now.

But now I am at the phase where I realize that my not-profitable-enough studio, was precious. The people, were precious. And now that I have felt loneliness for years on end, so intensely, so dramatically, and can see more than ever, that maybe even if it had cost me money;
Maybe I should have kept it on.

Teaching yoga as a social club for others, and as the foundation for my own social life, was an idea I never took on.
I didn’t allow myself to.
Also because I felt frustrated for it not bringing in what it should, to call it a career or a healthy business.

But now that I have my new business, that is designed in a way that it generates money in a much more straight forward, sustainable way than being a local yoga teacher could ever be, I find myself thinking;
“Damn. I wish I still had those Tuesday night groups.”
Tuesday was the night I rented a big venue, so it cost me extra, hundreds of euros per month.

I quit that venue in 2018, a month before I started working with you, and had lost almost everybody from that night, because few transitioned to my inner-city studio.
But now that I don’t have that inner-city studio anymore, I fantasize about how wonderful it would be to have such a rich social life, of those big groups.
Meeting people at the supermarket who take your class.
That sort of thing.

I realize that as a social activity, it was precious to me. But that I did not allow myself the luxury of indulging in teaching yoga as a hobby.
I needed more.

And I get that.
Even today, I will not start anything like that until I make a solid amount (I know which one) per week.
That just like in 2018, I am frustrated but unwilling to put pleasure and leisure before building a business.
And a big one.

Just that five years later, I see what I have sacrificed.
What I have already lost, in pursuit of owning a business that makes enough money so that I, a single woman, will be able to buy an apartment and sustain myself into old age.

I want a business that keeps feeding me, my retirement fund, my savings account and my investment portfolio for decades to come.
Put the big bricks first, and that is mine.

So there is that, the sadness of seeing I have not been able to hold on to those groups, to the yoga studio, and that in a way I have destroyed that social structure that was also a lifeline to my normalcy.
To feeling I belonged.

And then the title of this blogpost, the missing piece;
I feel I have lost my lover.

I have seen him, and we are still precious to each other. I know that. Nothing has changed between us. But I imagine his circumstances have changed, he has moved away from me energetically and we are no longer sleeping with each other.
I suspect at some point he will tell me we will no longer be having sex, as if I cannot see that myself.

Like the yoga groups I feel I lost him, because I could not focus on two fields at the same time. I could not invest in our beautiful affair, our amazing sex life, the sex life of LS Harteveld, and also build a business.

And I could not invest in my yoga practice and in my body; The body that I had  when year after year, we had those exciting, intimate encounters, that nourished us both so much.
That were valuable, like my yoga groups were valuable just not from a capitalist, financially independent woman perspective.

My body, my yoga practice, my life of fun and adventure and my writing;
My social life, my life teaching yoga, my identity as a yoga teacher;

I put it all on the backburner, for the dream of having the business that will be able to sustain me, when I grow old.

Because I don’t want to be dependent on a man, nor on a community to sustain me, when I am older.
I want to be financially free, and feel it is my responsibility to lay that foundation not just for me, but also for the people who socially or sexually have a relationship with me.

I don’t want to be anybody’s pity case.
Not now, not ever.

But the price, is high. 

An unexamined life is not worth living

Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, and my 1997 diary.
The subscription button is on this page, most likely on the top right.


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: