There is no doubt you re in my heart now | 1996 diary

THE WORST TIMING
Saturday February 6, 1996
.
I m starting to get restless. What if Nikki doesn’t write again?
Or what if he just sends me the Bon Jovi bootleg, but nothing in response to my letter?
Maybe he will stop writing me letters, with the bootlegs or the separate ones (just letters) that never needed the alibi of a package with cassettes.
Maybe our correspondence has come to an end and maybe it’s because I wrote about sex.
Not “let me turn you on” sex, but “I slept with my ex lover Bear who now has a girlfriend, and I feel so awful and have no one to talk to” sex.
The type of sex you would roll your eyes at thinking how could I have let it come this far?
A question I would not know how to answer.
.
I don’t want to deny Bear his future. He seems to want to start a family, and his girlfriend already has a child.
And I don’t want to deny myself a sex life either;
I didn’t have sex with other men in the years he was my lover, and there is no one else in my life right now either.
.
So although I can understand Nikki’s silence, and dread the day I get a business like small note, excusing himself for not writing properly or something;
What options does he think I have?
I wasn’t angry with Bear, and I didn’t feel guilty or dirty afterwards. It was way worse than that.
I felt jealous.
.
Nikki and me have been writing for four months now I think. Maybe longer. But it has never taken him so long to write, and from all the moments he could have dropped out of conversation this has been the absolute worst timing.
.
Next to losing my boyfriend or lover, or whatever you want to call Bear, I now seem to have lost the anonymous friend who gave me a feeling that I too, had someone special.

.
IT S ALWAYS ABOUT A MAN
Monday February 8, 1996

When will I unlearn?
Or learn?
Unlearn to beat myself up over going out three to four nights a week, and learn that in the bar, at night, is where I live.
Where my adventures lay, my lust for life. My getting over Bear, because finally I flirted with another man again.
Possibly multiple.

I don’t know what it was, but the atmosphere seemed to be filled with anticipation and sexual innuendo!
It was as if everybody was in a flirtatious mood, and the same people that were there last Sunday, had suddenly all taken a Sexy Pill (including me) and we were all different people.

I didn’t go home with him, and technically, we didn’t even kiss. But I can’t remember the last time I was so openly sexual, openly interested, stood so close, pushed my hips back, brushed his hard-on, smiled over my shoulder, and thought:
“I can do this.”

Today was the most productive Monday in months, and I m going to hit my yoga mat and get back to my practice.
And I want to lose the weight, now more than ever.
The thought these clothes might come off soon, with a new man, was the incentive I needed to finally get my act together and make it happen.

I came by a sign from the fitness studio on my walk:
“Don’t wish for it, work for it”

I will.

.
I JUST SAVED MY OWN DAY

Tuesday February 9, 1996

Bad news first!
I did not magically snap into actually doing yoga, after Sunday night’s nearly-encounter.

I knew chances I d run in him again were close to a hundred percent.
And I also knew that I wanted my old body back, before having sex with a new man.
It didn’t feel right to have the weight I gained during my time with Bear, still on me when I would start a new relationship.
It wasn’t right.
Even though Bear probably didn’t have anything to do with why I gained weight.

I still can’t figure out exactly when the weight gaining started, but before college I was thin that much is certain.
And I ve been doing, correction “did”, yoga since I was 15. Although not that much, that was later, when I was around 19 or 20.
I had a real dancer’s body, and it came mainly from cycling to school.
But nevertheless, when last Sunday the sparks between me and the new man (who I have not yet renamed to write about, because I don’t know how serious this will be) flew over, I did feel inspired to pick up yoga again.

But yesterday night, despite my good resolutions, I did not do yoga.
However, today I got an unexpected visitor!
He had tried to call me, but because I am so focused since Sunday, and work so very hard, I had not picked up the phone.
I was actually very proud of myself for being so mature to not pick it up during my productive hours!
Then about an hour later the doorbell rang, and it was the photographer who had filmed me when I was around 20.

It was a professional gig, because I was one of the very few models who could do yoga. It had been the only thing I was asked for regularly.
The biggest job I ever had was filming instructional videos. Just the video, the audio was a voice over by someone else.
They were filmed for a teacher training, and had been extremely valuable and not available on the market.
I never received copies for myself.

But the photographer, who had shot the videos, had received a copy, but he was clearing out his stock and didn’t want them anymore.
So he thought of me.
He had tried to call, and when I didn’t pick up he decided to drop them by.
It are 19 VHS tapes!
I knew it had been a large gig, but I had no idea it had been this big.
19 VHS tapes of me, at my peak:
Strong.
Lean.
Confident.

I just got saved by my younger self that’s for sure.

.
THERE IS NO DOUBT YOU RE IN MY HEART NOW

Valentine’s Day
Sunday February 14, 1996

My entire love life got fixed on Valentine’s Day!

Yesterday, the mail man brought mail from Nikki;
The envelope clearly had cassettes in it, but from the soft thick feeling of the package it was also clear there were papers in it. A letter.
I m so tuned in with these packages, I can estimate how long the letter is, just from feeling the envelop.
I can’t remember the last time I got a letter that was this long!
Eight A4-ish papers, written on one side only, torn from a notepad.

He thanked me for my honest letter and wrote that he felt for me. That he was sorry that my lover was now living with someone else, and although his first response had been one of anger and frustration that I was still sleeping with my former lover (he said “your ex” but I have never called Bear that), it was none of his business.
And he had gotten me something special.
That’s why his reply had taken so long.

Wrapped in gift paper, he had arranged a bootleg from the 1988 Netherlands show of Bon Jovi.
Even though it came out of his own pocket; This was not a bootleg that would be reviewed since it had been released for a long time.
There was no reason to give me a copy.
Except that he knew I had gone to that show, and that it had special meaning to me.

The two cassettes felt like a true treasure. 
And I have been listening to them all weekend.

And then this afternoon, when I came home from an afternoon with a friend, I found a postcard from Bear.
I don’t know if he had rung my doorbell, but apparently he had managed to get away from home on a Sunday, and brought me a card.

It was pretty neutral. As if, if his girlfriend found out, he could get away with just making a nice gesture to his ex.
But he used my pet name, and said he hoped I was doing alright, which could refer to anything, but because we had sex the last time we saw each other and I had not heard from his since, I took it as an apology.  

I still don’t know if I m cut out to be the other woman. It was such a hard landing, being all by myself the last time he was here and we went further/ had done more than we had in the dates prior. 
There have definitely been moments when I have sworn to not go down this road, and take my chances as a single.
That nothing is worth, feeling this miserable.

Nothing, but a Valentine’s card with your pet name on it.

~Lauren96
An unexamined life is not worth living

There is no doubt you re in my heart now | 1996 diary
is the fourth chapter to
1996 diary 

New diary entries are posted on my Facebook page ;
And will be published together, once or twice a week, here on this blog.

Find the subscription button on this page.

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

.

