It took a while before I understood why I lost a day.
Probably because the day before had been both hugely productive as well as flooded with social events, more than half of them unexpected ones.
I didn’t even know my social life was big enough, to cause such an avalanche of meaningful conversations and excitement on a Wednesday in January.
So trust me when I say, no one was more surprised than me that my Wednesday had been so action packed it was coming apart at the seams.
Or at least I was, the day after.
And I had been untrained for this!
January has been: J stands for Solitude.
And the delirious effects that has on one’s brain.
So when I, a writer, which is pretty much the modern day equivalent of a monk, was suddenly showered with advice, love, laughter, inspiration, truffle pizzas, and WINE – and I actually drank that for the second time within 5 days when I normally do not drink a drop – I didn’t look into why I had lost the next day because it was totally logical.
I had a splitting head ache from two glasses of white wine.
A mental shutdown because I had been interacting with four different people. My limit is one non-work related social interaction a day.
And because I had been interacting for 10 hours straight.
So of course I lost Thursday.
Something way more profound had happened.
Wednesday had been the perfect decoy to sabotage my entire plan of everything I wanted to do, and WOULD DO each and every day for the rest of my life, because I knew exactly what I wanted out of life.
Except for Thursday, when I woke up late, had a headache and felt like somebody had ripped by entire sense of purpose and self out of me and drowned it in Chardonnay.
But letting my Wednesday explode, and my Thursday being sucked down by its slip stream into the abyss, had been a GREAT way to cover up what had been going on beneath the surface:
That I was scared.
Over the past ten days or so, I have not just been consistently building the vision for my writing and book publishing business:
I have also set my first practical steps into curating my English work, under my real name.
Those are two websites that contain all my older English work.
One has – I think 40 posts on them or so;
They’re my first steps, although (of course) I was already writing as LS Harteveld.
And one blog which I started shortly after, which turned out to be a massive body of work.
If I didn’t write anything ever again, not for this account nor under my other name;
And if I would publish my books in orderly format
-not making them too thick or too long, but nicely cutting them to humane sizes,
each telling a good and solid story;
I would already have about 15 books.
All ready. All written.
It’s ALL there.
I felt like someone who had inherited grandfather’s couch and found it stuffed with bundles of cash, and for a moment just wanted to put her head in the sand.
A few days of not knowing.
A few days of being normal.
And even started considering not using it, not telling anyone. And just let it sit there, or sneak it into your expenses without anybody ever knowing.
Just because I wasn’t ready to deal with the responsibility.
That was the process I was unconsciously going through.
I had already gone through something similar in 2019 when I started to take stock of all my LS Harteveld accounts, and its vaults. It had been so intimidating, that I found excuses to stop doing it.
Some excuses were valid:
2019 was a difficult year and I didn’t know what I wanted with my life/career/income.
I didn’t have the mental clarity and deep concentration curating this source material needed.
But now I do have clarity and the same thing happened, when I looked into the material for my other account:
I dropped out.
At surface level, it is all understandable and no emotion is attached to dropping out. Because HOW am I going to take care of all this, if I don’t want to spend the rest of my life tied to a desk?
It wasn’t until today, when I woke up fresh and excited to enjoy my new life, and my newly rearranged house (done yesterday, in order to take back control) -
that I suddenly saw, that beneath me being fed up with all the solitude, and wanting to go out into the world to work, there was a real fear.
I was afraid of what I had found.
That my entire future plan, where I had my own business selling books but I also had a normal job where people didn’t know all that or didn’t care:
A job where I was just Lauren, with the stability of having my own successful business:
That future was within reach.
I had more to work with than most authors will create in a lifetime, and I kept writing and kept creating, even when I didn’t want to or thought something else should come first.
One of the movies I m currently looking into again is The Big Short, because Michael J. Burry is often used as an example of how autistic people feel.
How misunderstood, lonely, and our extreme levels of anxiety because we don’t fit in even when we try.
And even if you do make yourself useful, it is still no guarantee you will be accepted.
From his letter to his investors
“For the past two years, my insides have felt like they’ve been eating themselves.
All the people that I respected won’t talk to me anymore, except through lawyers.
People want an authority to tell them how to value things, but they choose this authority not based on facts or results.
They choose it because it feels authoritative and familiar. And I am not, nor ever have been, “familiar.” So…so I have come to the sullen realization that I must close down the fund.
Michael J. Burry, M.D.”
from the movie The Big Short
I ve had fear ruling my life until I stood up and faced it because what I wanted was more important than that. But it’s like an onion: Layered and the biggest fear come first.
Which is the area in your life where you are most out of alignment, where you have made the biggest adjustment in order to work around your fear.
In 2006, I broke through the first layer of the onion. The dry discolored outer layer, that protects what’s inside but is not eatable.
What came from underneath was my own, newly developed love life.
And although there have been different levels of going through that, I feel what I’m going through with my books is about something else.
It’s about business. It’s about money. It’s about being visible and bringing those manuscripts from their digital vaults, into the open where they can be read.
What Michael J.Burry’s letter, my fear to develop my love life, and my current resistance to becoming a successful writer all have in common, is that they are all social phobias:
They’re a deeply rooted fear of being cast aside, to no longer be part of society and to really no longer know enough people to see a Wednesday in January hijacked by social interactions, because they’re all gone, and no one talks to you except through lawyers or because they need your money.
I lost one day to fear.
This was not the Wednesday, where I saw too many people.
But the Thursday, because I chose to go so all-in and drink on Wednesday, went to bed too late, so that I needed a day to recover.
And it happened because for ten days or so, I had not been taking notice of those voices of fear in my head, and had brushed them off way too lightly.
Until they needed alcohol to be shut down.
But I choose to see losing that day, as an investment in myself. I needed that day offline, off-life, off-habit tracking to make a conscious choice:
“Am I really ready for this? Am I ready to face the consequences?”
There is a quote, some say it is from Mohammed Ali, some say from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and others say it is anonymous:
“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough”
I second that.
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living