Good for one thing | & 3 new juicy books available

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara (new website!)
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

“I m only good for one thing in life. That’s teaching.”
Michael Douglas in The Kominsky Method

Let’s be clear that I consider myself to be good at more things in life than just teaching yoga.
I am for example, if maybe not a good writer in the traditional sense of the word?
A prolific writer.
A not stopping at anything writer.
A not ever having had a writer’s block in her entire life writer.
So yes, there is that.

And also let’s be clear that I am writing this in a week where I am not doing any of those things. Not writing, not teaching yoga and not even publishing my books, even when I did manage to unlock three new books last Friday*, what in hindsight was the last day I didn’t know how badly I was thrown off track.

The Friday when I thought I was on a roll, and that nothing would stop me from going on publishing my books, writing my blogs, and rebooting my yoga career.

Except I had already stopped.
I was already taken out by an unexpected responsibility that considers multiple parties, and a desired outcome that I have no idea how to accomplish or what the costs would be if I did know it.
I have no idea how to fix this, or get the best outcome, and last Friday I had not realized yet, that I am in way over my head.

Oh, and it’s not just my problem of course, it’s something that will hurt a friend if I mess this up. 
And that’s also why I am not going to explain it, but either way:
I didn’t know all that Friday.

If you’d asked me last Friday what the things were I thought I was good at, I would have answered writing, publishing and teaching yoga, but I was also still actually DOING those things.
Or close to be doing them/ picking them up.

As opposed to now, when I m only writing you because I always do so before our call.
I have not written for what seems ages, I m off social media, and I would not have written this, if it had not been because that is what I do before our call.

And yet.
Even though this will go down as what others would call a holiday week, and what I call a “I can’t see myself doing any work” week, still the dialogue from an acting coach/ teacher/mentor played by Michael Douglas in the Netflix series The Kominsky Method, rung a bell.
A big one.

Because in season 1 he sees the reality that although he is a good teacher, who establishes great breakthroughs with his students; He is bad at everything else that has to do with running an acting studio.
Which is why he has hired his daughter Mindy, to take care of that a long time ago.

At the end of season 1 he realizes that she deserves to be in charge. Not him.
That the one who deals with the daily grind is the one who deserves the credit. Not the one who shines for a brief moment between 7 and 8.30 PM, teaching an acting class.

In the past few weeks, I have established a freedom-based format for any work I want to be doing for an extended period of time.
It came down to not wanting to commit to obligations that are going to limit my options.
So for example (and I m going to nuance this, but this is what I came up with last time I wrote you) I didn’t intend to ever commit to weekly classes, scheduled appointments/ calls and so on.

So my preliminary conclusion was that work that was gonna last, was work that could be chosen, time and time again.
Work that I was never obliged to deliver because it had already been paid for.

Now it’s not that there was necessarily anything wrong with that; It is definitely true.
But the scene with Michael Douglas and his daughter made me realize that the reason I feel trapped if I commit to scheduled appointments/ work, is not because I mind the REAL work to being scheduled!

The reason I seem so allergic to commitments is because it means the grey area of daily grind, is in the commitment.

But if I had someone else running my yoga studio, doing the marketing, answering calls and emails;
And me just showing up?
Oh, I could handle just absolutely anything!

So in this strange in-between week, where like I said I am offline and don’t write and have not picked up teaching yoga, and all I focus on is the situation that arose that is asking so much of my attention and that I do not know how to handle properly, it was great to find out that I have way more options than just doing one-off gigs.
I can do reliable, dependable, and I can do it consistently.

But ONLY of the things I am good at.
Writing.
Publishing.
Teaching yoga.
In their absolute purest, stand-alone form.

That it was never the work I did not want to commit to.
It was everything else.

..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

* Yes! 3 New Books Added To The STORE !!! 

1. The Mistress Speaks
channeling a lost archetype

2. The Beach, C.
Diary, letters and essays inspired by Basic Instinct’s Catherine Tramell

3. Star Wars is finally telling women *cross out* everybody to start enjoying The Thing
And other deeply personal blogposts about the sequel trilogy that did not age well

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

 

Three Stars Are Born

 

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara (new website!)
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

I have so much news, I don’t know where to begin!

(and I give everybody reading this blogpost, including Sara, permission to stop at any point, including now!)

I already sent you a private in-between email about me finding a way to work under the same terms professionally, as I have found as my relationship style.
How freedom needs to be the basis of anything in my life that is worth holding on to.

But I didn’t know why. 
Why was I so allergic to people claiming my time, and more specifically my future?

The good news is:
Now I know why.

The bad news is:
This is indeed a precarious situation, where I cannot afford to take my eyes off the ball.

And it doesn’t even matter, technically, how many or how little hours I have for my own freedom-based business model;
What matters is that I spend every minute I have exactly on the right thing.

What I learned since the last email I wrote you, is what a serious attempt and dedication to this free professional lifestyle looks like.
One where I do not have to look back on my deathbed and say “I wish I”.

So results are not guaranteed, but making an attempt is.
Do or die trying.

The picture I see before be, contains two parts which are not related, or perhaps loosely related.

1 Warhol

I ve totally fallen in love with the work of Warhol and its meaning. It’s such a coming home, and for the first time ever, I feel I have found an artist with whom I can relate.

His topics, his work, its meaning, his themes, but most of all his desire to let creation happen through processes he did not control. And share it without clearing it up;
That’s me.

By studying Warhol I now know how I want to publish my books, making use of the multiplicity and the prolific nature of my work.
And that vision of the artist that I am is so strong, unique and expansive, that it’s as if I can almost touch everything I thought I had to sell my soul for, and cut myself off, until I fit into some tight little prefab container.

This is a vision that is FULLY expansive, into everything I was, am, and will be.

After seeing and understanding Warhol, I feel I can create without the motherfucking handbrake on.
For the first time EVER!

.

2 My Daily Who Does What

Two weeks ago I wrote the blogpost about who I am;
Including an A4 drawing with circles, who my different creative personalities are and where they are “located”.

That schedule already contained the different creative expressions for every character/ side of me. But it didn’t yet have a strategy of how to manage them, or how to go about my days.
And I made that schedule today.

I have to warn you, it is messier, and asks way more effort to understand it (so feel free not to!).
But I will do my best to describe it/ guide you through it.

Here is the new drawing I made today: 
2021 08 15 activity categories and priorities

It has one non-negotiable (taking a shower) at the top left corner,
and from there it starts to indicate which daily activity should or will get done.

category I – all (social +work) interaction, commitments and agreements

This category also includes my entire work + social life.

But also things that have to get done.
It’s a very mixed category, but what they have in common is that they’re somehow promised to someone, or that I have to do them in order to live my life (f.e. your finances).

The general gist is:
When I have promised I will do something or to be somewhere, I will do it.

On such a day, I will not first do my own work or something: I will always do this.

I m pretty reactive here – I really need a clear agenda with no ending time to an activity, to do my own work.
Maybe I will be able to be more flexible, but I m not the one who hustles five minutes at a time.

The shower + category 1 are the top of the schedule and the only two things that will always get done.