Books 

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New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
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In The Jungle Where We Play | 1996 diary

photo Madonna, Michael McKenzie 1981

“ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS CAME NATURALLY”
Monday February 1, 1996

.
Let’s do this!
.
After being inspired by photos from 1988, the summer I turned 16, and seeing my body was naturally thin, curvy around the hips like Sharon Stone, and with broad shoulders like an 80s bathing suit model;
I got to work.
.
There really is no excuse for my current weight, since I had such a good start. And it came entirely natural.
I remember this because I studied my body in the mirror, consciously saying to myself:
“Always remember this came naturally. You never have to do anything for this. This is who you are.”
.
What I meant was that I don’t have to go on a diet or workout.
But I also interpret it as:
“You never have to do anything else than what you are doing right now.”
Because that gives me a starting point to get back.
.
So I got to work.
.
What did I eat when I was 16?
What did my days look like?
How much did I move?
I scheduled out best I could a week planning that would mimic this.
.
Some things are different now.
My mother was taking care of me, so in 1988 I did not have to spend time on grocery shopping, cooking, housekeeping.
And the life of a 23 year old writer and a 16 year old high school student, will be different;
But I think I got the gist of it.
.
Here’s what I came up with:
-smaller meals
I ate every 3 hours or so.
Which was not ideal, because at 4 PM I would come home from school and eat the largest bowl with banana, yogurt, raisins, nuts.
After I had satisfied my appetite I realized I would not be hungry for dinner, but I was so starved I just couldn’t help myself.
But it does illustrate I never allowed myself to be hungry and was never shy of eating.
.
The other two aspects are 1,5 hours of cycling or walking, 5 days a week.
And a 30 minute walk, also 5 days a week. Which I will be replacing with yoga.
. 
Finally, every night between 7 and 10, I would go to my attic room with a cup of coffee (that was the only moment of the day when I was certain I drank coffee) and do my homework.
So night times will become working hours.
. 
I ll let you know how it goes, tomorrow.
And I’ll also tell you about the perhaps not so smart choice I made yesterday night, which has given me a groggy Monday morning start, my 16 year old self would never have approved of.
 
.
photo Madonna, Richard Corman 1983

UNDER COMMAND
Tuesday February 2, 1996

.
Is it possible it’s only Tuesday morning and that I already broke my week?
That I already did not do so many things of the things I said I would do? In particular because I had decided to go back to my 1988 schedule of working (studying) at night.
I should have won the week, by looking back on a strong Monday.
.
I think the positive way to look at it, is that I have changed since I was 16. And also that it may have been the remoteness of the village where we lived, and the humdrum of living at home, that kept me indoors.
Living and working independently, getting up early and saying No to going out, is much harder.
If not impossible.
.
However, I still remember seeing that photo last Saturday, from when I was 16 years old and so many kilos younger, so many productive hours a week richer, and daily bike rides as a given.
It was entirely ingrained in my daily schedule.
.
Sunday night, I started the week on the wrong foot, or at least a very entertaining foot, when I went to the weekly Bon Jovi night at the Hard Rock Cafe.
I ve been going there since high school, although then not on a Sunday night obviously!
Throughout college I kept going there and never saw other students. It was one of the sanctuaries, just like Andy’s Room at the back of Warhol’s.
.
This reminds me of 1994!
When a painter who looked like Slash came to paint my house.
We kept running into each other, and sometimes consciously seemed to be staging a meetup.
One of them was at Andy’s room;
He had casually mentioned he went there every Saturday, but when I went there to see if he was there, he was standoffish and the bar lady was being very possessive.
Even though she was not his wife.
.
It did straighten out, months later. When he made an effort to see me, talk to me, and we had coffee and oliebollen (Dutch New Year’s treat).
I think that was the last time I saw him and that 1995 went by without him.
.
Last Sunday at the Hard Rock Cafe (note: This is not A Hard Rock Cafe, the franchise. We don’t have one here) it was good to be just a Bon Jovi fan.
There is something about that music that makes being with people who love it, easier than Guns N Roses fans.
It’s all ages, and at least on Sunday night more men than women, but at concerts it’s 50-50.
Bon Jovi are coming to the Netherlands this Summer, but I didn’t buy tickets. I don’t feel like it.
.
Sometimes I think I m just not someone who can stand the inconvenience of travel, and waiting in the sun.
Crossing the country in the dead of night.
And sometimes I think it must be something else that just doesn’t click…. So I don’t know why I love hanging out on Sunday night in a bar with other Bon Jovi fans, and I forgot to mention I work for the international fan club too!
I make their bootleg reviews, that’s how I know Nikki, the guy from the UK who trades them.
.
So there are days when I think I am a Bon Jovi fan, and that I can achieve anything I want, if only I work hard and stay optimistic.
.
And then there are times like this, when I can’t make myself do anything. And I resist being under command.
Even if it is from a regime that gave me the best body I ever saw, and the fast lane through high school.
I can’t make myself do things. And when everybody goes A I always go B.
.
If staying home on Sunday nights and going to bed early was frowned upon, I d be rockin’ it.
.
.
photo Rosanna Arquette and Madonna on the set of Desperately Seeking Susan 1984

I FOUND MY 16 YO SELF IN A BAR
Wednesday February 3, 1996

I’m not saying hanging out in bars (two nights out of three) does not take its toll.
It does.
I slept in this morning and was unsure if I would not get sick, from yet another night in a smoky bar, but now I feel fine, so I guess I m getting away with it.
Besides: On Monday night I was in, and yesterday morning I opened with:
“Is it possible that I already broke my week?”

So statistically speaking the worst day came after a night of staying in. And a worst day it was, emotionally. Little did I know the evening would bring the best most bad ass night of this year, if not this decade, where I totally found my mojo with help from my friend Sara!

So what happened?

Well it was with Sara, and we went to a bar and drank beer, and I complained her pretty little ears off of her head, whining about how I had lost 20 months after graduation already, and still didn’t have a frickin’ clue what I wanted with my life.
That the beginning of this year was marked by removing some toxic people out of my life, and removing myself out of toxic environments;
But it had been the same environments that held career options, money, fame, becoming a well known author and so on and so forth.

In other words: Although I was happy I had gotten myself out of it, I had paid dearly for it.
And I wasn’t my old self again.

I was not just separated by a fuck load of kilos, from the 16 year old self I had seen on the photos mama and me sorted through last Friday;
I lacked that 16 y.o. mental spark more than anything else!

Her confidence, her naturalness. She did not hang out in bars on Sunday nights and Tuesday nights looking for fun and deep conversation, because she lived in a village;
She also did not need those things.
She was fine being her, and comfortable in her own skin.

So I told Sara about finding those photos and how I felt I had deteriorated. How I had become less vibrant, achieved less, didn’t know myself anymore, and whatever my talents had once been, I would not be able to name them if they hit me in the head.
From the moment of graduation/ university, June 1994 to now, February 1996, I had wasted the already mentioned 20 months.

