From news binging to news fasting

Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

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

Dear Sara,

Our last call caught me at the height of my interest in Dutch politics. Something which I have come down from since, for very practical reasons but I have made a hard cut not to visit any news sites anymore.
I do see the occasional thing on Twitter, or a frontpage that automatically opens on your Samsung, or after you close your Outlook on your browser.
In those cases I indulge in headlines.

Yesterday I did follow a weekly livestream on YouTube from a critic of Dutch Covid politics. It’s mostly about data, data analysis, and research on Covid, comparing different countries and strategies. And illustrating how the Dutch have “chosen” to use these data.
I don’t think it surprises anyone that they are not doing well, and are giving new meaning to the words “inconsistent load of bullshit measures that will maneuver soon under the influence of pending municipal elections.”
Paraphrasing here.

But the weekly livestream and seeing the occasional MSN frontpage is marginal compared to how invested I was two weeks ago.
After our call I decided to stop resisting my urge to follow the news, as it only seemed to make matters worse, and also because it had resulted in a piece that I later assumed was probably my best piece ever written on anything, ever.
To dive headfirst, and fully committed, into our 6 to 8 weeks political finale, was the right choice at the time.
And a relief, to finally lean into this interest, that I had tried to moderate and contain.

But then I slept zero hours that night, and turned a 180.
I pulled all the stops on watching any news, and although I am not yet where I want to be, I have not ingrained being a non-news watcher any more than I have ingrained living in 1997 for my art performance project (even though I want and desire both!), so even though it has been flawed at best;
My life did look differently the past two weeks, compared to if I had stuck to my initial plan of going all in on following the news until its political finale.

The choice to change my plan was not really a choice but a necessity after sleep deprivation. It wasn’t because I thought I would get bored or not have enough to write about, if I had stuck to my plan to follow the Dutch Covid news for 6 to 8 weeks.
It also gave me time to reflect and I have wondered:
Why did I have this sudden interest in Dutch politics?

Were Dutch politics always this interesting, but did I need it to come down to civilian virus levels before I could understand how politics impacted my world?

But I concluded I had been right on one thing: This is no ordinary politics. We live in a very turbulent time, and not just because of a virus, but because of everything that went wrong in the decades before 2020.
The cracks in Dutch civilization and the first signs of polarization, go as far back as the early 90s.
Which meant that after decades of marginalizing and excluding a larger and larger part of Dutch society;

Of making the poor poorer.
Of making the procedures and administrative trails for allowances longer.
Of privatizing health care, and then introducing extra cuts, fees and over €350 mandatory own risk  on hospital care, to add insult to injury.
Banning all humanity from public services and treating people like case numbers that had to have problems that neatly fit into a box that qualified for funding before they were helped.

And after a decade of structural financial abuse and institutional racism by our government, brutal attacks where they have wiped out and destroyed entire families because they had a foreign sounding name;

To then land in a pandemic, and see a government that needs all its people to trust them and take care of one another;
When all they have done for decades was create the ideal climate for civil war?

Then no.
This was not just Dutch politics as usual, that happened to catch my eye, just because the topic of Covid was one that impacted us all.

The past two years have uncovered a dark and rotten country that has been capitalizing on the people it should have protected.
Did I tell you the Dutch housing shortage has reached historic heights, and that they have sold our real estate to foreign investors, and have given incentives to housing corporations to sell their houses and tax them per house owned? 
They did.

I guess the only difference between a bombing literally taking down your houses, and a government who sells your real estate to commercial investors, is that when the houses are bombed down, you can actually see they are no longer part of this world.
The Netherlands have ghost real estate and the biggest housing shortage in history.
God, what a fucked up situation.

But again; No.
My past two years were indeed not “just” a “relatable topic-interest” in politics. More is at stake. And I think it was important enough, and I was definitely invested enough, that I “should” have given it my all, and even try to find some sort of supportive, and positive angle. 
Look for something I and other people can do to heal from this let’s call it “political trauma” that has been wreaking havoc since the 90s.
But I can’t.

Not sleeping at all since the moment I decided to give it my all, says I can’t.
So apparently I am NOT prepared to give it my all after all.
That sleepless nights can come from being a secret mistress; They can come from feeling threatened and violated; They can come from being almost 50 and being very aware that if I don’t figure out how to live into my purpose, I m going to die and my life will have meant nothing.

But that I am not prepared to give 6 to 8 weeks of my life to losing sleep over the clusterfuck that Dutch politics has become.

And because of that, because I understood that if I wasn’t part of the solution, I was part of the problem;
I left.

After two years I am no longer following Dutch politics, and am focusing on my own life instead.

And considering the problems we in The Netherlands are facing today, stem from the 90s?
I think going headfirst, and all-in, on me living 25 years ago, as I have been dabbling with since 2019/1994-
I think that is probably the best I can do.

That living in 1997, the decade when it all began, is the best art I have to offer.

That “living” like Lauren 1997, writing her book 3, and publishing book 1 and 2 (1994-1996) what I have been working on this week;
That those are not just the most significant contribution I can make, to a nation in disarray;
But the only one, that I know only I can make.

And that I’m more than happy to lose sleep over. 

 

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

The new chapter to Lauren’s 1997 diary will be written within days.
Subscribe to this blog to receive it.

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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December 2021:

 
 

 

At the beginning of Big things

Sharon Stone as Catherine Tramell, Basic Instinct 2

I usually don’t scroll down to Facebook memories. When I open Facebook on my desktop, which I usually do, I first see stories, which are about 5 cm high or something.
Then a box to post something, and maybe an advertisement.

Even if there is a Facebook memories, which is not always the case, I will only see the top of it. The generic part.

It doesn’t even say from what year the memory will be from, and I rarely scroll down to find out more. I m usually on Facebook just to see what the mentions are, or I m there to post.
Not to browse.

But today I did scroll and I saw a photo from Basic Instinct 2. I wondered when I had posted this.
Although I ve been into Basic Instinct 1 since its release 1992, it has taken me years before I caught up with Basic Instinct 2 (2006), which was only released on DVD and never played in cinemas.
To make it worse I even at some point lost a Basic Instinct 2 DVD! How do you lose that?
It took a while before I gave up on the idea it would resurface and replaced it to have my collection complete again.

When I started working on my collection of blogposts “The Beach, C”, about Basic Instinct’s Catherine Tramell, which is a book I ve been wanting to create and publish for months now (I actually took it down, it was up there for a few weeks until perfectionista-me found a mistake I apparently couldn’t live with, and ended up revising the book);
I recall the oldest posts I collected for that book were from 2017. Not earlier.

So Facebook memories, giving me a photo from Basic Instinct 2, a movie I ignored for a long time and then had trouble holding on to (literally), sparked my curiosity not so much as to why it was posted, but when? 

It turned out to be January 2015; A lot earlier than my earliest Basic Instinct work!
It didn’t contain any explanation about the photo itself. It was merely an illustration.

But the biggest surprise was that it was a post I had made shortly after what I will call the first “real date” with the man who would become my secret lover.
Whenever I would later write about him I would call him Mr.Big or Big.

This is what I wrote, in January 2015:

“We call it a tie” I concluded after my 1st date in the Major League.
“How do you measure that?” my charmingly dangerous opponent asked.
I explained my rules of dating in the Major League:
“The one who suffers the biggest emotional damage afterwards, loses.”
We had both been knocked out for 48 hours, so I had called it quits.
But he warned me the game wasn’t over.
“In the Major League we play best of 7”

The Major League! Of course! 
When I just started dating I knew he was totally different from all the other men I knew, and that the situation with him being married but also his entire style of interacting, was totally different to anyone I had dated so far.
There was a sense of excitement and danger, that I was unable to walk away from. Even though I knew I was risking getting my heart broken, in more ways than I would be able to mend.
By calling it a game, I felt some sort of agency over what we were doing. By naming us players, I took a bigger chunk of the pie than just being a lady whose only jurisdiction was if there was going to be extramarital sex Yes or No.

By calling it a game, The Major League no less, I challenged him.

Have we stayed together since then? Were we like Mr.Big and Carrie, where he ultimately chooses her after 6 seasons, on a bridge in Paris?
Yes and no.

On and off.

And there have been months when we were On yet I did not see him. When he had to break up with me, but couldn’t say it. He couldn’t find the words, and left me in the dark. Or hope.

And what followed was a year when we were Off, not having an affair, yet I saw him occasionally, and we spent wonderful hours together. Knowing, that one day we’d make the same choice.
That one day, I would say Yes again.

The post reminded me it has been 7 years. We’ve been playing in the Major League for 7 long years, and still it is exactly that.
A game.

We have no idea who wins, who loses, or for how long it will go on.
Or even if the other will show up to play.

