May 27, 2024 2 min read 0 Comments


a photo essay on growing up by Colin Dancel


I am turning 25 next week. According to science, people reach full maturity at this age. By this definition then, most of my friends are supposedly mature or as I always say, grownups

       "I am surrounded by grownups!”
       "Wow, you are such a grownup” 

These gleeful remarks (okay, maybe a shriek) always get responses such as, 

     “no, I am not a grownup”
     “what does that even mean?!"

I always say it does not mean old. 

Maybe instead of saying grownup, I should just say growing up or something that alludes to an unending understanding of what it means.

But anyway, while there is no one definition, as of this writing, growing up for me, means that you give room for what you do not know yet and question what you already do. I used to hate alcohol. I blame it for so many things. Many nights, Mama would have to pick up my Titos — a car accident, a shattered glass, dozing off in front of the US Embassy. Yes, the US Embassy. And of course, Papa died 12 years ago due to heart failure primarily caused by drinking. You get it right? So, I swore it off, and I judged everyone who does it but as with all things, that changed as I experienced the world for myself. Heck, I am working for a wine (importer) company now.

This photo essay is about growing up and how I am trying to have a better understanding of the world. This is a celebration of everything that I’ve come to know which I am sure I have to unlearn at some point but for now, this is what is.

 I'm 25 I’ve always believed that it’s give it all or nothing at all but I am learning to account for grey areas.
The aforementioned grey area(s)
We allow for spillages because it happens. Even if you are perfect, the world is not.
The world rotates, we see the sun The world rotates, the sun gives way to the moon.
You can linger. Beat yourself up; savor a moment. Stare at that thing a while longer. Give yourself time.
And then let it go.
Understand that no one and nothing could have changed it, if it’s meant to happen. You are not that all in-charge So let it. 
Understand that you, your light, who you are matters.
Who you become, what you end up believing, everything that has led you here, all of it matters.
The world rotates and today you felt all the wonder again. You marvel at being here. Despite all.
(Literal) Artist's Notes