But in all likeliness: From summer 1988, the moments those photos were taken, to now;
I had wasted 6,5 years.

And the only thing I gained was an education and a lot of kilos.

So I was telling her all those things, and being aware we’d been here before, and it was getting repetitive, I was very aware this was going the wrong way.
I could not go on like this.
Even if wallowing had ever been justified, for example because in December 1994 Bear broke up with me, even then it was enough.
I was done.

And I could just feel the power, who I was all those years ago, flow back into me. Like that movie Highlander where you get the power of the one you kill.
I did not kill anyone, but I felt the life force of 16 year old me flowing back into me.

And all the years in between just fell of me like dead weight.

I’m back in the land of the living.

IN THE JUNGLE WHERE WE PLAY
Friday February 5, 1996

photo Axl Rose, who (as someone pointed out to me just recently) was very androgynous in the 80s.

The good news is that I don’t have a hangover from the third night this week, I went out.

Bad news, is that I did spend the first two hours after waking up, worrying sick about how I am going to make it in life.
Analyzing (and in response paralyzing!) all the parts where I had lost my power, and in all honesty did not have a clue how to get it back because I do not know any people who have made it into adulthood with the same aliveness as they had when they were a teen.

The ones who I know who are already working are taking themselves so seriously. If they ever were creative or had dreams, they tell themselves they’ll get back to it one day;
Only to then hang out at the Rock Star Cafe on Thursday night.
Just like me.

Just like them I too need to first touch base with who I am, my own identity, my independence. Thursday night is Guns N Roses night, and it’s like the church of lost souls.
Where Sunday’s Bon Jovi fans, seem to have at least some kind of connection to Tommy and Gina and everyday life;
The Thursday crowd looks as if they’re hurt by it.
With eyes filled with relief, to finally be with their own people and feel human again.

Sunday’s Bon Jovi fans have a We Can Make It mentality, but in a humble, non-NLP way. There is nothing shallow nor overly ambitious about it.

Thursday’s Guns N Roses fans have a I m Unsure If I m Still Alive mentality. I don’t know any of us who are on drugs, or have visible problems, and yet it seems like we’re eaten by life itself, every single day.
Maybe it’s an extrovert introvert thing – Sunday is definitely more outgoing!

I feel at home in both the groups, but I know I am a Guns N Roses fan at heart. Maybe unfortunately, but either way it’s just how it is.
And I too needed to see them, before I could decide on what to do.

I mean I know what I want, but how in God’s name am I going to get there? Still don’t know, but a remark one friend made did stick. It was a really weird one, and you’re probably going to think I m crazy. I bet she didn’t even know herself what it meant, and forgot about it immediately after.
And yet, to me it clicked.

The conversation went something like when I pick up my new life, or have better understanding of how to express my true identity, it will be really good for my sexuality.
“My sexuality?” I asked.
Since I was unaware I had a problem with my sexuality.
Things have been slow since Bear ended our affair, and my aids phobia pretty much preventing me from building a sex life as a single.
But I don’t consider my sex life to be problematic.

She repeated it would be good for my sexuality, and specified: 
“For your masculinity. You have been among women too much, and it’s draining you. You’re male.”

I was absolutely baffled, but I immediately knew she had spoken the truth. It were the words I needed to hear, at the time I needed to hear them.

I’m not talking body stuff (and neither did she), I m not unhappy with the fact that I’m a woman;
But working in a female working environment at the publisher’s, and even my internship before that, has indeed fucked me up good.

In order to feel better, and see where my path leads, I need to man up.

~Lauren96
An unexamined life is not worth living

In The Jungle Where We Play | 1996 diary
is the third chapter to
1996 diary 

New diary entries are posted on my Facebook page ;
And will be published together, once or twice a week, here on this blog.

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:
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The Rock Star Yoga Teacher

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

Dear Sara,

Bad news first: I went through another round of blowing everything up.
And I do mean everything.
I considered deleting all my websites, all my social media accounts including LinkedIn, and I m talking about both my accounts now.
LS Harteveld as well as everything under my real name.
.
I could quieten the rage by only quitting writing here, for Lauren Harteveld. It took the edges off and gave me time to think.
But I was so self-destructive.
.
And the irony is that I can still feel that rage inside of me. It’s not gone. It’s just that by giving myself massively complicated topics write about, like an adult pacifier, I can distract myself.
And by now I m so caught up in them, that I am already thinking of the future. 
.
Is there really no way to make money from my art? 
Or have I even tried?
.
This morning I got a message from a consultant I gave an interview to earlier this month. He was hired by a company where I am a customer, and he was getting back to a few things we had discussed.
One of the things he asked, but that was more of a chitchat thing since it wasn’t relevant to the interview, was;
“How is the yoga by referral coming along?”
A term or job I came up with, when I had heard that he did not have a website or even social media profile. 
He was a “referral-only” consultant. Which had an elusive ring to me.
.
“If I ever start teaching yoga again, I will be a referral-only yoga teacher!”
I had answered.
.
Although I am usually quick to brush things like that off, because I really do not want to be teaching yoga again, but in this case I had asked the Universe to SHOW ME the means how I was supposed to make money.
Because by now I want to know if I am supposed to be looking for a job, or set up a business or or or, what, right?
I was sure the Universe knew the answers, and I literally asked God to show me before I went to sleep.
.
Not remembering my dream when I woke up, I assumed I had not received an answer.
But then I opened my email.
The consultant had sent his email with the yoga teacher by-referral, at 6 minutes past midnight:
15 minutes after I had fallen asleep.
How’s that for a speedy delivery.
.
And there is also the 3-part vision I received, the three sentences, about half a year ago.
They were my three guidelines from God or the Universe, how I was supposed to develop myself.
They were (and like all religious texts they could be interpreted in multiple ways):
1. Get in front of as many people as possible
2. Yoga is my art
3. Album tour. Album tour.
.
Especially the third one, not being a musician I have no idea what that could mean.
Am I meant to go on a book tour, and are my books my albums?
But I only publish books under this name, LS Harteveld, and I want to be known and get “in front of people” under my real name.
Am I supposed to start publishing books (albums) under my real name too? Or should I be making “yoga albums”?
.
Even the second clue, “Yoga is my Art”: There have been weeks when I “felt” that. When I had an intuitive understanding that yoga was indeed my art.
And that I would go back to it.
.
And then there are moments like this when just thinking about picking up the phone and someone wanting a yoga lesson would be enough reason to throw myself off a bridge. 
I would not even go through the trouble of deleting my profiles first.
.
So all in all, the three clues from last year, as well as last night’s yoga teacher by-referral, has not brought the finite vision to which I have a (positive) emotional response. 
.
And then (another clue the universe is working its butt off to get through to me!) I went through a stack of notes, and they were like a “best of” series of insights I had jotted down in the past 6 months or something.
Different paper types, different pens, and also some notes made more sense or spoke to me more than others.
But even with not everything falling into place immediately, one thought shot through my head;
“Oh my God. It’s all there……”
.
One by one, I had written down all the things, all the pieces of the puzzle. And I instinctively knew the puzzle was complete.
I did not need to look anymore, or wonder if it was going to fit.
.
This was everything I needed.
.
So I want to share those notes with you, so that in our coaching call, we can see how they fit together.
.
note 1: I AM THE KATRINA RUTH OF YOGA!! *)
.
This is so true.
I don’t even think it’s about me comparing myself to her in terms of being a badass leader. It really is not about me, nor about her.
What I mean is;
If there had been someone in yoga, like Katrina Ruth, I never would have stopped teaching. I never would have stopped practicing. And since there is no Katrina Ruth of teaching yoga, this means I am the Katrina Ruth of yoga.
.
I can be for yoga what she is for female entrepreneurs:
The positive mirror, the loud older sister who tells you you can fucking do it. The unapologetic bitch who tells you that IT IS time to put your foot down and stake your claim.
.
So that no one like me, ever has to leave yoga again because we just can’t breathe there.
We could level up, where the air is still clear. Go the extra mile, because as we know; It is never crowded there 😉 
.
note 2: PERFORMANCE ART
To be in a state that makes art inevitable. Steward of this energy. Experience of living.
Big ass wave.
Pond.
.
(note 2, last two entries, are a mystery)
.
note 3: EXPRESSIONIST
Putting forward what’s in me, into the world.
Being the guardian of my inner-life.
.
note 2 and 3 were made during one of our coaching calls, although I can’t see when that was.
.
note 4: Teach yoga (like being a psychologist who stays faithful to their craft) the way I believe it should be taught.
To people who will drop out of yoga// get turned off, the way it’s currently commercialized/ taught.
.
note 5: characteristics Historian
Take 25 years off.
High-pressure cooker. (no idea what this means)
We define someone how he makes his money/ instead of by what someone’s interests are. 
.
And finally note 6, which I made just this weekend, and which originated from writing a meaty article on my love life and things I would never again ask of a man, of a lover.
But I noted it down for in our conversation, once I realized that if I reversed it, it fully applied to what people could ask from me, when I thought about it in terms of me offering a “service”, or being a service provider.
.
So where my conclusion in this article I had written on my love life had been:
“I will never expect of a man (after a date), what I would not expect of Jon Bon Jovi (after the show).”
It now became, applicable to me as a service provider;
“No one can ask of me, what they would not ask of Jon Bon Jovi.”
Meaning: I can deliver a peak performance, but the boundaries and roles are clear. 
And of course, then what you do is not service. Not in the way we think of service providers, and in particular not the way we think of yoga teachers.
.
If you deliver a peak performance where the boundaries are clear;
You’ve put on a frickin’ show.
.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

