The Week I Left It All Behind

photo: My new series “It Took me A Very Long Time To Get Here” is on Facebook and Twitter. Click for more info.

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

.
Dear Sara,
.
It is almost ironic that from two weeks of “OMG there’s SO MUCH I have to tell Sara!” I’m here behind my computer with exactly one Bon Jovi cd worth of time to write you about, yes, about what?
It all seems so entirely pointless.
I even considered calling this blog post Bullet Point Men, because I feel torn between giving a super emotionally involved update about my feelings about two men in my life on one hand; And a bullet point memo that the good part of our plan we/ I came up with in our last session, and the things I still felt that week, is now gone entirely.
So let’s start there, and see how many songs I have left afterwards.
.
You know – I even thought of not writing at all, and simply emailing that I didn’t know what to write. That’s how pointless it all seemed.
Either way, the biggest shift, objectively speaking, was realizing that over a week after our last call, I still had not set up the new blog and new YouTube channel to stay engaged in my love for marketing and sales.
And I now know why.
Because the day after our call, I got inspiration to start a new career as a computer programmer. I learned the basics at university, and already have the materials to educate myself this summer.
It would allow me to start a new career that doesn’t have anything to do with toning down or adapting my creative skills, nor my marketing skills, to a job that would only allow me to do a part of it.
To write for SEO.
Market for leads.
All the while having to communicate with non-autistic people, with whom, let’s face it, my patience is extremely limited.
Computer programming would also allow me to have a job that actually pays, instead of having one that would constantly be on the verge of being given to an intern instead.
But just like the job in marketing:
I still have not started.
.
Part of it is because of a financial task (again) which I m behind on for months. It s probably one or two days of work, but I have not put it in, and do not want to start with this new thing, until I have that done.
Next to fear of not being good enough (or motivated enough) causing this procrastination, I also think it’s because I have some mourning to do.
That ultimately NOTHING is going to satisfy me, except making art all day.
And that I feel like I m throwing away my life, doing anything else.
.
Maybe I need to reframe this switch in careers – which DOES have the added benefits of (bullet points!)
– putting me in a male dominated environment of men whom I understand and love to hang out with
– giving me specialized work
– excusing me from many of all other forms of human interaction all other professions do require
– giving me intellectually challenging work
– DEEP work, with large uninterrupted blocks of time
– allowing me to think at an extremely abstract level, which is something I absolutely love
Where other jobs almost always mean some kind of partial task, that has zero satisfaction, no meaning, no purpose; Programming isn’t any of those things.
Every part of programming is whole in its own way.
One way I m already reframing it, when I m not worrying about this financial task that is, is by imagining 22 year old Lauren has quit her job at the publisher’s, and starting as a programmer in 1995.
It gives it a lighter feel!
But considering how stuck I still am, it obviously needs a lot more lighting up before I am really excited.
Or maybe I need to see how I m still going to do my own art work after 6 P.M..
But it was during this whole trail of thought about becoming a computer programmer, that I lost ALL my interest in being of any service with anything and everything but IN PARTICULAR with regard to marketing and sales!
Marketing and sales, even in the form of a free-advice YouTube channel and blog, were just way too pragmatic to be combined with already giving my life to a craft I had not chosen naturally.
That I was not called to.
Marketing had to go.
Giving advice had to go.
Everything had to be stripped to its core, until only the pure, raw, dare I say unsaleable core of my expression remained.
If I was really going to be serious being of use as a computer programmer, this could only be counterbalanced by not investing anything in making my other work more polished, user-friendly, more accessible or more understandable.
My other work needed to be impossible to capture. And marketing and sales as a metier, as well as a skill for promoting my own work, would probably have to be ritually sacrificed in order to be okay with giving my life to something useful.
I could only make myself be of use in one place, if I was allowed to blow something of use up, on the other side.  
I did start setting up the system that would allow people to pay me, but it’s very slow, because I first need some changes with the Chamber of Commerce, and if I would then proceed, I would need to open a business account, then apply for our local payment system, and then a daughter of the local payment system is software that is for donations (not payments).
So I m thinking if I still feel invested enough in this plan, to follow through.
I think I need to reallign with my goals on this:
For me it is clear that I can’t be serious about becoming a programmer, and at the same time have ANY sort of client relationship – not even donations! – going on on the side.
Maybe that is the biggest catch for becoming a computer programmer, I feel it sucking the life out of my energy to monetize my art.
Maybe it was a stupid idea after all, even though work wise, the work and the environment of being a programmer, appeals to me very much IN THEORY.
In practice I sometimes think art is such a veracious monster, that any idea of anything else being able to breathe let alone blossom, within a ten mile radius, is absolutely ridiculous.
Sometimes I think my art is going to claim my life, and that I keep falling for the idea that I can do anything else that is not art.
Maybe if I see computer programming as a temporary solution, I would be able to do it.
I don’t know.
The entire plan seems stuck and perhaps already floating belly up, what do we know.
Either way, a lot happened, yet I seemed to have gone around in circles.
I have three Bon Jovi songs to tell you about the men.
You remember our MBTI sessions, the 16 personality types of Myers Briggs?
I found out Jon Bon Jovi is an ENFJ.
Not just because he is typed like that by the expert I hold in the highest regard,
this is the link to the very short but brilliant test he designed for MBTI typing
but I could also recognize Jon Bon Jovi in ENFJ roll model Ethan Hawke, in this clip from Before Sunrise. Even the voices are similar;

[ text continues below video ]
YouTube is filled with videos about how the INFP (me) and the ENFJ are the perfect match, the perfect mix between the same and being different.
They re both thirsty for meaning and purpose and act intuitively, but ENFJ does it in a push forward way and requires conversation to discover his feelings and determine his stand, whereas the INFP requires a lot of alone time, and knows what their values and stand are.
And I saw the clip with Ethan Hawke and I realized, well first of all I realized why I m fascinated with Jon Bon Jovi, but also – a feeling of complete and utter helplessness:
“Where on earth am I going to find a man like that ever again?”
I mean, I don’t know if my lover was ENFJ. From the fact that we’re not together anymore, I might think he’s not.
But I mean, where do I find a man, who can stand his ground in pursuing a woman?
Who is not consumed with fears and insecurities, all of which are immediately projected onto me? 
It made me appreciative of what we had for five years.
But also gave me a sense that my life was over.
Because regardless of Myers-Briggs, the men who are so stubborn and steady yet playful –
they do not drop out of the sky.
And you can’t code them in either.
..

the writer currently residing in 1995
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

The one who does not fight, has already lost.

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

.
Dear Sara,
.
First of all thank you for your reply to my extra letter, One of the Boys.
And I think the reason I associate my creative work with leisure and masculinity, is because men seem to have, or “get”, more space and permission to do whatever the fuck they want.
Whereas if you start of as a woman, which biologically I am, you FIRST have to fight for your right to do whatever you want, and be a creator of something no one particularly values or is willing to pay money for.
.
Permission to do something that does not fall into the category; “But how can you help people?”
.
Because of that discrepancy, it is extremely unwise to identify with being female, or identifying with being any other minority that burdens you with expectations and limitations you wouldn’t have if you just entirely ignored it, reframed it right in front of their very eyes, or simply state (technically the term might be gaslighting) by saying:
“I m entirely male. I do whatever the fuck I want.”
.
I did keep my balls since my last email.
But unfortunately, I also had another C. regulation Brave New World meltdown, although this is the first time I was able to identify it as such.
.
Do you remember when two months ago, we had to reschedule, because I thought I was sick?
It was a Friday.
That Tuesday before that we had our first “in lockdown” press conference, which I had watched.
In hindsight, what I think happened, was that I was watching that press conference and the entire ludicrousy of that first batch of conflicting and non-specific regulations, that gave me a splitting headache.
.