So I have to be happy with what was, without claiming a future, that will always be uncertain. I would like there to be a story, another 7 years from now, just like Basic Instinct 2 came 14 years after the original.
I would like there to be 2 movies and a spinoff series about Big and me, decades after the first meet-cute, roughly the same like Sex And The City but with a happy course of events. Of course I would like those things.

And I m still writing my real life-, as well as 90s-inspired diaries, on this blog!
I would love for Lauren 1997, as is the year with her now, I would love for her to keep seeing her lover Bear.
But even that is not for me to say. If it ends, it ends.

All I can say is that these past 7 years, ever since that post on Facebook, have been an amazing time. When it comes to my love life, I do not regret one day, one month, one moment. 

I became a different woman.
And that’s a win I cannot lose. 

.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

books inspired by my affair with Big:
1. Big diaries and erotica 
2. The Mistress Speaks 

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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And now for something completely different

Kristen Steward Backstage magazine. This is how I imagine 1997 me would look

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

Dear Sara,

I wrote my letter to you yesterday.
Except it wasn’t a letter; It was an analysis of the most recent Dutch Covid developments.
A drama in x parts that seems to be getting its season’s finale this week.
Man, so compelling!
By now I m ready to admit I’m absolutely hooked on this adventure with Games of Thrones sized betrayal.
Like this series that you don’t want to get hooked on, but then you watch one show, in this case last Tuesday’s press conference, and: Bam!
Hooked again!

This has happened several times since the start of the pandemic. When I watch the press conference this derails my entire week. I always lose two to three days glued to the screen, ending by writing a blogpost.

But yesterday the blog post came when I wanted to sit down and write you. So at the end I had this meta on Dutch Westeros, only to realize I had written a standalone piece and not a letter to you.
And although my seasonal obsession with the Dutch politics surrounding Covid has been a part of our correspondence before, this time it really was not what I wanted you to read before our call.

The piece was so heavy and thorough. It felt like an endgame and not like something I wanted to discuss.
I will admit I wasn’t happy with it, when I finally went to bed at 2 A.M.
I considered what was then 1.5 day, lost in the Covid rabbit hole, as wasted time and a disgrace for the creative and professional ambitions I had set for myself!
When I went to sleep with the feeling the blogpost was proof of my sins against time, God, and my purpose here on this earth, since I obviously should not have spent that time on the subject and become so emotionally invested in it.
My biggest aim when writing it, was hoping it would cleanse me and give me a fresh start.

That the piece would bring an end to another wildly irresponsible Covid news, discussion, and social media binge on a topic I did not consider one of my core interests. 

Except of course, I ve now realized that Dutch Covid politics are a core interest after all.
And unsurprisingly really, because my highest value is freedom. Freedom of expectations, and freedom to choose.

The past four years, ever since I slowly and gradually let go of my yoga business, have been all about understanding I needed to get out of every situation that tried to claim and chain my time and loyalty. Every bind that was structured, that was a given, everything that created unfreedom, had to be cut.
So of course Covid policies are and have been a genuine interest.
In hindsight it is not strange at all, that I fell down the Covid rabbit hole time and time again. I felt the measures were a threat to my freedom. 
And now that I believe they will hold on to the QR code, the digital pass that proves vaccination and gives you access to public life – It makes total sense that I m upset.

So that was one aspect I didn’t totally understand when I wrote the piece; That I was on topic, after all.

But another thing I was unable to predict, is that when I woke up this morning and reread it?
I absolutely loved it.
It’s the best thing I wrote during the pandemic, and it might be the best thing I wrote my whole life. About Covid politics! How dry can it be! It’s not even about sex!

So now I am even more confused. 
I hate politics and I don’t want to write about them. I want to write about sex, and then more sex, and then as dessert I want to write more about sex.
Yet rereading my meta on what promises to be the Grande Finale of Dutch Covid politics, I was compelled by my own writing.

In case you want to read it, it’s this one:
Ich Rieche Blut. And it’s not German. 

And an hour ago, the preview dropped of footage of official vaccination centers where they vaccinate teens without parental consent, incorrectly inform them, and teach them to lie to their parents. Filmed with hidden camera.
So the moment I thought I could let it go, this plot twist pops up.
I m not sure if I will be able to sleep tonight, and sleeping has been a big problem for weeks now.

Last night, after writing for 6 hours, I got to bed at 2 AM and got up at 10. But that was way more efficient as all the nights prior, when I went to bed at 11 PM, and ALSO got up at 10, because I couldn’t catch my sleep or it was interrupted and I lay awake for hours on end.

One of the most recent nights, I remember what the reason was I had been unable to sleep. I was just too excited, because I finally had my life figured out!
I finally knew what it was I wanted to do, and it was so clean, crispy, healthy. It was almost minimalist! I ll tell you what it was in a moment, but the irony of course, is that before I could get this show on the road, before I could get to work on the Plan of Plans for my life, I derailed completely and got lost in Covid land, and wrote the best piece of work and on a topic that was NOT part of my mission statement.

So I am terribly confused, and have no idea how valid my vision it. It seems like a bad omen that I fell off the wagon and got myself dirty rolling around in Covid politics instead.
That is a disclaimer, but nevertheless, I still like this idea.
Here it is:

I m going to work creating two yoga communities on YouTube, under my real name, one Dutch and one English – both tied to initiatives, blogs and channels that I ve been toying with the past few years. The yoga concepts are based on everything I ve thought about, developed, and decided on the past few years as well.
A book, schedules, themes; It’s all ready, and has been in the starting blocks for a long time.

When I received that part of the vision, I immediately understood what this meant in terms of self-care, daily yoga, daily exercise, diet, but also keeping my apartment clean to do yoga and to record yoga and other videos.
I felt myself transform into the Marie Kondo of yoga, so clean and pristine.

The two yoga businesses are tied in with the writing I do under my own name, but the way I “see” myself is as a yoga teacher because this is the part I want to take offline ultimately, although not in the form of going back to teaching weekly classes.
But teaching yoga really is one of the few ways I can interact with people, feeling we’re in an equal relationship. Talking about my books or my thoughts, will never have that fulfilment.
That’s why these two branches of yoga, the international one and a Dutch yoga channel, inspire me.

Next to that, I am going to build a, what I would call, publishing house, where I focus on publishing my LS Harteveld work, but I also see myself as Lauren Harteveld here.
This alterego Lauren Harteveld is not just a name on the cover of my books, but it really is a different me.
And this role as publisher, so the job I have as Lauren Harteveld, is also related to strategy and management of the entire business, including finance, sales and business development on the yoga side of things.
In a way, I (Lauren) will be my own agent.

On a side note: I still do not see Lauren Harteveld, or my work here, as something I want to speak about in the world.
I like the Lauren Harteveld project where I go back in time 25 years. I actually wrote the first chapter of the new year, 1997.
I can’t allow myself to care about you (NSFW) | 1997 diary

I feel by giving all, in my writing as Lauren Harteveld, I do something that discharges me from having to interact over it. It’s not like Covid policies, where I stay glued to my timeline. Pieces like Lauren 1997, are entirely solitary.
I write them in my own world, being in 1997, being offline.

I like pretending I am in 1997, and days I manage to pull that off, and I am only briefly online to efficiently do my business work as Lauren Harteveld headquarters;
Those days are the happiest.

So I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I knew what I would write you this week. About having the vision, about understanding how my two identities, and my two professions (yoga and writing) would go together, and that I was losing sleep over it because it was all so exciting, and that my house was still a mess, and my yoga routine non-existent;
But that it would all come.
Victory was near.

And then this week happened, and I got sucked into Covid politics mayhem. And even worse- before I could judge myself for having wasted so much precious time, I realized that the thing I had written was the best I had written since the start of the pandemic.
And quite possibly the best, or perhaps “the most authentic” thing, I had written in my entire  life.

And I checked the parts of my business: Yoga English, Dutch Yoga, Publishing house, Headquarters.

And sadly realized writing emotional, soul-searching longreads about current day events, were not my business.

..

~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/

 

 

Ich Rieche Blut. And it’s not German.

Basic Instinct 2. The psychiatrist on the right has a drawing on his wall with the title “Ich Rieche Blut” (I smell blood)

 

The title of this post was not supposed to be the title of an art work on the wall of the psychiatrist in Basic Instinct 2.

The story from that movie revolves around an American writer, Catherine Tramell, who now lives in London.
She writes a book about a psychiatrist, “The Analyst”. He has this drawing on his wall, that is called Ich Rieche Blut.
Because the movie is in English, and because it is located in London, the title Ich Rieche Blut is translated for the viewer, almost casually, as part of a conversation.
Ich Rieche Blut means:
I smell blood.

That was not my initial idea for the title of this blogpost.
I thought it would be:
The people murmur, or The people grumble.
Because that’s what the Dutch are doing.

