I have a six months old baby. She was born in Maun, Botswana on the 10th of December 2016, on a Saturday afternoon, on the couch of a bush pilot. She has a Botswana passport. I’m not sure who the father is, nor am I willing to investigate the matter. In any case, although he’s a handsome guy, the bush pilot is not among the suspects.
In Romania, when single moms take care of their babies, we would say “it’s a child from flowers”. I like that. My baby is also from flowers.
I’m not the best mom in the world, but I’m trying my best. I’ve learned a lot during this quest and I’m still learning a lot. I’ve learned that she likes attention, she wants as many people as possible around her at all times, so I’ve been trying hard to provide that since she was born.
But the truth is that sometimes it’s just the two of us. Sometimes I don’t feel like looking for other people to come along and be around her, even if I know that it would make her happy. It’s so much energy to look for people. Then I have to provide them with refreshments and snack, do small talk, entertain them and all that shenanigan.
Sometimes a party is nice and I feel like organizing it, but other times I would rather spend the time telling her stories, singing to her or just watching her sleep. It relaxes me.
My baby’s name is Justle Aveand Live Harau. I call her Ave.
People say that babies start developing their personalities very early in life. They say I should already decide what type of personality I want Ave to be and act accordingly – read a certain type of story, give her a certain type of food, buy for her certain type of clothes. But I want to give her a choice when she becomes old enough, I want her to think for herself, so the stories I read are random, the clothes as well, even the food is whatever is in season. She gets a bit of everything.
Ave is not human, she is a blog.
For Ave’s 6 months anniversary, my small gift for her is compiling a list of 10 things I’ve done for/thanks to her. Here it is:
- I’ve reluctantly rejoined Facebook and joined for the first time loads of other social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) in an attempt to find people who want to give her the attention she wants.
- I’ve set up a newsletter feed with the help of my new friend Mailchimp where people can decide to follow her growth. Five of the people who chose to subscribe are not friends, nor family, I have never met them. I think that’s amazing, giving the opportunity to interact with new people.
- Thanks to her, I’ve discovered a whole new world I had no idea about – the world of nutcases who chose to live on the road while making an income online (“digital nomads”, they are called). This world is huge and it includes people of all ages, even families with 4/5/6/7 human kids.
- I became virtual e-mail friends with Timo, the Romanian guy who hitch-hiked around the world with $80 in his pocket. He has an older 4 years old, but Ave doesn’t mind playing with older kids, even if sometimes she’s a bit intimidated.
- I’ve been paid for writing articles for the first time in my life. Over the past few months, I got a whooping amount of $453.82 from writing. Who would have thought that was possible?
- I’ve started to look to the world around me from Ave’s perspective – what is new to her? What would she want to tell the world?
- I’ve realized that seeing Ave growing, tells a lot about myself, my changes of perspective, my ideas. And I’m more honest about my values and world views – I could never lie to Ave. I want her to become an open-minded, responsible, respectable, kind, giving and thoughtful citizen of the world.
- Like any mom, I want to provide Ave with the best of the best. But, at the same time, I don’t want (and don’t afford) to spoil her, nor do I want her to grow up thinking that money is the most important thing in the world. Because it’s not. I want her to appreciate the value of used things, to be creative and find solutions for her needs using free things around her. I don’t want her to become a sales person, convincing people to buy random products for her own profit. I want her to grow up giving without expecting anything in return. Because, in the end, what matters most is to be kind.
- I’ve started to reconnect with a bunch of old friends, wonderful people with whom I’ve been out of touch for years, people who somehow found out about Ave without me telling them about her and took the initiative to get back in touch. Former high school classmates, former university colleagues, former flat mates, friends from summer schools, former work colleagues and former bosses, all writing kind and very encouraging e-mails, all very enthusiastic about my new life and about Ave, people with whom I’ve shared parts of my life, but with whom I’ve lost touch due to circumstances.
- I open up easier.
My interaction with Ave often takes me out of my comfort zone. I usually feel much more comfortable in a listener’s position. I often only talk in an effort to make people laugh or just to ask questions, either out of pure curiosity/interest or to make the conversation flow. I don’t open up easily. Unless people ask me direct questions, I don’t talk much about my life and my thoughts. I share easily funny stories from my life, I mock myself, laughing is healthy.
But Ave can’t talk yet, so I end up telling her stories about EVERYTHING.
Sometimes this makes me feel very exposed and vulnerable. Should I really tell her about my hot date on Friday the 13th? Does telling her about travelling on a budget make me seem cheap and stingy? Would saying that collecting garbage in the street for recycling was the best job I ever had annoy everyone not doing that and would my family start worrying that I’ve gone completely bonkers? Will telling her about my negative emotions make her feel sad? It’s like all of a sudden I’m allowing her (and everybody communicating telepathically with her) read my tangled mind full of crazy, often stupid ideas.
And that’s a bit scary in a world in which you’re supposed to take yourself seriously. You’re supposed to be self-confident. You’re supposed to KNOW who you are, what you want in life, what’s your plan for the next 5 years. Yet I have no idea about any of that and I don’t hide it at all to Ave. Pretending I do know would not be honest.
5 years from now…who knows? Maybe I’ll still be in Botswana or Namibia, in a village somewhere, or maybe somewhere in South America or maybe in India or maybe back to China or maybe back to Romania. Mexico? New Zealand! Cananda? Kenya! Nepal! Laos? No, maybe not Laos because Trini will never visit me.
Maybe I’ll write a proposal for one of those free castles in Italy. Maybe I’ll publish a book. Maybe I’ll go back to finance. Maybe I’ll run a social enterprise. Maybe I’ll open a permaculture farm somewhere in the world. Maybe I’ll get a human kid to play with Ave. Maybe nothing will change from my current life. Maybe everything will change.
Or Maybe a meteorite will hit the Earth and we will all be buried somewhere (except for Elon Musk, who’ll be on Mars trying to figure out how to procreate by himself to save humanity). I do not know.
Anyway…all I know is that time goes by fast. There goes 6 months of my new life as a wanna-be travel blogger who’s not really running a travel blog. A niche, they say…I need to find a niche. In any case, it’s been fun so far and I’m looking forward to see what new tricks Ave will learn during the next 6 months. 🙂
Oh, and if you do want to help out this confused wanna-be blogger, if you want to be up to date about Ave’s growth, here are some of the things you care do:
- Fill in the form below and subscribe to the newsletter (you’ll receive a maximum of 2 e-mails per week with new articles)
- Give me feedback – you can leave comments below, or on facebook, or on e-mail or in the contact form or on Twitter, whatever floats your boat
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- And most importantly:
Smile – life is short, you never know when your teeth will start falling!