Our government has kept Tuesday as their bi-weekly (in the sense of every two weeks) conference date, and last Tuesday was one of their last.
I didn’t even watch it.
.
I was with my mother because we were going to watch an online masterclass, which turned out to be via Skype. We ended up having to watch it on my phone, without proper audio, so we ultimately turned it off.
Well, not ultimately; After 25 minutes.
And it was by accident because I was trying to get it on speaker to get a better sound.
.

Anyway, the entire shock of being in a meeting with 30 strangers of which some seemed unaware that their cameras and microphones were on;
Of the Skype software not giving “Do you want to leave this meeting” warnings nor confirming that you’ve left the meeting;
AND the chat staying open after you had supposedly left the meeting, resulted in anxiety.

Had our microphone been open?
What had they heard after I logged off?
I knew everything was fine, but the damage had already been done.
.
And I also knew that in a couple of days I would probably get a better understanding of what had been going on, right at that moment… That my anxiety was probably a response to something that had been felt more subtle.

In the past it was usually that I had felt something going on with my lover, so I thought it was that…
It wasn’t until this weekend, and spending Saturday in bed with a SPLITTING headache- again, a few days after the press conference, just like two months ago- that I was able to trace my migraines back to that Tuesday.
.
That my headache had not been triggered by all the other events that had happened at the end of that week.
Not by 1- year worth of old paper, that I had put by the street (they collect it monthly, but I had missed for a very long time). Seeing all the old papers up until last summer when everything had still been normal, had made my stomach turn.

Nor was my headache a backlash from a decision one week prior, to quit teaching in person yoga, nor start teaching in the park where I have to register for a spot (!!) nor teach it at the studio. Gyms are allowed to reopen in September, but under strict conditions.
The decision to draw a line at becoming the extension of a government health system, just because I m a service provider, at been a toughy – but no.
That was not the reason of the headache.

Nor the glass of rose wine I had.
Nor the two long phone calls and the hour long conversation with my neighbor, making Friday socially straining.
It wasn’t my daily yoga routine, I started doing on video. It’s so much fun!! But it wasn’t this strain, of having to show up daily.
It wasn’t the nasty, hostile atmosphere in a secondhand store that (again) made me leave feeling sick.
And it wasn’t even the complicated situation with a neighbor cat, that had given me heart complaints last year..
.
No, what caused an entire Saturday in bed with migraine was watching Tuesday’s press conference.
Or, in this case, NOT watching it.
Since, like I said, my mother and me were setting up shop for attending a masterclass.
But things seeped in.
Bits of information.
It must have been enough or confusing enough though, since it later resulted in me becoming phobic after our Skype connection broke down.
When at the time, I wasn’t even consciously listening.
I remember looking at that screen, and shouting to my mother:
“Oh! It’s press conference time again!”
And her responding:
“Really? I never follow them.”
.

But in the following days yes…. the information was repeated.
Written out, what the consequences would be for the bars, restaurants and movie theaters.

And in hindsight it had been that information that had given me a splitting headache.
.
Now, more than ever, it became clear how our “intelligent lockdown” would be dismantled. Without the government exerting any power over its civilians.
Quite the contrary!
We would be allowed to go out again!
So without unpopular measures for civilians – for example prohibit sneezing or coughing in public and fining it. For example making it forbidden to leave the house without a mandatory mobile phone and installed C. software – what did government do to make sure C. wasn’t spread?
They played the ball to the service providers.
.
Any entrepreneur who relied on real life human interaction was made into an extension of the government.
Extension?
Substitute!
They could do the dirty work of getting themselves into situations of conflict with their clients, so that the government would not have to take unpopular measures at a personal level.
Did I say we have elections next year?
We have elections next year.
.
So. What did the service providers do? 
Well, what would you do, if you had been financially bleeding to death for two and a half months?
They took it without question.
.
Some of them have calculated that under the new rules, they would still be losing money, and are choosing not to reopen June 1. 
But none of them are saying:
“Hey! Just two years ago you made a whole fucking song and dance of us tiny entrepreneurs needing GDPR (Dutch: AVG ) because on occasion I get someone’s address. And now you have me collecting medical information before someone can sit on my terrace? Go do your own dirty work!”
No one.
.
Because when you’re almost bankrupt you don’t ask questions.
.
There is a German saying, from Bertold Brecht:
“Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral.”
First comes a full stomach, then comes ethics.
There’s a lot of small entrepreneurial stomachs that need filling before anyone is going to call out our government for turning The Netherlands into Brave New World.
.
Brave New World is an upcoming American science fiction dystopian drama series set to premiere on the NBC Universal streaming service Peacock on July 15, 2020 and Sky One in the UK.

You see, the problem with Huxley’s dystopia, was that it looked like a utopia.
Everybody was programmed from birth to fit into a caste, a layer of society where you would be of use. Your happiness was provided for, because you were conditioned to dislike the elements that would contradict with your layer in society.
Your health was impeccable, there were no sickness, there was no death.
It was a perfect world, where there was government supplied drugs to numb any feelings of discontent.
There was no visible conflict between the civilians and the governments, it was the perfect dictatorship that had used the “right” to happiness and health, as a way to seize control and centralize all power.
.

Brave New World was a place where C. would never have happened, or it would have been perfectly contained.
And people like me would have been sent to Iceland.
.
I don’t think I was the only one, Sara, who temporarily lost track of where her balls were in 2020.
It took me four days of mental confusion and a hell of a migraine, before I figured out this press conference and its confusing messages. And its dystopian way of using service providers as their henchmen. 
.
But it was worth it.

And I m happy as fuck at least I still got my damn balls.
.
“Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.”
If you fight you might lose, if you don’t you have already lost.
.
You won’t find me teaching yoga, nor visiting restaurants, in the Brave New World.
..

the writer currently residing in 1995
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

One of the boys

Jon in the middle with the big smile is me.

This is an extra letter to my creativity coach Sara
because I found the meaning of life, the key to success and in all likeliness the fountain of youth.
And I m making an effort to remember it, this time.