The Three Hijack Arrows

2021 08 15 activity categories and priorities
activities categories and priorities large: https://laurenharteveld.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/2021-08-15-activity-categories-and-priorities.jpg

Three parts of my personality, the baby koala, Lauren Harteveld and Rock Star Suzy, all have the capacity to hijack my life, when they are absolutely mesmerized by something.

The Baby Koala is seduced by crafting and archiving;
Lauren Harteveld by sexual adventures (which she processes by writing, but writing comes second here)
And
Rock Star Suzy by music, entertainment and (pop)art.

The schedule gives an indication of how to keep these sides satisfied, and somewhat under control, by feeding them regularly;
But ultimately I cannot control them, and these parts could hijack my life.

The upside to these personalities is that they have superpowers;
The Baby Koala, Lauren Harteveld and Rock Star Suzy can all concentrate for hours or days on end, hardly need sleep, are naturally thin and good natured.
They have no ailments, they are completely in flow with Life.

For example:
If the Baby Koala would start publishing my books, it would be done with so much joy!
Just that absolutely nothing else would get done.

When Bon Jovi came to the Netherlands and I forgot to pay the rent of my yoga studio, twice;
That’s Rock Star Suzy studying and being creative in the weeks leading up to the concert, and needing weeks to come down.

These three personalities in flow are both a gift, and a liability.
That’s why they are The Three Hijacking Arrows;
Once they have left the bow, the rest of the schedule will not get done.

.
category II – House & Body 

There’s three activities here:
Clean house, do yoga and cycle.

Cycle is last, because I will always do that, unless category 1 got out of hand.
So even if I would write all day, there is a chance I ll still cycle at 6 or 7 PM

And cleaning my house is first, because I detest doing yoga in a dirty house.
It’s as if yoga just doesn’t “work” if the house is dirty.

I also see my physical exercise as my work (because I m picking up my yoga career),
and physical exercise is the only thing you can’t redo if you’ve missed a day.

So providing the day is not full with category 1 and/or time for the three arrows whether planned or unplanned, category 2 will get done

.

category III – (Online) business hours 7-10 PM

This is the category that anyone wanting to create what Warhol called “Business Art”, the art of building a business from your art, MUST do.
It’s about connection, messaging, posting to social media, showing up for the conversation.

It’s about paying your bills, selling, adding calls to action, to what you put out.

This is hustling.

And this is what is the difference between hustling/III and what I called “Dead Writer Hours”,
which is the fourth category.

category IV – Art | Content| Curating| Legacy

(Dead Writer Hours)

Now WHY is it called Dead Writer Hours?
Because what you create here, is what is left of you after you’re dead.
Which illustrates both its importance as well as its utter unimportance.

Ideally the activities here, go straight to one of the Hijacking Arrows! 
Publishing books to the baby koala.
Making videos to Rock Star Suzy.
Writing to Lauren Harteveld.

But with this fourth category, being designated in the time window left open
between 1 (commitments, social life) and 2 (house and body)
and then 7 PM when the business hustle begins;

I finally understand why there always seem too few hours in the day for anything.

After category 1, worst case scenario the day is already gone. 
Or if I have a day without obligations, then I focus on 2, which could still not get done if the day is hijacked by one of the three arrows.

Baby Koala crafting.
Lauren Harteveld, writing.
Or Rock Star Suzy studying art, Bon Jovi or yoga.

And today that IS what happened!

I ONLY had Category 1 activities!
But they were fully in flow:
-7 hours making the drawing/schedule (Baby Koala) and writing this email (Lauren Harteveld)
-6 hours a date with a friend, call with another friend and grocery shopping (all Rock Star Suzy)
And I cycled (category 1) because I had to get to the cinema.

So I had a fantastic, fulfilling day.

And I think I now know what my definition of success is.
Which is a question I think you asked me in 2018 already…. I don’t know what I answered.

My definition of success is:
When ALL the categories, but IN PARTICULAR category 1,
Are done by the three hijack personalities Lauren Harteveld, Rock Star Suzy or the Baby Koala.

That’s when I am truly free.

Like today. .

..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

NEW
TIME CAPSULES

Inspiration and personal stories 
exclusively on
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Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

 

Undocumented Birthday Sex (NSFW) | 1996 diary

Sunday August 8, 1996

10996657_679931672111769_717209370486383676_nWhy do I keep doing this?
Having sex with Bear and then refusing to write about it in my diary?

Is it still the fear I will freak out when I think/overthink letting him come in my mouth?
Are the Aids phobia and the panic attacks still haunting me, is that what this is?

As if I would not take any risk for him, for Bear.
Maybe it is because this fear has been with me for as long as I can remember, longer than Bear.
The fear is more a part of me than Bear is, that much is certain.

But was it really taking that step, about six weeks ago or something, that has made me so careless with cherishing the memories of us having sex?

Or is it the unease of being his mistress since we started having sex again this year?

Why do I throw away memories of something that is so precious to me..
If he decides to stop seeing me, I want to hang on to them, have them in a little box and caress them with my fingertips when he gets married, has his first child, moves to the other side of the country or possibly even migrates, given his work.
I need to build a memory of him, if I can’t build a life.

Yet just like last time, I didn’t.
I didn’t polish that memory and didn’t put it in a jewelry box.
But I did write about it to Nikki, and photocopied that letter before I mailed it out to him. So I have that here in front of me, hoping it will make me remember more.

In the letter, I compared Bear to a professional football player, able to score with the smallest window of opportunity.
Of course! It starts coming back to me now.

I didn’t feel like having sex, and he had made it into such a fun experience. The letter to Nikki was about my understanding that I had to get better at this.
I wanted to be the one who could do that, make things really good in bed and be there when the other is dropping out.
Yet my new year of life started off being just as flaky with sex as ever!

It was Bear who saved the day, and me feeling wishy washy and being totally dependent on his magic.
Even when I should be the one who is flexible and talented, because if I want to have more sex, more lovers, or who knows maybe even a man-
I was about to say “a man for myself” but that is of course not what I want at all.

But let’s say, if I want to have a boyfriend to whom I am the most important girlfriend;
Then I need to “man-up”! 

I can’t keep relying on Bear to warm me up with that deliciously long menu that he serves me a chef’s special of every time I m like:
“I don’t know, I m just not feeling it”, when we’ve already kissed, and I m in his arms and I can feel I m wet, but indeed telling the truth when I say I’m not feeling it.

His jam-packed box of tricks.
The way he pokes around in my head to see what angle I respond to…
We role-played for the first time since we got back together this year, and damn that felt good. It was just a light, exploring session that definitely did not have the emotional danger and intensity we had experienced in our best years.
But Christ, how good to be home.
To be doing this again, him and me.

When he hugged me goodbye at the top of the stairs, and descended to the front door, I stayed there watching, through the long rectangular window in my door.
I admired the determined way he took the concrete stairs to the street, and all I thought was;

“I m fucked”.

And not just literally.