The dissatisfaction is almost audible, even though we cannot hear each other, obviously. But like a low humming whale sound, the pushback from a majority of the Dutch is becoming louder every week, every day, with every press conference, every change in measures, every relief of restrictions and maybe the murmur or the grumble are just a force that has been created by two years of gaslighting your own population by saying it depends on their individual behavior how the pandemic will unfold (and thereby clearing the measures as “good”, effective and beyond discussion).

So maybe it is no longer any of those identifiable events.
Maybe the murmur and grumble of the people have picked up momentum that have made it impossible to control it.
Like an avalanche or a big rock rolling down the mountain;
It can no longer be stopped.

Where the avalanche or the rock breaking loose, could have been prevented;
That ship has now sailed.
The cat is out of the bag.

The reason I did not choose “The people murmur” as title, is not just because “Ich rieche Blut” is from Basic Instinct 2, and therefor ties in better with the Basic Instinct theme that has been present in my work for a long time.
It is also because I actually, literally, and for the first time this clearly, I detected my desire for blood with regard to Covid measures.

I watched a critical roast of the statistical numbers used in yesterday’s Dutch press conference, and I found the ruthless slaying satisfying

It was like my thirst for blood to have this bullshit press conference where booster vaccination and the once installed as ->TEMPORARY<- measure QR code (a proof of vaccination, that you need to enter cafes, theatres and theme parks – which reopened today after a month of lockdown, where no one could get into those places, with or without code) were defended by numbers everyone in their right mind understood were professional guess work at best;
I longed for that bullshit to be statistically dissected and its remains spread over five different continents. The last part didn’t really happen, but serves as illustration how angry I was feeling.

And I watched a two hour show, an analysis, and it was satisfactory, but only mildly. But I could complement it with an understanding that our government is going to fail spectacularly. Either in a calculated, ego-saving way that will damage-control their election results for the upcoming local elections in March;
Or perhaps I did see things they did not see yet.

Maybe me understanding their QR code will fail, and that they’re probably working towards when it can be cancelled without losing face; Maybe that is a personal observation.
Maybe they don’t see it will fail and they are not preparing an exit strategy behind the scenes.

But even if they choose to keep the QR code, of which they ve capped validity at 9 months after initial vaccination, meaning as of April all those without booster can no longer visit the cafes;
Even then no one is going to buy it.
The Dutch people are not going to get a new vaccination every few months, just to visit a café!

Maybe government manages to keep the once installed as ->TEMPORARY<- measure of QR code [ yes I know I am repeating myself, but this is worth repeating ] thereby effectively continuing their bullying campaign against their own people, into taking vaccinations just to have a social life.
Yes, really, maybe they will find a way to go through with it politically, but the people will just refuse to update their vaccinations.

I m sure of it.

This first booster percentage in The Netherlands is already lower than they expected and although I took my booster, because I was suffering from a martyr complex where I actually thought I had to sacrifice my own body to protect the vulnerable, I love seeing those meager numbers.

I love seeing how the people are saying No to being bullied into vaccination – even the ones who took the vaccination last summer, when it was still a voluntary choice.
Making vaccination practically mandatory with the QR code, has worked against the government.
But the longer they hold on to using the QR code, and the more they cap the duration your vaccination is valid, the stronger the pushback will be.
The louder the mongering will be.

Yet the press conference was full of incorrect statistics but most of all it did not acknowledge that the people are murmuring.
That something has changed.

The press conference and parliamentary debate today, did not acknowledge, that the time has come for change.

Not change because it is safe, not change because it is sensible. Not change because better data are available;
But change as an acknowledgement that change has already begun.

Change, because the rock was set loose and is now rolling downhill.
Change, because the avalanche has already begun.
Change, because the people murmur, the people grumble and monger.
And change because:
The Dutch are not Germans.
The Dutch are not French.
And CHANGE because THAT is information you should keep in mind, somewhere in the front, if you want to do anything EVER again involving rules and regulations in The Netherlands.

Anybody who wants anything done, either in Dutch organizations, or from Dutch citizens, should immediately and preferably thoroughly, cleanse themselves of any megalomaniac ideas about becoming the Napoleon or Der Fuhrer of the Lowlands.

Yes, we can be conquered.
Yes, our defenses suck.
But Dutch passive aggressiveness where we do exactly what you ask, but nothing more?
Do not underestimate how effective that can be.

A population who no longer attends theaters, cafes, and events, and starts an underground economy in people’s living rooms and private spaces?
Or who takes their shots exactly on the margin of their QR code, but abandon all not legally enforced measures, such as testing, quarantine, social distancing?

Good luck fighting your pandemic with that.

There is a lot to do about people who do not take their vaccinations, or who protest, and about the threat of real violence;
But in my opinion that visible and sometimes scary side of resistance are not the threat to public health, or the undermining force to Covid measures.
These people bother to show up and speak up, and that is a very important difference to murmuring and grumbling; because those people are not, nor have they ever, showed up for the conversation.
Myself included.

In the press conference and the parliamentary debate, government frequently pointed to France and Germany, as examples on rules, regulations, but also QR code.
But it wasn’t until today, that I realized how absolutely CRUCIAL this is, in understanding why they keep missing the mark in communication with the Dutch people.

Because in France and Germany?
Yes! 
Then keeping your eye on the extremes is enough to measure public compliance.
Keeping your eye on the visible, let’s say “official”  resistance in France and Germany, the part that officially rallies against the rules, is enough to indicate the chances of success of your policies.
And Germany has a history of having a population that is way too compliant, ending up with the whole country having to take the fall for both 1st and 2nd WW; And France on the other hand has a history of the people overturning their government.

But The Netherlands?
The Netherlands have neither.
And in our history, and this is really common knowledge for anyone who has studied our political and cultural background, our allies and our foes, which apparently our government has not –
In our history we have never sided with Germany nor with France.

We side with England.
Always.

With: No-more-Covid-measures, Brexit-mayhem, Boris-Johnson-party gate, England.

Our Dutch minister of health, pointing to France and Germany as examples, illustrations, or countries to learn from in any way, on how a country should measure a pandemic, goes against common sense and it goes against history. And it’s a vast overestimation of how important the Dutch anti-vax movement is, and a glorious underestimation of normal people no longer feeling part of the problem nor the solution.

It is a glorious underestimation of the people murmuring and by now taking pleasure in the statistics of your national press conference being roasted.

Thinking you can get away with QR codes in The Netherlands, because we don’t have the French resistance and assuming we have the German compliance, is underestimating the people who will do nothing and watch you meet your political doom.

In the Netherlands, we have stopped caring about our government. We don’t even care enough to resist, because we know it will fall apart from passive aggressiveness way faster than it will by resisting it.

There is a saying in Dutch:
“If it doesn’t go the way it must, it must go the way it does.” 

The QR code marked the moment when all those Dutch who had taken their vaccination out of solidarity, felt betrayed.
The government overplayed their hand, when from a situation where over 80% of the population had taken a vaccine without asking anything in return, they tried to “make” the remaining part take it, by making vaccination mandatory to get a QR code to attend cafes, theatres, cinemas.
I think that move lost more ground in fighting the pandemic, than it gained.

I think that move, making vaccination almost mandatory, by QR code, as well as holding on to that measure even when the pandemic situations are January 2022 entirely different than October last year-
that’s the biggest mistake our government has made.

We’re no longer complying, because we are not German.
We are not openly rebelling because we are not French.
Murmuring Dutch are not a sign a revolution is at hand.
The smell of blood I sense, is metaphorical; It is not literal.

The avalanche, the rock that is rolling down the hill, the murmuring of the people, the grumbling, the mongering;
They are a sign that
if things don’t go the way they must?
Then they must go the way they do.

In England murmuring plays a crucial role in parliamentary debates.
The country of Churchill, the only European country who successfully resisted Nazi Germany, and they have relieved all Covid measures.
On a side note: The other European country that did not resist Germany but was very effective in protecting their citizens and gave their Jewish population an opportunity to escape to Sweden, was Denmark: Also, a country where they have relieved all Covid measures.

England and Denmark had the best tactics in the second word war, and from the two The Netherlands has the strongest ties to England.  

So if the Dutch want to come out of the pandemic stronger, bolder, and with their head held high?
It must run away at the smell of blood, unless we want to risk a second Bastille Day.
We must stop looking to Germany, unless…. unless you want to risk making their mistakes.

The Netherlands must do what it has always done:
We must side with
England.

.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

post-script 28 January 2022:
After this post, for the first time ever, I ve decided to start following Dutch Covid politics.
I will Tweet about this from January 2022 to March after our local elections, describing political choices and how they impact the dynamics between people and government.

