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YVANNE The birthday interview

by Yvanne Dandan

October is my birthday month so around this time of year I set aside a good amount of time for thorough reflection. If I want to set myself up to have an amazing next year it’s truly important for me to take a step back and reassess. We can make all the goals in the world but none of them will carry purpose if we don’t connect them with their relevance in our stage of life.

Any of my friends would know this about me already but I would also like to let you in on one of my regular birthday activities: the “birthday interview.” This interview is a process of asking a birthday celebrant a series of thoughtful questions that revolves around their stage of life – a look back at the previous year, blessings of the present, and hopes for the future. I would like to share with you the questions that are part of this interview to provide you with another tool for reflection.


Purpose: to reflect on your growth, challenges, and lessons learned in the previous year. This part of the reflection will show you how this year has contributed to your life.

  • What is one word to describe the past year?
  • What are some of the highlights of the past year?
  • What is something that you learned? Did this change the way you saw life and how you’re living it?


Purpose: to remind ourselves that we are blessed in this stage of our life, no matter what. To give ourselves a place to “reset” when preparing to create goals for the future.

  • Now at age ____, what is something that you really value? What are your priorities?
  • Are you content? If yes, why? If no, why?


Purpose: to dream and plan for the next year and encourage us to feel excited about another year.

  • What are some things you’re looking forward in this additional year of your life?
  • What is something new that you’d like to try?
  • What is something you want to let go of?
  • Complete this sentence: “Next year on my birthday I would like to be ______.”

Feel free to use these questions as a tool for reflection. It is important to take the time to challenge ourselves to continue improving, learning, creating and achieving our goals. Also, if anyone else has an October birthday like me, Happy Birthday to you! I wish you even more happiness and love in this additional year of your life.

Keep dreaming big dreams, fellow dreamers!

Let us never forget how equally important it is to encourage others along the journey.


Yvanne enjoys empowering youth to discover their limitless potential in her current role as Program Manager with Career Trek Inc. She’s also an Independent Pop, R&B/Soul Singer-Songwriter and utilizes this platform to communicate messages dear to heart. Yvanne is a big encourager of following one’s dreams and supporting others along the way. She is happy to be sharing her thoughts and journey with readers of the Pilipino Express since her middle-school years.

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