Once, not so long ago, a person, very dear to me, said: “Put yourself first because that is where you belong, Barbara Fortuna.”

How could I ever forget where my place was? Looking back, I can only say that at one point, it was just too much. The fast-paced life at work, at home, the high expectations of the environment, and especially the high demands and expectations that I had for myself.

So I asked myself a simple question: What does it mean to put yourself first and how do I do that?

It sounds pretty simple. But is that true? Not by a long shot.

To me, personal freedom is everything. If I feel that nothing and no one is restricting me, then I feel alive. And if I “live”, I get those sparks in my eyes and I am full of energy eager to do things that I had until recently thought were impossible, undoable.

But in order to feel a surge of that unstoppable energy, I first need time to spend time with myself. And now I take it. I put myself first because that is where I belong.

How do I do it? Firstly, I started to listen to my inner voice and follow my innate feelings and desires.

For me, ‘me time’ means – ME AND MY BOOK. Don’t get me wrong, this may well be some light reading when I can truly give my brain a break and allow myself to get fully consumed by the plot, trivial as it may be.

‘Me time’ is when I WALK OUR DOG across the wide plains of the Ljubljana Marshes, thinking about nothing or anything.

‘Me time’ is A JUMP INTO WATER, where I feel the freedom, the lightness of being that only my favourite element – water – can give.

‘Me time’ is WRITING, when there are no limitations, when I push aside all my prejudices, convictions and limits.

And with all this, I no longer feel bad for taking time for myself, for putting myself first. And this is okay. Put yourself first and do what your heart desires – be it watching Mexican or Turkish soap operas, reading romantic novels, having fun until dawn, hanging out with people who fill you with energy, enjoying disgracefully delicious food, shopping, daydreaming about a house in the country, traveling, …

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