“I asked him to take me in doggy,” I wrote Nikki.
“And that was risky, because it hurts. I could have ruined it all, but I think I was so into the role play that I really wanted to be taken like that. And he did.
I m not going to tell you how dominant he was, because it’s like it ruins it. Like I betray the moment.
But it was so good!
Bear said exactly the right things, everything I wanted to hear and needed to hear, to fully submit and let it come.
It hurt so much, I had forgotten all about it. You can’t remember pain, not like that. Yet I wanted it, and I definitely did not want him to stop. I was afraid that if I expressed the pain he would back down, but I couldn’t help myself.
I was totally into it, the pain, the agony, and a pleasure so deep and raw I had never experienced anything like it.
For the first time ever I came like that. And so did he.
In sports they’d probably call it a team effort.”

.
~Lauren96
An unexamined life is not worth living

New diary entries are posted on my Facebook page ;
And are published together, here on this blog.

Undocumented Birthday Sex (NSFW) | 1996 diary
is the fifteenth chapter to
1996 diary 

Find the subscription button on this page.

Archive:
1994 A Performance Project
and “1995-1996; book 2 of my performance project
.

.

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

Quick update! 💃🌎💥

8b7737610c9d3868977f124e33d7b299
Despite last weekend’s letter to my coach Sara
– with a very welcome “Map To Who I Am” folded right in! –
the past week but in particular the past 36 hours were really, really tough.
I have not felt this bad in years, but I think it was in particular due to the startling roller coaster nature of my internal processes
(although there were outer physical, financial, and relational circumstances as well),
which made it extremely challenging.
.
The infamous “wanting to destroy all my work”  type of challenging.
.
And yet, ultimately? Man!
This was SO very very worth it!
.
Because right now I feel better than I have IN YEARS.
Maybe even decades…
.
I m setting up shop in a fully aligned way under my real name for the first time in my life.
.
I finally know what I want professionally, and also why all the other more common professional arrangements (a steady job, freelancing, being a service provider, and even running a business) were never going to work for me.
And yet, why they may of course be more than enough for most people to choose from!
.
I m sure we’ll get around to it one day, but then again maybe not because I have no idea how relevant this is here..
But the gist of it, is that just like I do not do well playing the girlfriend or a wife role in relationships, but am a born mistress or lover instead (something I know because I have investigated that part of my life as Lauren Harteveld, since 2006);
Quite similar to that, I needed to create way WAY more freedom in my professional work.
.
That if I wanted to free myself from the cycle of wanting to blow up all my work, part of my work, or a tiny far corner of my work, depending on how bad I felt;
Then I had to give myself free rein professionally.
 
My freedom needed to become a non-negotiable.
..
And once I got that, which was a big Aha! that I had JUST this morning?
Everything fell together at lightning speed, and decades worth of loose ends were tied together in the most harmonious “of course”-way.
.
And now I have the blueprint for my professional life, that gives me the same freedom as I have in my love life.
.
This is mainly a thing for work under my real name, where I have struggled the most.
So that could mean the diary writing/ book publishing that I do as Lauren Harteveld, may not change much or even suffer a bit, time-wise.
In theory.
Because I think it will benefit from it!
.
I expect having this deep understanding of who I am professionally, and WHY, will ripple out to both of my professional names, all of my websites, all diaries, the published books and so on.
I think even the furthest corners of my work, the ones that until recently I would have destroyed to express a deep agony I felt inside- that those will blossom too.
.
I expect today to mark the beginning of a whole new era.
Where this blog, this name, and all the things I do here, are an integral part of all of it.
As are you.
.
Thank you for being with me here.
Not at the end of all things, as I know I ve taken my readers to the proverbial pits of Mordor often enough;
But for sticking with me, and being with me here, now.
.
At the beginning.
.
..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

Yoga Teacher Me (2008) and three other personalities, each with their own skills

The photo as found by Baby Koala-Me, as it indulged in unlimited playtime with my hard drive when I was suffering from a headache

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara (new website!)
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

This is going to be the tiniest email I ever sent you.
It’s Sunday night, and I did not get any work done this entire weekend.
And I want to make YouTube yoga videos tomorrow, for two accounts!
But I also have a deadline tomorrow afternoon, which will require about four hours of work.
 
So that’s why I think this email will be smaller than usual.
.
The weekend went awol because I finally broke down when a week-long mostly one-on-one birthday fest, was finally punished with a headache on top of the Oh-God-I-Feel-Awfulness that seems to have become my standard Good morning.
And Saturday’s grogginess did not go away either.
It usually clears up after a few hours.
.
I wasn’t feeling sick with migraine, it was not that bad.
Just a mild headache and tired like when you have a hangover.
I quit drinking about six weeks ago. To no avail, except that I now know with certainty the grogginess never had anything to do with alcohol, but is my response to pandemic stress.
As is the sensitivity to headaches I ve had since spring 2020. 
.
Either way, Saturday was written off, and I started going through my old archives. Something I had been meaning to do for a very long time, mainly because there is a lot of double stuff on there.
This Saturday the repetition of going through the files and deleting things and moving them, had a numbing yet satisfying effect.

The task was appealing, and I was not bothered by my headache at all.
But when sorting it out, which I spent like 1.5 days on!, something interesting happened;
I discovered a whole new personality, which belonged to something I was going to start doing this week. Which was teach yoga on YouTube in Dutch.
.
And next to this Dutch yoga teacher personality, which was discovered by finding a photo of myself in 2008, I discovered a fourth personality.
Because today, I started drawing up a circle within circles scheme of the three personalities I had found so far.
.
The first two you know, I ve written about them frequently:
.
Catherine Tramell played by Sharon Stone, Basic instinct (1992)

 

1. Lauren Harteveld

.
My alterego under this name, writer, publisher, Catherine Tramell-fan (Basic Instinct). Signature era: The 90s!
Lauren96, the diary I keep as the 24 year old me, is one example of what I write under this name.
.
2. Rock Star Suzy
.
The English speaking alterego under my real name, who ties everything she does to Bon Jovi. Her identity matches Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan.
Decade: The 80s!
.
And then the third, as mentioned sparked by both my plan to start teaching Dutch yoga on YouTube, as well as by the photo of 2008 me from when I was in my 15+ years of teaching yoga professionally.
.
3. Suzanne Yoga Teacher NL 2021 (YouTube only)
.
This was a really cool find, because although I knew I wanted to pick up teaching Dutch yoga on YouTube, it didn’t really have a vibe yet.
But the moment I found that picture, I connected back to the zeros 2000-2010, when yoga in America (I read Yoga Journal) was so damn cool.
With all the yoga studios, being super contemporary and having that happy brightly colored vibe!

