At some point in your existence, you tell yourself enough is enough. That you are tired of being unproductive, haggard, over-weight, unhealthy, mentally-fogged, ugly, rugged, exhausted, a doormat, an underachiever, plain, or whatever it may be that you want to change in your life. That you simply wanted to breathe some fresh air – literally and figuratively.

When you decide to do work on yourself and get out of your rut by accomplishing some much-needed transformations, everyone should be cheering for you correct? When you decide to take care of yourself by losing some weight, looking good and feeling good, your friends are supposed to be happy for you right? Sadly, not all of them will be. Some will accuse you of various reasons for your doing what you’re doing. A big one will be vanity, or perhaps there is someone you are doing this for. When in fact, you are doing this mainly for yourself. All you want is to feel better about yourself and elevate your self-esteem. *

They got used to the old you that any change you make for yourself somehow feels like a threat to the relationship you have with them. As if your self-improvement will make you an entirely different person who doesn’t know where you came from and what you had with them. All of a sudden, they are baffled by the improvements you make in your life.

What to do then with the ones who are less thrilled? Is it high time to make an upgrade to your friends list and stick only to the ones who are happy for you? Not necessarily. After all, some of these friends had been with you through thick and thin. They might just be feeling a bit jealous because your accomplishments (say, weight-loss) may be serving as painful reminders of their own perceived failures. They may start to feel intimidated and threatened.

Focus then on trying to compliment them on their strengths. Remind them of your continued love and support. But if all else fail and to the point that the relationship becomes toxic, it’s probably time to move on. After all, it has been said in one way or another that you are who your friends are. Perhaps, your goals are no longer in alignment with theirs. Associate more with the genuinely happy ones who will feel inspired by you. Reciprocally, you will and should feel inspired by them too.

Regardless, never apologize to anybody for feeling good about yourself. Continue on your journey. Set sail for your voyage to freedom and adventure. In the process, you are sure to find new friends who are on the same bandwagon of your cool change.

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*I could not find online the exact article from several years ago where actor John Krasinski said something compelling regarding his physical transformation. I wish I could find the article because I loved the way he said it. We’ve known John as tall, lanky and even chubby Jim from the popular sitcom “The Office.” Then John was offered a role to play Navy Seal Jack Ryan in the film “13 Hours.” Hence, a two-month grueling work out ensued. John mentioned that when he entered a room, it used to be that no one really paid much attention to him. But after he became buff, he started to feel differently. All of a sudden, when he enters a room, he feels the command of his own presence. Is it vanity? No. It’s the self-confidence kicking in that has nothing to do with just the physique. I find that very powerful. A physical work out has many known benefits that go beyond weight loss and physical transformation. Aside from more energy, regular exercise also transforms the mind that has a healthy psychological effect on the person. Who does not want that?



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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves:
“Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
          – Marianne Williamson (American Author)

Wonderfully Made
I praise you because in an awe-inspiring way I am wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful, I know this very well.
– Psalms 139:14

Cool Change by Little River Band

They say first love never dies. Well, I can tell you that is not true in my case. Because mine did. I thought it will never end. It took many years. But it did. It took falling in love with someone else again, and again.

I guess when they say that first love never dies, it simply means that you really will never forget that person who awakened your emotion to deep romantic love for the first time in your life. You may not think of them on a regular basis but a few times in your life, memories of them come back, even if there is no affection or fondness involved. That person will always hold the spot of being your first love. And any feelings you had with other people that you had romantic relationships with in between your current one (if you have any, at the moment) and that special one from long ago may pale in comparison with the feelings you had with your first love. In fact, the in-betweens are most likely just infatuation and some may even be pure physical attraction, even lust. After all, why did they end anyway?

I was about to say that the staying power of first love depends on the magnitude and depth of your feelings for the other person. But I am taking that back. There is no “it depends.” It’s because what you feel for you first love is no doubt one of the deepest feelings you will ever have. You loved so much that it hurts. You don’t get over that very easily. If you did, then that is not first love. It’s probably just puppy love.

Case in point, I do not consider my first boyfriend B as my first love. At first I thought he was. But looking back, I just got infatuated with him – a puppy love. After 4 months, I woke up one morning not having any more feelings for B. Like wow, what happened to it? So I decided to break it off with him. I remember B having a hard time accepting that. He kept asking me why, but I could not tell him point-blank I no longer have any feelings for him. Nevertheless, I felt cruel. As a teenager, I could not understand how I could be capable of such insensitivity as to break someone’s heart. Thankfully, he moved on.

Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life; Love shouldn’t be one of them. – Tiffanie DeBartolo (American Novelist)

Then came my second boyfriend C. I consider C my “First Love.” The extent of my feelings for C was such that I could see a future with him. And we were planning on that. That lasted until our young adulthood. But it did not work due to the distance (he left and went to the other side of the world) and the ensuing circumstances that surrounded us at the time. When we broke up, I knew we still had feelings for each other.