.
Dear Sara,
.
You once said that if I needed to write you an extra email, I could, so this is one of those.
Because I do.
And after this I may need tattoos, because it seems I keep forgetting and getting in my own way, regardless of how many times I find my balls and recognize myself in the devil.
Regardless of how many times I realize there is an aspect of yoga that I m allergic to.
I keep getting my ass into energetic trouble doing things that drain me.
Things that suck the very soul out of me.
Things that make me wish I was dead, and then I remember I have cats to take care of, so that it’s not an option.
And I do them all on repeat but the moment I discovered I even have them scheduled on my calendar;
That was the point I knew I something had to change.
.
This is not the first time, I focus on the things that are wrong and bad for me. It’s a circle I keep going round in until I have an epiphany and document it.
But I don’t come back to it often enough to prevent me from straying from the path, and spinning into another circle.
Maybe I should speak of a downward spiral, with the number of times I keep going round.
Meanwhile pinning reminders on the walls, to never do this again.
Or maybe reality is more complex and there are simply too many Cards Of Importance on my vision board, and that explains why I keep forgetting this one.
The one that holds the key to my worldly success, my sex life and my sanity.
.
Sara: I m one of the boys and, what I have come to understand as, female energy is unhealthy for me.
.
I don’t know if I told you this but I do have female friends. Quite a lot of them. And I am absolutely blessed with THREE best female friends whom I talk to frequently!
And whom I would not miss for the world.
Just like I would not want to miss the others whom I see less frequently. So it seems contradictory. 

But guess what?
With two of them, we always play we are boys!
We have boy’s names, and we talk in third person like Elmo from Sesame Street, but we use it in plural as well.
So we’ll say: “Shall they meet in the city?” instead of “Shall we meet in the city?”
And we have a lot of words where we will incorporate the word he or him. For example “himself” is not a word in Dutch. If you refer to yourself in Dutch, you’re supposed to use a gender neutral word. Yet with these two friends we always say himself.
And Happy Birthday to him.
Goodnighthim.
Byebyehim.
And one of them will even refer to her husband as “(her boyish playname) HIS husband”, not “my husband” or using ‘s after their name.
There is always an extra his or him, whenever we can squeeze it it.
With these two friends there is no identification with the fact that we’re grown women, unless there are really serious conversations. And then we always go back to normal at the end of it.
We can’t possibly end on a serious note.
.
And with the third friend we do not play that we’re boys but we’re both SO FULL ON, that any idea of us being domesticated ladies can go out of the window pronto.
We share cunning plans and celebrate each other’s victories. We laugh so hard they can hear us three blocks further down the road.
God, I can’t believe it took me this long to realize this, but;
I think we behave like men!
.
So I have three friends I speak frequently.
With two we play we’re boys, and with one I behave like a man.

And yet I have never felt I was born in the wrong body. I do have one pair of jeans that sometimes looks like I have a tiny penis.
I do love that one! 
I think it rocks.
So I don’t mind my own masculinity.
But I don’t mind my own femininity either.
Now that I think of it; I think I identify with my thoughts, with my mind, so fully, that I don’t really identify with my body.
I think it’s a super cool body, and I love it very much. But if it had been different, that would have been good too.
It doesn’t seem to need to reflect whatever gender-identification I feel on the inside. I have tried to imagine my body being a different gender (at multiple times in my life), and I have no reason to believe I would not have been okay with that too.
.
However, when it comes to the gender of others, I seem to be A LOT less inclusive! Here a monomaniac preference for the male gender prevails, in every way.
They can be men in whatever way they want, as long as they’re men.
Gay, straight, bi. Eight years old to 80.
All my cats have been male.
They can dress as women, or identify as women; It’s all good.

It’s not even a sexual thing – and this can be a problem. Because what men can feel, is that our energies are a great match. But they assume that is because I have a personal interest in them. When in fact, what they’re feeling is an impersonal energy-exchange. It’s being able to have a good time together, because your bodies are energetically recharging from being in each other’s presence.
That’s all (in most cases).
Now, naturally, there are men I am in love with, and that amplifies the amazing energy transition. It’s a fires through the roof kind of situation, and that is WITHOUT either one of us acknowledging it, being romantic or anything.
Without any of us implying anything else than just a bit of fun and, at at the same time, an entirely neutral conversation.

And I know this deeper, more powerful exchange, is also something that is mutually felt. I bet my beautiful, elegant, imaginary penis for it, that he feels it too.
But the point is;
It always happens.
Whether I like the guy or not. Whether we’re the same age or not. Whether there is a sexual interest from my side, or not.
There is always a deep understanding and appreciation of his masculinity.
And with women:
Never.
And if there is, we immediately adopt the behavioral patterns that belong to men interacting. Not women.
.
How I identify myself seems to be entirely irrelevant to me.
There’s even room for a spontaneous gender switch, if I woke up a man one day.

Yet I seem to be hyper-aware of other people’s energy.
It’s like that book Perfume of Patrick Susskind, where the killer has no scent, and he becomes obsessed with the scent of others.
.
Anyway, anyway; This was all information that was at one point already known.
And also not new; That before the C. crisis I wanted to go to work in a male-dominated environment. 
It was the big breakthrough on seeing why I would never be a happy working from home: It simply did not provide enough male energy.
I would never be happy working from home, unless home was an all-male student dorm. 
And yet, WHAT did I plan, to be doing every day, in an imaginary schedule, towards which I felt far less affectionate than to my imaginary penis?

I planned eight hours of dull, draining work, every day. And all my fun, elevating work, should be done in my free time.
It wasn’t called Dull versus Fun of course.
I certainly didn’t plan on telling a future employer: “Look! I already trained myself at doing 8 hours of dull work every day, so I can do your dull work as well!”
Nooooo….

The eight hours of dull work were called “Working on my biz” , and the eight hours of things I would keep on doing after I start working for an employer, were all my writing and creative work.
With the exception of writing in Dutch under my real name; That was all Biz.
Because I knew I would no longer do it, as soon as I was pressing for time.
Just like I was never going to make Dutch yoga videos again, and maybe stop doing yoga altogether.
And yet – I didn’t plan doing my personal yoga under Biz hours! Even though it was clear that the (monetizable) yoga side of me, was the side strongest represented in “Biz”.
It still felt too luxurious…. because I knew how to make yoga fun.
Like listening to Bon Jovi music made it fun.
That explained why I didn’t dare scheduling doing yoga under “Biz”, despite running a yoga business.
The ugly, self-sabotaging face behind my work/leisure divide started to show. 
.
For the past months I have been “preparing” myself to be employable for a job as dull and draining as working from home really is to me!
Instead of creating a life that compares to having a job that is among men, and that gives me energy! 
.
I need to FLIP that entire schedule around, in order to prepare myself for future employment!! 
.
THIS IS MY WORK:
– hang out with male friends, talk to my three besties, and all my other super fun  female friends. Have fun, laugh, be energized. Talk to you!
(you were definitely under leisure)

– write about men, write about Bon Jovi, do my 1995 Bon Jovi video project and my 1996 research project to their concert here in The Netherlands.
– ALL THIS crazy, creative, fun LS HARTEVELD WRITING
– yoga to Bon Jovi music, both to albums as well as live concerts. Woot woot!!!
And for when I’m thoroughly and completely satisfied and recharged from being among men, writing about men, and done doing yoga to rock music (men).
If I then feel all mellow and chill, then I have time to:

– write about yoga
– draw my cute Dutch cartoons
– teach yoga
– make Dutch yoga videos
.
But I m not going to make a career out of it.
.
..

the writer currently residing in 1995
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

I m living in 1995. And I m never coming back.