.
And suddenly I also tapped back into the business coaching for yoga studios, but also the business coaching from Denise Duffield Thomas (I always kept following her, just far less actively than I used to);
And I rekindled the love for my first business coach that I really vibed with, which was Amanda Daley who taught marketing to health coaches.
.
I never made all the business training for yoga teachers/ local businesses “work” and in retrospect I SO understand why! 
Because the whole niche thing, and find your tribe thing, is very hard to pull off when you work locally.
Or at least: You have to be better at marketing/ finding your voice than I was!
.
I got stuck because I/ my yoga never got past being selected for “what time are your classes”  and “where do you teach”.
I was selected on location and service, not on niche or who matched with my personality.
They chose yoga, not me. 
.
And that doesn’t mean I regret it, in particular the final years were awesome and I had students I really liked. And they me. But at the same time, if I had known how to really attract people who vibed with me, instead of “ending”  with people who vibed with me, but being unable to move further into authentically being me and calling in my truest of clients?
Oh, well, then maybe I would still be a yoga teacher.
.
Or maybe it is simply impossible to do the niche thing, and someone should go tell the yoga teachers that market is simply not suitable to select your soul tribe unless you’re a marketing genius.
Which I, in that case, was clearly not.
.
But I loved the marketing around the studio, and I have marketing books about how to market your yoga studio. And like I said Denise Duffield Thomas and Amanda Daley, they were around 2015 really my go-to for inspiration.
.
After finding that yoga picture of 2008, and starting to see myself as a Dutch yoga teacher again, I connected with their study materials again as well.
They were the perfect marketing coaches to give me the feel of the Dutch online yoga teacher I wanted to be.
.
Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan

So Suzanne yoga teacher (2008) was the third personality which I discovered, on top of the other two (Lauren Harteveld and Rock Star Suzy) I wrote to you before.
And as I was drawing all these circles, about which personality did what, created what, and what coaches did they have and so on;
I also drew a circle of activities that did not seem to have any meaning, yet every now and then they took A LOT of time!

It were the activities you called my “happy place”.
Sorting my notebooks and diaries of decades and decades and lining them up on the shelves next to my desk.
Making a visionboard card deck, and every now and then spend a day making new cards. And I always laminate them.
And now the activity of going through my digital archives and spending the weekend there.
.
I didn’t quite know what the purpose was of this strange inner circle that had such luxurious concepts of time dedicated to whatever the f it wanted to;
But then it struck me!
Of course I knew who was in there!
 
4. the baby koala
.
It was the little baby koala.
The me who only wants to do cute things, and it makes drawings from love duckie, and takes photos of little bear Puux.
.
It was the little baby koala who was in the inner-circle at the truest core of who I was.
And who was absorbed in archiving and loved playing with stationary. It could bind and unbind anything and had hole punchers for three different types of ring binders. 
.
And then around this koala, so the personality who I thought was the most “me”; I had drawn the circle from Lauren Harteveld!
How fitting!
Of course, she was the perfect person to protect the little koala there.
.
And around that came Rock Star Suzy.
Whose main relationships are with other Bon Jovi fans (I forgot to put that in my final schedule I will post in a second)
.
And around that came Suzanne the new yoga teacher 2.0:
She had the most interaction with the real world. Her main relationships were with not so much clients, because I do not have a business and also do not aspire to get one;
But her main relationships will be the one created over teaching yoga.
.
She will be a yoga teacher without a studio, it will all be online on YouTube.
.
And that’s all for now, Sara!
 
Little baby koala has taken its blue and red pens, and as soon as I had figured out how all the circles should go, we made a schedule of it.

 

Because it was A4+ it required some work to get it into a file, but here it is.
2021 08 01 4 Different Identities And What They Create

And this weekend for sure, that little baby koala has been the most productive from all of us.
.
click the image to enlarge
..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

 

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

 

I Couldn’t Look Away For Four Entire Days | The Covid Diaries

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INTRODUCTION TO
“I Couldn’t Look Away For Four Entire Days”
July 31, 2021

I’m creating a book The Covid Diaries, from posts I ve written since March 2020.

It’s powerful stuff, but the erratic, unpredictable nature of the pandemic, has reflected in the material.
Some chapters are written as a stand-alone essay.
Some as part of an official series “the C Diaries”.
And some jotted down in a Facebook box, I think because I hoped that way I would keep them short.
Only to find out the majority of them is so long, they deserve their own post.

“I Couldn’t Look Away For Four Entire Days” is one of those posts that were originally on Facebook.

It’s not very long; I could have posted it with other diary entries.
But the one written before this was an entire essay,
2021 04 11  Emphatic* Thoughts On Why You Should Take The Vaccine
– the post you re about to read starts the day after writing that!-
that’s why I have chosen to post this separately.

If you’re lost, you can always check the project page
https://laurenharteveld.com/the-covid-diaries/

That is where all chapters will be posted, after I ve reviewed them.

An interesting thing, is that the “billion dollar sideshow of commercial testing” I write about here, is currently still costing a million euros a day, and it is hardly used.

Illustrated with an image of Pennywise from the movie It, this is what the post from April 17, 2021, said:

.

tenor (35)I COULDN’T LOOK AWAY IN HORROR FOR FOUR ENTIRE DAYS
17 April 2021

I don’t even remember what my mood was Monday, but I assume it was a transition day.
A day where I realized that yes, Sunday’s meaty, passionate piece on why you might want to consider vaccination, had taken more time than I intended, and was definitely not the energy giving weekend activity ones hopes to have;
But that it had all been worth it.

That the fact that I did not do anything creative on Monday, and felt spent, was compensated by knowing I made a valuable contribution to the Covid vaccination discussion.

I really wrote something that acknowledged, and honored, basically every viewpoint on the topic of vaccination, and that came with a narrative that was acceptable if not inspiring, to all.

So Monday was kind of written off, but on Tuesday I started to slide, and for four days I have basically wasted every free hour, hour? minute!, reading my TL on Twitter, and my news feed, in absolute horror.
Every night I went to bed, making the resolution to just disconnect from all media and become in the moment, and in the real world.
There were so much better things to do than to bear witness to the pandemic and financial downfall of the country I was living in!

Because really, either the madness would not be stopped;
Madness meaning government hinting at entirely random dates to open shops and terraces, going from one vaccination cluster f to the next, pausing vaccination programs all.the.time,
setting up a billion dollar sideshow of commercial testing that will determine the fate of us all in our Brave New World to come.

Or it would be stopped.

And I knew that I, personally, was powerless to stop it.

The future of the Netherlands was no longer my business.
Even if we’d all get vaccinated, and who knows maybe the words I had written last Sunday would inspire more people to go if the invitation finally was for them;
Even then the country would go bankrupt on the billion dollar testing organisation for which a law was being built.

A law was, is, being built so that in order to access a restaurant, a cinema or other non-essential place, you would first go through testing in the commercial testing street which was largely funded by the government but still required a €7,50 fee per test;
And then if you tested negative, your result cleared you for 24-40 hours.
The time window had not been decided on.

It was for everybody, whether you had been vaccinated or not, and supposedly it was a temporary measure that only applied to times when it otherwise would not have been possible to have these facilities open to the public.
Read between lines: official, preventative testing to do normal things, is never going to leave.

Especially not because now there will be a monstrous testing organization that sucks the government dry for billions.
It will demand to be fed.
And the law will provide for its needs.

One minister can spend 1.6 billion dollars on commercial testing streets and organizing exclusive, highly dangerous, uncontrolled parties for a few thousand people, before there even is a law.

These events have been going on for days, and will be going on for the upcomings days, weeks.
It’s absolute maddening to even think about it.
Some are festivals with 10.000 people!!!!
AT THE HEIGHT OF THIS PANDEMIC!
They have been tested beforehand, but the test afterwards is voluntary;
No research or measurable results will come from these fieldlab experiments, as they are called.