Later in life however, I realized that had C and I end up marrying each other, our love would’ve been based solely on romance and familiarity. There was no doubt that C and I had a deep emotional connection. Something that I imagine would have developed into love for a spouse had we end up being together. I suspect though that down the road, we most likely would’ve grown apart in major aspects of our lives. It’s because I’ve always considered myself a sensitive and spiritual person (not the holier than thou kind, believe me). C is not a spiritual person. That part of me, I couldn’t open up to him due to lack of spiritual connection. Eventually, we would have ran out of deep and meaningful things to talk about.

Note that I did not use the word “religious” because I never considered myself religious. I’ve seen religious people who merely go with the flow of what religion tells them to do, without pondering on what it means to be connected to a higher power, of what that connection means in consideration with your relationship with yourself and other human beings. I’ve seen some religious people lacking love, mercy and compassion and their attendance to religious services becomes perfunctory. I’m just trying to make a point on what it means to be a spiritual person as opposed to being a religious one because it will play a big part on my choice of future partner in life.

I’ve seen the disillusionment in many marriages and the sad deterioration of marital relationships due to lack of connections and quality conversations outside the necessary mundane but practical things needing to be taken care of. One life coach (yes, a life coach) whose name starts with J even told me of her extra-marital emotional affair with another man, and there was her poor, hard-working and kind husband at home mowing the lawn and making sure everything in the house is in good condition. Then you may say, “But this is the reality of many marriages when romance fizzles out. What else are you looking for?” I’d reply “But I do have a choice now don’t I?” It’s that deeper connection that will survive the novelty and excitement of new romance. That one does not get old. Anyway, I told J that she has a good man and I’d take him any day. I told her too that the grass is not always greener on the other side. Plus, didn’t someone say that the grass is greener where you water it? And what kind of man would go so low as to disrespect another man by pursuing that man’s wife? Couldn’t he find a single one? There’s a lot of us out here. Unless he himself is married and looking for some thrill. But I’m sure that man would not want another man going after his own wife. But you know what they say, what goes around comes around. Anyway, this sounds like a topic for another post. I guess the things I said woke J up to her senses because she and her husband are still together to this day.

Going back to my feelings for C, my first love… To be so bluntly honest, as we are getting older, I was thinking that I can even see C’s name now in the obituary and will not feel anything about it or will be sad about his passing (or maybe I will? especially if I reminisce?), and I’d like to think he’d feel the same way about me, and that’s fine. But this gauge is how I learned that it is not always true that first love never dies. Please, I do not mean any ill will and I would not wish that on him. I am just using that as an example of a good indication that yes, my feelings for my first love actually did not last forever. It is how I truly feel. C is now a stranger to me, like any man I would see on the street. We did not build a life together.

One day, if I am to be partnered in life again, it will be to a man with whom I will have very strong spiritual and emotional connections. Those or nothing. Life here is too short I will not settle for anything less. It’s not about us talking about the Bible or God all the time. Sure we will still talk about those, but it will also be about other deep things of life and even about death, about compassion and humanity. And maybe finishing each other’s sentences? Or laughing so hard until we cry? And loving like there is no tomorrow. If I ever meet that man, IF I ever in this life, I will be sure to feel connected, loved, cherished, safe and secure – without any reservations or lingering doubts in my heart. That man I will consider “the love of my life.” Now your feelings for the love of your life, your one True Love, that one never dies.

# End of Post #

The Best of Strangers Now (by the Fantastics)

Sweet child the only shame is, long time bring many changes. And you and I are the best of strangers now…

Image credit: https://www.encyclopedia.com/daily/is-it-true-that-first-love-never-dies/


Lancaster, Circa 2022

How’s life treating you?
Same old same old, you say.
Only, there is more
of the same old thing.
Why is everything and everybody old?
The feelings are old,
even for new people we meet.
After all, where did they come from?
Didn’t they come from old places too?
So why expect new feelings?

My stories, they’re getting old,
and so are yours.
The songs that made sense
from years gone by
are now old too.
Replaced by noise
and forgettable tunes
that quickly get old.
The trophies
are now old and rusted.

Young children,
hope of future generations
are getting older too, fast.
Exposed to the pains
of this dilapidated and aging world.
Run by the old
promising the new.
But how can they come up
with new ideas
when they themselves are old too?

Do apples grow from an orange tree?
Where is the new then?
Where is the hope
of new things to come? 
As the good book says,
there is nothing new under the sun.
I guess I’m just tired, and feeling old.
I think I’ll sleep it off.
Maybe tomorrow will be a new day.
Or so they say.


# End of Post #



What has been is what will be,
And what has been done will be done again;
There is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9