A revelation, unprepared and overthrown. The birth of a storyteller. | Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen documentary

I knew I had to go to Hallelujah, the documentary about Leonard Cohen’s legendary song.
I knew I had-to, didn’t want-to…

It might seem quite obvious why someone who is into rock music would not get too excited about a movie about storyteller, and singer-songwriter (before the word existed) Leonard Cohen, but it was not that obvious to me because I love biopics and documentaries about musicians.

A few years ago I had enjoyed the Leonard Cohen documentary “Words of Love”, about his relationship with the Marianne from the song “So long Marianne”.
Maybe that was it; I had already seen the to me most interesting part, the love story that had lasted throughout their lives.
Marianne chose for a normal life, instead of being the on and off muse to a fickle troubadour, but the documentary proved love cannot be fooled.
The heart cannot be betrayed.

We can choose a good life, we can give our time, our love, our devotion, to a new partner who does not crush us, overwhelm us, does not overthrow us, as the word in the lyrics of Hallelujah say.
Overthrow also being the word Cohen uses to describe the austerity of the Zen monastery he will stay at for 5 years, “designed to overthrow you”.

We can turn away from those kinds of forces and do what is the right thing to do, in particular if children are involved. The price for Marianne’s life on the island of Hydra, was paid by the  son of Marianne and her first husband.
Together with all the other children of parents and families staying there.
They never got to grow up within the structured routines of a normal family life.

I think even more than out of her own need or necessity, Marianne chose a normal life to provide a better life for him.
She went back to Norway, with her son.
But his fate seems to have been determined by a trip to India with his father, Marianne’s ex-husband. A recently released documentary Little Axel, honors his story. 

Although Marianne remarried, and was happy with her new life, she and Leonard Cohen stayed in touch. It was no secret they were still very fond of each other.
A life can be adapted, but the heart chooses. Hers, had chosen.

Maybe because I believed the most important part of Leonard Cohen’s story, and the part I was interested most, had already been told in the previous documentary Words of Love, I didn’t feel like going to Hallelujah, which would only revolve around one song.
But I went, nonetheless.
Because it was unthinkable not to go.
I’m a rock star writer, and movies about music are the easiest, almost done-for-you stories to tell.
The work is already done by the maker of the film, all I have to do is to show up to watch it.

And I did, totally unprepared to be blown away by it.
Unprepared to be overthrown, by Hallelujah the documentary, like generations have been overthrown by the song.

Part of what resonated with me can be attributed to the song. To the universal principles of seeking meaning, of seeking God.
The story of a song that had a rough start of no one wanting it, then meandering for decades until a Disney movie (!), makes it so big it takes on a life of its own.

The lyrics of the version we have been hearing the past 20 years, no longer contain the original sexual references.
The Hallelujah that ultimately became the best known, most covered version is the Rufus Wainwright version of the official soundtrack album, with lyrics that were compiled by the Shrek producers.

No one expected Hallelujah to ever become this big, but now that it did, and we can see the painstaking, years-long, notebook-consuming process, it took Cohen to come to the song, crying out to God he could no longer do it because the work was just too hard, we can see it was well-deserved.
That Hallelujah was a song Cohen had to fight for, to be the one to bring it. To be the Chosen One, to sing this divine song.
A song Cohen would keep changing the lyrics from, moving out of the old testament into contemporary ones, but his lyrics always married sexuality with spirituality.

Writing Hallelujah was a process that took years, and even when we thought he had finished it, he had not finished it.
Cohen was still, writing.

To see an artist wrestle bringing forth his greatest work, I think that is what this movie is about. Not just to me, but for everybody.
But for me something far more practical and tangible came out of it.
Something hidden, in the story of how Cohen went from being a poet, to a  song-writer, to a singer, to a spiritual seeker.
He immersed himself in his relationship with God, just like he immersed himself in his relationship with women.
He lived it, he breathed it, he devoured it and it devoured him.
It overthrew him and he let himself be overthrown.

And then, he wrote.

Songs, lyrics, verses, versions. But also poems and prayers. For his 50th birthday he wrote Words of Mercy, with 50 prayers, which he offered to those in need of them but which he wrote, as he stresses, out of necessity.
Because at that time, it was the only way the words came out.

radio interview:
Leonard Cohen discusses ‘Book of Mercy’ on CKUA (1984)

And it was this necessity to write, the mixing of sexuality and spirituality, the knowing that the two are intertwined, that I recognized in myself.
And it was him defining himself as a storyteller, and letting the medium be in service of the story, that I needed to hear.
That I needed to hear, now that my own career, aged 50, needed to be restarted. And this time, I wanted to choose right.
I did not, ever again, wanted to be known for possessing a certain skill or craft and then be limited by the rules, regulations, business models and expectations tied to that skill or craft.

But it wasn’t until I saw Cohen’s struggle with God, with words, with telling the stories he knows are his to tell, and his surrender to using whatever medium was at hand;
That I understood what I had done wrong.

What I had done wrong, and had course corrected, but still-
not in the right way.
I had course corrected wrongly.
And this wrong course correct, had ultimately made me toss away something that despite 20+ years of being delusional about it, had been mine!
And that thing was y
Yoga is my craft after all.

Just absolutely not the way I thought it was for 15 years and not the way I thought it was for the last 5 years, when I desperately tried to understand it.
Course corrected it.

To be frank, I have tried to burn both my writing and as well as my yoga, the two mediums I am most skilled at.
And for years I failed. 

I wanted to burn writing because it was too unpredictable, cost too much time (a post like this easily costs 5 hours) and writing bore the hallmarks of a hobby.
My writing was like the 180 verses of Hallelujah;
To market it, there was too much and it was too messy. And yet there were still more verses for me to write.
My work as a writer is never done, there are always more thoughts to be had and more stories to tell. I often say that if they sold writer’s block in a bottle, I would pay for that.

And then there was yoga.
Oh…. yoga.
Although I still understand why I chose it, late 20th century, and I can still see the amazing things I, as a teacher, would have been able to do with it, my resentment to being a yoga teacher and in particular to being seen as a yoga teacher, and what my profession entailed- my resentment had become unbearable.
I was more than ready to burn yoga, ritually, if I had known how.

And last week, the big WHY dropped. I saw why it was important to burn the yoga teacher badge forever.
Because yoga would take my life, if I didn’t.
It would prevent me from doing the work I absolutely want to do, before I die. An urgency better and more eloquently expressed by a 70 year old Cohen.

There comes a moment when the net starts closing in, you know your timeline is ending, and you know it is now or never.

Everybody tries to talk me out of this fatalistic way of thinking but for me it is clear;
If I don’t choose right this time, my life is lost.

I will never finish my Hallelujah, and step into the role of being a modern-day writer whose task is vastly different from the book-writing author of the 20th century, as well as profoundly different from the commercial bloggers of the 21st- if I don’t cut ties with the yoga that cost me two decades.

I will never be the writer I know I am meant to be, if I keep dragging that old yoga teacher identity with me, like a cross.

Last week, it made me so happy to say goodbye to yoga.
I glowed as if I had found a new lover, God, or both!
And could not remember the last time I felt SO good.

But then I saw it…
And I did see it before the documentary, to be honest;
When I saw that I had already done a lot of writing, creating books, guides, manuals, all in the field of yoga and that I absolutely wholeheartedly loved.
My book The White Tigress Yoga Workbook.
The free Bon Jovi yoga manual.
And the Dutch compilation, Love Duckie’s Yogabook, that I wrote in my child-like handwriting to make it extra cute. Well, it’s Love Duckie’s handwriting of course.