*) You can find business coach Katrina Ruth on YouTube, Facebook, and she has the best optins (freebies) and great content in the email sequence you get after.
Current Optin:
Everything You Know About Success is Wrong.
A 4-Part Video Series with Quantum Success Coach Katrina Ruth
(or go straight to her website)

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/

A Successful Sweet Sixteen | { reboot } 1996 diary

On 25th January 2021 I decided to quit writing.
There was no way
to give Lauren96 a sex life with her lover Bear having ended their affair late 1994,
and my real-life body being stuck in Covid struck 2021. 
But apparently, she has more to say!
The Lauren96 Reboot: 
.
Madonna 1985 from “Adore” limited edition photo book by Kenji Wakasugi

Saturday January 30, 1996
6.15 P.M.

I’m at my desk with a cup of coffee, very much like the year I’m sending myself back to; 1988.
Yesterday, I was at my mother’s and we were filing our photos. 

One of the years that came up was 1988, and I had such an intense experience of traveling back in time.
To the virgin year before, shall we say “all hell broke loose”.

1988 was the year I had my first relationship, but with the knowledge of today, I wasn’t in love. 
I found him exciting, attractive, and I had known him most of my life, always captivated by the way he seemed to be above of it all.
But at least for me, there was no real way to connect or relate to him, and therefor there was no real way to fall in love with him.
Even though he was extremely attractive, intelligent, and artistic.

Combined with the large distance between us, since we were living on other sides of the country, and the fact that he was having trouble at home, I had probably selected the most difficult first courtship imaginable. 
It didn’t turn sour until the very end, but it was very passive aggressive, from his side. Mine was probably overtly aggressive because I was frustrated with him just opting out by not answering phone calls, vague excuses his family made for him.

I have not seen him till this day, that’s how painful it was. And that’s how easy it is to avoid seeing him.
I m glad he was my first boyfriend because he was at the time someone I had been fascinated with for such a long time.
But I paid for it. And by the time I met Jonathan, in the final days of 1988, I was still not ready for a new relationship or courtship.
Jonathan did become my new boyfriend however; And that ended even worse.

By the time I sat down with Bear for coffee, late 1989, my heart was still showing signs of Jonathan’s breakup.
It’s just that I chose to move on anyway.

Bear became my lover, and he stayed my lover all throughout college until 14 months ago when he broke up with me.
That my heart no longer had the resilience it had had after Jonathan should have been the first sign it was taking a toll, I could no longer pay.

But I chose not to see, or not to do anything about it.
Until today.

Because yesterday I saw those photos from 1988, the year before Bear, before Jonathan. It was a year spent on my room in the attic, like most years were. 
And it was spent with school, sunny holidays, and dreaming about boys. And the occasional meet up with my first boyfriend.
It was this predictable schedule that spoke to me.

One of those daily routines was being behind my desk every night after dinner, with a cup of coffee.
Just like I am now, although I was here a bit earlier today.

In 1988, I would be in my room and study from 7 until 10.

I had tried to recreate that rhythm earlier this year, or maybe even late 1995 I can’t remember. I thought it would help me to publish my books!
By seeing them as school projects, I was sure I would be working on them every night from 7 until 10.
Just like back then.

And I could also see how the daily schedule would help me lose weight because all I had to do was stick to the food I ate then, and get the physical exercise I had right then.
Without success. My (bad) habits stayed the way they were.
The only thing I did do was quit smoking, but this has made me gain even more weight.

But yesterday I saw the photos that were taken in this school period. The time when I had that highly efficient and strict rhythm.

And what I saw was what I will call “the body of bodies”.
My 16 year old body, was by far the most beautiful body I have ever seen in my life.
And I ve seen quite a few, because I read a lot of men’s magazines and photo magazines.
But Lauren Harteveld 1988 wins, sorry guys.

Lauren Harteveld 1996 however? 
I have gained a lot of weight. It started late 1993, when I would spend days at the office during my internship. 
Then writing my thesis in 1994.
Followed by a job at the publisher’s sitting on my ass all day, and now I ve finally freed myself from that, but publishing my own books is not going well.

I have not given that 16 year old girl the future she deserved.
The future she worked hard for, every night between 7 and 10.