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our coaching call, I always give her a headsup.
.
Dear Sara,
.
When I selected our last letter, as the post I wanted to copy, I noticed I d written three posts in my 1995 series, since our last call.
Three!
That’s almost as many episodes as the entire six months prior or something.
And yet the funny thing is: none of them were “the Thing”! 
All three seem almost irrelevant now, although my last one, which I will refer to as my Fuck All That post, definitely does show I gave it my all, when I decided it was time to man up and start living my life.
.
I reread the Fuck All That post for this letter, and it was unbelievable that it was almost like it was coming from a different world… a different me!
It did show I threw my full weight into it, and really was more than fed up having this kind of availability for other people’s bullshit, as well as for my own bullshit.
That I needed balls and a backbone, and that I had lost them under some floral pattern in 1995.
But yep!
There they were!
Because two days after that 1995 Fuck All That diary entry, I got The Thing!
The Mother of All Projects.
And considering this post has become pretty gender specific, The King Of All Projects, would be more accurate.
The 1995 Bon Jovi Concert Series;
Where I revisit concerts 25 years after the date, making one video of every concert on the night the concert actually took place (25 years ago).
.
Tonight I already struck gold, finding my first story while watching this Sunday’s Seoul concert.
And I wrote my first complementary blog about how Jon’s 1995 voice was – as I called it – “in mint condition”;
But how a mature Jon Bon Jovi won by putting in his entire heart and soul into it.
Although the post wasn’t called that way, it could have been named “In Praise of Older Jon”.
.
And there is more….
And if I tell you this, you will know this Bon Jovi project may become My Biggie. Something that will connect me to what other people want to know too;
I am letting my series end in 1996, with a concert here in The Netherlands that was
A. A concert that blew your socks off,
and B. Given at the most unlikely place, a concert location that technically didn’t even exist, aside from a large field of grass.

This one-off rock concert, a musical The Little Rural Area That Could, must have been forged into existence by a group of highly ambitious music lovers, who found themselves in an unlikely place where they could bring the rock gods of the 90s, to one of the most remote areas of the Netherlands, if they all worked together…
And it is that story I will be investigating the upcoming year.
I have already contacted what appeared to be the main man, and he’s willing to share his story.
I will blog about these individual interviews in Dutch, creating blog posts about how this legendary concert came into being.
Next year is their 25th anniversary, and maybe if we put all the blog posts together, and we have photographers sharing their archives;
We could create a book to mark the anniversary of this Bon Jovi concert from 1996.
.
And to celebrate the end of my 13 months series, which started last Tuesday and that will go on until June next year, with a five month hiatus after December 6th.
.
I will be at the pace of the tour, doing 2-5 videos each week until the end of the year.
.
So yeah, I found my balls Sara.
And they may be 25 years old, but they sure are in mint condition!.
..

the writer currently residing in 1995
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

A one time exception to the rule

I normally don’t share my real or professional name here, because this is my pen name blog. But after writing this post, I will very gladly make an exception, so you can follow this work if it speaks to you.

You can follow the 1995 Bon Jovi Concert Series under my real name;
– on YouTube 
and
– on the blog with stories
This was tonight’s post:
The gems, the gems…. My friends we ve hit the jackpot

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

Sympathy for the Devil

Kate McKinnon as Satan in Saturday Night Live. clip at bottom post

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

.
Dear Sara,
.
From the fact that you get this headsup hours before our call, instead of days, you’ve probably already guessed things are not exactly “in full swing” here.
They’re not exactly rocking.
In fact they’re not rocking at all.
And I feel my role in all of this will come out with a bang. It’s closing in.
At least I have some idea of what is coming, I can feel it’s brewing.

To the rest of the world, it will be one of those:
“I had no idea you thought that way!”
“That is horrible!”
“We’re all in this together.”
We’re not in this together, Sara.
.
There is the privileged and the even more privileged who can afford staying in their houses. And then there are the people with real professions, who “we” are underpaying and letting do the real work while (also) we work in sectors that make more money.
As a result (three times is a strike) we, feel so extremely guilty over having entire armies of underpaid workers doing the things we don’t want to do, such as spending a day with 25 eight year olds screaming their lungs out, or taking care of a ward with six elderly people with dementia,
that our guilt becomes this oppressive mechanism, where we expect EVEN MORE from them.
And to show we mean well we kill our layer of the economy, where we had been doing pretty well, to show them we’re not secretly making money.
We have innocent faces!
“Money? What money? We’re in this together!”
We flush our entire economy down the drain like drug dealers with the police at their doorstep, because we darn well know what we have done could not stand the light of day.
.
But no matter how bad things look, drug dealers always manage to recover. And the police always manage to stay underpaid.
Not only does evil survive; It thrives.
It’s always the same who manage to turn out richer, and I feel my blood absolutely boiling from this entire “We’re in this together” crap.
And civilians checking in on each other.

Is everybody obeying the rules? Is everybody obeying the interpretation of the rules? Is everybody living according to the underlying principles, of the rules? 
.
You can see the upper class judging anyone going out.
“We’re in this together!”
They shout from behind their fences, where every family member has a room to him or herself.
.
And I yell back at them, that No, we’re not In This Together.
The ones who have entire houses to themselves, or entire rooms or floors when they’re a family;
We are so extremely privileged. 
For many of us- and boy oh boy can we for a moment start realizing how privileged this is???- for many of us the ONLY concern is the virus itself!
In its most toned down, watered down version of: “Can I get it from a shopping cart.”
Fuck, fuck, fuck; HOW PRIVILEGED IS THAT???
A shopping cart?
Someone standing a little too close?
You’re worrying about “catching” something, from your fucking VILLA, and you have the audacity to judge people who do not have all that economic freedom, for being irresponsible?
Boy, oh boy, fast pass to hell if ever there was any, my friend.
.
And you can see the essential worker class judging anyone going out, because they’re the ones who are cleaning up after us.
They’re the ones taking care of the sick, while being underpaid and underprotected.
They feel it’s a small favor to ask of us, to not take any risk, because they’re holding the line for us.
.
When I want to yell at the top of my lungs:
“When will you FINALLY stop holding the line? 
When will you say: “Here’s your elderly and your sick; here are your criminals and here are the children you put onto this earth.
You go take care of them yourself!
I need a fucking vacation!”
You may be going to heaven for being an angel and never letting people die or fall off the wagon, but you’re in living hell, right now.
And nobody gives a damn. Or they give a damn, but to the level of those drug dealers when the police comes in to bust them.
Right now, we feel busted.
But do you really think we’ll change our ways of taking advantage of you?
We won’t.

.
I say “we” because I am guilty too.
Not of abusing our medical system: I ll die when I die.
I ve always said that, and I ll keep saying it, and from that perspective my hands are relatively clean.

And I love vaccines; Give me anything you’ve got.
So with that too, I am not someone who taxes the medical system.

Unless I can no longer live independently and need nursing, I ll end up being really cheap.
.
But have I done anything to improve the wages or lighten the workload of the essential workers?
No.
Have I participated in work that was only aimed at making money?
Probably, yes.
Did I care?
Not at all.
I ve said: “I don’t care if I have to sell nuclear heads. As long as it’s a fun workplace.”
I ve been absolutely ruthless.
.
What I would also love to do, is to not work a job at all but instead make art all day. Be creative.
But that doesn’t make an income unless I have some kind of automated or full-on sales going on; And I don’t want that hassle.
So I ve watched the world, and thought: 
“Then what are my options?”
.