They were glimpses where I understood that in order for those and all the other yoga schedules on my computer and on paper, and for all my still-to-be-made yoga creations, and the books about the White Tigress lineage I still wanted to study so desperately and perhaps write a new one- that topic is my necessity to study, like Leonard Cohen’s 50 prayers of Words of Mercy were a necessity to write!-
that I needed to get back to yoga.

notebooks containing verses and variations to Hallelujah

That somehow, despite yoga already having taken 20 years of my life which I could not get back, the only way to honor the work I had created, the yoga schedules in those three publications and all the schedules I create as abundantly and prolifically like Leonard Cohen created new verses to his Hallelujah-
that in order to save that work, I needed to get back to yoga.

But I also knew, that I could not be trapped again in the yoga teacher’s body. That I could not lose one more day, being confined in this role of being a yoga teacher. Not teaching like that in real life, nor in the way I had been on YouTube since 2015. 
Not to mention I had lost 2022 entirely, because I thought I would reboot my two YouTube channels with yoga, and then hardly creating anything for a whole year.
And wept, because 2022 had been the worst year of my life.
Totally lost.

I knew I could not, let that happen again.

So I was left to find a way to get back to yoga.
Back to the schedules I had made in twenty years time, schedules that had been my little works of art, my words of love or drawings of love (and of Love Duckie), and find a way to be with them, share them, teach them, which was as I now realized my work to do just like Leonard’s work was his poetry and his seeking, his writing.

But I had to find a way to do it without being a yoga teacher.

Fail, and my life will be in vain.
My life stands upon the edge of a knife and if I stray I will either lose yoga, and the work that was mine to do, or I will be devoured by being seen as a yoga teacher.
By this role, that constricted me so much, because I did not know I was a creator, a writer, and not a business owner or a professional.

To be seen as a yoga teacher was harmful, because I am an artist and I need to be free.

A little.
And fail.

And then the documentary gave me the answer. Hallelujah provided both the context to understanding that yes! Yoga was indeed a medium that I should be using. Just like Leonard had poetry, song writing, prayer writing, singing and recording, and performing.
Yoga was a medium, like any other. But this was mine.

The mistake I course-corrected wrongly, the one I talked about a few paragraphs further up,  was I thought I had been drawn to yoga from a performer’s perspective.
That what I had wanted from yoga, was to use it as a performance tool. As a way to let my body express something.

That’s what I wrestled with these final years.
I knew that I had been drawn to yoga, when it was done by performers. Which had led me to believe, that it had been the performance element, that I had not found in the official trainings I took, and it was not part in the yoga I taught either. 
For years I had been convinced performance was the craft I wanted to develop, both with and within yoga.

But the Leonard Cohen documentary showed me, the key element to my art, is not performance.
It isn’t performance at all.

That I, like Leonard Cohen, am a storyteller.

What had appealed to me, when I saw a performer who did yoga, was that they told a story, with their body!
It had not been the performer thing, it had been the story-teller thing.
Their body had added meaning, urgency, and energy, to yoga.
Their body had given yoga, a story.

Exactly like my White Tigress workbook, my Bon Jovi yoga manual, and Love Duckie’s yoga book, had given yoga a story.

The reason I have felt so absolutely horrible, desperate and ultimately devastated and ready to burn all yoga, was that I could not tell my stories.
Sure, I created a little 5 minutes here and there to talk about it;
A themed class, a themed series.
But ultimately I knew those little creative outbursts were in service of yoga, because THAT was the role of a yoga teacher. To be in service of yoga, and in service of the people looking for yoga.

But my job is to be in service of the story.
And my yoga should be in service of the story.

I don’t want to teach yoga, create yoga, do yoga, that is the most effective, that is the best, or that is highest in demand.
All those years, from late 20th century with the performer Madonna expressing all kinds of Rock Star things with her muscular yoga body;
To the frustration I had when I felt that as a yoga teacher my job was to be silent when I wanted to scream and wake the world.
It all came down to one thing;

And the absolute necessity, the knowing, the urgency, the motherfucking CALLING, of knowing I am here to speak, and write, and share, and shake up.
And that yoga is part of how I express.

And it’s a very, very large part.

So I was right, last week, when I knew I would never be a yoga teacher ever again. I’m not a yoga teacher.
I’m a storyteller.

And my yoga has been going on for 25 years, and although it looks like I’m done, there is still so much work to do. 
It is so horribly and terribly, so terrifyingly incomplete, compared to the vastness of all the untold yoga stories, still inside of me.

It took until the movie, the Leonard Cohen documentary, to understand that yoga is not my profession.
Being a storyteller is.
And my first expression is writing.
My second is speaking.
And my third is yoga.

And together, they are my time-consuming, life-bringing, impossible, maddening, euphoric, Hallelujah.

Together, they are Grace.

Rock Star Writer

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That was it! 

Thank you for reading my Rock Star Writer blog!
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My other blog  is dedicated to writing about Bon Jovi On-this-day concerts!
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Twitter: soundtrack Bon Jovi on this day concert 
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You can find my books The Little Mistress Who Turned Into A Baby Koala
A Boyfriend Like Jon Bongiovi
and White Tigress Yoga Workbook
at the bottom of this page:

If you live in The Netherlands, Belgium or Germany, you can also order these books from me – just go to the bottom of this page:
to check out which ones you want, and write me an email at s_beenackers@hotmail.com.
Payment is via PayPal or bank transfer.

This Rock Star Writer blog is an element of “Rock Star” [phase 3]

Title: “Rock Star”
or “Rock Star yoga/ business/ writer”

artists: Suzanne Beenackers, little bear Puux           
art form: writing + YouTube videos
leg 1: earliest expressions, mixed work, July 2019 – March 2022
leg 2: The Void April 2022 – January 2023
leg 3: Storytelling 17 January 2023 – 

3 YouTube channels, all to be rebooted late January 2023
1. English YouTube Stories of Bon Jovi and the White Tigress
2. Nederlandse YouTube Het Yogaboek van Liefdeseend
3. YouTube Rock Your Business

4 blogs
1. Rock Star Writer (current blog)
2. About Bon Jovi concerts: Daily Bon Jovi Yoga
3. World Between Worlds
4. Dutch blog: Suzanne Beenackers

2 Facebook pages
1. Rock Star Writer on Facebook
2. Dutch: Suzanne Beenackers Schrijver Facebook met beertje Puux

1 Twitter account
my personal Twitter account

Silent Night? Silent autumn and winter, I’m afraid. { I burned my fuses }

Unfortunately, this is not one of those posts that will only increase in value with time. Not a precious new addition that will be picked up by search engines and Google Android reader, months from now.
But fortunately, it is also not a post that has disturbing news such as “this site is changing”.
Because it is not changing!

My vision for this site is still the same as the day I changed this site from rockstaryoga to rockstarwriter, which was pre-pandemic if I’m not mistaken.

Which is to write music-inspired long reads, and the official series are to write posts about Bon Jovi’s box set (2004) and to write about Bon Jovi’s 1995 90 minute Wembley recording Live From London.
And I had decided that the Live from London series would also cover all the extra songs, available on a 3-ish hour bootleg version of that night in Wembley.
But I haven’t written for either one of those series for over a year now.

In 2022 I have only written a few longreads, about The Red Hot Chili Peppers in The Netherlands;
A playlist for Jon Bon Jovi’s 60th birthday;
And I wrote about three live performances I saw this year, Guns N Roses, and two local bands/artists.
And that’s it, that was 2022.