The other moment I started to gain weight was, of course, late 1994 when Bear broke up with me.
He has a girlfriend now, and he’s living with her. Although we still like each other and for a long time it appeared as if we’d start an affair.
But I don’t think we are.
I feel I lost him.

We have seen each other, intimately. It was weeks ago already, but I have not heard from him since and did not want to talk or write about it. 
Still don’t.
It’s really sad because there really isn’t anyone to blame, it’s just that things are no longer working out between us, even though it seemed like they would.

Like I said, I don’t want to talk about it. He made his choice, there’s nothing I can do.

But it is the right time to focus on my career and getting my 16 year old body back.

I owe it to myself.

~Lauren96
An unexamined life is not worth living

A Successful Sweet Sixteen | 1996 diary
is the second chapter to
1996 diary 

New diary entries will be posted on my Facebook page when they’re small;
Or will be bundled together/ immediately published here on this blog.

To receive all, 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/

Goodbye for now

Convinced it would be The Bestest Way to communicate daily, I started a diary on Facebook.

Little did I know it would turn out as the worst five days of 2020 and 2021,
and (once again) end with me quitting writing.

I have about 20 posts where I quit writing so I ve decided it’s going to be one of my new books (all posts where I quit writing), so that we at least can have a laugh over it it one day.

~Lauren

Creator’s Diary Day 1 to 5

 

day 1
digital minimalism

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!
.

day 2
our online Bermuda triangle & how online (youth) culture began

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, not to bother other people.
A call was intrusive, especially at out of office hours for example.
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.
.

day 3
The Matrix/ Ready Player One reality check
& why I have decided to severely limit my time
“in The Oasis” (read: online)

click to go to the video

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.
In particular those born before 1985:
Being addicted to refreshing your news feed, checking your mail, your likes and so on, is addictive behavior that means you do not FEEL what reality is.
It’s like Ready Player One, where the reality is so bad people are only in The Oasis.
They have internalized this reality.
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 The Matrix the human bodies are used as batteries, and their minds are entertained in The Matrix,
If 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.
Yes, that includes being online.
But not to be entertained, or feed an addiction.
We should be online in service of others. Because we have something positive to contribute.
And because we owe them.

In the Netherlands 8 out of 10 young people are going to respect curfew.
They don’t respect “curfew”:
They respect us.
Us.
But do we deserve that?

The 8 out of 10 that would take the blue pill.
The people in Ready Player One, who keep going back to the Oasis.

Let us focus on the positive, and on the real world. Real connections.
Let us be there for the ones who do want to take the red pill, and are ready to wake up in the real world.
And make sure it’s one worth living in.
.

day 4
Curfew night 1

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 argue that in a country with a curfew something is seriously wrong.
But “the few”?
.
Last night, going to bed in a silence that could have meant I was the only living creating 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.
.

day 5
GOODBYE for now

Five days ago I started a new series:
CREATOR’S DIARY
Tonight’s was going to be number 5.
I m quitting this series for a very simple reason:
Because these have been the 5 worst days of my life.
.
I spent the last hour logging in/ logging out from one half of blogs (under my real name) to the other half, which are these under LS Harteveld.
And the only reason I did not delete any websites, and all social media profiles associated with it, was because I could not decide which account, which half of myself, to destroy.
.
Five year worth of YouTube, all my Facebook pages under my real name and personal account and a promising future as an artist and writer under my real name?
.
Or 15 years of writing and honestly not having a f-ing clue what to write about anymore, on this one?
.
The thing I am, was, most excited about is my 1996 diary, which you can find on the tabs in this website.
But Lauren96 doesn’t have a man in her life anymore, after her boyfriend Bear chose for someone else after having been her lover for 5 years.
And in combination with my real body being stuck in Covid struck 2021, this means she’s celibate.
.
If you’ve got nothing better to offer your 23 year old protagonist than being celibate, I think you better stop writing.
So I am.
You will hear nothing until I have created a world, worthy of my 23 year old protagonist.
Or until I decide it’s hopeless and end this account.
.
Lauren96 is a project that got a serious blow when my lover ended things, and its death verdict when Covid begun.
That’s how I see it.
I really hope I ll have the togetherness to save and publish my books. If I do, you can find them at:
https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/LaurenandLulu
.
I once became a writer because my love life was so complicated I needed pen and paper to process it.
.
But long story short, now it has become so complicated pen and paper won’t suffice.
.
For a very long time I ve known that without a good sex life, I would not write.
And I tried to make it work, I really did.
In particular because I started dreaming of deserts; there were signs of God action was required!
.
But I m done, I m hurt, and I want to blow something up.
.
I hope that by leaving before I can decide which part of myself to take this out on, I won’t..
.

.
~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/

No Longer Hiding, No Longer Dropping Balls, No More!

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

Dear Sara,

It was tempting to not write a public blog post, and just like for our last call two weeks ago, to write a private email.
Except: I didn’t really have a good enough reason.
There were no matters that were affecting me, and that needed to stay private.
There was no reason to only email, aside from the fact that I had kind of liked that. It had felt like skipping class, to break my self-imposed rule to always write a blog post preceding our call.
To “earn” your coaching, or to justify spending money on myself.
To first work.
.
So there was nothing going on, compared to last time.
But the fact that I wanted to not write, was a pattern that I have witnessed the past two weeks or perhaps even longer.

That I don’t feel like writing for my LS Harteveld account, or even hesitate writing my pen friend The Saint/ Nikki;
It is all related.
And in a way it feels like mourning.
For a lot of things: Sexuality, my lover (we still see each other but our affair is over), but most of all that I m not further along the road with my art, and in particular with my books.
.
In autumn last year I cleared my agenda to publish my books, as LS Harteveld, so that I could start fresh with a new career under my real name in January.
But it didn’t work.
I barely published any books, and yet I lost three months as well as my entire productivity.
.
Where I used to write one sometimes two posts a day, or create a video and a post, usually under one of my many accounts;
Since autumn it has been terribly quiet.
.
I started 2021 with even less than I had in September or early October.
Feeling massive disappointment, I had screwed it up.
.
And I think that’s most of all what I m coming to terms with on a deeper level. That I can’t clear my agenda to create books. It has cost me three months now, but this has been going on since 2018.
We’ve been here before.
.
It feels like I have been so destructive by throwing all that time away to nothing..
I hope writing it out as bluntly as this, will speed it up. But it feels raw.
.
The good thing that has ultimately come from it, but no sooner than today which is why I am writing you much later than I usually do, is that I understand that creating and posting (so creating something that gets done) has to come before creating things that have a longer cycle.
.
For example, under my real name I make reviews from old Bon Jovi concerts for YouTube.
That usually costs me 5 hours, preparation only.
.
And another example would be publishing the books for Lauren Harteveld/ this account.
That can take anything up to a few days to a few weeks per book.
.
What I learned is that I am a daily creator first, long cycle creator second..
Combined with other obligations this will mean that the long cycle posts and the publishing of books more often than not will not get done.
.
Another thing is that for so very long, I have considered, tried, structured, planned to do important things every day.
And on days when I have a lot of time, I do enjoy it to add half an hour of this and half an hour of that.
.
But Friday, Saturday and Sunday were three days in a row where I had a minimum of two long appointments a day, as well as many people who asked me things and so on;
And all the good habits, and mental peace I had been building during the week, went overboard.
.
By the time it was Sunday night, I was so extremely frustrated over not having done even one blog post in over 72 hours, nor making any headway with my art.
.
So from now on it’s creation first.
Everything else second.
.
And if the publishing of the books of Lauren Harteveld gets done somewhere in the upcoming decade;
That’s soon enough.
.
.