Maybe it is forgivable that I spent 4 days to watch the destruction of the country I live in, but it feels like I ve been watching a horror movie, with an uncontrollable train with 18 million peoples railing into a ravine.

In last Sunday’s piece I said that it was up to you, not to make individual choices, but to stay connected with what the people around you needed from you.
Stand by your people, whatever that means for you.
And however big or small your tribe might be.

But with the absolute madness I ve seen since the vision-less press conference last Tuesday, the financial destruction of 1.6 billion and contagion mayhem of the fieldlab pilot events that are happening daily;
I have little hope something as simplistic as love and loyalty is going to save us.

I feel, that evil is among us.

 ~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

I Couldn’t Look Away For Four Entire Days
is part of The Covid Diaries

You can follow The Covid Diaries coming to life
on Facebook
& Twitter: @LSHarteveld

.

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

April this year: the official reboot | The Covid Diaries

hug-guns-n39-roses-axl-rose-Favim.com-7192065INTRODUCTION TO
“April this year: the official reboot “

July 30, 2021

In April 2021, 13 months after the pandemic started, I started writing both Facebook posts as well as entire blog posts.
At that point I had written about Covid for a year, but it were these diary like entries, that set the tone for what is now becoming The Covid Diaries.
The full blogposts, were posted on this blog. But those shorter Facebook posts in between, stayed dormant. I never posted them to this blog.

Tying in the first of the two missing Facebook diary entries, to their next official blog post,
this is what it said:

tenor (33)NEW SERIES
The Covid Diaries – Countdown to free hugs

| report on the final months of social distancing
8 April 2021
post 1

Today was the FIRST time I accidentally, thoughtlessly, removed my face mask, when I was packing my groceries.
A fellow shopper reminded me to put one on, as I started to happily make my way out of the grocery store.
Which I did, but I also wondered:
What happened?
Why NOW?
Only to then immediately remember “why now”!

Because my post-Covid life has started ever since Guns N Roses has announced a 2022 concert here in the Netherlands.

And although technically I know we’re not there yet, especially in The Netherlands since our vaccination “strategy” is breaking in to a whole new level of the word cluster fuck;
Yet, at the same time I know that ultimately, we are there.
There is no way back.

The German Guns N Roses concert has already been postponed twice, which proves that planned concerts do not mean a concert will actually happen.
But just like the poor Dutch vaccination strategy is no reason for me to think the concert will be cancelled delayed, neither are these facts.
This is the one.
No turning back.

We really ARE there.

For the Netherlands this means that I think that in 1 year and 75 days, when Guns N Roses play The Netherlands, we’ll be there, breathing right next to each other. In each other’s hair.
We won’t wash our hands all day.

And everything will be as if we went straight from 2019 to 2021:
Without a trace of Covid or social distancing.
This new series will be a report of that.

170725972_4085352978153030_5544184134015770382_nWHAT I READ TO STAY HUMAN
9 April
post 2

I’m not much of a fiction reader. In fact: I would not even call myself a reader at all.
Not anymore.
The moment I started writing, I stopped reading. Something I seem to be quite alone at.
Most writers are also readers, or if they are not readers they were never readers.

But I used to be a reader, it’s just that the urge and the need to write is so much stronger.
And the urge and the need to read is weak.
I have accepted this, and from the point of “choosing ones battles wisely” I never tried to make myself read.

There are exceptions in the form of the occasional novel, which I get as a gift and then like it so much I am temporary enchanted by the idea of reading.
But those episodes are short lived.

My only reason I currently have, to read, is because my lust for life and sex is just as feeble as my urge to read books.
And with the entire society under the spell of Covid, there has been little to no inspiration from there either.
No one is setting a positive example.
Even the word positive has taken on a whole different meaning!

So that is why I have turned to reading erotica from Anais Nin.
As a remedial therapy.
Something to remind me that there is more to life than Covid.

That underneath the loneliness, and the failing Dutch Covid policies, and behind the promise of “One day things will go back to normal”;
Things will go back to normal.
And it’s our duty to keep our minds open to mystery, sexuality, and our view on the world and life broader than our travel bans permit.

While things are being sorted out, it is our job to stay alive.
Not just not die.

.

EMPATHIC THOUGHTS ON WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE THE VACCINE
12 April
real blog post

I used the word emphatic thinking it meant empathetic.
But it means:
Emphatic: done or said in a strong way and without any doubt

I did not change the title.
It is indeed, emphatic.

You can read this blog post here:
Emphatic* Thoughts On Why You Should Take The Vaccine

 ~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

April this year: the official reboot
is part of The Covid Diaries

You can follow The Covid Diaries coming to life
on Facebook
& Twitter: @LSHarteveld

.

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

I couldn’t help but wonder | It Took Me A Very Long Time To Get Here – season 2

Layer-6-7INTRODUCTION TO “I COULDN’T HELP BUT WONDER”
July 28, 2021

In Spring 2021 I wrote diary entries on Facebook, inspired by Carrie from Sex and the City, who is also a writer just like me.
But it didn’t stick, mainly because my other diaries took flight or I started new ones.
And it died out.

However, in 2020 I wrote a series I called It Took Me A Very Long Time To Get Here. And I called it Season One.
The idea behind It Took Me A Very Long Time To Get Here, was that I would write about my relationship with “my” Mister Big, for four seasons of each 11 episodes.

A project I did not pick up in 2021 for a season two…

Which is why I have decided to add the collection of diary posts I Couldn’t Help But Wonder,
and although it is only three posts –
will be my season two of It Took Me A Very Long Time To Get Here.
It is my 2021 addition to this annual series, where I reflect on my writing, my relationship, myself.
I think it’s an annual recalibrating of who I am. 

I do have other diaries still going on, among which my 1995 journal and a project called A Sexual Odyssey.
Subscribe to this blog, or follow me Facebook
or Twitter: @LSHarteveld
to read these new posts, when they come out.

And then, without further ado, here’s my May 2021 diary
I Couldn’t Help But Wonder

~Lauren

307401THE ONE THAT ALWAYS FELT LIKE ME
13 May, 2021
post 1/3

I already have two diaries here on Facebook and they go on the blog as well (I m a bit slow on reposting/ bundling them, but they will get done!)
but neither of the two is exactly “me”.

One is the diary of 23 year old Lauren in 1996, where I translate my constrained 2021 Covid life to her age, and to 1996.
I started this series in 2019 (her 1994), so that was before the pandemic which was both a blessing,
– my escapism was not Covid induced! It had been my free choice to go into this experiment of seeing life through young, 1994 eyes –
but it was also a curse, because on top of having to translate 2.5 decades off of my age, I now also had to come up with a story line for my tethered twin in the 90s universe, when 2020 me was home bound.

It required imagination, and sometimes I just dropped out and announced I would stop writing because this was no life for 23 year old me.

That diary (you can find the one from first half 2020/1995 HERE) was and is fun, and almost two years up and running!, but it requires a lot of thinking before I can write a new entry.
My other diary here is a Covid inspired diary, where I am documenting the final months of Covid.

I intend to write until the final measure is gone.
Naturally this is also not a daily thing, because I don’t have daily things to say about it.