And I saw I had two:
.
Either do work that requires emotional involvement.
Work that will haunt you at night, and that will entail impossible choices.
A job that will require a saint, a wise woman, someone who accepts that she’s not perfect;
But that all that matters is that you’re there.
A job that is, in basis, humanitarian.

A job you do, despite it being an impossible one.
.
Or, my other choice; 
A job that will make you jump out of bed in the morning, and that will entail exciting challenges.
A job that will require a trickster, a cunning woman, someone who accepts that the world is not perfect;
But that all that matters is that you play your cards right.
A job that is, in basis, entrepreneurial.
A job you do, despite it only being a game to you.
.
Years ago, a Dutch left-wing political party leader fired two staff members because they had been having a secret affair for years.
I was absolutely appalled.
Not over the affair, but over firing them.

I didn’t like the moral do-goodie tone of it, I didn’t like the judgement of it, and I didn’t like that there wasn’t a ce-le-bra-tion, that the party owned two members who could move through the night, like foxes!
Who knew the ways of the world.
Who knew how to bend the rules, and play.
Who knew how to get what they wanted.
I bet they were not even “busted”, right? I bet after years they were just like:
“God, let’s just tell them. This is getting boring.”
I know all about secret affairs, they’re only fun if they tether on the edge of being discovered.
If nobody comes looking, it ultimately gets boring.
.
So the party threw their most capable politicians out.
You could have brought peace to the middle east with that kind of secrecy, but No (make face from The Scream from Edvard Munch):
“Transparency!!!”

Transparency?!
If you would ask me why I hate being good and just, and doing the morally right thing to do, transparency would sum it up pretty nicely.
Fuck transparency.
It’s horrible, it’s terrible, and it’s no fun at all, trust me.
What is fun however, is hiding in plain sight. But that’s usually not what transparency is supposed to mean.
.
So I think the reason I feel more than others that we are NOT in this together, is because I see a choice between going to hell or to heaven.
Even if we are in this together, our ways would part later.
.
You can go to heaven by doing the right thing.
The REAL right thing.
And to do the essential work. Teach. Guard. Heal. Nurture.
To take it all upon you, like carrying the cloak of original sin, and do something about it.
Be OF MEANING!
Really do the work of God, and be his angel, and you will feel this as you do this.
You will feel His work flowing through you, and He will give you strength.
I don’t have any doubts about that.
.
Or.
.
Other choice.
.
You click your tongue, wink your eye, wave your finger as if you’ve caught someone stealing from the cookie jar and you say in a husky, terribly sexy voice, and with a big smirk baring your perfectly white fangs:
“Not so fast, young man.”
.
This game is not over.
.

the writer currently residing in 1995*
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

.
* the last two weeks have been in 2020, unfortunately. I have no idea how to get back. Or if I want to, if I can also just be evil in 2020.
The fun thing though, about going back to 1995 is that turning your back on this time, is an act of rebellion in itself.
I’ll think about it.

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

 

The devil starts at minute 3:

Rock Star Yoga is a Go. And so is everything else.

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our coaching call, I always give her a headsup.
.
Dear Sara,
.
To say it is a Go, must be the biggest understatement of our entire 1 year and 8 months together.
Which is probably not saying that much, since understatements have never really been my thing.
But when I say Rock Star Yoga is a Go I mean I ve given myself 48 hours, to clean up my Rock Star Yoga website (remove ads f.e.), create a sales page, get back with my Rock Star Yoga YouTube AND my Rock Star writing – all of which were designed as a Spare Time When I Feel Like It Projects.
Just like all my other work.
.
I had spent the past months (and this is the ironic part) dismantling my business (yoga teacher and writer) and curating the fun parts as creative endeavors, only to see the Crisis vaporize the chances of getting a job.
I think I already knew it with our last conversation, but that it was so shocking it took many more days to sink in:
But my best bet for a steady income is no longer on a job, Sara.
It is ON ME.
To stay an entrepreneur.
.
As much as I  could very well sell my out-of-the-box marketeer skills, to one of those organisations going through such a hard time right now?
After how many conversations?
At what salary?
At what cost?
Even though I am in quarantine and my conversations with others are so limited – I can just FEEL how much I am, for the normal world to cope with!
How different I am!
That my energy is so disruptive to people who are used to doing things a certain way. My best work is going to trigger resistance, simply by the nature of who I am.
.
Even if my solutions could save a company, it would mean that they would have to trust me in all my uncontrolled wildness, and I would have to trust them with my true me.
That’s a lot of blind faith for uncertain times.
.
Crisis C. put all those plans in the freezer for now, and for many more months to come.
And I don’t count on ever having to get them out and defrost them.
.
I ve got BUTTERFLIES from sending an email to a bank inquiring about their business accounts and with which one I would be able to setup a credit card payments!
I m on it!
And I don’t count on my new business, the company I m giving myself 48 hours to set up – to NOT work.
.
In a way that is strange, because from all my endeavors Rock Star Yoga has been the one I never monetized. It’s the smallest name with the tiniest of followings that I m choosing-
Yet, maybe it is precisely for that reason, that my belief in Rock Star Yoga is solid.
.
I could have chosen LS Harteveld as my main biz:
I have 10 books out, and about the same number in manuscripts.
I ll get back to that  – I have some exciting news!
.
I also very well, could have chosen my normal, local work as a yoga teacher, as my main biz.
I officially retired from that last December, but I never stopped teaching friends.

And most of all, I spontaneously started an online yoga studio last week!
It’s really low-key, just aimed at friends and people who vibe with me.

But this is a good time to be a yoga teacher who is really comfortable in front of the camera. I started making YouTube videos in 2015, I am a veteran.
And my yoga classes (live streams) were amazing!
I was like: “How on earth is it possible that I rock live streams like an absolute pro?!”
But it’s because I ve been following Katrina Ruth’s live streams on Facebook, since December 2016.
It a Soaking-It-Up-Like-A-Sponge Training, that has prepared me for this live work, for over three years.
I wouldn’t say I was born ready as an online yoga teacher, but the classes proved I was certainly ready now!
Rebooting my career as a Dutch online yoga teacher, would be the most logical thing to do in the world.
.
Yet I didn’t.
.
Today I had an unofficial call with my new business mentor, the one I will be working with at the hub I am registering for.
It was supposed to be about my contract which I was filling out, but it accidentally turned into our first coaching call, and he was basically forcing me to CHOOSE.
And I knew I wanted this….
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know I will never choose when it comes to choosing for an/ one outlet for my creative work (more exciting news about that later too!!!) but my plan for these C-months is to totally go in on my own business, so that in a couple of months I know if I actually still need a job from a financial perspective.
.
My thoughts on a job have not changed.
But my need for it has.
.
I ve always believed that although I acknowledged that in 2020 I would need the job for an income: That I ultimately never wanted to be dependent on that.
In the long run, a job or career, was just because I didn’t want to work from home and never see people.
It was a sensible choice from a social perspective, I craved and craved to have colleagues to interact with. But with context. I certainly didn’t crave, crave hanging out in bars with loud music or going to the movies with friends or something:
I was specifically motivated by the social context offered by a job, over the solitude of being a writer/ yoga teacher.
.
But now it is as if the C. crisis, where I am after all not seeing anybody week after week, is training me to be an entrepreneur.
C. is telling me:

“You got this!”
It is tough right now, but THIS situation (where I can’t even see my friends) is way tougher than a “normal home-entrepreneur situation”, where I would still be seeing my friends.
C. is teaching me to cope without seeing anybody, but with the ultimate benefit of me finding out that not having colleagues as an entrepreneur, is totally doable.
No biggie.
A job as a good and fun way to make an income, still stands.
But I no longer need it for social reasons.
.
And when this business makes the income, I no longer need it at all.
.
When I wrote “this business” in the previous sentence, I deliberately did not say “Rock Star Yoga”. Because although I m changing my business name to Rock Star Yoga, although Rock Star Yoga will be for many people the only thing they know me by;
I m keeping at the two other activities on, that I both see making money.
.
I still want to write and publish as LS Harteveld – both of those two news updates I promised you concern “her”! 
And I still want to keep the online yoga studio for friends.
I currently have a Rock Star Yoga class there (English) and perhaps I ll separate that, but maybe not:
It can very well be, that I m sticking to Rock Star Yoga being a (free) YouTube offer, that the low-key online classes I m teaching now will remain the same;
And that the only thing I sell, is Rock Star Yoga online coaching and public appearances.
.
Because that’s ultimately where I believe my strength lies:
In speaking up about where to get the real juice, the real energy, and in helping people giving themselves permission (basically) to go for it.
The unfiltered, triggering self, the self that is way too full-on in daily life, is the part people “get” and understand, when it’s taught as Rock Star Yoga.
But mostly the mindset part.
Because as tempting as it is, to “package up” the actual yoga, into a monetizable thing:
Is that really what I want?
And: Have I just asked a rhetorical question?
😉
.
So when I said “this business” I meant (yes) my income from Rock Star Yoga coaching, but also online yoga classes for friends, as well as my revenues as LS Harteveld.
As soon as those three together make me a baseline income, the job is off the table.
.
And C. basically saved the day, to be honest…
.
So the two stories I promised!!!
.
Over the past year or so I ve started publishing my material for LS Harteveld, the new books, but every time I got stuck.
It’s SO MUCH.
I ve cleaned it up, but I m still looking at hundreds and hundreds of blog posts, divided over three websites and two languages.
It’s a place to get lost.
So what I have decided, is to publish ONE book with all my unpublished Dutch work, called “Blote Kont” (buck naked) the title I had always intended for this book.
And to publish ONE giant, US-letter sized book with all my unpublished English work. And I m calling it All The Things.
This book is then at a much later stage to be divided into smaller (dare I say “more readable”?) books, but at least the bulk of it is out there.
At least, somewhere, somehow, I ve already gone through it once.
And then from there I can start making selections of what goes where.
I think it could easily make 8 books, but it’s hard to tell.
.
So me basically “hacking” how I can start publishing this unruly pile of manuscripts in the form of hundreds of blogposts, was the first good and exciting news.
.
And the other one, was that although I have not written one post from 1995?
I know I m going to.
It is tempting to just give the whole: “Oh LS Harteveld has left 2020” charade up, and start engaging for example on Twitter or Facebook.
But I feel I really NEED to mentally be/ stay in 1995.
.
I was right when I said Lauren Harteveld/ LS Harteveld, the most sexual side of me, simply cannot breathe here.
That she has no choice but to leave 2020 and save herself.
.
But in between everything that wasn’t working here in 2020 ( I still have uncontrollable rants about the disgusting level of civil obedience I see displayed in the Netherlands) (I speculate on this having something to do with why the Germans had no trouble invading the Netherlands) (and maybe I mumble something about backbones and balls being handed in when this crisis started) I could feel that my escape was still in 1995.
And this is how that story goes:
.
Lauren has joined a local yoga studio. Lauren has a yoga diploma, because her mother gives training to teachers and she enjoyed being around on those weekend retreats.
However she has never considered actually doing something with it, nor does she particularly enjoy doing her own practice.
But now a new yoga studio has opened up in her town, and she joins, and she finds it is being ran by a super hot man in his 30’s she calls Jon (..)
His wife just had a baby (this is not information Lauren particularly enjoyed hearing, and she hopes she never has to hear the word wife and baby ever again, for it interferes with her hot fantasies) and they can use all the help they can get, starting this new yoga studio.
So Jon asks Lauren to start sub-teaching three night time classes.
Lauren (untrained, overworked, but eager to impress Jon with both her yoga poses and her flawless teaching – neither one of which skills she currently possesses) accepts his offer, and pretty soon gets strangled in all the heavy duty work and wonders when the unadulterated sex bit starts.   
.
So that is my letter for today! 
I feel it was extremely extensive, maybe we should rename it
All The Things
.
These may have been the two most exciting weeks of my life.
.
.

the writer currently residing in 1995
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

Snake Pit

Slash 1995, French interview about his band Slash’s Snake Pit
This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our coaching call, I always give her a headsup.
.
Dear Sara,
.
My Miami Vice DVD box just arrived.
5 Seasons all neatly packed up into one box, which was by the way far sturdier than the reviews at the site were accusing it to be.
Either the packaging was changed or the people who had bits flying around didn’t understand the mechanism.
Which may be a nice metaphor for me or life itself:
If you have bits flying around, you don’t understand how it works.
But either way I have the entire Miami Vice body of work here at my fingertips, and it will get me through quarantine, just like others get through it with more modern media.
.
I got the discs out in one piece but I have plenty of bits flying around in other places.
.
And the title got me thinking:
Miami Vice
The definitive collection.
.
And that it’s so easy to appreciate something once you know the ending.
It’s a lot more difficult if you’re working with the indefinite collection.
Such as your life.
.
Only last Thursday, I cancelled my work, my writing under the name LS Harteveld.
What I basically did was bring her to 1995, where she will pick up diary writing as a 22 year old Lauren.
That is her project.
Like a performance art project.
.
I m still not sure if it will be blogged immediately, here at the blog.
Or if it won’t come out until this age of C. is over.
Until it is safe to tell the story of how I spend my days, without people unconsciously checking which part is true, which is fiction, and if I m a responsible citizen.
.
I don’t know what the rules are where you live, or how you interpret them, but I understand them here, as not being allowed to touch a man unless I m married to him or live together.
.
I just tried to comment on that but when I opened my mouth only snakes, frogs and black tar came out.
That’s how toxic I feel.
How repressed.
How angry.
.
So it’s back to cornerstones of society, marriages and “households”. You can have sex if you are a household.
It’s like we’re back in the 50’s Sara.
I heard they brought the term “head of the family” back in America.
My father used to speak of himself that way, in third person. And it was A JOKE!
.
And ultimately it’s all for our own good, how patronizing.
.
All that freedom we fought for, ever since the 60s.
.
All that economic freedom we created, so many entrepreneurs who will be wiped away in one lock down.
.
What will unemployment be in 3 months?
50%?
.
I m shocked by how easy it is to get your population docile and obedient. And I don’t even think it’s conscious, really.
I don’t believe there is some master plan or rising dictator behind all this.
I think everybody is so afraid, firstly, of their own death.
But this goes further, it is a two-puncher:
First you are confronted with your own mortality.
And then you’re knocked out by being made responsible for the death of others.
.
It would take a professional fighter to counterattack that and to immediately strike back.
The only reason we are so obedient is because C. does not have a face. C. is not a foreign dictator.
But is there not something inherently wrong with giving up your freedom to begin with? 
I find the willingness with which we comply, and that absolutely includes my own, absolutely shocking.
That no political party in the Netherlands, no political party anywhere, has asked:
“Where are our boundaries? When will we stop being so reactive?”
I ve always thought that if a war came, I would be too afraid to join the resistance.
So in a way my own docile behavior disgusts me, yet I knew this was me.
That I would never stand up for freedom.
.
But now we have all these countries, an entire world, who say that we save the world by staying indoors and destroying our economy, demonize human touch.
.
Then what world are we saving?
.
Why does no one ask, where we are going to stop?
.
It scares me.
God damn this entire letter is 100% not what I intended to write.
I m sorry.
I guess it comes out, the way it comes out. Just like it always has.
.
But what I wanted to say is this:
Last Thursday I moved to 1995. And I have arrived safely.
Today I went back to 2020, to pick up the rest of me. Because as it turns out, there wasn’t any part of me that was willing to stay in a country, a time, ruled by fear. 
All my creative outlets will be written from 1995, for as long as this goes on.
.
Maybe that is my message to the world, maybe that is what I realize true freedom is:
People can tell you what to do.
They can keep you from speaking your truth as well.
But no one can ever tell you what to think.
.
The freedom of thought, of where you give your attention to, and what you are completely going to ignore for example by going to 1995 and leave the empty shell of your quarantined body behind;
That freedom is entirely yours.
.