~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 am a writer | 1996 diary

scene introducing Catherine Tramell, movie Basic Instinct (1992)
Thursday January 7, 1996
 

The new year began by paying a high price (a week) for a lesson that in all likeliness, could not have been learned any other way.
At least not by me.

Until the first week of January basically burned all my ships for me, I would have been too tempted to drag at least one, if not all boats, with me.
A boat named “yoga”, a boat named “real writer”, a boat named “Real Business”.

They’re all gone now.

I will spare you most of the unpleasant stories of who disappointed who, and how people, mentor figures, who had been in my life for years, have suddenly disappeared.
But it was ugly.

But like I said: It did what it was supposed to do, and forced me to say goodbye to three areas where I was still holding on to something that was a Plan B for when the thing I really wanted (be a writer) had failed.
They were the three career paths still available to me, at any time in the future.

The first thing I did was throw out the books from the yoga training. I only kept a handful of regular yoga books I had collected over the years, secondhand. 
Books the yoga training did not approve of, and that are for amateurs.
I also stopped practicing yoga, although I may pick it up once I have detoxed from the idea that I have to teach it. 

There came a gigantic push-back from my old employer, the publisher, when they found out I m going to publish my books at the Publishing On Demand company that opened last year.
They are afraid I m going to tell secrets, or client information, and even wrote me a letter reminding me I am legally prohibited from sharing any information about their business. 
This uproar, and local gossiping I presume, got the interest of the Publisher On Demand. They had not realized my potential, and probably just saw me as a crazy woman for having claimed 21 book titles and ISBN numbers on the last day of 1995. 
But by now they probably see me as the Mata Hari of books.

And finally the network of business school graduates who were working independently. I had been attending their meetings and was on their mailing list, but aside from the glossy magazine (and the knowledge their network was worth gold and could get you a job within days) I found little inspiration there.
Being a writer is not the same as being a consultant.
Their focus on making money gave me the creeps.
Or maybe I was just jealous that I did not have the luxury of choosing what I wanted to do with my life and at what price point; I have writing just pouring out of me, and will probably choke on it if I don’t do it.

The freedom to have a conversation with someone who calls himself a client and then draw up a contract for which price you’re going to do something? 
Eighteen months after graduating I know I am never going to have that conversation.

The only thing I can do is have faith that God gives no task that is too big for you.
Not even if it is to publish 21 books.

Because I am a writer.

.
~Lauren96
An unexamined life is not worth living

I am a writer  | 1996 diary
is the first chapter to
1996 diary 

To receive all chapters in your mailbox, 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/

Appetite | 1995-1996 diary

TO RULE THE WORLD
Monday December 28, 1995
.

At the risk of sounding like The Twelve Days Of Christmas, what I will refer to as “the third day of Christmas”, was a reflective one.
After all the wining and dining and surplus in being social, I couldn’t even think straight anymore.
Plus I m having a holiday, so although I should probably think about how I m going to make a living as a writer in 1996;
I just couldn’t make myself.
I didn’t even go for a walk, and spent the day at my mother’s where we went through old photos.

We encountered photos from 1989, the year Jonathan became my boyfriend in January, broke up with me in Spring, and in December I asked Bear to be my lover. What a transformational year.
I ve changed so much since then and not in a good way.
As pragmatic and determined as I was then, that’s how lethargic I ve become.
I ve gained nothing but years, weight, and disappointing experiences.

Part of me is still angry I cannot profit from my academic diploma, despite finishing almost first and many of my friends still at uni.
I should have gotten a proper job by now.
Not the desk job at the publishers I got, and not the half in half out independent I am now.
Something real.

But I know the real things I could be doing with my diploma will never come. Every minute of the day, except maybe on the third day of Christmas, my mind is on something else.

Like Madonna said on MTV:
“I want to rule the world.”

.

DARK TOO SOON
Tuesday December 29, 1995

A friend and me have a standard joke, where we plan our walks by adding:
“Because it gets dark by 5.”
And then the other suggests a time, adding:
“Because at 4 it’s already dark.”
The final one is always the one who says:
“Because the sun already sets at two.”
Whether it is my winter depression, or an exceptionally cloudy day but by now I really am convinced the sun really sets at 2 in winter.
But yesterday I was too busy to notice.
I didn’t even go out until it was pitch dark, and I was just in time to get my cards in the mail.

I spent the day behind my desk drawing new year’s cards.
I was very pleased with the result, and happily surprised all had gone well, and the job was done within a day.
So I mailed everyone who lived out of town, and then I had a nightly bicycle ride to deliver all the others.

It was the first year I didn’t deliver a message to Bear. Last year, I didn’t send cards. I don’t think it was because he broke up earlier that month, although I m sure that didn’t help either.
If I had wanted to deliver a card to him in 1994, I could have, but he lives with his girlfriend now. They re playing house. I can’t send him anything anymore, without running the risk of him being uncomfortable with it.
So I didn’t.

But maybe that made this year’s round less satisfactory, despite being pleased with my home designed card, and very happy I had something so beautiful to share.

That although I m almost a hundred percent certain, that in 1996 we will start sleeping together again, occasionally;
I couldn’t send him my best wishes for the new year.

And that makes 1996 imperfect, before it has even begun.

Like a day when the sun sets at 2 PM.

.
I GOT THIS

Wednesday December 30, 1995

In the end, meaning less than 48 hours before this year closes, it was always there. How is it possible that something that has been so omnipresent in your life, takes one failed first proper job (at the publisher’s), one vocation that I never started (yoga teacher, I got an offer to teach early this year), and half a year of working as an independent and being clueless how to make money or even what to focus on –
How does something that was present all that time, takes so much time to figure out?

In my defense, it may not make me money.
So it wasn’t that obvious.
It wasn’t like I accidentally missed a fully mapped out business model that is a guaranteed way to fame and fortune in 1996.

But it is the way to a guaranteed future that will keep me fully engaged and excited about what I do.

In the new year, I will focus all my attention on the three things I do when left unattended, so to speak.
– studying yoga books
– listening to Bon Jovi bootlegs
– drawing childlike cartoons

Yoga, Bon Jovi, and cartoons.
That is what I commit to, and that will be my work.

What a relief to have the vision showing up, on the doorstep of the new year.
It took me eighteen months since graduating from uni but here I am.
And I got this.