But this summer, I wrote many accidental long reads for a blog called #dailybonjoviyoga.
And just like this blog, which was renamed Rock Star Writer, pretty soon after having opened as Rock Star Yoga-
in the same manner #dailybonjoviyoga was redubbed #dailybonjovilive a few days ago.
Because I only wrote about live concerts, and hardly if ever about yoga.

So clearly, my biggest inspiration this year came from the live concerts. Attending them AND listening to them! 

I will start harvesting, cleaning up, and rewriting, all the relevant long-read blog posts I wrote for that other blog, and repost them here.
So that we can close 2022 here on the Rock Star Writer blog, with a strong list of new additions.

But listening to concerts is taking a toll on my mental health, because I think I burned some innerfuse this summer! 

I hear snippets of Bon Jovi music in my head all day, and when I go to bed at night it’s even worse. As if three radios are playing simultaneously.
My brain is no longer able to make sense of everything I have been listening to.

It mixes Bon Jovi with whatever movie I saw last, or series I watched.
And when I close my eyes, I see moving images that belong in sci-fi movies.

It’s like a mental filter, that should have been there, is no longer there. Since this summer, I’m in a constant state of overstimulation.
So I just gave up on going to a concert from Bon Jovi tribute Bounce, a show I was going to attend in November, in Germany.
And I had been counting the days to go, since last August! 

So ARE YOU ready to rock?!
Then make your final months of 2022 memorable!

Bon Jovi tribute band Bounce is touring Germany: 
An amazing experience.

YouTube playlist here: Tribute band Bounce (est. 2001) + singer Oliver Henrich 

For me personally, attending was no longer an option. I would have woken up sick the next day. And two train rides and hours away from home, just like I had woken up after Guns N’ Roses. Barely able to move, and more in need of Paracetamol than breakfast.

So no live music for me, for now…. I really want to sort myself out, sooner rather than later because a Rock Star Writer that can’t attend rock concerts, is at the stage of not being able to do her work. So let’s hope this is temporary and that I m back on the road soon.

Until then I will be taking it the slowest of slow, these final months of 2022. There will be more than one silent night.

Silent Night is a Bon Jovi track from the second Bon Jovi album, 7800 Fahrenheit (1985). An album that was lost in history.
Silent Night was one of the songs from that second album, which was added to the setlist, for the 1985 tour. It had a special part to play, because it was the only ballad of Bon Jovi’s first and second album.

Silent Night stayed on the setlist until the beginning of 1987. By then Slippery When Wet, the band’s third album, had effectively shot them to super stardom and the band was dropping more and more songs of their older work.
Early 1987 it was Silent Night’s turn to make way.

They replaced it with a song that is a fan favorite, to this day. If it had not been for “Wanted Dead or Alive” getting all the attention, this other ballad  from Slippery When Wet would have been better remembered.
Its message still resonates today.

Never Say Goodbye.

Rock Star Writer

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Never Say Goodbye 6 February 1990 Santiago, Chile

That was it! 

Thank you for reading my Rock Star Writer blog!
Subscribe to the blog, to get them in your mailbox.
You can find the subscription button on this page, probably on the top right.

My other blog  is dedicated to writing about Bon Jovi On-this-day concerts!
So subscribe there for those short trips through memory lane and the Bon Jovi archives.

Twitter: soundtrack Bon Jovi on this day concert 
Rock Star Writer on Facebook: all English blogposts and a soundtrack on this day


You can find my books The Little Mistress Who Turned Into A Baby Koala
A Boyfriend Like Jon Bongiovi
and White Tigress Yoga Workbook
at the bottom of this page:

If you live in The Netherlands, Belgium or Germany, you can also order these books from me – just go to the bottom of this page:
to check out which ones you want, and write me an email at s_beenackers@hotmail.com.
Payment is via PayPal or bank transfer.

Who I am when I am not here. Photo as illustration, credit to owner.

source Twitter Daily Guns N Roses Archive https://twitter.com/dailygnr/status/1481284198707400708

I think this is something I should have told you a long time ago. But I chose to save it for when after a six week hiatus – six weeks where I damn well knew what I wanted to do here, it wasn’t that I didn’t know where to start – I finally write a post again.
Figuring that since I still not feel like writing a Bon Jovi inspired post, nor creating a Bon Jovi inspired video, and every day there is new drama to be dealt with;
I need to change the game.

Because every day there has either been recovering, decompressing from events or simply a way too busy social calendar;
Or it was marked by new mayhem, or adventures coming my way.

In the last 48 hours I ended up in the dentist chair after a family dinner and set my kitchen on fire after trying to clarify butter for the first time in 5 years and forgetting it was on the stove. It was a saucepan with boiling black oil when I discovered it.
And that was after recovering from post-vaccination rage.

Other events were several digital shitstorms and threatening situations, two days of migraine, and Covid related mayhem that ultimately turned out to be absolutely harmless.
If you had spoken to me in these first 12 days of the new year, it would have been hard to tell the difference between me and that dark witch from Harry Potter played by Helena Bonham Carter.
Bella Lestrange I think it is.

So yeah, things were bad. And since I have chosen my main topic to be Bon Jovi, I think that comes with a set of responsibilities!
One of them being you don’t show up when you’re capable of taking Harry Potter’s head off.

So unless I feel Bon Jovi – worthy, I stay away.

This is how I ultimately described it a few days ago:

But what I m pretty sure I have brushed on just lightly, making it seem unimportant, is that the essence of me, the me-at-my-core, is not a Bon Jovi fan but a Guns N Roses fan.

The positive-life-lessons, inspiring-words me, is someone I only see when the sun shines and everything goes smooth;
Dirty, nasty, sexy, antagonist me however?
Much higher chance of running into daily!

So if I want to make this blog Rock Star Writer work, if I want to start doing daily Bon Jovi yoga AND writing for the blog named after it;
If I want to make my two English YouTube channels work, and if I want to start showing up for my Dutch yoga channel again (which I do)?
Then I need to start including that side of me.

Because if I keep it a sunny day’s drive only;
2022 is not going to be, like the tweet says, what we all need it to be.

So I m gonna need you to buckle up, so I can show myself to you.
In all my random messiness, anger, and evilness.

Not because I want to, not because I think it would not be more preferable to be a little less out there, and at least take some of the edges off.

But because I’ve tried that, and we’re now at the point where it’s leading to 6 week hiatuses.

So next time I look or feel like that 80s picture of Guns N Roses, that I included in this post; Like a half naked, wasted, rock star without a sense of which way is up, and I probably just set fire to my kitchen?
Then I will no longer go missing in action.

I ll show up.

Rock Star Writer

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YouTube English: will be picked up SOON!
1: Life Lessons in Bon Jovi songs | Suzanne Beenackers YouTube
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other blogs
Art & Popular Culture: World Between Worlds 

Daily Bon Jovi Yoga

reboot verwacht in 2022: Yoga Nederlands

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You can find my books The Little Mistress Who Turned Into A Baby Koala
A Boyfriend Like Jon Bongiovi
and White Tigress Yoga Workbook
at the bottom of this page:

“Susie’s” Nikki Sixx Inspired Confessions

Nikki Sixx, showing a beautiful angel bearing a cross- tattoo.

