There is some doubt as to the meaning of my first name. When my parent's named me, they thought the name Barbara meant "gift from God." I have no idea where they got this meaning. When I took Latin, barbara meant "foreign, stranger, alien, or barbarian." (Don't ask my husband about this one.) If I look at my life, I'd say the stranger, foreigner meaning fits best. I've always felt I was different than others in my life.
In school, through a series of crazy events, I skipped a grade. I wish I hadn't because I was always the different one in elementary school. My friends were in the grade before mine. In junior high, I had only one friend in my own grade. At church, in high school, I was not in the clique. I could be friends individually with a few of the girls, but not part of the group of nine. I later figured out I was just too much of an individual to fit. I hung out with my friends in the grade before mine outside of church, with other "loner" girls at church, and with other Latin students at school. I didn't really get into my element until I got to college.
It was at college, UCLA to be exact, that I met Kosta, my Serbian husband. So when I married, I was again the foreigner, always hearing a different language when we were with his family. Oh, they spoke English some of the time, but all the good discussions were in Serbian, and I only understood a few words. I felt this even more strongly when I went with Kosta to meet his aunts, uncles, and cousins in Croatia and Serbia. The culture shock really hit me. I had to get by with the bit of German I could remember from college when with his cousin living in Germany, and the Croatians and Serbs also could speak German. By the time I left Yugoslavia, which it still was in 1972 when we were there, I truly did believe my parents named me well, even though they didn't realize what my name really meant.
Even after leaving Europe, where we spent a month, I have known that I am a pilgrim and stranger in this world. Popular culture leaves me cold, and I realize I feel more and more alienated by it as I grow older. I see no reason to do what the rest of the world does, watch and listen to what it does, or read the books on the bestseller list, with a few exceptions. I don't want to put garbage in because I don't want to spew garbage out. I take as my standard the Biblical exhortation to think about what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, and worthy of praise. There are times I don't live up to this, but it's still my goal.
That gets us to my last name. It used to be Hart -- a carefree deer. But Radisavljevic means "working all the time." That also fits. I've always worked hard at anything that interests me, and now that is writing on HubPages, Wizzley, Persona Paper, Virily, and myLot, and stocking my Zazzle shops.
These sites, plus my six blogs, keep me spread pretty thin. Two are at Blogger, and four are on WordPress, all of which are self-hosted. I also contribute to ReviewThis!Reviews.
That brings me to one other thing you ought to know about Barbara Radisavljevic. She tends to procrastinate about things she doesn't like to do. I know the standard advice is to do those things first, but I am very good at rationalizing why it's OK to write or Zazzle instead of doing bookkeeping, setting up and maintaining websites, and trying to dispose of book inventory now that I've retired from bookselling. I want my house back. It's like a mountain I need to climb and I guess I'm waiting to find a ski lift that will take me there instead.
Now you know the real Barb -- at least more than most people know. Whether she is Barb, BarbRad, barbsbooks, or WannaB Writer, she's the same. She wears a lot of hats, but they have to fit on the same head with the same thoughts and motivations. And whatever name she is acting under has to answer to the same God and has the same purpose of helping to make Him known.