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Growing Up by Yvanne Dandan “Growing up” through the years – a “throwback” article

by Yvanne Dandan

yvanne clippingsI will never forget how I felt when I was first asked if I wanted to have a column and write for the Pilipino Express. The first thing that came to mind (after jumping up and down from excitement, of course) was “what should I call my column?” After much brainstorming, my family and I finally decided on the column title “Growing Up,” hence what you see here today. I remember my sister saying how perfect the title is because growing up never stops and there will always be something to write about.

Fast forward to today – ten years later – I could not agree more! Growing up truly never stops and learning is a continuous process. So even though you may not be a youth, please continue reading as this column is also meant for you!

I cannot believe it has already been ten years since the start of this column! To celebrate this ten-year milestone, I thought to share some quotes from some of my “Growing Up” articles. Call this a “throwback,” if you will, and come journey with me!


“The main reason for me writing this is so that you can see that you don’t need to run a marathon like Terry Fox or stop all wars just for you to make a difference. No, it starts from all the little things! Today’s the day to realize that in every individual there is greatness, there is potential to make a difference.” (“Today’s the day to realize,” October 2006)

“We should all learn to be patient and satisfied with what we have in front of us. Enjoy it while it lasts, no matter what age. Enjoy what you have and be thankful for all the blessings and always remember, you may not be a child in appearance, but you can always be a child at heart” (“Remember those days,” February 2007)

“This Valentine’s Day, instead of looking for a secret admirer, turn to your parents and give them the love that they have always been giving you.” (What is true love?” February 2008)

“The best thing to do in a situation where you don’t know what to do is to talk to someone you really trust. Remember, no matter how independent and old you think you are, you can still (and should) ask for help. (Behind that smile, May 2007)

“So I invite whoever is reading this right now to continue to live your life and do not be afraid to live in this moment and season fully. However, when something ends, be smart enough to let go and recognize that it is a beautiful opportunity to begin again.” (“Like the seasons,” October 2013)

“Probably the biggest lesson I learned is that God whispers. Do you ever find yourself asking God, ‘Can you please give me a sign?’ God may not answer us in the ways we want and expect Him to. He may not come with a grand entrance, but God surely whispers and we can recognize this if we would only listen. We can easily get caught in the chaos of our busy lives and we may not know it, but we might be shrugging off God’s messages to us. Don’t be afraid of silence.” (The World Youth Day experience, September 2013)


Looking back, I can truly say I have grown up in comparison to that 13-year old version of me when I started writing for this column back in 2006. However, the truth is, I am still growing up but have just entered a different stage in my life when I’ll face new challenges and experiences.

I believe it is timely with the New Year for this type of article and message. To end off, I’d like to say thank you for learning with me, and growing up with me throughout my teenage years! I am now entering a different stage of life and I am looking forward to continue learning and growing with all of you, but now as a young adult!

So remember, no matter how old we are and what stage of life we are in, we’re all still “growing up.” I encourage all of us to be even more aware of this in this New Year, be open to new experiences, different perspectives, and never close the door for learning opportunities.

Wishing you all the best with this New Year ahead!

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