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/

movie about England in the second WW:

 

 

I can’t allow myself to care about you (NSFW) | 1997 diary

Basic Instinct 1992, Catherine Tramell breaks up with Nick Curran, after she is done writing about him. A decision she later reverses with the words “I can’t allow myself to care about you.”

disclaimer 2022:
This opening chapter for book 3 in my vintage diary series, has a trigger warning for having bad experiences with non-consensual sex. 

Thursday January 13, 1997 

I’m thirteen days into the new year and the sickening feeling something went wrong last December, has not left.
I’m not talking about all things I wanted to accomplish last year, among which publishing my diaries 1994-1995 and 1995-1996. I m not talking about starting my career as an independent self-published author in many other ways either.
I wish it was that!
That looking back on how I did not build a career for a whole year made me so sick, it would automatically become the sole thing on my mind this year.
But no.

As always when I feel badly, this is about Bear.

We saw each other twice in December. Which is a lot, because he’s living with his girlfriend and I assume there is more guilt associated with having an affair, or still seeing the mistress from your college days. But I seemed to be in luck, which was and still is a happy surprise.
But 13 days into the new year, I am still processing it.

It is as if I missed very important clues, or worse: That I understood them, but did not act on them. I did not respond to something I felt was going on, and although rationally I understood my choice, and still stand by it;
Emotionally, I wished I had done otherwise.
I wish I had said: “I have the feeling something is going on. What is it?”
But I didn’t and I was left with the feeling I had disappointed him. That I had failed an audition or a test. A situation where I could have proven myself a worthy partner, so that he could have chosen for me.

But again: I did it for a reason. Although this is all putting words to something I felt on an emotional level, so it’s guess work at best, I felt that if I would reach out to him, I would be reaching out for the rest of my life.
I would set myself up for decades of reaching out, whenever he was grumpy, disappointed, hurt, and could not express himself, and there I would go again opening conversation with my boyfriend or husband:
“What is it? Is something wrong?”
And as fickle and intangible the moment was, where I must have decided on instinct not to go that route, it still seems to haunt me.

We could be moving his stuff out either into an apartment of his own or perhaps we’d live together for a while in my house. If only I had acted differently.
And by not doing that I probably made his decision to choose for his girlfriend final.

Maybe final as in trying for a baby or marrying her.
Maybe final as in no longer fooling around with other women, including me.
All this is guessing, maybe there is even another woman at play. But regardless of what was at stake for his girlfriend or other women, I think what I felt mostly, was what was at stake for me.
That I was the one who was weighed, or who was on audition, for being the girlfriend he sees in the good times. A part I’ve played for 7 years. 

And it’s not that I m restless because I think I made the wrong decision, but because I feel uncertain about where we’re at now. Did I lose him? Should I be mourning? Are we still on, and can I start working on some other very disturbing things that I have been carrying into our relationship from the start, and seem to be roaring their ugly head?
Can I reflect on those, or am I thereby ruining the chance of fixing this in the way I think thinks can always be fixed, which is:
Nothing is final.
There is always room to play.

Final is when you start fighting it, acting angry, and throwing accusations. Final is when you amplify what was just a meagerest of attempts, a moment of doubt or a desire for simplicity, by the other person.
And then you take that on and wear it around like your personal cloak of sorrow.
That, is when things get final.

And sometimes that is a good thing. I mean when you’re done with someone, using their lack of interest, their vices, as well as their lazy attempts to break up, and to interpret them as them breaking up with you.
But I am not done with Bear. How could I be? How could the man who has been my lover for so long, and with whom we’ve always kept the spark, the physical attraction, and with whom every time we’re naked and have sex feels like a first time, how could I possibly ever have enough of him?

If I would see him again, would I make a leap forward, so that he knows I am serious?
Or do I explain why I didn’t last time?
Do I leave the playing board wide open, and wait for him to make the first move? Which I m going to do anyway, because since he has a girlfriend I never initiate contact unless I have to, and then I keep it business like.

But what is my strategy, if I see how we left off?

And there are two things worth mentioning.
One was how good we were doing, on the first date.
The other is all the old fears and issues, my mental bagage, that shitstormed into our second date in December.
I think they might even have been related: That because the first date went so well, he was keeping his eye out on the second, to see if we should not become more. If he had made the right choice.
And that, in turn, may have triggered old fears in me, that I had not seen in years.  

So. The first date of December. The thing I remember was an intense love for him physically. A deep desire to appreciate his body, and appreciate him, and to express it in all non-verbal ways I could think of. I don’t think I ve ever felt a deeper urge to let every move I made be one of unconditional love. I wanted to drown him in love, as far as such a thing is ethical.
And not just physically.
I wanted to express that I loved him now, being the other woman, and not having a clue of how long we’d still have or how important I was to him;
That I loved him now, as I would love him always.
I also remembered the date was light, and we laughed a lot. Even the painful or awkward things, or worries that shot to mind; They were all met with lightheartedness and a sense of humor.

The second date was intense, deep, intoxicating, dangerous. Both physical, but in particular mentally. So the sex we had was not physically dangerous, for instance we did not have anal sex, but the way we did it was rough. And for the first time ever it didn’t “work”.
Instead of the excitement I have been feeling for 7 years, for example I am always the one who puts his hands on my head when I am giving head – I initiate and ask – instead of that I felt fear.

It was as if we had missed something infinitely small, that came at the price of ruining a dynamic we thought we had mastered. I still could not tell you what it was.
And the fear was not so much that I was afraid of Bear, but a deeply rooted fear of men washed over me. All the occasions where I had feared being with  a man alone, even when I assume it should have been safe; They all washed over me.
I think I will never find out if on those occasions my response was justified in terms of other women who have had bad experiences with those men, or if my choices to stay outside, to not invite someone to my room or now my flat, or to not sleep over with someone who was a platonic friend, if those choices were “only” justified by my fear.
But that they had been subjective.

All I knew was that they were suddenly there, in my bed with us. And that they were ruining it all. Because Bear of course, was afraid he had done something wrong. That I was having a response to him. He wanted to know what he had done wrong so that he could make it right.
But there was nothing to say.

It left me alone with my fears, and him alone with his, as he is very sensitive to only doing the things I want. By including the rougher part of sex, he also had to trust me. Right from the get go, first months of 1990.
When after all my first times, I started sharing my fantasies, and he responded, it required trust from him as much as it did from me.
And now, on our final date of 1996, it was as if it was broken. But broken not by a person, but broken like someone had dropped it like a vase.

I had been having nightmares about friends violating me. The journalist guy from the hardrock cafe, who never contacted me even though we would be going on a date. And a man I used to run into when I still worked at the publisher’s with whom I never flirted. Although I had never paid much attention to it, the dream made me see I had felt threatened by him.
I had been suffering from nightmares about being violated, and in that same bed the sex me and Bear had on that intense, dark, but also fascinatingly intimate last date of the year, turned into something neither one of us could handle.
It was too much, and I think we were both overwhelmed by it.

I remember being in each other’s arms, looking in each other’s eyes. I was crying. This was before our date had turned to something I could not handle sexually. I was crying because I was absolutely overwhelmed with emotions, because I felt so close to him. He was really there. We had a whole afternoon and night together, which has been rare this year. But it seemed to pay off in him being more relaxed, and more accepting to sinking into those moments together.
Tears were streaming down my face, and all I said was:
“You’re so close.”

I didn’t say: “Will you be mine?”. Not: “Don’t you want this forever?” And definitely not: “Why can’t you stay?”

Not because I was afraid that I would have to play that role forever. Not because I feared our love would ever turn sour, and he would hold me accountable because I had lured him in. I didn’t keep myself from asking those questions because they would make me Chief Romance, if he would have said yes to me.

I didn’t ask them, because I didn’t want him to say no.

.
~Lauren97
An unexamined life is not worth living

I can’t allow myself to care about you (NSFW) | 1997 diary
is the first chapter to book 3, diary 1997

Book 1, A Letter From A Stranger and book 2 Dear Nikki, in this series will be published in 2022, probably in one bind (one title)

My diaries en erotica are available at my BOOK SHOP

.

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.
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Out with the altruism and in with the hatred

photo https://www.deviantart.com/babak/art/Written-in-Blood-7959470

 

(lengthy)disclaimer:
this post is a personal coping post, and it has a trigger warning for making you feel bad. Although it helped me get clarity and find meaning – 
it could end up making you feel sad or threatened.
Furthermore the post is not aimed against a person, nor an organization. I hope this post is clear I do not hold any individuals responsible, it is a system that is causing me stress.
But in particular because the Netherlands are going through a turbulent time, you may choose to not read.
If you are not from the Netherlands, I suspect it will be a way lighter read.