the writer formerly known as
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

Bring in the Pink Mint Flamingo Miami Vice 80s Retro Mood

24 Hours after what I would call “my identity lock down”, where I announced I will no longer be LS Harteveld and why (I wrote 2 blog posts and reposted none of them because it’s just too depressive) it is hard to establish which part of feeling terrible is because of losing her?
And which part is inevitable, because it’s mourning of a lifestyle and a world that is no longer there and where carefree human relationships will not be fully restored until there is a vaccine?
See. Told you there was a reason I didn’t repost those blogs.
No one needs this.

So between the lines you can read that my conclusion is indeed that the reason today was a toughy, and that I had a very unwelcome migraine-to-go with my period that kept me in bed for a few hours –
that I wouldn’t have felt better if I had not pulled the plug on being LS Harteveld after 14 years.

But as I said in my second blogpost (read at own risk, come back to snack on pink after) which I wrote for my oldest site, not continuing to live present day as an artist, doesn’t exclude me living on in a different time and space.
And for me that place is 1995.

In summer 2019 I started a project 1994. And it’s a project that I always felt deserved more dedication.
That I wasn’t fully IN IT.
The idea of living life as a 22 year old graduate, in 1994, was appealing, but real life kept getting in the way.
Current day, kept getting in the way.

With the C. crisis, there has not been a better time to take art or escapism to a whole new level. And with most of us bound to home, also a very convenient one.
You can now create your own mental space, your own bubble.
And especially if you live alone, everything that happens in your life is more predictable than it usually is.
You can filter it out or reframe it, way easier.

So today I had that migraine. It almost felt like a transition, like time-travel. Shedding old skin, and becoming anew.
And in my 1995 I am not just into that year, not just basking in that decade of optimism;
I m mixing it with my favorite decade, the 80s.
With the pinky minty colors of Miami Vice.

I also like the bold, bright pallet of the 80s and the grungy arty New York feel of the 80s;
But those are not what I need right now.

I need flamingos.
Diners with Formica chairs, in pastel colors.
Don Johnson wearing espadrilles.

And to go to sleep knowing I will wake up in a different time.
Feeling shiny and new.

the writer formerly known as
~Lauren/LS Harteveld

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

Intense and Unsettling

Last Tuesday I had a conversation with my creativity coach Sara and it came to how creativity operates in an entirely different way than regular economic exchange.
As a creative you create what you feel called to do.
And then you sell it, or you don’t.
In regular businesses, you create what you can sell.
.
Being creative is a blessing, it is fulfilling, satisfying.
Sexy!
But it is also a curse, addictive and in all likeliness an economic sin.
Your art not just exists outside of existing economic structures:
It also has the power to disrupt it.
.
And if you’re any good at what you do:
It will.
.
A great artist is someone who immediately wakes you up.
Or their work is.
But it’s not a place where you feel all comfortable and fuzzy.
.
So there is that:
The realization that my purpose work takes place outside of society.
And that in all likeliness, it will always place me outside of it as well.
.
But there was also another lesson I learned, and it was something that I think many clients (of Sara) would have found an uncomfortable observation by her.
Yet I totally loved it….
.
We were talking about personal branding, a topic that rarely comes up because I no longer see my creativity as something I necessarily sell.
But we touched on personal branding because I confessed to Sara that I would love to pick up coaching and teaching yoga again;
But was held back so much by this realization that there is something vastly different about me, compared to what someone expects from a coach or a yoga teacher.
.
This something within me kept getting in the way of being able to offer my services.
I wasn’t able to communicate what it was I had to offer, and kept getting stuck in the standard image of a coach or yoga teacher.
That’s when Sara talked about personal branding. And she spoke the words:
“I think your personal brand is INTENSE and UNSETTLING.”

.
Wow.
Yes!
YES IT IS!
.
I once had someone tell me how people immediately felt better when they saw them. That a calm and peaceful mood struck them, where everything was okay, just from being in the presence of this person.
.
I immediately shot back:
“I have THE EXACT OPPOSITE effect on people!”.

Deep fears, coming back to haunt.
Dreams that were lost, suddenly resurfacing.
Insecurities, which were carefully contained for years, suddenly omnipresent.
.
But also: Big and powerful breakthroughs happening in seconds.
.
But also: For the first time seeing their own strength mirrored.
.
But also: A meeting of souls.
.
But also: Receiving clarity and ownership over your life.
.
It wasn’t that I couldn’t see what I had to offer the world, it was that I kept getting stuck in not being able to word it.
.
INTENSE and UNSETTLING

Bingo.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

The Stopping of the Giving of the Fucks

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our coaching call, I always give her a headsup.
..
Dear Sara,
.
It’s hard to say when I decided to pull myself up by my bootstraps, get back on the field, which I seemed to have given up to former and potential lovers, professions, employers and a variety of financial and sexual saviors to, I don’t know, take a fucking dump or something?
I mean for FUCK’S SAKE what was I thinking Sara?!
What were all these people still doing on my field? Why were they invited or why did I even allow them on? 
.
download (21)But dating problems aside as to when it started, I do think the moment of having a next level fuck-that-shit-moment, putting my cap back on, wiping the snot out of my eyes and the blood off my face, spitting on the home base and giving the pitcher a determined look that regardless of what he was gonna throw at me,
I was going to knock this thing out of the park;
That moment had been brewing for a while.
.
That I had actually been very aware, right from that lousy 10th of December, of how difficult it had been for me.
Not just to see my lover leave. But the why.