{ “Susie” refers to me, Suzanne. I am not the Susie from the book The First 21. } 

The new Nikki Sixx book, The First 21, is one of those books where just like a movie, you get sucked in.
You think you’re going to read it with kind of a helicopter view, because you find the topic interesting or, what used to be the case when I actually read, when you find the writer interesting.
Since me having a thing for male writers ended 7 years ago, I wasn’t really expecting it. And maybe me reading Nikki Sixx is indeed not a part of that.
The writers I used to read were Dutch, they were my age or younger, and none of them were rock stars. 

So for the first time since 2014, I m reading with heart and soul, I’m totally into this.
But the deeper I get into this book, the more I realize that my relationship to Nikki Sixx is rooted in something.
That this is more than a book, a writer, a rock star of even a man I have a crush on.

Looking back, I can see how I’ve been leaning into his topics, into his work, from a very young age. It’s like an invisible thread, going through my life. And from that perspective, this infatuation with his latest book, cannot be called a surprise.

Maybe this is the right place to drop a truth bomb about something I meant to discuss sooner, and I probably will get back to it in future work;
But I think there is one MAJOR factor that Nikki Sixx’ lyrics as well as Bon Jovi lyrics have in common, and that explains why certain people will feel drawn to them. Yet I ve not heard anyone speaking about this.
But they’re Catholic.
The lyrics about God, devil, salvation, praying on the knees, water, redemption, sinning, confessions and- need I go on?
Or point taken?
It’s music that will speak to you if you, your parents, or your grandparents were Catholic.
Maybe protestant, but I think I know enough to determine this as Catholic symbolism.

But aside from that symbolism that resonates with me, there were more signs.
More things I managed to miss, where I now think:
“This thing for Nikki? This has been going on for a very long time….”

And I thought it was a good idea to I share that.
In particular if I m ever going to write about his book The First 21- that you know I did not step in at:
“Oh yes! Nikki Sixx…. he was in Mötley Crüe.”
Since I intend to stick around both as a writer and as a YouTuber, this needs to be cleared up.
This personal, recent and ancient, history of me and Nikki Sixx, needs explaining so that you understand why I am horribly biased.

So. It all “started” in 2019, when after a period of 25 years, I became a Bon Jovi fan again and I met a lot of other fans who were not just into Bon Jovi, but also into Nikki Sixx.
In female fandom, the combination of being into Jon Bon Jovi and Nikki Sixx was actually a pretty common one, and that’s how I came into contact with Nikki Sixx too, in particular with his writing.

I said “started” in 2019, with quotation marks, because then I m not counting me writing out Nikki Sixx’ name in my agenda in the 80s, and me drawing him in pen.
I’m not counting Mötley Crüe practically being spoon fed in the 80s to anyone tuning in to MTV’s Headbangers Ball (which I was), and listening to a Dutch radio show called Vara’s Vuurwerk (which I also was).
In the Netherlands Mötley Crüe never made it big mainstream, but at the same time they were so much part of metal and rock that it was absolutely impossible to miss them if that was your genre (which it was).

I also noticed on Nikki Sixx’s photos as a teen, in The First 21, that he and my first boyfriend had looked alike. A lot. And that boyfriend too, was a bass player.
And in that book The First 21, Nikki Sixx says his first girlfriend’s name was Susie.
They were very shy with each other, and didn’t really know how to make it work or let it evolve. Exactly how my first boyfriend and me, were.
So in the 80s I, Suzanne or “Susie” to some, was dating a guy who played bass and looked like Nikki Sixx. But again, something I did not realize until October 2021, so that does not count either.

Which is why- not counting those Mötley Crüe and Nikki Sixx moments – “it”, the conscious part, started first half of 2019.
After the introduction to Nikki Sixx by other Bon Jovi fans, I started listening to an audio recording of the book The Heroin Diaries, based on his 80s diary.
Nikki Sixx’ The Heroin Diaries, is a book from 2007, that made it mainstream, against all expectations.
For the audio book Nikki Sixx reads it, with actors playing the parts other people have contributed, such as friends, family members, the band and people who toured with the band.
Slash, for example, is a good friend of Nikki, and he is one of the people who contributed to The Heroin Diaries.

The Heroin Diaries has as a subtitle: “A year in the life of a shattered rock star”
And it is based on Nikki’s original diary, from December 1986 to December 1987, when he was addicted to heroin.
It was for the first time since the 80s I was reading something like this, the topic had completely dropped off my radar.
It brought back memories of the 80s, when the topic of heroin addiction was something I read about.

I must have been about 13 or 14 years old.
The first was a German book Christiane F., which has been translated worldwide under different titles but the original one was;
Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (1978)
And the second book, also on teen drug addiction, was a Dutch one, Het Verrotte Leven van Floortje Bloem – Yvonne Keuls (1982)

Next to that I was either personally fascinated with musicians who died of drugs, but I also remember that it was a topic that was covered in our music classes in school. But by then I already knew enough to actually save my mark for a test I had otherwise done poorly.
Our teacher was so impressed with the paragraph I had written on the final question, about rock stars who had died prematurely, where I could even name rock stars that had not been mentioned in the book and I remember I wrote about the context of fame and drug use (probably uncalled for), and he gave me a higher grade.
So obviously, I was already studying this topic, and did not learn about drug use by rock stars, just in school.
But it was definitely “a phase”, as they call it. It was as if I wanted, or even needed, to study it, to understand what it was. Or maybe to protect myself. I was also raised in the “Just Say No” time period, but aside from one Punky Brewster episode I cannot remember that ever hitting mainstream in the Netherlands.
We didn’t have very prominent or explicit drug education in the Netherlands, and soft-drugs are legal here. We only had a campaign to not start smoking as a teen but that was it.
Heroin addiction felt far away.

I think one of the reasons listening to the Heroin Diaries in 2019, made a totally different impression than studying the topic in the 80s, is because now that I am so much older, and can feel how much it costs, how much you need to regulate and be conscious about, in order to be functional;
I am absolutely baffled by the idea of touring, and then drinking and doing drugs too.
But at the time, in the 80s?
The idea of rock stars doing drugs was just as normal as, I don’t know, as professional athletes training.
Or ballet dancers working out 8 hours a day.
All this to illustrate that me studying hard drugs had little to do with me trying to understand the world I was living in, and everything with me being fascinated by a world I was absolutely not living in.
It must have been my way to align with it, or feel if it was something I wanted to pursue.

When now I think, how in the world do you DO all that, the traveling, the touring, the everything, and NOT take excellent care of your health?
Listening to The Heroin Diaries audio in 2019, should have been a wake up call for me, and for anyone struggling career-wise-
that considering the fact that Mötley Crüe, including an addicted to heroin Nikki Sixx, actually TOURED?
We’ve all been called out as underachievers.
That’s how I see it.

But The Heroin Diaries was more than that. In particular the audio.
Because Nikki Sixx is not just a very pleasant narrator, with a beautiful speaking voice, doing a better job recording that book than anyone could have done for him;
But Nikki Sixx is most of all a thinker. And it’s relational.
So the books you read are all about relationships with people, but also relationships to a wide array of topics and situations.
And about HOW he relates.

The writer Nikki Sixx, is first and foremost – and I am sure there is a word for this but since I stopped reading in 2014 don’t ask me! – but he’s what I will call for now, he’s a thinker about relationships.
About whom and what he relates to, and how he relates to them. Or how they relate to each other.

And to then listen to Nikki Sixx, with your headphones, to this 11 hour recording, reading The Heroin Diaries, going through his own rough and ready diary from what may have been the toughest year in his life;
then reading the chapters he wrote around them, putting them in perspective.
Oh man…. you’re gonna fall for Nikki Sixx.