 

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned,
nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned”

William Congreve
The Mourning Bride (1697)

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

Dear Sara,

I took the wrong turn somewhere, because I am right back in the same hatred, the same destructive mood, the same all-consuming desire to speak in such destructive terms about my third vaccination experience, that I will go for a maximum impact of people who will now not get vaccinated, are halted in their compliance, or who will suddenly feel the vile of their cooperation as my words ruthlessly purge them of any positive emotions.

This post is in English, the experience described is in The Netherlands.
Maybe that is my compromise?
That I will not weaponize my own language, but will allow my destructive message that will rob you of your peace of mind, to be softened by a different tongue.
One slightly milder to your ears.

Isn’t it ironic that the word compromise means both a deal, a halfway agreement, as well as out of integrity?
And that maybe I should have thought of that before I made the decision to get my third vaccination, as “merely” a compromise with The Dutch who feel safer around me if I take this vaccination.
That I should have considered that compromising with them, with public opinion, cutting a deal with “them”, this fictional crowd of people I do not know, that I was at the same time compromising in the second meaning of the word, meaning I was compromising me?

My action, taking the booster, which until this afternoon I would have labeled as
1. Altruism
A desire to do something to help those who feel threatened by the new mutation and help us get Dutch healthcare through the January wave.
and
2. Loyalty with the majority
“Their sins will be my sins, and their fate will be mine.” is my adage for this pandemic.

But my decision to get a booster vaccination was in hindsight absolutely NOT in integrity, and it was compromising, and has compromised, everything I stand for.

Because when altruism means having your name shouted at high volume by a military, twice, when you are standing next to them – again twice, both occasions;
When you are already WELL AWARE that you paid for being part of the vaccination program by your classified home address ending up in the leaky as fuck computer system of national health services (a situation that has caused scandals in 2021 but which has since then been largely ignored. One imagines in order to not dampen the vaccination spirit);

Then altruism has crossed a motherfucking line.

And from now on they can stuff their altruism and me giving a fuck about anybody else but me, right where the sun does not shine.
We have an expression in Dutch when you refuse to cooperate and it’s that someone can “fall dead”.
They can fall dead.

Before I make my final cut, do you know what the biggest frustration is? That it is ALL MY OWN FAULT!
In November, when news of the booster came, I didn’t want to take it and easily calculated that my vaccinations were valid until April. And that I wasn’t getting vaccinated before that.

You see, we in the Netherlands have a polarizing, constitutional-rights -violating system in place, where only the vaccinated can get access to theatres, restaurants and so on. This was before the December lockdown, so now no one gets access. Which makes the lockdown kind of freeing and soothing. At least we’re all equal again.

Anyway, that system, the QR code, was not in place for the largest part of 2021. So it was no factor in deciding if you did or did not wanted to get vaccinated.
When in summer I got my jabs, it was not because I got those kind of perks.

So when in autumn they introduced this discriminatory system, that makes restaurants and theatres feel like ethically unsavory places where the more daring among us have not shied away from making 2nd world war comparisons, I changed my game play too.
From “vaccinating what feels right” to “vaccinating the minimal requirement”.
Because b
y taking my vaccinations in summer, I had wasted QR-free months. If I had not been such a complaint eager beaver pussy, and had waited for them to make their move forcing the population to get vaccinated, I would have won 3, 4 months!
Clearly I would not be making such a beginner mistake again.

Because I thought this was about solidatiry.
But if we’re playing QR code? Then the gloves are off, and I m upping my game.

So like I said; When in November news of the booster came?
I did not want it. 
At that time all European countries had agreed a double vax was 9 months valid.
It was clear as day to me, my QR would last me until April 2022, and I was not going to go for a booster which would not amount to any extra points in the QR game which the government had turned this into, the moment they introduced the pass.

But I must have watched a few too many press conferences, and I definitely browsed way too often on our Dutch news sites (just to illustrate: NONE of them have talked of the phenomenon of choosing your vaccination based on QR code validity. That’s how pro-government they are) and the propaganda did their evil work of brainwashing me into a fucking marter who thought whose job it was to become a human wave-breaker for the Omicron variant.

Fuck, Sara.
Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.
I KNEW IT!!!! And I let it go, and let my mind be highjacked by government propaganda ending up in a crowded hall with mandatory 15 minute sitting after your vaccination.
Super spreader event, that’s what it is.
One with your name called out, your classified address in a leaky as fuck system, and they had separate entrances (entrances? Drafty doors without windows) for 45 year plus and minus.

The background story for the split was that the people over 45 get a different vaccine than those under 45. But both groups get a designated entrance and designated line outside
They do this by means of A4 prints stapled or stuck with sticky tape, on these doors.

Let me repeat this:
A government funded campaign that is supposed to draw in, and cater and satisfy (one assumes), as many people as possible, because we are dealing with a global health crisis, and you have A4 pRIntS sTapleD tO ThE dOOr.

So based on age, you either enter the building through drafty door 1, or through drafty door 2.
And I will get to the role the guards play here, but I assume you do not need me mentioning guards to understand the historic imagery that comes to mind when in front of a large intimidating building without windows, the people arriving there are separated without understanding what for.

Before I continue, I want to stress that this location in particular and the experience of going for a third vaccination in general, have been reviewed on my Twitter timeline as 100% positive.
And these praise, laughs, compliments, and solidarity those tweets conveyed, have convinced me that either
I am an absolute diva in my concerns for digital,  audible and visible privacy (did I tell you they literally cut privacy since last time? The booths are a quarter of the size and the screens half the size as what I had last summer), with an over-sensitivity to human or animal mass murder associations. The zig zag cattle trail was also back.

Or, alternatively; 

My fellow citizens are people with whom I have absolutely zero in common, and who, more importantly- will be absolutely fine without my help.

Because if you’re okay getting vaccinated by a military who finished his vaccination course last week, with your privacy violated, your younger family members brutally separated from you, at a location you visit with thousands of others, making it your Covid hot-spot for the month of January?
Then you definitely do not need me, to save you from this pandemic.

This place was clearly designed for people who were very happy to get vaccinated, and definitely not for people like me who did it out of concern for others.
And the place has effectively cured me out of any concern for others for the rest of my life.

So let’s wrap this up, moving back up.

About the guards to the line.
In front of me two people of mixed age approached the door, where the guard, loudly, interrogated them on their age.
When one of them said she was under 45, he told her off for being in the wrong line, or at least that is how I interpreted his demeaning tone of voice, and told her to go to the other line, where she would then of course had to start all queuing again.

I want to stress that we’re talking about a situation where the different entrances based on age was instructed on printed A4s, without any explanation of why the line only was for a certain age group. And without any instruction on what to do if you were a mixed party.
It was without hosts patrolling the line and keeping an eye on who started queuing so they could be quickly escorted to the other line and would not waste precious time, only to then be bullied and shamed before being sent away to the other door.
I thought it was important to stress that, and write an entire paragraph because this illustrates how little effort was being made to make the vaccination a pleasant or at least not totally degrading experience.

The same experience, like I said, Twitter was full of praise of how great it all was. 
So this is clearly just me, being sensitive.
And maybe just me, but who knows others, being turned from cooperative to ones who will speak ill behind your back until their dying breath.
Which could be tonight.
I would not be surprised if this one kills me. If it does I hope it helps people from ever taking one for the team ever again.
That is why I write tonight; So that if I die it’s not in vain.

The blogpost, I must say, contains even more hatred than even I thought I had in me. That my anger is stronger than I thought I could muster.
I thought I was just beaten, intensely sad, and that the endless crying meant I was defeated.
Now I realize it means that hell has been unleashed.

And that like the devil, who was once an angel, a demon of pure evil has unleashed itself within me.

My loyalty with the majority, is gone.
Your sins will no longer be mine.
Your fate will no longer be mine.

You re on your own.

And, thankfully, gratefully, and perhaps in a diabolical way even gracefully;
So am I.

..

~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
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And just like that, I am traumatized

This post has a trigger warning for sexual assault and  contains spoilers for And Just Like That.

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

Dear Sara,

In my last post I told you I had decided to pick up teaching yoga to friends and find a venue to do this – which was supposed to benefit my social life, maintain or restore my teaching skills, have work that is meaningful and important to others, and it would be the minimal professional requirement to be able to pick up teaching an entirely new yoga to an international community post pandemic.
But then lockdown happened, and the future of the studio of my choice has become uncertain. As did my willingness to pay rent for a venue I will not be able to use every time we go into lockdown.

I also said I wanted to start doing yoga again, which I have not done.
I can’t decide which yoga to choose from (my own yoga schedules/ system? Yoga with Adriene? A memberships site? Study already acquired yoga courses?)
When I had finally decided on Ashtanga yoga, I found a very inspiring teacher who had also founded the yoga studios as we know them today, so I could see how her perfect understanding of all the moving pieces of a yoga business would be just the type of yoga teacher I would be able to relate to;

Only to find out she unexpectedly died age 55.