It had been a genuine choice by him, and a big leap forward from a moral perspective (and who does not wish for their loved ones to have a clear conscience?). But there had been circumstances which caused me to think this was not entirely voluntarily. This was a man doing what he had to do because life had been so cruel, he could no longer allow for his own cruelty to coexist.
The only way to do the right thing, was to become the angel he had never been.
.
Now I m the first one to admit my perception is terribly biased. And it’s certainly not as if he sat me down and explained himself or defended himself.
But then again:
If he had left me for a badass girl half my age, who filled his penthouse with the smoke of pot, and considered out loud if she’d take a pet hyena – I would have known that.
It’s not an ego thing, that I frame my ex-lover’s departure into him taking a step back to take responsibility over his life. 
.
And it’s not even an ego thing that I unconsciously waited for him, for two months and 19 days.
It’s not even because I thought he would not get by without my company, my love, my sex. In fact I believed it to be a huge relief, to finally not have this “mistress thing” haunting you at night.
.
I don’t know, I don’t know….
Maybe it was because I did respect him so much and did not take this breakup personally, that I wanted to wait to make sure he didn’t come back.
Or maybe the past few months of waiting were my own personal mourning time. 
.
All I knew, and this is the strange part, was that I couldn’t cut ties, nor recognized how powerless I was making myself, until I applied for what I unabashedly labeled “my dream job”.
It was an organization that I love, my favorite department, the location is smashing and it buzzes with energy and worldly excitement. (no it’s not a brothel! lol) 
.
To say “I applied” would be an understatement.
I energetically aligned with them, and wrote a letter from the heart yet it referred to universal principles and could have passed as their 2020 mission statement.
I think it cost me half a workweek, but afterwards it was no longer a question if they were going to give me the job;
It was only a question if they could afford not to.
.
I know it must sound arrogant but just like I had been convinced I was an extremely good mistress, who had offered a unique and extremely valuable arrangement (and her heart!) to the man she loved;
I knew what I offered this company, was beyond their wildest dreams.
.
And then: Nothing.
.
Turns out nothingness is pretty killing when you can’t wait to start having the amazing kickass relationship you saw in your mind’s eye.
Until it finally hits you.
If someone takes THAT amount of time?

It’s not a match.
..
Sure: you could play the game out. Keep your cool. Pretend you didn’t even notice their response took ages, and be like:
“Oh! Now I remember, yes! That application! Jeez, I d forgotten about that, but yeah, I d love to meet up!”
And if this organization had been anyone but my dream employer, I would have had no problem playing this game out, bluffing my way through as if it was poker.
And I would have won.
..
But that hard to get strategy, is not how you win the game of love.
This can only be won by showing your heart. Just like I ve never been shy towards my lover that I was crazy about him. 
In the beginning, when my lover just like this employer, slowed things down by cold shouldering me, I was very vocal and broke up with him.
I said I was crazy about him, and since he seemed to insist on being irritated over how “difficult” I was, I was apparently alone in those feelings.
So bye then.
It was an incident that he would bring up, whenever we brushed on the subject of choosing for each other and get a “real” relationship.
His “You just walked out of me” versus mine “Only because you didn’t want me there”.
But it worked.
And he learned that I would support him, always. That I stood by him, even if he didn’t contact me. I had full faith in his ability to manage his own life, and plan when he wanted to see me and when he didn’t.
But he knew I was crazy about him, and that he wasn’t allowed to treat me as someone who didn’t care.
He had to acknowledge how special he was to me.
That was all I asked.
.
And that’s what happened after waiting for them for two weeks to respond to my letter: I broke up with them, by withdrawing my application.
.
Because I finally saw that it was not their responsibility to explain or excuse themselves or to be a good future employer.
It was my responsibility to get the fuck out of there.
It was never my path to fit into a neatly crafted position, something my application had overdelivered on from the start.
.
My application and the weeks of silence had been equal to falling in love with someone who has not made up his mind, and who has no interest in acknowledging your feelings. Meanwhile leaving you with your heart all open and out in the streets.
Maybe they’ll pick it up for you, once they’ve made up their mind.
Or maybe they’ll trammel it.
.
Which leaves you with only two healthy choices:
Quit (if it’s real love) or turn the game around and treat them the way they treat you.

Pretend it leaves you completely neutral that they ignore you for weeks, and start dating their biggest competitor.
And in all likeliness it has to be a two-puncher:
First quit.
Then if he wins you back, you still have to keep your cool.

This is how I played my cards with my lover, and it’s why I got to be his mistress for five years, and I regret none of it.
Not playing the game, he was used to winning.
Not investing so much time and energy into someone who I have never been able to call “mine”.
It was all worth it.
.
If the object of your affection is your number one priority, you should take your chances.
.
However, before you do, a moment of contemplation is in order.
And in my case that moment came as soon as I started Googling my other options. Searching LinkedIn for the people who ran similar organizations where I could offer my services and make a serious impact.
When suddenly I realized:
“Wait a minute! This is not MY path! This is not my job. No job is.”
.
Once again, AGAIN (!! I can’t stress the stupidity I felt) I had bought into the fantasy that next to my purpose work as an independent, there was a job for me.
A warm and fuzzy place where I was a normal person, and people expected normal things that were not about me.
Where I was part of a team.
Where I belonged.
.
There is no such place, Sara.
.
Just like my relationships with men can be better than they ever had, and I do make sure that they are;
They will always choose someone more relatable and more presentable to settle down with.
Just like my entrepreneurial skills will outdo those of any other employee in terms of making money and making an impact:
They will always choose someone less outspoken and easier to be around with, to take within their walls.
UNLESS!
Unless you make it your number one priority.
.
Any game can be won, if you insist on it.
.
I could have won the heart and become the woman at the side of my lover. Just as I could have gotten this job.
If I had made it my sole focus of attention and dropped anything else.
My writing.
My publishing.
My speaking.
And my entire new life and career which I m currently crafting under my other name.
Everything.
It’s almost as if the other people instinctively know me better than I know myself. That my lover knew I would never stop writing (about us) not even if my life or our love depended on it.
And that any employer will understand that ultimately I don’t live for them.
I live for me.
.
There are no fuzzy office corners with friends for me, Sara.
No job where I ll not be haunted by the idea that the real work is waiting for me at home.
There is no bed for me, where I’m always welcome.
Those were all things that I thought I would get, in return for allowing all those people on the field. I was so, so wrong. I need tattoos to remember this, I need high level boundaries, I need to stop giving fucks and I definitely need to get real about whose game this is.
.
There is a movie with Madonna from 1990, Dick Tracey. She plays a nightclub singer Breathless Mahony.
Confused by all the crime cartels in his city, Dick Tracey tries to figure out who Madonna is playing for.

Dick Tracey:
“Whose side are you one?”

.

Breathless Mahony: 
“The side I m always on. Mine.”

.
Mine, Sara.
Mine.
.
~Lauren

An unexamined life is not worth living

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4.
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready is to follow this blog. The subscription button to this blog is on this page, probably on the right.
.
Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/