If you listen to Nikki Sixx reading The Heroin Diaries, your entire idea of who he is will change.

On Google Play:
The Heroin Diaries: Ten Year Anniversary Edition: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star

So in 2019 already, I considered myself a fan of his work. Oh – I m skipping the band Sixx AM, but I absolutely adore their music, I left it out for clarity’s sake.
But check them out as well! Sixx A.M. on YouTube

However, what I’ve covered so far, the Catholic roots, studying hard drugs and rock stars at a young age, getting Motley Crue spoon fed, the boyfriend bass player who looked like him, and writing “Nikki Sixx” in my agenda because I thought the name was magical;
Are all futile compared to the biggie.
The one where I realized:

Because of circumstances I do not want to get into (and I will not!) Nikki Sixx has become part of my sexual language, my sexuality identity, desires, experiences. All I can say, is that it does not have anything to do with him.
Not with The Heroin Diaries.
Not with The First 21.
Not with Sixx AM.

But that, yeah, like I said, a combination of circumstances, some of choice and some coincidental, his name, became synonymous for sex.

Although the part I did by choice?
Considering the preferences of other female Bon Jovi fans, considering my personal history, and my “thinking, relational” obsession; Considering all those things, maybe me adopting Nikki Sixx as the personification of sex was not so much of a choice.

But an inevitability.

Rock Star Writer

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The best of album HITS, including the new track The First 21, from SIXX A.M. is on YouTube:

And then the sex goes in here.

booktrailer for The First 21 by Nikki Sixx

Voice over, snippet from the first words of Livin’ On A Prayer:
Narrator (Jon Bon Jovi): “Once upon a time, not so long ago”

* insert first tweet Oct 22nd, illustrating Suzanne’s waning faith she’s welcome in Bon Jovi fandom*
(clicking the play icon on the gif pays off)

Photo from Melissa Coler Twitter @MACSIXX https://twitter.com/MACSIXX/status/1452034362682269696

One of the things I still want to do, is go through my old 80s school agendas and look for what I know is there: Two, maybe more, references to Nikki Sixx.

At least one of them is me “just” writing out his name.
Even as a teen, I understood there was something magical about it.
Where a name usually has some meaning, either to ourselves if we chose it, or to our parents when they gave it;
Calling yourself Nikki Sixx?
Was a whole different ballgame.

The name Nikki Sixx is a work of art in itself. 

This week Nikki Sixx released his fourth book, called The First 21, and it’s about the first 21 years of his life when his name was not yet Nikki Sixx. When he had not yet chosen his name.
You can shop for The First 21 by Nikki Sixx, as well as for the album from his second band Sixx A.M. that was released simultaneously.
“Second band”, yes.
You have until the end of this post, to answer the question what Nikki Sixx’ first band is.

The Sixx A.M. HITS playlist can also be found at the bottom of this post,
and to purchase the book you may also want to check out
this tweet where I already looked up the direct links to buy the book, for four different countries.

News interviews, podcasts, YouTube interviews, zoom connections, studio interviews;
For the past few days there has been an avalanche of Nikki Sixx on my timeline.
Which may explain why I was starting to feel a familiar yet unwelcome restlessness, in my lower belly.
A restlessness that I recognized in the movies Venom (2018) and part 2 (2021).

“Venom”, from the title, is an extraterrestrial entity that has a symbiotic relationship to a human, Eddie Brock. Venom is the wild one, the uncontrolled one. But Venom is also the fascinating one, the unapologetic one, and definitely the funniest of the two.
Everything Venom says is a one liner, he’s a talk show host’s wet dream.

But he is also of course, entirely uncivilized. And a bigger problem than that; His species need nutrients that can only be found in brains. 
If Venom would comply with his host Eddie, and stop biting people’s head off, he, Venom, would become severely malnutritioned and die.
And with that Eddie too, because they inhabit the same body. 

Venom is the stronger one, the enigmatic one, the superhero of the two, and ever since Venom has started living in Eddie’s body and the two started their symbiotic relationship, Eddie’s life has improved in terms of excitement and adventure.
And women absolutely adore him both as Eddie and as Venom.
Since Eddie has Venom in him, he has not had a dull moment, and yet Venom 2 Let There Be Carnage, largely revolves around Eddie’s attempts to get rid of Venom.
And not just because he bites people’s head off, and it requires a lot of effort to limit Venom’s foraging habits to only eating the bad guys, but also because Venom is an extremely disruptive force to live with.

story continues below the trailer, that illustrated how difficult it is to live with Venom:

My inner Venom too, is a disruptive force to live with.
It gets me kicked out of groups.
It gets me slut shamed.
It gets me talked about behind my back.
It gets me blocked on Twitter.

And yet, of course, it is this feral, untamed side of me, my inner-Venom, that is going to make the biggest contribution. That is going to leave her mark. 

I ve known from the start that my plan to make Bon Jovi yoga videos, was not accommodating her. There was not even a small corner, a small percentage of poorly lit videos “we” would shoot when I was feeling so badly, a normal video would not come out anyway;
Not even that.

My inner Venom was not to interfere when I was making Bon Jovi yoga videos. The name Bon Jovi, associated with inclusive, family appropriate, uplifting music, would be honored.
It would be kept clean.

But since it’s almost three months since I posted my announcement for Bon Jovi yoga, you can see how that is working out.
It isn’t.
And the reason it is not, is because my Venom wants a part.

The “overall inappropriate” part of me, to quote the most explicit complaint I received about that side of me, wants in.
No, let me rephrase:
It wants THE FUCK in. 

But just like Eddie Brock, I wanted to be loved for being the real me, the nice me, and not for this part that felt so entirely over the top.
I fully understood why my inner Venom was too much in particular in mixed, friendly communities like Bon Jovi fandom.

I GOT that.
And I respected them for being clear on their boundaries and keeping the community safe.

It’s just that, well, that side of me is “all” I have to offer.
Without my inner Venom, I am not just plain, but I would also be thoroughly unhappy. Just like Eddie Brock.
Venom is my life force. She makes me come alive, gives me blushes on my cheeks, and turns me into this funny, sexual, and yes inappropriate, woman.

Without my Venom, and without giving her what she needs, I will not just perish and come to nothing.
I will die.

Thinking I could turn myself into a friendly, goodhearted, Bon Jovi yoga teacher was as unrealistic as it was unhealthy and, frankly, undesirable.
If someone else can do that, go for it.
It’s not my path, that much is sure.

So me and my inner-Venom, have made amends and decided we are going to do it together.
We’ll be making Bon Jovi yoga videos where we will make many inappropriate jokes.
And trust me when I say that yoga offers ample opportunity for those.

But next to that, “we”, my inner Venom and me, are going to make Nikki Sixx yoga videos, where my most sexual, most out-there part of my personality, can really shine.
Where my inner Venom gets to take the stage and the leash comes off.
So the most unadulterated, honest, raw, yoga videos will be named after the most unadulterated, honest, raw rock star of them all.
Nikki Sixx.

Ten hours after the tweet where I said that although I am a Bon Jovi fan, but sometimes feel more LA, and less New Jersey, and wanted to be loved for the Venom part of me too;
I made another tweet.

Nikki Sixx, showing a beautiful angel bearing a cross- tattoo.

This tweet said:
[On] Oct. 22 @SixxAM released their best of called HITS
This album is THE best way to get acquainted with this second band from Nikki Sixx, est 2007

Mild spanking if you don’t know what his first band is.