So today I decided I needed a low-key daily format, so I can share my work and myself.
And from all the characters I have used over the years to illustrate “me”, Madonna, Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, Molly Ringwald (young me), Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde;

Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, was the one who always felt like Me the most.
Because she’s a writer, just like me. And also just like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, but I ve written soo much about her already!
But Carrie is more relatable!
And the moment I started calling my lover Mr.Big, I started feeling connected to Carrie. Identification with Sharon Stone/ Basic Instinct didn’t come to full fruition until recently.

These entries are not about Mr.Big or my sex life.
After all those years our situation grew increasingly complicated, which was one of the reasons I started diary writing as Lauren96/ Lauren 1994 when it started.
By transferring my life to the 90s, I had automatically added fiction into the mix.
If the men in Lauren’s life are inspired by 2021 men, is irrelevant.

But the identification with Carrie has stayed.

So here I am on Ascension (Christian holiday)
Not only do I want to write daily;
I also want to have a go at all those different topics and ideas that I have written down the past couple of months.
Things I could not write about in Covid diaries, not in my 1996 series, and not even to my coach Sara.
All new thoughts and interesting hooks, that I just can’t wait to get my head around.
Illustrated with a photo of Carrie Bradshaw.

“I couldn’t help but wonder…..”
That was her line, she always used it in her column as she was pondering over relationships, in particular her relationship with Mr.Big.

I couldn’t help but wonder;

What would Carrie’s columns have looked like, in times of Covid?

Let’s find out.

Carrie-and-Big-carrie-bradshaw-12926895-424-308DON T LET PERFECT SEX BECOME THE ENEMY OF GOOD
14 May, 2021
post 2/3

In 2006 me and my boyfriend split, and the one thing I had in mind that I wanted to learn now that I was single for the first time in my adult life, was to “date”.
I never had that time of courtship and getting to know each other. I was always one of the boys and we just “hung out”.
Dating had always been the same as hanging out with the gang, just with two people instead of six.
And with sex after.

Although I had had relationships since I was young, I felt I had never “dated”.
Not just in the practical sense of what it is you do on a night together, but just the general notion of being in this in-between zone, where you have expressed an interest in each other simply by choosing to spend time together (entirely new concept!);
But also dating as a time when you practice being together, get to know each other, work towards your first kiss, first time sex, first weekend away maybe even.

“Dating” sounded like a process with so many things I had never done, but also like a lot less casual than what I was used to.
It seemed so determined compared to what suddenly felt like a Beavis and Butthead style of being together.
With a lot of “Uh uh okay”.

And I think one of the reasons I really liked my life as a single since then, is because I was so serious about dating.
I knew it was something special and really appreciated a man being with me. And him (or me) not having that excuse of being part of a group.
I felt more special, more chosen, when I dated than all the years I had just run into men because we hung out with the same people.

However, ultimately, I think when it comes to sex this started working against me.
Because I was so deliberate and conscientious with what it was I/we were doing (dating) I slept with more men than I would have than if we would have been in a hung out situation group style.
In a group, I would have been more passive. I would not have worked so hard to have a good time.
I would not have, as we say in the Netherlands, put up the decorations by myself.

I think because I was so invested in making our time together special, I failed to see that it was me working my butt off.
Not him.

Now my behavior or enthusiasm did pay off: I always had great lovers.
Once we were in bed, they were always really great to be around with, and I do not regret any of them.
But after that?
Oh boy.

It was so tough to get along. I felt I was walking on eggs, or could set off a trip wire anytime. And often did.
NOW it had become hard work.
NOW he was lukewarm, behaving oddly, and there was a passive aggressiveness that I had not seen before.
I had not seen it before; Literally.
Because if you hang out together and then become interested in each other, those situations of suddenly becoming lukewarm do not exist.

Neither one can afford to shit where they sleep.

So all in all, my eagerness for dating “like a real adult” and leave that student-esque way behind me, came with a few downsides.
But the upsides prevailed:
It broadens your horizons, you can date anybody you want.
It gives you a sense of freedom.

And of course the sex:
The sex had been outstanding!
No exceptions.
And under those circumstances I learned to be flexible when it comes to sex. To not wait for perfect.

I think one of the main reasons sex becomes so stale in long-term relationships, or did in mine anyway compared to the fireworks of the beginning-
the reason is, you have the luxury of time. Of waiting for it to be perfect.
I think women in particular, are uncomfortable with the timing not being ideal.

When you re going steady or living together, you have the luxury to wait for a more perfect day, the luxury of choice.
But that takes the urge off.

If he came over from the other side of the country to see you, you know you only have one night.
Saying No because you’re in your period, or have an important meeting tomorrow, or whatever, is going to cost you.

Despite me putting in so much time and effort in the date itself, and being aware I was (am!) “working”;
I was hardly ever prepared for the sex that followed.
I, my body, the circumstances, were never perfect.

And even recently, 2020 and 2021, with every encounter coming with a chance to catch Covid and contaminate everybody you come into contact with;
Circumstances are still not perfect.
Because of Covid.
Because of periods.
Because of him being unavailable for more.
Because of feeling nauseous from loneliness and just the entire dystopian feeling this era has.

And yet, it really is Carpe Diem all over again.
It is Carpe Diem ALWAYS

I still date, but by now I ve learned to only go for men who do the work for me.
Who take the lead.
Sure it’s something we do together, but I no longer put in so much work on the “dating” side, and then need the sex to make up for it.

The dates would be perfect in their own right, even when there would not be sex at all.

But these two Covid years more than ever, every time I feel myself getting fearful, thinking of my calendar for the upcoming weeks and thinking:
“Good God!”

The thought of the consequences of getting sick or all the drama of people getting tested and quarantined:
It’s so tempting to just postpone life itself, until we’re all vaccinated.

But then I remember all the years of dating, when I just put one foot in front of the other.
When all I had was one night, one chance.
And knowing that he was very likely to turn cold or impossible to deal with after.

I remember those times and just went for it.
And I never, ever, regretted it.

When it comes to sex:
I don’t let perfect become the enemy of good.
And I suggest you do the same.

2eeb4696a73deeb4fdc9b82c37a2c0daI WRITE AND THEREFOR, WHAT EXACTLY?
16 May, 2021
post 3/3

One of my first blog posts, written in 2010, was titled “I Write Therefor I Cheat”.

It dealt with the feeling of how writing feels more like cheating, like a clandestine activity, than like neutral work that you can balance and that is quite easily separated from what you do in your free time.

Work can be separated from a relationship, or work can be kept out the door and doesn’t need to be discussed if you are living with someone.

But writing is a passion, something you naturally start doing, effortlessly, and before you know it you have spent copious amounts of time with your keyboard.

Time that has not been weighed upon a scale if it nicely balances out with your values, your goals, and spoken or unspoken agreements you have with your significant other.

You could even wonder how significant that other even is, judged by the matter of course you give writing your undivided time and attention.

Over a decade after that column I keep being confronted with the fact that I have not made any progress in that area.
That I seemed to have had the clearest vision right in those first years, but that I didn’t “perfect” my model.

