This year, I am “supposed to” live, 25 years ago.
It is my time travel project, and I started it in 2019, but because it stayed a literary construct where I basically only translated my diary to a fictional past (as if it happened 25 years ago) I decided to go all in this year.
To an extend the past week did become that “click” moment though!
I am sick, so I had to stay in and couldn’t work.
Although I had a ton of work scheduled for this week, I had to let it go entirely. I was in bed with a fever, and when that cleared up I was still too miserable to do anything else.
But the payoff has been that I finally dropped into that reality of being Lauren in 1998, being at home during the weekend.
I’m convinced that how I feel tonight, is as close as I have ever been to feeling like 1998.
If she had had a week where she’d had to cancel all her freelance stuff, and then stay in over the weekend, because she was just recovering, this is how her Saturday night would have looked.
There were no blogs yet, so she would not be able to type online like I do now.
This inspired me to look up when blogging started, and I found that Open Diary started in October 1998. That means I can make Lauren 1998 an early adapter of this.
The more popular platform Blogger didn’t start until August 1999.
Open Diary was relaunched in 2018, so I can even consider using the real Open Diary website, although I think that considering my diary content is sexual (hopefully!) it is not a good idea.
But anyway, it means that I can give her an online diary at the end of this year, bringing our lives even more in line with each other.
I have been trying to cultivate being offline, but until I got sick it was unsuccessful. Now it almost feels too easy, but wonderful. The separation between online hours 2022, and the rest of my activities, is taking shape.
So there are a lot of desk hours which in theory could take place in 1998, as long as you’re not too strikt. Doing my finance, doing email, all desk work as long as you don’t touch social media or news sites.
But I could never do that.
I never reached the stage where I had a peaceful, calm, 20th century relationship with my computer.
But now that I am taking my first steps back behind my writer’s desk, it is easy to not get entangled. Also because I have not been active on social media for a week, with the exception of some very specific things that I really wanted to do.
I now feel I can recreate the atmosphere of the 20th century.
The time travel project I wanted to dedicate myself to this year, is finally taking off.
But something I wrote about in my previous Time travel journal, is also still true:
Instead of thinking about my lover as Bear, a man in his 20s, I keep seeing him as Mr.Big.
Something that does not go with being Lauren in 1998.
Naming him Mr.Big dates back to the beginning of our relationship.
I started writing about him as Mr.Big in March 2015, until summer 2019 when I started this time travel project and he became Bear.
For a short while he had two names: Bear when I wrote about him in 1994 and Mr.Big when it was 2019, but I felt he belonged in 1994.
That our Mr.Big and Carrie days were over, and it was now time for our Lauren and Bear days.
In my last post here I wrote how instead of feeling a deeper connection with the younger side of the character, Bear, Mr. Big had been making a comeback.
And this is continuing to be the case.
This afternoon I went back to bed, because I was feeling so sick. The past two days I managed to stay awake during the day, but today I just had to first of all take Paracetamol, which I normally do not take during the day.
And secondly, I needed sleep.
So I slept for two hours, and I dreamed about Mr.Big.
We were in an open relationship, but I felt jealous because I knew I had so little to offer him now. I knew my life had been so boring, and that I was in danger of losing him to someone who would love him, and have adventures with him.
Someone who could offer him a life I never could, but the last remains of my happy carefree adventurous lifestyle has been wiped out during 2020-2022.
I am a shadow of the woman I was, and my life seems to consist of separate events and separate people.
It is no longer integrated.
There is no bigger picture of who I am, and what I am about.
I never even understood that having a structure, an invisible beat to your social life, work life, to your year; That that meant something, and that it was worth fighting for.
I didn’t know what it was, until after 2020, and it was no longer there.
It feels like my Life has ended, in 2020. The beat has stopped.
I’ve been going without ever since, and I have been very aware of that.
Very aware, that I no longer have to offer Mr.Big, what I once did.
So instead of feeling like Lauren 1998 and her lover Bear, I feel like Lauren 2023 and her lover Mr.Big who waits until she finds her inner-Carrie.
But I don’t know how.
And I dream about seeing him flirt with other women and locking eyes with me:
“Baby, I would wait for you, but I have my needs.”
And as I already wrote in the last post as well, I m just happy that at least one of us, is still in the game.
I can’t wait to forget about these past few rotten years, where I lost everything I once called a life, yet didn’t even realize that was a life;
And to be reborn as Lauren in 1998.
Shiny and new.
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.
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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.
I write these diaries on what has been my main website since 2018.
You can find them under headers such as “diary 1998″.
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.