Oh no, a little harder than that.

The first band from Nikki Sixx is Mötley Crüe.
Bon Jovi yoga will begin this week, on my YouTube
And my first yoga lesson to you, is to never hide who you really are.

The world needs your Venom.
Just like the world needs Nikki Sixx.

Oh no.
A little harder than that.

Rock Star Writer

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My name is Suzanne Beenackers and I am 32 years late. And 2 Weeks

As I collect these photos for you of a very clearly Rock Star Suzanne, ever since the dawn of time (the 80s), I wonder;
HOW is it possible to lose yourself when you’re over 45?

When I look back I can identify the two biggest threats, the two biggest potential conflicts between my surroundings and what was expected of me on one side;
And who I was and always had been, on the other.

The first was the business world that was waiting for me after graduating from university, which I turned my back on, by simply never showing up.
I didn’t even say: “Hell no!”
I just never showed up, and no one came looking.

And the second one was when I took my yoga trainings and entered the realm of yoga teachers with whom I – where “I” stands for the real me, that chick rolling cigarettes at 16 – had absolutely zero in common with what we wanted out of life (Sex and rock n roll!)
Yet I just dove in head first, became a vegetarian, listened to mantras, yoga-ed my body on a daily basis, and still made it out unharmed.

In fact, as the photo collage shows, in 2015 I started calling my vinyasa power yoga classes, Rockstar Yoga.

It was then still written as one word; “Rockstar”
Because I had ran it by the title of
the Nickelback song.
Which, as I found out in 2019 when I started this website Rock Star Writer, then still called Rock Star Yoga, is not the correct way to spell it.

Just like the catchy yet shallow interpretation of what it means to be a “Rockstar”, the spelling of the Rockstar song was not something you should ever use as a benchmark. 

So how is it possible to have such a great start, effectively navigating your jeans-clad booty around the pitfalls of three decades, and then 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021?
Everything yoga related, anything professional, was stopped and although I still feel very much like a yoga practitioner and a yoga teacher, it doesn’t show.

Late 2020 I ended the lease of the yoga studio, and as of January 1st 2021 I no longer have a business.
Nor do I intend to ever have any one of those again.

Yet despite this:
I am a yoga teacher.

Yet despite this:
I am in business.

I know very well what my professional future looks like.

And yet….
Sometimes I FEAR that I can’t do it.

That the calling I see before me, where I will not just resurrect my own yoga practice and my professional yoga career better than it ever was;
But also revolutionize it as EXACTLY that SEX & ROCK N ROLL thing that we ALL want and need it to be! 

Those are the moments my heart grows cold thinking it’s too late.

That the girl who rolled her own cigarettes managed to get through puberty, college and an entire career as a yoga teacher, ended up empty handed.
And not just because she quit smoking.

I am writing this on a Friday, listening to Nickelback from the albums and concerts around 2007.
The time when the single Rockstar was released.
On a side note, Nickelback was the only highly successful band, who became hated for reasons no one really recalls. Although here is an article that explains why this was their fate.
It wasn’t because they misspelled rock star.

But even more disturbing than listening to Nickelback, I m writing this after yet another two week delay to what I thought was the start of my new life.
It was initially caused by something big and important that I m giving my care and attention (it’s not about me, so I m not going to share what it is), and was then further slowed down by a health issue that seemed to be related to those events but that now appears to be something else entirely.

In fact, the acute yet fairly innocent health issue may have revealed the reason why I ve been waking up sick for months and months on end now.
Why the first hours of my day are spent feeling so ill, that I even check my temperature to see if, in the unlikely case I will get up today, I can’t because I need to self-quarantine.

And then?
Well, then I m not just totally fever free, but totally fine before noon as well. 

So the new health issue that came up, may have revealed the cause of that messed up morning fallout. And it’s something annoying but totally innocent and treatable.
The final test results are due next week. *)

Having all that addressed and sorted out delayed what I considered the start of my new and improved, “on track and on top” life, as well.

Yet there are moments when these extra days of delay, turning into two extra weeks, get to me.

That I think:

“This has been going on since 2018.
You ve lost it Suzanne.
You had diplomas, a career, a business, AND you went to Bon Jovi 2019 coming back fully inspired KNOWING you were going to bring it home TEACHING Rock Star Yoga!

But you didn’t, now did you Suzanne?
You start-stopped, start-stopped, didn’t you Suzanne?

And now it’s this complicated thing that came on your path and that has you occupied, and you wake up sick every morning, but really?
Has this not been going on from way before that?”

Yes, there are moments like that…..
And yet still.

This will happen.
All of it.

Rock Star Yoga, Bon Jovi Yoga, doing it, teaching it, rocking it.
That’s what it’s gonna be, and I m not going to change one long rock n roll hair of it!
AND I’m rebooting my business channel Rock Your Business as well.

Because BOTH yoga and business deserve to be done in a way WE can identify with.
Yes WE, because this is not just about me;
It’s about YOU!

About us.

We, the ones who do not belong in the corporate business world,
not in the yoga world,
and no not even in the normal entrepreneurial world.

We just don’t, and you know it.

Going from hand-rolled cigarettes to frickin’ incense, is a painfully accurate description of how I lost DECADES of my life. 

I sold my soul to mediocrity, and now I can’t even get out of bed in the morning.
I don’t even care what the test results bring up next week;
This shit is as serious as it fucking gets.

It’s called throwing your life away.

And you?
Getting up inspired and taking life by the horns?
Or have you sinned as badly as I have, and cut yourself in half in order to fit in?

It’s time to be whole.
To be fully you.

To stand up and show the world WHO YOU ARE.

Badass motherfuckers.

And you know it. 

Rock Star Writer

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*) The test results are all clear, I m healthy as a horse! So fully in on Purpose and Rockin’ Life it is!

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Bremen, Holland

at 14:55 Bremen, Holland and at 15:25 playing in Holland

2nd night bremen 1995 bonjovi-95bremen1-254x203
cd from the second night, Bon Jovi concert on night 2, 27 May 1995 Bremen, Germany. Just one year ago, the first public recording of night 1 was uploaded on YouTube.

Close to every night, close to every morning – and this condition is a progressive one, which started at the beginning of the pandemic –
I wake up thinking that I don’t know by what, or why;
But that I m done for.

That there is no way in hell my sleep-deprived, feverish body (don’t panic; I never have a fever, it’s often even on the brink of being too low) with the numb feeling of a threatening cold, ever since this goddamn pandemic began, is going to make it through the day.

That I will have to get Covid tested and quarantined, or will soon be too sick to move and better cancel my appointments for the upcoming week since I ll soon be taken out, for anything between two days of migraine or two weeks of being sick.

And yet? I get out of bed anyway.
I more often than not miss out on the first few hours, because I had so little sleep I want to at least try and get  it up to 5 a night… Even if it has to be in the morning.
And sometimes I can catch a few extra hours before I get up, and sometimes not.
Sometimes I stay in bed playing with my phone, and sometimes I get up at 6.30

But regardless what I choose or reluctantly settle for?
By the time it’s 9, 10 o’clock, I m fully healed!
And the whole morning drama is absolutely nothing more than a bad memory, and I can’t believe I fell for it once again.

This silly roller coaster causes that within 24 hours I make the resolution, to share this deplorable condition here, just to get it over with; So that I can then accept it, and move on.

So what, that I apparently have to get my shit done every day in 4 hours less than I used to have?
That’s still pretty good! 

But once, just once; Clear the sheet and put it on this blog…. Get it out. 
Or so I think.