Every now and then I am reminded by how scarily little I know about the way writing influences my life.
And how the little things that jump in your face and that you can’t possibly deny, point to bigger underlying differences between those who write, and therefor spend hour after hour day after day in their own heads;
And those who don’t.

Those who are not writers engage in:
Meaningful relationships, social activities, hobbies, learning new skills, watching Netflix series or movies, building a business, an empire, creating a home, raising children, raise them well.

And those who write:
Write.

Writing does not just replace the need to cheat, as my piece “I Write Therefor I Cheat” stated;
Writing replaces the need for e-v’ry-thing, that is not writing!

And what it does to your body, your soul, your life, is most easily described by what drugs or addictions do;
You prioritize writing and everyone who wants you to stop with it, moderate it, contain it, more strategically use it so that it becomes more of a tool for success and less like an all consuming monster that takes over your life;

Those are first greeted with understanding.
Of course.
They are right.
Writing requires to be managed better so that you and your loved ones can enjoy its benefits, and no one gets deprived of attention or care they deserve.
And that you believe they should have.
In theory.

Because in practice, just like an addict will throw out anything standing between him and his drug of choice;
Ultimately you always choose writing.

This weekend I tried to appreciate what being single was bringing me. Because I had signs that I was choosing this.
I always fall for taken men, not available men.
And, perhaps more importantly, I also do not dream of being in a relationship.

Sure: When I really like a man, I dream of spending more time with him.
Because I like him!
But I don’t have goals or desires to be in a relationship, or to live together with a man.
Other than that desire that is person-bound.

Everyday I have dreams for my life, from my income level to my art, fame, success.
And I fine tune my daily activities accordingly, so that everything I do is in line with what it is I want.
Yet none of them are focused on getting myself a relationship that has daily communication or is aimed at living together.

When it comes to a particular person I am interested.
But I do not have an “unbound”, autonomous, desire for a relationship.
It’s a bit like a desire to have children; It’s generic, and some of us do not have it.
Yet, like so many weekends I do not feel a happy single and I wondered why.
Why am I not enjoying all the possibilities of being single?
Why am I not dating, having fun?
Why do I both know I have chosen this life, without trying to find someone to spend my life with?
And also know I will never have that world traveler adventurer style glow, that really happy singles have?

And then it hit me;
Because I write.

Writing takes up so much space that not only do you not have time to build a life, a brand, a business, a family, a relationship;
You do not even have time to enjoy the carefree-ness of being without all of those responsibilities.

Writing, art, creativity, purpose, passion, are like an addiction;
All consuming.
All encompassing.
With little room to wiggle.

Ten years after I thought I knew what it meant, to be a writer, I realize more than ever that I will never know.

I can just be.

.

 ~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Season 1:
Defining Moments | It Took Me A Very Long Time To Get Here – The Full Season 1

Subscribe to this blog to follow my diaries.
The subcription button is on this page, probably on the top right

.

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

Month 11 | The Covid Diaries

rx6gsutbpk731INTRODUCTION TO “MONTH 11”
July 25, 2021

In January 2021, 11 months after the pandemic started, I briefly wrote Facebook posts, a series I called “Creator’s Diary”.
It ended after 4 entries, and I never posted them to this blog.

But in particular because of the last entry, I can now see they are part of my Covid Diaries. 
And that the reason they stopped, was most likely because I felt that disconnect with the world again.
The feeling that I was unsure for whom I was writing, how to view the world, or my own existence. 

“Month 11”, counting in months, is something that was used in “A Quiet Place” to indicate how much time had past since the monsters appeared and took over the earth.
I gladly borrow the time signature, partially for dramatic effect, but I am grateful we’re not facing the monsters they do!

Although references to a world ruled by monsters were made.
This is what the posts said:

DIGITAL MINIMALISM
21 January
post 1

To support my project of writing a diary as if I m living in 1996, I m reading a book about sensible/ functional use of social media.
“Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport

Just like other forms of minimalism, it’s about recalibrating your life so that what you spend your time AND undivided attention on, reflects your values.
Although I m definitely not a purist in implementing this book, I highly recommend reading it.
The vibe of it has already freed up so much time usually spent on social media/ email/ scrolling;
The book has created its own time to read it! 

.

HOW ONLINE (YOUTH) CULTURE BEGAN
22 January
post 2

A topic I m currently investigating, is how our minds got hacked by online media.
And how to get them back.
We are currently losing time, daily, checking our likes, reading new shiny things.
By now, it’s just not social media:
All sites have been engineered to reward staying and reading more.

Where we put our awareness and our time seldom reflects our values.
The things we really find important.
The things we would really like to spend our leisure time on.

Many of us do not even have leisure time/offline time anymore;
We are always behind on what we want to do, what we want to achieve, and when we do fun things we want to document them.
As if they do not exist unless we make it public.

Today I discussed this with a friend, and he pointed out that at the turn of the century, the youth in Finland were already communicating with each other in SMS “bubbles”.
They had a culture where they “hung out” on SMS, and then met each other in real life/ a certain place in the city.
The youth of Finland was the iGen generation (born after 1995) avant la lettre.
Before any other culture, they lived in an online community with its own rules, its own risks of being thrown out or excluded.
A culture not understood by their parents.

When I got home I investigated this culture further and it brought me to the history of texting.
It is very ironic that texting was seen as a way to communicate, to not bother other people.
A call was intrusive, especially at out of office hours.
But by texting two people could communicate with each other at different times.
“I didn’t see your message.”
or
“I only just read your message.”
Were perfectly viable explanations.
Aside from maybe the Finnish youth, immediate answers were never expected.
Let alone residing next to your phone, and being addicted to your notifications as we are today.

Twenty years after the avant-la-lettre iGen generation in Finland, most of us are acting as if we are in such a highly-pressured peer group as 15-25 years olds usually are.
(And always have been)
There are few fixed rules, and in order to be a part of such a group, you need to be constantly tuned in and watch group dynamics like a hawk.

In the book I m reading, Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport, he gives a number about which percentage of the mental brain-width goes to social interactions.
I think it was somewhere along the lines of 80%
And that was not counting SMS and online culture, I think this percentage might even come straight from the chimpanzees.

I think in the upcoming decade, we’re going to see an enormous shift in our presence on internet.
That just like with smoking that went from something everybody did everywhere, and was marginalized, using your smartphone will no longer be normal, but become functional again.
And this will happen within a decade.

I found many studies about the negative effect of online culture, both in Finland as well as globally namely on generation iGen (born after 1995)
But although a youth that was (in my opinion) unprepared and not properly guided in the exposure their phones would cause, is no doubt the saddest of all effects;
I think we only have to look at our own lives, and if we’re born before 1985 we very well remember it without technology;
If we look at that, we can see what we’ve lost.

And maybe it is our responsibility to do our part, and bring offline culture back.
So that at least the youth has a choice, where they want to live.

.

REALITY CHECK
23 January
post 3

A few minutes ago, the Netherlands got their first Covid curfew, which will last two weeks minimum.
I ve just deleted an entire paragraph about how long I think this is going to take.
Or why Covid has been very unfair to everybody under 25.
And just like climate change, no more houses being available and phone and media addictions that are altering their brains and creating anxiety, we were unable to stop it from happening.
We have not protected our youngest generation the way I think we all wished we had, or maybe a better way of saying it is that we are not giving them the world we wanted them to have.