And she’s not the only Ashtanga practitioner to die so young, because the first ashtanga manual I had was also from someone who was praised for being a blessing to the teachings of Ashtanga, and he had developed his own style of it;
Yet he didn’t live to be 60 either.

So right now I feel committing to Ashtanga yoga is basically setting one foot in your coffin. Needless to say this kept me from starting.

The other two things I said I would do I also didn’t do; Restore my yoga database, with my recorded yoga videos, and to start practicing those.
The work did inspire me for a while, but perhaps because of the underlying buildup of my trauma, and a need for stronger medicine, the practicing never took off.
Also, the reposting/unlocking of the videos turned out more difficult because content that had never been on “public” got reposted with the current date.
So they lost their correct place in the archive, and cluttered the 2021 uploads.

Last time I wrote you, I also explained how I had fully nailed, and understood, the work and image that would be my international work under my real name.
Even though it would have an incredibly tough start because of Covid hardly allowing for any human interaction, I was grateful to understand what my endgame under my real name was.
What I could say “I was” or “I did” and even, ultimately, “what I do”, where do stands for what pays the bills.

So all those plans went down the drain, and something else, or so it seems, came out of the drain. Like a demon clawing its way up in opposite direction, and jumping through the sliding doors.

The first time I noticed its presence, was when I had a nightmare about friends who wanted to sexually assault me. The two friends do not know each other, and in my dream they were not in the same scene. But one had an unhealthy, passive aggressive poor-me, “mask” (I believe he definitely considered himself to be a poor-me in those moments), which flicked between that and a monstrous sexual clinginess and demandingness, at which times he laughed hysterically and his teeth were deformed.
The other was behaving like a classic pedophile, full of understanding for how difficult my life was right now, yet I knew he could not be trusted and that he would violate me.
I knew I had to avoid being alone with either one of them.

This nightmare was from around the time of our last letter, and that was also the time when the Sex And The City follow up And Just Like That started.
I was shocked that they killed Mr.Big because that was the character I had used to describe my secret lover, from 2015 and up.
I even have a book out Big, diaries and erotica, and I have many work still waiting to be published, that features him.

Fortunately, in 2019, I started a series taking place 25 years ago, and ever since then I m almost exclusively writing about him under the name Bear, and only in the fiction of my 1994-1996 life.
This series has made it possible for me to keep writing about my personal life, and, as it turned out, it has also provided a welcome separation of “my Big” with the Mr.Big from the series.
Because his death was not the only thing that gave me a blow.

The actor who plays Mr.Big is being accused of sexual misconduct (I m not sure if that is the correct term) by two women.
This is not just sad and disturbing because of the fact that this happened to these women, but to me personally this is also as if they have accused my Mr.Big, of such behavior.

As if the man I thought I knew, is an offender.

I think that is what caused the dreams about my friends, but I can’t be sure because I didn’t note down when it was, nor did I note down when I heard the allegations or about the death of Mr.Big.
I do know that I felt the relationship to my lover change, without him being in it.
I started to feel unsafe and exposed, having been his secret lover for almost 7 years now, even though I have not seen him recently.

And memories of the last time with my lover, which had been good, as well as the account of our entire relationship, which has always been complicated and has always involved emotional pain;
Those were mixed with Mr. Big dying in the series, my friends being sexually threatening, and the actor of Mr.Big being accused of sexual misconduct.

But all that was a walk in the park with what happened yesterday.

I visited a friend, and we watched a movie that had sexual assault in it. We knew we were taking a risk, and I think that if it had not been for the other things happening earlier this month, I would have been fine.
But this time I am not.

I feel very uncomfortable about having been in his house, us watching that movie, and I feel triggered by all the other friends I visit, or that come over to my place. And I feel threatened by the hugs I have been letting back into my life the last few months.

Since the beginning of December I ve opened up my life and arms (hugs), because if I don’t start doing that I am going to die of loneliness this winter.
But now it’s the end of December and I feel sexually assaulted by things that are not even there. By things that have not happened. And I cannot appreciate the memories of the things that did happen.

Even when masturbating, in my sexual fantasies, for the first time ever I feel assaulted. This started this month too. And this too, was something I had not considered a liability, just like I had failed to see my nightmares were a sign of my mental health collapsing and me no longer being able to distinguish friend from foe.

I should never have chosen that movie with the friend yesterday. But we did.

I tweeted about this feeling, yesterday. Trying to put it to words. And although they were inadequate, I think this blogpost, this more extensive story, is not necessarily better. So because I don’t have any answers, and because I do not intend to end this post with a punchline, the way I usually do, I will close by repeating the Tweet-length version of what it is that happened in December:

Tomorrow I m going to blog about my meltdown, which I attribute to Covid s loneliness and 2 year shortage or absence of real life interaction. Ever since I ve started seeing people in real life again, and have even touched and hugged, I m having nightmares and worse 1/

Consensual social interaction triggers a trauma response later when the moment is over. I no longer know my own desires, boundaries. After 2 y of covid I ve started creating abuse/ trauma internally, out of healthy situations Is there literature on this/a name for this? 2/2

I think the reason I have developed a sexual trauma response to social interaction is because of social isolation. I ve lost not just my capacity to enjoy social interaction (without feeling sick after) but also my sexuality. https://publichealth.tulane.edu/blog/effects-of-social-isolation-on-mental-health/

My sexuality was the only thing I knew how to handle, during the crisis. It was something I deliberately prioritized, protected, and nurtured.

And now it got contaminated, and its filth has been spreading throughout all my social interactions, hugs, my humanness, and my humaneness.

I feel like that demon, has already won.

..

~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/

 

 

All in and all down. And then all in again.

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

Dear Sara,

I m writing this from an offline computer, waiting for a mechanic to come. My internet connection is being changed today. I was supposed to stay online with my old provider, until they got a message from the new one the transfer and installation had been successful but that was all theory it seems.
So I woke up in a disconnected world, or the modern day equivalent of that, I woke up without wifi.

Last time we spoke about my assignment for these two weeks to see how I could develop my skill and build a new brand and career in yoga, and -more importantly- how to build the international community I think it’s for.

My estimate had been that it could take up to 5 years before the pre-Covid structures of yoga studios had been rebuilt.
Which would mean I would have to teach online for years, before a real life opportunity would come to see each other.

Before we can have as many people in a room as we want.
Before we can travel without restrictions.
Before we stop seeing the person next to us on the yoga mat as a friend, instead of needing confirmation first that person is vaccinated, tested, or require a medical explanation for every cough or sneeze.

Now that I had finally seen my vision and received my calling to bring yoga to an international community I was already bonding with, but also knew (or had concluded from dropping the activity like a hot potato) that I did not want to make public yoga videos to build up a community in anticipation of the post-Covid world;
Now that I knew I was dying of loneliness and craved for a larger circle of social interactions, and that this needed to be attended to before I could even think of investing in an online one;
Then what?

I recognized that after 20 months of Covid, my intimate connections had started to suffer from the unnatural vacuum they had been forced to exist.
Meaningful interaction can only be freely enjoyed by the grace of friendships and encounters that are more casual and less deep.

If I wanted my deeper friendships and family ties to survive, I needed to invest in creating a circle, locally, revolving around doing something lighthearted and fun.

Just thinking about these questions, and going over the scenarios in my head, was helpful.
This letter has clarity around the specifics of for whom etcetera, that I we did  not know when we talked.
And then I had two really big wins. Two wins in which everything I had always said I did, and wanted to do, came together.

The first was that I decided to start teaching yoga for friends again.
That I was not going to teach yoga as an official yoga teacher, and wasn’t offering courses or multiple series of classes because I never want to give money back, or reschedule when we have new Covid legislation.
For example, we’re currently on a 5PM lockdown.
All yoga teachers had to take their evening classes online or reschedule.

My focus for teaching will be real life connection.
Being a writer I spend so much time online and behind my computer, I crave real life human connection. My writing has suffered from real life interaction marginalizing due to Covid.

I need more than just the inner-inner circle I have kept contact with the past 1.5 years. And this real life connection will be to teach yoga to friends now, and once Covid regulations are released and we can have a bigger group and I can invite former students.
After that comes the building of the new yoga community; new people I do not know yet.
This is when strangers, or people with a common interest which does provide some familiarity, can be in a room together, without feeling uncomfortable.

So the first big win was seeing that I could start teaching the smallest of groups of friends, real life yoga, and I m looking for a yoga studio to teach it in.
This will probably be first week 2022 before it’s final, but it still feels like progress.  

* one groggy night and a full day later *

Copied and pasted this from Word to WordPress. 

I went to bed on time but had such a bad night the Wednesday is going down the drain again. And I feel restless. Less sure that I had the two wins, or less sure that they are enough….
Second win have not told you about. But I will!

