I was resistant to even come back to my writer’s account in general, this original LS Harteveld website or the official Lauren Harteveld which I’ve had since late 2018.
Bar the blog posts I sent to my coach Sara (on the official blog), it has been quiet and the last diary entry from Lauren 1998, THE most important project for me, is from two months back.
Yet despite my LS Harteveld work not exactly flourishing, and Lauren’s 1998 life not giving any exciting diary posts, I don’t feel the project is failing.
Just that it is going very, very slowly.
The things I am currently figuring out in my 2023 life, are not in a stage yet where I can emotionally or technically “translate” them to how they would feel or would have taken shape, in the 20th century.
My out-of-shape-ness bothers me because I am twice as old as Lauren 1998. I know I should just view it from her perspective, as just a recent mid-twenties weight problem, but it is difficult to not think:
“What if I never get my old body back?”
“What if it doesn’t work, because I’m old?”
And the online business I am building, working remote, and the blogging that I do, do not translate to the 20th century either. But as opposed to the body problem, the building a business and sharing your work as a writer, has actually become a lot easier, in those 25 years!
Maybe that is the way to view it;
In 2023 I can build a career as a writer and start a new business, as easy and effortless as Lauren 1998 would have been able to get her thin teen body back.
Which she has set her eyes on.
Maybe instead of focusing on worrying about my body, I should start rejoicing in all the possibilities technology and my experience has brought me.
That professionally, I have the easy ride.
But what both Lauren Harteveld in 2023 as well as my “Time travel” part in 1998 experience, is this;
A loss of sexuality.
Not masturbation wise, that is actually going well. Also because I cherish it, because I recognize this part as still healthy and fully functional. Because the other part of my sexual identity seems to have slipped with dazzling speed, and without any external explanation, I am intentional with my masturbation and try to keep my numbers on the high rather than on the low side.
So I was actually worrying about feeling so out of shape, on the field of sexuality and intimacy. When I thought of sex, it felt like something I had read about or seen in movies. But the physical recollection of decades of sex, seemed to have slipped.
Something which worried me, tremendously.
And I had no idea how to go about it.
Even during the pandemic years, which were the darkest time of my life and I felt forced into a frigid, sterile lifestyle that has done tremendous damage-
but even then I would go out to buy condoms and red lipstick.
I still identified as sexual, and when first half of 2022 I actually had the best sex life ever?
I thought I was out of the danger zone!
I thought I had made it, and that perhaps the pandemic years had twisted something to my advantage. That ultimately the years of quiet and zero flirting with other men than my lover, zero people I fell in love with, for two years meeting zero new people;
That it had all resulted in coming back stronger!
For a moment, I thought it had all panned out well.
And then there was the second half of 2022 which was an absolute disaster socially. It has made it my worst year ever, and my sex life stayed but my ability to be fully passionate was gone.
It felt like my sex was broken, compared to what it had been.
But because second half 2022 had many tragic circumstances, I blamed it on that.
And now it is 2023, and I feel my sexual identity- the foundation of that very sex life I still hope to retrieve- that identity is gone.
I no longer know who I am sexually, and my memories of it feel like a tv series, and not like something I have experienced firsthand.
It is like I am trying on a borrowed identity, of being a sexually active woman.
Whatever brought me The Amazing First Half of 2022, it seemed to have flipped. The sexual basket that had been lusciously filled with surprises and joy, and had a double bottom;
Until I remembered that I did know this feeling of being fully sexual, yet not having a sexual identity yet. I had been here before. I even remembered the frustration of not having sexual experience, and how I was just dying to get this show on the road.
It was when I was in my teens.
For years, whatever experience I had with sex, it was way below my level of ambition. So I felt the frustration of not having been kissed, and then that was done.
But whatever happened, it was never enough.
Losing my virginity seemed to take years.
And I buried myself in a relationship, which meant I could now develop my sexuality, but I knew a monogamous relationship was just a starting point.
That I would never stay for the rest of my life with the first man I had all the way sex with.
And I knew that with the second long-term relationship too..