The following is not addressed to those under 25, but those older and in particular those born before 1985:
Being addicted to refreshing your newsfeed, checking your mail, your likes and so on, is addictive behavior that means you do not FEEL what reality is.
It’s like the movie Ready Player One where the reality is so bad, people are in the virtual reality, The Oasis, as much as they can
Even at the end of the movie, when the government becomes more humane, they close the Oasis for one day a week.
But they keep using it as an escape for 6.

In in another movie The Matrix, something similar happens when the human bodies are used as batteries, and their minds are entertained in The Matrix.
If in this virtual reality The Matrix, you meet someone from the resistance you can choose between The Red Pill, which will awaken you, or The Blue Pill, which will leave you in your state of blissful ignorance.
Few want the red pill.
Many choose ignorance.

I feel that because my generation and the ones before have failed to create a sustainable future, a sustainable now, AND we have raised an entire generation addicted to The Oasis, asleep in the Matrix,
the least we should be able to do, is to be present and aware in the world we created.
Offline and online.

.

24 January     
CURFEW NIGHT 1
final diary entry

Last night Covid curfew started in The Netherlands, and it was dead quiet.
I was in bed at least an hour earlier than usual, and it was after having this eerie desolate feeling for hours already.
As if, especially for a Saturday night, something was very very wrong.

And most will agree it was:
Whether you’re mourning the Covid tragedy or the loss of freedom, I think few will disagree that in a country with a curfew something is seriously wrong.

Going to bed in a silence that could have meant I was the only living creature within miles, I wondered;
“How many people will love this silence so much, this measure wins by popular demand? ”
And when I woke up, as if I had spent money on a holiday in the mountains that serene, that sensation was even stronger.
We have to be weary to not get used to this.

It was dark.
Since the sun doesn’t get up before 8.15 or something that didn’t mean much so I checked and to my surprise it was already 7.30.
If the clock had said 4 I would have believed it, because it was so quiet.

I went about my day.
At 10 AM I had to leave, and by this time, it was still so quiet I got an I Am Legend like feeling.
From the movie where Will Smith plays the only survivor, in a world taken over by zombies and wildlife.
Since I had not checked any news, could I even be SURE the rest of the world had not been (quietly) eaten by zombies?
So I checked.

According to our news sites, the world was not overtaken by zombies.
The silence really was the silence of curfew and a country that didn’t have a good reason to get out of bed.

Today there were Covid protests, and they got out of hand.
For the first time since, I don’t know, the eighties? , there were/are riots, clashes with the police, property destroyed.

Turns out what I was hearing last night was the quiet before the storm.
.

 ~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Month 11
is part of The Covid Diaries

You can follow The Covid Diaries coming to life
on Facebook
& Twitter: @LSHarteveld

.

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

It’s Chapter 2 | introduction | The Covid Diaries

tenor (35)I read Everybody started a diary during Covid.
And Everybody thought they were very original, and that it was so unoriginal that in fact you were more original when you did not have a blog or a journal or a book documenting your life during the pandemic.

So suffice to say that I’m aware that I have to win you over on this one, and why mine is worth reading.

Firstly, and I m writing this July 22 2021; my Covid Diaries are a bona fide mess.
Just like the way the pandemic has been managed in many countries and in the Netherlands for sure, the pandemic on this blog has been managed without a clear ending point in mind.
Without a clear vision of where it is, that I am heading.

But, unlike the pandemic, it is a rounded story. It’s done.
Just that I have to dive into this blog and collect the stories that were written, and line them up for you.

I will blog/ post new additions, and ultimately everything can be found on the project page, in their neat and chronological order.

However, the most unique selling point I have to offer you is not the flying by the seat of my pants like fashion in which these diaries have come into being the past 16 months, but the unique perspective they’re written from.

Because I would know few, if any, diary writers, who would have the let’s call it the “horrific” baggage as I do, to watch the pandemic through a lens that may have been a tragedy on a personal level,
but that is of course artistic gold.

I started this alterego LS Harteveld in 2006, and wrote many erotic stories, which brought me inside the community of people who wrote them.
What struck me was that although many could have blamed me for being archaic in my writing and my stories of lacking contemporary value because they were leaning on the style of Anais Nin’s early 20th century erotica;
I liked them that way.

If I read erotic stories that are set in this time, I pretty much choke immediately, and not in a good way, on words like texting, dating sites, Tinder if I d read stories the past few years which I haven’t.
And I m also thoroughly unhappy with contemporary writing styles.
Giving.
Me.
Pleasure.

*exclamation mark*

I ADORE (those capitals were intentionally) contemporary writing styles and my work exists predominantly on and through social media, but for erotica?
Mother of God, can we please keep it civil?
Leave the cell phones out?
Not mention leather or latex, but dress in white linen shirts that gently caress our skin? 

I thought modern day erotica was a far cry from Anais Nin’s work, and that the craft had actually deteriorated.
If you’re Dutch you can buy my Dutch erotica book here, and see for yourself.
Or browse the bookshop incl English books

And that comparison between my erotica and what I found was mainstream erotica, is about the same expectations I have for the ample Covid Diaries not written by me.

They will all be very relatable, and about face masks, hospital tragedies, the consequences for families and individuals.
They will be about the struggles between groups who are pro and those who are against vaccination, the Covid measures, and there will be analysis of Covid from economic, sociological, psychological and political perspective.

But will there be anyone who writes about the Steven King worthy Evil?
A force like the entity from It, whose physical form was a simple clown, but who drew out the most malignant side of every adult living in Derry, Main.

Will Everybody’s Covid diary acknowledge that just like in the town of Derry, Main, the missing children were  just a sign of a deeply festered evil?
That Covid has shown us the It of our times?

Because it has.

Covid has tapped straight into the previous pandemic of aids in the 80s, which was the era of the novel It, released in 1986.
A raging, distorted fear of aids, raising a generation of coming-of-age gay boys but also heterosexual teens, to whom sex would always be tied to sickness, death, and social exclusion.

The book It (1986) as well as the movie It (2017), both use this paralyzing and toxic fear of aids.

“It’s” (the movie, LH) open-faced engagement with adolescent fear
provides a perfect setting for reminding audiences
of the lived experiences of those coming of age during an epidemic.

AIDS, It, and the Horror of the 1980s by Aaron Lecklider 

The consequences for “Those coming of age during an epidemic”
were indeed dramatic.
As they will be for the ones growing up now.

So if you want to know how the Covid pandemic looked for someone who has lived through that experience of coming to age in the Derry, Main era of the 80s?

Where adults and government organisations were poisoned by something, that only appeared on the surface to be a deadly disease, only appeared to be a clown who abducted kids.
But that in fact was Evil itself.

If you want to know how the Covid pandemic has been for us?
Those children of the 80s who see it happening all over again?
Then this is my story.
.

 ~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

It’s Chapter 2
is the introduction of The Covid Diaries

You can follow The Covid Diaries coming to life
on Facebook
& Twitter: @LSHarteveld

.

Books 

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:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/