There’s two things missing:
1. The new type of yoga, Rock Star Yoga, for the new community I want to teach post-Covid
There is no development, no yoga lab, there is no sharing of what I know, there is no teaching.
I get that being on YouTube in spandex, especially now that I am overweight and middle-aged, is making me uncomfortable.
But not sharing Rock Star Yoga in any form and leaving it not just on the back burner until post Covid, leaving it non-existent for years….. That’s not good either.
This needs to improve.
and
2. Any yoga for myself, is also dearly missing.
And my nights are haunted by hot flashes, anxiety disorders, and possibly a heart condition that cardiologists write hefty books about warning menopausal women that they need to go on meds.
I started getting the complaints in 2018 or 2019, but they disappeared entirely, until about 6 weeks ago they returned (although much milder than a few years back), making their comeback together with this year’s four month fallout of losing the first half of my day, compensating for horrible nights.

Damn.
And that was me thinking I had gotten over the first (the heart complaints) and that the Lost-Half-Days syndrome had ended in September.

So.
Honoring my resistance to showing up in spandex at this stage, yet also acknowledging my desire to not wait out the pandemic before I start my new international yoga career, I ve decided to get back to restoring my old yoga video database.

And honoring my own health which is in dire need of an upgrade, I m not just going to update and share those old videos, but also do them.

So that will result in posting something like:
“Today I practiced these 3 videos from 2017 and added them to the database.”

The plan of teaching online, which I abandoned around the time of our previous letter, was definitely rightfully abandoned.
Real life, local interaction teaching to friends and former students, will be my number one priority and I m not going to torture myself recording new yoga videos at this stage.

But starting by practicing yoga with my own videos and sharing them online, will suffice as the grassroots of my international yoga community.
And prevent an early heart attack.

And I still had to share the second win! 
It’s how I ve tied my yoga, business coaching, free agency, and my writing ALL together into a smoking hot international brand. Under my real name, the extrovert side of me.
I ll send you the business card in an email.

Trust me Sara, when I say that the setup of my new life, my new profession, my exterior to the world as people who know me real life see me;
That is all done.
And it’s exciting, I m going to rock it, and I have no regrets it took me so long, because now it is exactly what I need it to be.

Except we both know of course, that I am more this person here, LS Harteveld, than I am the real me.
The real me, is the stage persona.

And Lauren Harteveld, the introvert, private diarist, is the real me.

The past weeks I have not given Lauren anything to do or to write. The last thing was writing you, two weeks ago.
I have deprived her….

Let’s hope that just like the past two weeks were successful in getting my worldly life back on track, that the final two weeks of this year, I find her back.
Lauren.

Do you know what Harteveld means?
Field of hearts.

Saving my physical heart is one thing.
But there used to be a whole field of them, and I have no idea how they’re doing.

..

~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 did not use these months well, Sara

2dffd19c179e100ab129c3e07073551eThis is a letter to my creativity coach Sara (new website!)
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

I really thought this was going to be a different letter.
And that it mattered to get this out right.
To be exact in the layers, the systems, the vision, the manifesto, that I had created over the course of the last month, and that felt as if it was somehow making up for having wasted so much time.
So much career.

My second career in yoga was coming to life, and has come to life, and I am still excited by that. For this letter I looked forward to showing you that I had not let these past months where I would study and we only spoke to each other once, that i had not let them go to waste.
Except I have let them go to waste.

They were spent creating the thing I will be known for and that will allow fun and games (and money!) under my real name, without losing energy on explaining what my sexuality is, without complicated conversations about Covid cluster fucks.
It will be exactly the grounding new business I had looked forward to having.
And yet I am not excited at all to share it. It does not feel like an accomplishment, and that’s because I m realizing more than ever that Covid has taken both my careers.

Yoga. It is not preventing me from starting my second career in yoga, but it will limit how I can develop it as the free agent, entertaining, performing yoga teacher that I now am. Yoga classes 2021 are either digital (which does nothing for me), they’re forbidden, or they’re covered in imprecise rules or discriminatory laws, that make being together so stressful, I m not going there within a 10 mile radius.
I only want to BE there (teaching) when I AM there, and never again want work where I am obliged to pick up the phone afterwards. Not even if it’s health services reporting an outbreak. Especially not then.

In all likeliness I will never have an official business again.
If Covid taught me anything, in particular in the Netherlands where they have developed using small businesses as henchmen into an art form, it is that being a business gives you responsibilities that are not imposed upon citizens.
They let entrepreneurs police their own clients, which is cheaper and does not cost as much votes.

But I m getting side-tracked.
Because my big conclusion is that my two paths, the two sides of me, teaching yoga under my real name, and writing as my alter-ego LS Harteveld, worked in conjunction. But with teaching yoga, with real-life human interaction, taken off the table, my introvert writing as LS Harteveld no longer has the compensation it needs.
After a day of writing I needed to go out and teach.
You can’t have one, writing, without the other, teaching real-life yoga.

And I have doubled my writing, because I m now also writing under my real name, and I took on more desk work because I published a lot of books in the past few months.
For LS Harteveld I took one book down, since last time I wrote you.
I took the book about Basic Instinct down, because I discovered something wrong with it, and got just too much stress knowing that. I have it here on my desk and have been editing it for about two months but I just can’t.
I m going nowhere with publishing under LS Harteveld, nor with editing under LS Harteveld, nor with writing under this name.
I have not written one post as Lauren 1996, and that diary was supposed to start late October. My time-travel project seems dead.

The only thing I did do is come up with my entire new business model under my real name, the vision for it and three accompanying books, but for what?
To live in a world where Covid will prevent me from building a real-life business for months if not years, and until then it will only give me digital interaction. Which I know does not do the trick of satisfying what I need in conjunction with writing, and in particular writing as LS Harteveld.

I have not written Nikki in ages.
The last time sex with my lover, which was great sex, did not get written about either.
It’s like everything I build under my real name, has made me shut off “over here”.

The studying too, I ve started many programs, started so many books, and I finished none. If it was a six week program, I got to week 3. If it was a book I got to page 20. If it is an 18 day course, I got to day 3.
And I have realized that this was no coincidence;
It’s as if studying, like writing, is toxic.

The last thing I need is more knowledge, more thinking, more reflection, more time with my journal.

I need to start my new life as a yoga teacher, performer and public figure under my real name, but instead I m stuck between everything I wrote, need to edit, want to clean up, if only to ensure I do not have to do that when the world opens!

But I don’t want to. I can’t.

The Dutch were told that vaccination would get us out of the pandemic, and instead we’re in a 5 PM lockdown again. With a bunch of other ineffective measures.

It’s the second Covid winter, I m so lonely I want to burn all my work so that I can at least warm myself by its fire. Remove the websites, quit being a writer.
Kill my spirit by destroying all my work.

So no.
The months were not spent well.

I not just wasted them, but also managed to create my personal version of hell on earth, where life consists of rotten politicians, a dystopian technocrat state and all creativity and art are “safely” contained behind Zoom cameras or buried in legislation that polarizes, discriminates and knocks the fun right out of whatever it was you wanted to teach, give or do.

I think I need a mourning ceremony for throwing September, October and November away. Everything I was so proud of, and dying to share with you, feels like an illusion like the girl with the matchsticks.
It wasn’t real.

..

~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/

 

In Bed With | #2 BTS

Truth or Dare was internationally released as In Bed With Madonna

This is the 2021 behind the scenes (BTS) diary, of my third time travel year 1996-1997.
I describe the choices for my 1996 life and its diary posts.
Subscribe to this blog to receive both series in your Inbox.


Thursday 18 November 2021      

posted on Facebook

It s 2.45 AM here, and this may or may not be the appropriate time to type a small update about why I’ve had my Lauren 1996 project, where I live and write as if it is 1996;
As well as its twin real time project, or log “Behind The Scenes” (BTS),
bottom out before they had any momentum, or even before they had one word on record- as was the case with Lauren 1996.

Publishing book 1 and 2 1994-1996 also; entirely bottomed out.
I m glad the files/ work was saved, as far as I know.

Because the past week I’ve had an avalanche of major and minor very 21st century (not 1996) technical problems.
And that s not counting a change in internet cable providers, which is scheduled for December and buying a new mobile phone, I m typing this on my to-be-replaced one which is old and will soon start getting technical hiccups, incompatibility in apps etc

Yet that same geriatric phone is currently the only fully functional, connected computer in my house.
Although the number was changed a few days ago, but otherwise it s the same familiar, has-no-secrets-from-me, love-you-at-3 AM when I can t sleep, companion.

Now I did see how my forced time off from my normal/desktop 21th century computer could benefit my Lauren 1996 project, and it did for the first days.
But now the stress of all the things I can t do, have to postpone or remember to pick up when I have a computer that s online;
That stress is starting to accumulate.