.

JUST SAVED MY YEAR
Thursday December 31, 1995
9 A.M.

I should be dead tired, because I had so little sleep.
Or perhaps I should be making myself a proper breakfast, instead of the snacks I ve been randomly pulling out of the kitchen since 5 P.M yesterday, when I started my 1995 sprint, which had both the potential to save the entire year;
As well as the risk to kill me before the end of it.

So what happened?

A couple of months ago, I made an inquiry with a new company, which I knew from my final months at the publisher.
This new publishing firm does not work as a traditional publisher, but it works for the author.

Like a copy shop or the local printing service where my mother used to bring our home designed New Year’s cards.
We’d usually design them over Christmas, and then they’d go to print, and reach our friends and family on the 29th or 30th of December.
Sometimes the first days of the New Year, not everything went perfect.
But it did give me a sense of accomplishment and I still make my own cards.

Either way, this new company focuses on helping authors to publish their own books.
Anais Nin too, had her own press after a long period of not being able to publish her work.
Maybe that is why although this new publisher was talked down at the publisher during breaks, I never joined.
Part of me knew that I didn’t really belong working at that proper publisher. It wasn’t me. I even hated my own translations, because I thought the Dutch words looked incredibly dull and dry.
I hated what they did to the art work on the covers.
English cover: colorful, appealing, brilliant.
Dutch cover: like a textbook from the 1950’s

I understood the new competitor was favoring authors that would never be able to publish their work, unless they were willing to buy their own press like Nin. And that this meant the quality would go unchecked.
And at the same time I knew that was me.
The good, the bad and the ugly.

The good because this new style of publishing books reflected how autonomous and unique I am.
The bad because it reflects how incapable of doing concessions.
And the ugly? Well. There really is no saying in what you will think of my work.
I love it.
And that’s the end of that story.

A few months ago, I contacted them, but it didn’t exactly fly. I was put on hold I think, or maybe I didn’t explain myself well enough but the phone conversations and the tour I got through their building, didn’t really lead to anything.
So what I did is, I threw all our ideas and half-ideas out the window, of how we were going to conquer the world with my books, and started over.

I wrote them/ my contact person, a plan on how I wanted to do it.
And then I heard nothing, which I thought was typical.
I didn’t really mourn it, because at least they had now rejected how I really wanted it, and I was no longer engaging in half-baked plans that no longer reflected who I was.
It was okay to be rejected for what you really want.

But then, yesterday afternoon, someone I had not talked to (I think he’s new) contacted me and asked me if I was still interested and I said yes.
So with the speed of light we cooked up our approach and one of the things I really wanted was to publish my books in 1995.
Not 1996.
This meant that I had to claim my titles and ISBN numbers, before the end of today. So that’s when I frantically started going through everything I have ever written, from articles for the European Bon Jovi fan club to articles for the school newspaper and yearbooks.
And of course all my diaries and everything I wrote when I was dating Bear.

Just like I had announced;
It was a lot.

But even I could not suspect it would actually be a lot times twice! Instead of the ten books, which I had expected, I had twenty.

So this morning I handed in 20 titles for 20 books, and I waited until my bill was ready.
Next to printing costs of the manuscripts and ultimately running a test copy, the ISBN costs are the only cost that is unavoidable.
They also want you to send in a free copy to the public library in The Hague, but I m not going to do that.

I gracefully accepted the bill:
Seven-hundred eighty Dutch guilders.

This afternoon I m invited at the publisher’s for oliebollen (a Dutch treat for New Year’s Eve) and champagne.
On my way over there, I m going by my bank to wire the money.

It’s the best I ever spent.
And the best 31st of December I ever had..

.
~Lauren95
An unexamined life is not worth living

Appetite  | 1995-1996 diary
is the fifth chapter to
1995-1996 diary 

To receive all chapters in your mailbox, 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/

When you’re talkin’ to yourself and nobody’s home | 1995-1996 diary

Madonna about 23 years old

Sunday December 27, 1995

I can feel Bear was slightly surprised I didn’t want to have sex. Didn’t want to use us coming together again – despite the fact that he’s living with his girlfriend now – to have sex this calendar year.
To make 1995 a bit less rotten, a bit less lonely, by ticking off that I had intercourse so at least it wasn’t a total failure.
But I just couldn’t.
For multiple reasons really.
. 
First of all, because by now I ve made my peace with being single again. It’s okay to have a shitty year if the man you’ve been with for five years breaks up with you. Even when it was only a loose tie in terms of commitment and visibility.
It’s okay to mourn that.
I have no desire to mark this year as any different than what it was, by making up for it in November or December.
.
And I told Bear that much, that I was okay with becoming a lover, you could even call it I was okay with becoming “the other woman”.
But not this year.
I told him that much.
.
What I did not tell him was that December in particular, as the month we would reboot our affair, had been a very mixed bag right from the start in 1989.
We had been on a date, not even a proper date it was coffee in a cafe. I had told him I was looking for a lover because I had been single since spring and had been unsuccessful creating a sex life for myself.
I was still a virgin.
I needed someone skilled and patient. Skilled sexually and patient with my Aids phobia. Although I loved oral sex, I frequently panicked afterwards, and could almost black out for days.
It was like the entire world would disappear behind a fog of loneliness and despair.
.
I needed someone who was not going to freak out by that; Not in a way of calling me stupid, but also not in a way of frantically looking for reassurance that we had been “safe” and that everything was alright.
I needed someone who understood sex and in particular safe sex, was multifaceted. Someone who could resist dumbing it down.
.
Bear had proven to be that partner.
But in December 1989, things had not looked good.
.
Despite our first date being very business like, and two dates where we kissed and cuddled a lot;
He had dropped out of communication second half of December or around Christmas.
I don’t know why.
Maybe he had a girlfriend he had not told me about. Someone who wanted his attention. Or maybe he was having second thoughts, now that he had a better understanding that I was indeed not the merry go lucky girl so many people thought I was.
That there was darkness and doubt, and so much fear within me.
.
The fact that we had not had sex yet, did take the sharpest edges off his withdrawal. But I don’t think I ever forgave him. There was always distrust, that whenever his normal life called him, I would not be included in that.
I remember my holidays being very lonely that year, and certainly didn’t have that glow anymore of having found him, and of negotiations and our first kissing dates having been so great.
I feared I had lost him.
In January he contacted me, and we picked it up where we had left off.
Neither one spoke of December.
But when late November and early December, we were kissing and cuddling again, I had no desire to take it any further than I had six years ago.
.
I ll just wait until January.
.

.
~Lauren95
An unexamined life is not worth living

When you’re talkin’ to yourself and nobody’s home  | 1995-1996 diary
is the fourth chapter to
1995-1996 diary 

To receive all chapters in your mailbox, 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/

The Story Of Dutch Lockdown Told in Crafting Paper

My “Don’t Know What You Got Until It’s Gone” – crafting pad as sold by German bulk store Action (stationary departments are closed until January 19th, 2021)

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

Dear Sara,

For 21 days, I m test driving 2021.
As opposed to business coach Katrina Ruth, who once baffled the car dealer when he asked if she didn’t want to test drive the car before ordering it, by answering:
“It’s a three-hundred fifty thousand dollar car.
I assume it will drive.”