It wasn’t until I was in my early 30s, became single, and started taking that sexuality seriously, that finally, it took off.
I developed the sex life I had been wanting since my teens.
The time when I had the body Lauren 1998 wants.
The time when I did not have a sexual identity yet.
And sexual experiences were borrowed memories from what I had read or saw in movies.
In the time-travel project, the loosely shaped experiment where I try to live as if it is 25 years ago, Lauren 1998 is inspired by her teen self.
She knows that her teen-self was mighty productive and fabulously in shape without doing anything artificial to maintain it.
Lauren 1998 wants that; The productivity for her writer career and freelance work, and the teen body to lose weight.
But what Lauren 1998 seems to have manifested instead, is the asexuality of my teen years. Of being ambitious, but not knowing where to start. Of always feeling that things are not working.
I can look at what feels like asexuality, as a delayed response to the difficult pandemic years. Meaning: As a problem.
Or I can see it as a sign that Lauren’s 1998 idea to get back to her teen-self has been incredible successful.
And that it has made me a virgin.
An unexamined life is not worth living
since 2018 my official blog is: https://laurenharteveld.com/
This is also where I write my Lauren 1998 diaries.
Plus letters to my coach Sara.
Follow THE TIME TRAVEL JOURNAL
Time Travel Journal is a stand-alone project, written on my oldest blog, which does not have a “Subscribe” button, nor would I know how to install one.
A quick review 2019-2023 | time travel journal #1
“If I was now living 25 years ago, how would I live?”
In 2019 I started my Time Travel project, where I wrote fictional diary entries from 25 years ago.
The diary entries are, not entirely unintentional, pretty difficult to find on my site.
But you can try the following pages:
And the categories:
Starting at 2019 going on 1994;
The posts were inspired by real life, real time events, but I never “got” into that feeling of actually living 25 years ago.
My time travel project never reached the level and intensity I had intended. It stayed a literary construct, nothing more.
It staying at the surface had to do with the worldwide events of early 2020, when I was seven to eight months into my retro diary series, and toying with the idea of taking it up a notch and turn back time. But before I could decide, we all became dependent on 21st century technology to stay in touch.
Overnight, it became impossible to revive an analogue past, in particular because the social dynamics around real-life interaction affected my mental health.
I know I’m cutting corners here, but to this day I don’t understand why we, citizens, turned on each other and how the responsibility towards vulnerable people was made into a key argument.
Fast forward 2023, and those vulnerable people are still vulnerable, yet those same social dynamics have now entirely returned to normal.
There would not be a lasting protection, and this could be predicted.
You have to wonder who was the biggest villain: The one who openly defended their controversial choice back in the day, or the one who pretended to be with the good and responsible people, until they could get on with their normal life without having to care.
By now you have to explain yourself if you still wear a mask.
The only consistent factor seems to be that the numbers of a majority decide who is right.
It’s comparable with a situation where for example security at a concert would be very tight, and we all tell each other it’s such a good thing that all those weapons are not allowed on the premises, and people making an incredible big deal about it with families turning on each other, people losing friends and everything. And then one year those same people who enforced the tight security, don’t care anymore and no one talks about it.
I have no idea if these paragraphs are enough of a conclusion or attempt of trying to understand why I found those years so stressful, but for now that is all I can say about it.
I do know that my main blog contains several series trying to get my sexuality back as well as my retro-project back;
Both areas of my life were interchangeable to me.
The Lauren who was 25 years younger was living in a carefree analog world, with her lover Bear who was the same age as she was.
But no matter how many “Behind the scenes” (BTS) posts I wrote to write about the real-time universe and how to create space for Lauren 1995/1996/1997 to have a life of some sort;
No matter how many diaries I wrote about my personal isolation and frustration during those years, real life struggles, and regardless of how many quests I took to recover who I was sexually;
It didn’t work.
Everything stayed as dry and rooted in the now, as it ever was.
So now it is 2023 and the social dynamics have shifted. The situation is comparable to late 2019, and I can, and should, dive into the universe of the 20th century.
I am finally going to give Lauren 1998, the life she deserves.