Only to then of course, think a few hours later how absolutely ridiculous that was.
I mean, write about what, right?
I m fine!
More than fine, because my life is coming together for me in such a massively satisfying way. It’s as if everything from my entire life, is falling together like Tetris boxes, and I don’t even have to do anything.
It happens entirely naturally.

So I know that within weeks, this work here too, and my YouTube, and my Dutch yoga, will be rocking like it never rocked before.
I ve also started on a book, and intend to publish one every year.
The first one will be ready within weeks.

Yet still, even after all this Tetris box dropping started behind the scenes;
Almost every morning, I think life has caught up with me, and I m going down.

Until this week, when I started listening to a new upload on the hAnD90 channel:
A remastered audio recording of the first concert night of Bon Jovi in Bremen 1995.
I listened to the recording on repeat for days on end, and it was so energizing I got tons of work done, that generously compensated for any hours I had missed in the morning.

But there was something else; Something that struck a chord, and that illustrated exactly how I had been feeling.
The right vocabulary to use, if I chose to write about it anyway.

Jon Bon Jovi thinks he’s in Bremen, Holland.

Now for those who are not native to Germany or The Netherlands (Holland);
There is no Bremen, Holland.
Bremen is in Germany, where Bon Jovi played 26 and 27 May 1995.
In Holland we have Nijmegen, where Bon Jovi would play on the 28th of May, so immediately after.
After which the band would play 5 more shows in Germany again;
then a couple of other European countries, and then later on in the European leg one more German concert and another Dutch concert, in Rotterdam.

I m not trying to rationalize anything, but 1995 did have a  confusing tour schedule.

So anyway, first night in Bremen it did bite them in the ass, and Jon Bon Jovi made the classic mistake of the lead singer greeting the wrong city or country. 
Or in this case; Correct city, wrong country.

And I thought: “That’s the closest to describing how I feel.”

That feeling of touring, being jet-lagged, moved around the continent, and not knowing where you are or how you’re going to get through?
Since the pandemic I ve been falling prey to that.
And what started as an eerie “I am legend”/ Groundhog day feeling in March 2020;
Has progressed to feeling very sick every morning, and not knowing which way is up.

I feel strong now, as I type this.
And when you start seeing me on YouTube (business channel, Dutch yoga coming, English #dailybonjoviyoga coming) I will feel strong too.

Do not expect me to complain, ever, ever again, I will not allow myself to wallow here.

But just once, I need to say it;

Since Covid, I wake up every day;
In Bremen, Holland.

Rock Star Writer

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Somewhere there’s a dreamer who will walk a thousand miles

the perfect rebuilding playlist: Bon Jovi 2020 New Songs + Original Pre Covid album

“Somewhere there’s a dreamer who will walk a thousand miles” is a quote from the song Let it Rain, album 2020 by Bon Jovi

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
― Marilyn Monroe

If I think about the roller coaster from last Wednesday until Tuesday morning (yesterday morning)?
I understand perfectly why ever since then I m walking on clouds!

Why sometimes, not only do things fall apart so better things can fall together, as Marilyn Monroe put it.
But the falling apart also makes the falling together extra sweet.

Even when, as is the case for me, things are nowhere near where I want them to be.
Yet especially taking those last punches, that last day of;
Having nowhere to go with your sick cat, because of practicalities.
The politics around a very painful situation with people you respect yet have to leave.
Having an unprecedented migraine and being on your knees vomiting at 4 AM, in the final hours of what were your 6 days of roller coaster riding.

And you then wake up and the clouds have disappeared! 
Nothing beats that feeling.

At first I was still like; “Is this real?”
And I went about my day as if I was tiptoeing! 
But yeah… it’s over. I m cool.
And the cat is okay. I still have to get him medical attention but he’s stable as long as I give him salmon every three hours (and not chicken).

A recurring more pesky aspect that is causing me to bottom out frequently in 2020 and 2021 is my social anxiety when I have real life interactions. If I have an indoor group activity, could be as simple as going to the movies or going to the hairdresser even, I get a crossover between a jetlag, hangover and an anxiety attack.
Afterwards, not during.

Same with my sex life: 
Usually punished with days of feeling extremely unstable.

Both the cats and me have a long way to go until we are back on our paws, and it will be baby steps when possible but more often it will just be sucking it up! 
I suspect the road to recovery and that place where it’s all still crashing down, will be surprisingly close-knit. 

What helped me through for the most part was realizing that it’s not about what I can or cannot do today, but about what I want to be able to do tomorrow.
Be in big groups.
Be free to choose my love life the way I want to.

If I can see something is not sustainable, not healthy, or is even contradictory to what I know is my future, I have to solve it, change it, or in a rare case let it go.

And sometimes… sometimes it’s not about nursing cats back to excellent health;
Not about training yourself back into crushing it out there in the real world;
Not about letting go of something or someone you knew was ultimately not a good fit.

But someone you hoped would be there with you, occasionally, frequently, a surprise guest;
You looked forward to continuing what you had or for them to be there with you. 

Letting them go are the ones that hurt the most.

And it can be unexpected. That you didn’t know you cared that much.

You didn’t know until you found yourself on your knees at 4 AM in the morning, throwing up. 

Rock Star Writer

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Does anybody want what’s left of me?

Jon Bon Jovi in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photograph: Suki Dhanda for the Observer

The Bon Jovi album “What About Now” (March 2013, Richie Sambora left the band in April) contains a little known song that is a far cry from Bon Jovi’s trademark anthems.

It is called “(Does anybody want) What’s Left Of Me”.
And although I don’t know when he wrote it, I think it would be quite possible it was around the time of a very well-read interview for the Guardian, in 2010.

An interview where Jon Bon Jovi admits his struggles as well as how they’re ultimately built-in to who he is:

“I was that kid with the report card that said: ‘Doesn’t play well with others
I couldn’t be in a situation where someone else was controlling my destiny.
I’m probably not really a candidate to be in the army. Or working at the factory. Or…
I have to sink or swim on my own merits.
JBJ in The Guardian

Three years after that interview they’d release the album with the song What’s Left Of Me, and guitarist Richie Sambora walked out.
Which makes me wonder, having the exact age Jon had when he gave that interview:
Is today even the positive milestone I think it is?

Did I really make it through my own personal version of Hell Week, with the biggest mental health crisis in over a decade?
Or is this just the warm-up for my best friend walking out, getting vocal problems, being screwed in a business deal, my record company betraying me, and oh yes, ten years from now I will not be able to do my profession for two years because of a global pandemic?

In the light of what’s to come, do I get to celebrate today?

Or is it best to just admit that the downfall has begun and since career-wise I am NOT at the level of Jon Bon Jovi, I have basically missed my chance at life?
Just asking.

Worst case scenario, let’s assume my feeling I hacked this is short-lived, and will round off to zero some day very soon, then I believe there is all the more reason to celebrate this today.

What happened?
Or maybe not what happened, but why do I feel like this could work?

That the purpose of Hell Week was not to break me, but to build me up?

Ever since I started writing under an alter-ego in 2006, I have been aware that there is a very large part of me, that I do not express nor am (as in be) in daily life.

That “she”, the alter-ego, the pure artist to whom I have frequently referred to as “the real me”, is too much for daily life. And that honestly, I don’t want it to be out there either.
I m very much okay being more neutral under my real name.
It allows me to not bring my “real” art into daily life, and it gives me a rest from that very intense part of myself.