I m now LESS in 1996 head space than before phone and computer problems started.

So that s it in a midnight nutshell.
I think in order to play-pretend it s 1996, I need my 2021 tech to be stable.
But things that need fixing, tweaking or learning, because I have new software/systems, those things take time.
Combined with not having a computer to blog with meant I d only be able to write on my phone anyway.

Which is great for 3.25 AM at night!

Because so far that has been the biggest cost;
Not the missed blog posts, not the delay in all the admin or correspondence, not the book publishing that didn’t get done.

The biggest cost is not sleeping, knowing you have to get up early.
And hoping tomorrow 2021 will be up and running, so you can go back to 1996 and forget it existed.

.
Saturday 20 November 2021      

1990 Madonna-DancersThe good news is my internet is working to the point that I can use WordPress, and have more options than making midnight Facebook posts.
The bad news that it still throws me off often enough to cause problems because the connection is frequently lost and I need it even more often than I did with the previous laptop because I need to personalize settings, download software, type full urls and enter my full usernames the first time I visit all my regular sites.

I just spent half an hour going back and fro to get an English spelling check here on this blog.
But regardless what I tried it kept being stuck in Dutch, underlining the entire post.

It turned out that downloading the English dictionary had failed which was why it was still in Dutch and kept underlining every English word.

And I m afraid the assignment of a mechanic has gotten lost with the provider, because it’s been 48 hours and they were going to call for an appointment.
So we’re on our own here!
With a glass fiber cable that is most likely hanging by a thread, or a modem that has a loose connection. But I’m here, and the hard earned spelling check is working, so I’m not complaining!

And there was more news, on the Lauren 1996-1997 front.

I’ve fallen prey again to not being able to sleep, feeling overwhelmed and suffering from anxiety.
I don’t wake up sick like I did for four months this year, nor have the 2020 migraines returned, yet I fear that if I get this wrong, they will soon be here to join the party.
It is key that I pick wisely;
What is worth getting upset over, losing sleep over?

In the final entries from my time travel project, dating from October, Lauren 1996 even more strongly, taps into being well-dressed, friendly and cool.
She does this by remembering a room mate who was an escort, and how she had always wanted to be so “together”, and she recommits to this vision.
But something else has happened, in 2021. An inspiration came by that I cannot pass on, which was the documentary In Bed With Madonna (1991).

It was the first movie I ever went to see multiple times, only to be matched shortly after by Basic Instinct. 
Even Fight Club and Lord of the Rings, many years later- I can’t remember seeing them more often than once in cinemas…

I read an analysis for the 30th anniversary of In Bed With Madonna, that how boldly she expresses her sexuality and her stardom, are unprecedented. 
Modern day music documentaries may attempt to portray their stars in the same authentic manner- but that it revolves much more about relatability and being vulnerable;
Not about being a super star and owning that!

In Bed With Madonna has got balls.
And so do I, which is why that movie appealed to me from the very beginning.

To give you a bit of background story: Although I AM a writer (meaning I need it like others need to breathe), my chosen profession for a long time was to be a yoga teacher.
In recent years I quit group classes, and I was still in the process of reinventing it when Covid happened.

If it wasn’t for Covid I would definitely have picked up teaching group classes again, but instead I quit my business and ended the lease of my yoga space.
But the quest for how to revive my old profession stayed.

The broad strokes of what it is I will be doing (and have started on and off) is to build a badass online yoga community through free YouTube classes, and then start teaching to that particular community in a one-off event style, locally as well as internationally, when Covid regulations have been lifted.

Watching In Bed With Madonna, gave me the missing piece both to framing my yoga, as well as to the identity or the energy to teach it with.
I saw with great clarity that what I like in her, and which has actually been the thing that turned me to yoga in 1998- was that she is a performer.
When I turned to yoga in 1998 after she had spoken about practicing yoga, it had never been yoga that had lured me in. 

I had bought into the idea of doing yoga because Madonna did yoga (1) 
And the reason I had bought into this was because she was a performer (2)

In other words the entire concept of teaching yoga, having a yoga teacher or being a yoga teacher, had never been part of why I started yoga.
I had yoga teachers, and I became a yoga teacher too, yet that was all unrelated to why I had felt drawn to yoga.

It stayed unrelated for two decades, until being in the yoga world became unbearable.
As far as I can pinpoint it, should being two decades off purpose and off path need pinpointing, then what I have felt happening on entering the yoga world, is that I lost my power.
I lost my authenticity, my sexuality, my joy.
I lost everything I stood for and what pulled me through was the Madonna / yoga connection that kept enchanting me, just thinking about it….

In 2000 Madonna made a movie The Next Best Thing where she plays a yoga teacher, and that movie too was imprinted in me.
It feels the closest to the real yoga, that I feel inside of me and that wants to be expressed, created, still desires to be brought into this world like a book or a story wants to be written!

The mistake I made was thinking the way “to bring it” was by following regular teacher trainings. Or, since I did learn good things there, the mistake I made was not realizing how much work and correcting I would need to do AFTER taking those trainings.
How many miles I would be OFF path, after the diplomas, and that my journey should have been to first go back, unlearn and restart in 2000, the last year when I knew I was still ON path!

In Bed With Madonna made me realize that it was HER energy, that had drawn me not just to yoga but to the entire concept of adult life.

I recall having five visions of being an adult, or being a professional, that I found powerful and alluring. They are in chronological order:

1. being Madonna (1985)
This started in 1985 when she played Desperately Seeking Susan.

2. being an escort (late 80s, early 90s)
I ve always felt attracted to this line of work because the women I knew who did this took excellent care of themselves and were far more sophisticated than other women my age.
As well as smart and independent.

3. being a writer/ Catherine Tramell (Basic Instinct 1992)
Even more so than just wanting to do yoga because of Madonna, it was clear that my desire to become a writer was preceded (and is defined) by wanting to be Catherine Tramell.
In my eyes the cool blonde was someone who knew how the game was played and did not waste time trying to be liked.
Catherine Tramell is a fictional character, just like Madonna’s yoga teacher was a fictional character,  yet she is the only writer I aspire to be, and she is the only reason I became a writer.

4. being a photographer (90s)
Although I started photographing in the 80s, it wasn’t until the 90s that I started toying with the idea of becoming a professional. I was inspired by female photographers Patricia Steur and Annie Leibovitz, and started an education I dropped out of. I just wasn’t that into it.
And I never felt any desire to go back to photography again. 

5. being a yoga teacher (Madonna in The Next Best Thing, 2000)
More or less discussed already.
Madonna turned me to yoga, and then this movie took that up a level by making teaching yoga the coolest job in the world!

What I recognized in In Bed With Madonna, was that I too am a performer.

That the reason only fictional characters inspire me, is because like an actor I play a role. My work, my profession, is to perform.
The reason I dropped out of BEING a yoga teacher, the reason I never was a photographer, a proper normal writer, nor an escort, is that I put those identities on like a coat.

And that what I had done by redesigning my yoga work to teaching for free online, as to lay the foundation to later go on tour and give one-off shows (really!);
Was me turning yoga into the performance art that had appealed to me from the start.
Just like performance art had pulled me to writing, to photography, to escorting, to being Madonna in 1985.

My work, my craft, is to be a performer.
That is what I am drawn to, can get better at, and will be known for.

However, there was a problem with fully adopting early 90s Madonna performance power to teaching yoga;
First of all because I am suffering from anxiety again, making it not very appealing to drop fully into madness and mayhem Blonde Ambition identity.
And secondly, because I had Lauren’s 1996 diaries identifying with Catherine Tramell and a resolution to add the cool and self-care level of escorts. Not to be Madonna.

And with the anxiety having returned, I d also rather commit to their cool.

But fortunately I have found that the two are actually quite alike, in other ways.
That In Bed With Madonna (1991) and Basic Instinct (1992) both portray powerful women with strong sexualities. 

But Madonna is “yang”, energetic, extroverted.
She is the performer of the two, which is why I will be in that energy when I “teach” yoga (as we know now I am actually giving a performance), under my real name.

The character of the writer Catherine Tramell, in Basic Instinct 1992, is poised, introverted, cool. She is “yin”.
Which is why, when I do yoga to ease stress and anxiety, and when I’m living my Lauren1996 life,
I will be in the energy of Catherine Tramell, and I keep my promise to “Lauren” to become more stylish and contained like the elegant sex workers she recalled in her last October chapters.

With that decision – and internet or no internet 😉 – I think we’re all set to travel time!

I therefor expect this post to be the last BTS, Behind The Scenes, for a while!

So the next post will be the first chapter of the new book from Lauren, 1996 – 1997.

Showtime.

~Lauren
An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living
.
.

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Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including the time travel project books Letter from a stranger and Dear Nikki.

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
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