I am making no such assumptions about next year.

With a year of Covid under our belt, I think we’re all done assuming anything will drive.
We’ve learned even the most obvious things, cannot be taken for granted.

Oh! This brings me, about five paragraphs early to the crafting paper story I wanted to tell you.
So I ve added a photo of my crafting paper pad – let me rephrase: of my favorite crafting paper pad – and I ve also added a German video about a haul at Action, featuring this pad.
You can find it at the bottom of this post.

Thanks to this video, I can not just give you a good viewing of this pad, but I also know the price.
Bulk store Action, who also has stores in the Netherlands with similar prices, sold it for € 1,33
Just to compare:
The last listed price for this pad on Etsy is € 10. 

So in 2019 I bought this pad on one of my own Action hauls.
The first time I really started appreciating it was when I used it for my continuously updated and expanding vision board card deck, which I started last summer.
I used them as the back of my cards, and particularly liked the process of selecting the card size frames on every page.
I wanted the paper to be used economically, but I also wanted to keep certain prints (such as one unicorn) whole, and not end up with two backs of the cards both featuring half a unicorn.
I was making a vision board not a puzzle.

Yesterday, on my daily walk  – and also the only 2 hours I did not spent news binging to an unprecedented level which has taught me I m not bringing THAT to 2021! –
a friend asked me, which products I would have bought, if I could have had one more go at them before our current lockdown, which will last to January 19th.

I confidently answered:
“Crafting goodies!!”

I think the look on his face was comparable to the look of the Mercedes dealer in Goldcoast Australia.

Since you are an assemblage artist, this is of course preaching to the coir. You understand perfectly well, why the final minutes shopping before lockdown should be spent on buying crafting goodies, but just to make my point, I present to you the mouthwatering, scissors rattling, glue pot waiting,
Crafting For Adults assortment of the Action store.

Action does not have an online store, so for five weeks I will not be able to access these products.
Among which I detected a crafting notebook which I have baptized “man cave” (design #3, on this product page).
Twelve years ago, Nijmegen did not have an Action, but I knew exactly where to find it in Arnhem. Even though, traditionally, the Action is never located in the main shopping areas to save on rent.
But it’s things like crafting pads man cave, that make it a store I will never get tired of visiting, and even travel for!

So when my friend asked the hypothetical question, if the non-essential stores had not been flooding with people the final few hours before lockdown (although my neighborhood Action which opened this summer, has had people waiting in line every day)
then which products would I have hoarded?
The answer was crafting materials.

But the underlying premises was that it were not just crafting materials, but a haul at Action, where you can buy anything you want on impulse, leave it on your shelf for a year, and then start using it for your vision board cards and be blown away by how amazing it is.
My wish had not been to have a go at €10 paper pads which demand immediate use to not feel like you wasted your money.

I need to have a lot of space around my crafting materials, and for them not to be utilitarian purchases. 

So this summer was the first time I realized I loved this paper so much, I started looking if I could get more of it.
But the few times I visited Action, they never had my glitter and unicorn crafting pad, and the others were nothing alike.

Ever since then, and totally unaware my time window to visit Action was rapidly closing, the realization had come that even though I would not be able to stock up on my favorite crafting pad:
That I should buy more crafting paper, with a different print.

That I should stop browsing the Action crafting shelves looking for just my own design, and then be disappointed it wasn’t there.
And instead let myself be surprised by whatever it was they did have.
Just like today, when because I m writing you, I visited the Action site and found us this man cave pad.
Spontanously.

It was probably there all along, I just didn’t see it because I was too focused on getting a duplicate of the one I already had.

So, the crafting department of Action and this particular paper pad had been on my mind for months, when yesterday The Netherlands went into a new 5 week lock-down.
And this time it DID close all the non-essential shops. 

Stores like Action are only allowed to give access to their essential product aisles*

Being a notorious stationary hoarder has never been more rewarding.

Next to crafting paper, I own:
– a laminating machine, supplemented with ample laminating covers
– a small basket full of stickers
– about 20 rolls of paper to cover books and wrap presents
– a large basket full of gift ribbons, textile ribbons, gift cards
– a large assorment of postcards
– and an assortment of notebooks in various sizes, that probably requires a “We need to talk first” conversation before I let a man into my life who claims to love me, and wants to take things next level

There is a genuine possibility that my love for stationary exceeds my love for sex.

If you would drop me on a deserted island with the stationary and crafting assortment of an average Action store, I would not even miss people, Sara.

I think Dutch government has not realized that what they call “non-essential” is actually more essential to some people than human interaction.
PLUS
If you delete human interaction for five weeks, it will be the next go to for even more people!

After Netflix.
But – and this is the story I really wanted to tell you, before I realized that this story should be all about stationary – I quit Netflix.

I had JUST quit watching Netflix, where I had become a heavy The Black List user, and just like with all addictions it had become progressive and I now needed two episodes a day.
When after one day of “This is not too bad!” I was SUCKED INTO A 24 HOUR HOLE OF NEWS ABOUT THE LOCKDOWN AND PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE ABOUT THE LOCKDOWN

I should probably have reintroduced myself as:
“My name is Lauren Harteveld, and I am an addict.”

Because the first day of quiting Netflix had been so easy, I had not noticed that I was still carrying a hole the size of three seasons of The Black List with me;
And that ANYTHING could have jumped in there!

For me it was binging unapologetically on news about the lockdown.

New ethical low in the history of the Netherlands:
All schools including for little children and daycare, are closed for the upcoming five weeks.
The reason is not because our government have new evidence or suspicions that the children are spreading the virus, but because the parents who come to school to drop their children off are spreading the virus, AND because the parents are going to work at the office and do not work from home, as long as the children are taken care off by school.

So the Dutch children have lost their right to education, as stated by the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, to serve as human ball and chain to their parents.

I don’t know, maybe it was not just coming down from my Black List addiction that made me go under in a 24 hours binge on the latest news on how our politicians were rationalizing that.

Maybe I really am a little concerned over this.
A little more than not being able to buy crafting paper.

Maybe, when the rights of an entire new generation are violated so brutally, and a right for education is apparently valid until we need you home to shackle your parents:
Maybe that asks for uproar, aggression, and a mother fucking revolution.

But if it doesn’t? 
Then the VERY LEAST it requires, is more crafting paper.
And no I do not mean for me.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

* Within 24 hours the rules changed, and now Action and other stores with less than 70% of products essential, have to remain closed during lockdown and are not allowed to open to sell essential products.

At the bottom of this post you can find a video on my design paper. (not my video)

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/

video (German): At 11 minutes 55 you can see my beloved crafting paper