And besides, who is to say what is real art. Maybe my best work is the more neutral one. 
But nevertheless, the situation has been unclear for years even to myself, and every now and then I need to recalibrate.

Hell Week was a perfect time for that.
And this is what came up:

All my work under my real name is fun, lighthearted, great way to make friends.
It’s about Bon Jovi!
It’s about little bear Puux! (see Twitter)
It’s about playing around on my art blog World Between Worlds.
It’s the things I do when no one is watching nor paying me, but also:

The things that do not hurt. Not myself, nor others!!

This blog and all the other things I do under my real name, stays on the surface. It doesn’t cut to the bone.
It’s the things that you’re okay with if your installation mechanic would find, if they Google you. As if they would have time for such nonsense but you catch my drift.

And then everything else, including Hell Week, goes under the alter-ego.

And that’s when I saw two things!
1. That who I am under this identity (real name) and how I write on this blog, was already very much described by me in a piece called
The Baby Koala Relationship
I already knew I was a Baby Koala when I described my part in a lasting romantic relationship. But I just didn’t know (at all!) it was more than a fairy tale story and was actually my daily functioning mode, friendship mode, daughter mode, caretaker of cats mode.
At the time of writing the piece The Baby Koala Relationship I had no idea I was already a baby koala the majority of the time.

And I also saw:
2. that Hell Week had been the result of me not knowing (1) that I was a baby koala.
I had made a huge mistake in assessing what I could do, or what I was up for. Which in hindsight had resulted in a very traumatized baby koala.

I had really made a mistake the equivalent of taking a four year old to the movie Hellraiser. I was an absolute mess.

And then my alterego stepped in, and she freed the baby koala and shut everybody out of our lives who had been within a ten mile radius of this insanely irresponsible choice being made.

What that Hell Week taught me is that I should do a full and complete audit of my life, the places and people where I am a baby koala, and where I am my alterego;
And all other places that require something in between?
Entirely irresponsible!

You ll either get an upset (“upset” is already my mental health understatement of 2021) baby koala, or you’ll trigger the alter-ego to come out in daylight, and settle things her way.

Now that I can see why it all went wrong, I regret the mistake because of the damage it caused to myself and others.

But it feels good to understand why it happened because that means it’s preventable in the future. All I need to do, is make it clear that I m a baby koala.
(If you re reading this: hi! I am a baby koala! Don’t forget!)

But it may be too late.

That the chances that three years from now, I ll write an album (book) everybody will forget, with a song few will remember, without the loved ones around me that I lost between 2006 and June 11 2021;
Those chances might be a lot more realistic than all this panning out.

I came across a quote:

“Religion is for people who’re afraid of going to hell.
Spirituality is for those who’ve already been there.”

― Vine Deloria Jr.

Jon was there.
I was there.
And the baby koala was there too.

Let’s see how we’re doing three years from now.
What’s left of me.

Rock Star Writer

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Pics from my 80s Jon Bon Jovi postered bedroom and the wisdom they held

When I found the photos of my bedroom from when I was 16 years old, I was already, or still, shaky from realizing how little I had known about myself.
And how it had lead me to living the wrong *include heavy swearing* life.
When I think of how I am going to make up for decades, I catch myself thinking somewhere along the lines of:
“Louise Hay and Anais Nin were both over 40 before becoming successful.”
Or even:
“Nelson Mandela made something out of his life, when he came out of prison.”

After having screwed up the first half of my life;
I know I will not allow the second half to go to waste.
No way.

Yet, it still boggled me!
How had it even been possible to SLEEP THROUGH two decades of working in yoga, an industry based on enlightenment, consciousness, mindfulness?
Out of ALL the industries, how had I managed to not notice how much of a misfit, how much not-me ness, how much stuff that DIRECTLY conflicted with my values, had been part of yoga?
When I had all the overeating, all the non-practicing, all the not being interested in whatever the flying fuck was going on in my industry, to prove it.
“HOW?!” I ask of thee.

Especially because for the first 30 years of my life;
I DID NOT make mistakes like that!
I came out ready and able, and knowing who I was. And my life was in full alignment of that.

If I had just kept on going, I would not just have rocked at life;
I would have been a beacon of inspiration and entertainment.
And not a swearing like a sailor, middle-aged woman, who can’t believe she let life slip through her fingers for such a vast period of time.

30! I was THIRTY when I took the wrong turn!
Well, almost. I was 29.
Not an age where anyone thinks:
“Oh, we better watch Suzanne. This is a critical age!”
And it was also not an age where I myself was like:
“Oh, going on 30! Better watch out, because here’s where many have failed before me!”
* frowns eyes and stares intensely and unforeseen future*

Nobody watches out at 30.
And neither did I.
Although, although! That is not true!  
I had for years escaped having an office job, and when I caved and gave up on my independence, doing yoga was my escapism.

But then I started getting trained as a yoga teacher, and became that. I thought I had escaped the office job and that teaching yoga would bring me something a normal job didn’t.
Only to then wake up 20 years later.

Maybe that is the cruelty of it all;
You think you escape the monster of mundane office life, only to end up with another job that wasn’t right. 

And yet, before we talk Jon Bon Jovi posters, because I will get to that as well, I have always known for a fact that there was nothing wrong with yoga;
Contrary to something (in my opinion) inherently being wrong with office life.
So I can understand why I thought yoga would be good for me, or an improvement of sorts, because yoga is good.

There really is nothing wrong with yoga practitioners, and being a yoga teacher was and is a noble profession.
Which is why it took me so many years to realize that I ve wasted 20 years of my life. Finding photos from 1988 made the message extra raw and unpalatable;
It had been all there.

My 1988 bed proves I knew exactly who I was, and that I would rather die than cave. I would back myself up, do or die, my way or the highway.

The two photos with all the posters from Jon Bon Jovi, are of my bedroom in the attic.
They are taken in February, this is about a good year after Bon Jovi became famous in the Netherlands.
So it’s not that long.
Yet from the number of posters, and the way they are arranged, you can see I have been collecting and even curating them. The posters I selected for this location, are assorted by size.
One poster is double, it’s in the six piece above my head. But because the posters are hung up in a way that is pleasing to the eye, this does not matter.
It’s the perfect mosaic.

A few months later, I took the posters down.
I had started dating, and although I would remain an avid fan, I thought my bedroom should be more neutral. Or adult. Serious.
I know these things, both staying an avid fan and taking the posters down, because I have another photo where the posters are gone.
And I went to the Bon Jovi concert late that year.

My love for Jon Bon Jovi or Bon Jovi, had not changed.
It was purely because I thought that dating involved only showing the pleasant, the datable, love-worthy, side of yourself.

And that the wild, boy-crazy, bathing myself in paper-testosterone version of me, would not be welcomed.

In retrospect, the moment I took those posters down, was the moment I started presenting myself as something I am not.

In the other photo, one I took at a later date, I still have an unmade bed.
But there are no posters.
There is no book.
The photo is uninteresting. I didn’t even bother to scan it.
It’s taken by daylight,  the white wall looks even whiter. The unmade bed looks cold and empty.

It’s a proper photo, the daylight one without any Jon Bon Jovi posters hanging on the walls.
The lighting is good, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Except of course the absence of all the liveliness, the realness, and the authenticity that was captured in the two grainy black and white pictures of a girl’s bed with Jon Bon Jovi covered walls.

I gained boyfriends, I gained a sex life. I gained being adult and grownup.

But at the cost of a wall of Jon Bon Jovi posters.

And the highest price of all;
At the cost of being me.

Rock Star Writer

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