25 Lessons I Learned at 25

I get very contemplative around this time every year. Today’s my 25th birthday. Turning a year older is a chance to reflect on how much I’ve grown, how I’ve changed. It feels like a personal New Year’s Eve. 25 feels like a big year for some reason, a quarter century. In your 20s there are so many lessons to be learned. It’s such a rough time but it’s also a time to grow and I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve achieved some sense of peace with where I am in life. I’ve decided to share some lessons I’ve learned along the way with some photos I’ve taken within the past year to help flex my creative muscle visually. My hope is that reading this might help someone else who might be struggling and to share what I’ve learned.

Photo: Joe Rodriguez — (Instagram) @jrodriguez713
  1. Happiness is an active choice, an active state of mind
  2. You don’t owe anyone, anything.
  3. You are not above any job.
Photo: Joe Rodriguez — (Instagram) @jrodriguez713

4. Laugh as often as you can. Life’s too short to be too serious all the time.

5. Give yourself permission to do the things you want to do and be who you want to be.

6. Give yourself more credit.

Photo: Joe Rodriguez — (Instagram) @jrodriguez713

7. Learning doesn’t stop at school.

8. The way people perceive you shouldn’t dictate your behavior.

9. Family is the most important thing.

Photo: Joe Rodriguez — (Instagram) @jrodriguez713

10. You could do everything right, and still fail.

11. Everyone has a story to share.

12. Accepting the flawed human you are and embracing it, is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Photo: Joe Rodriguez — (Instagram) @jrodriguez713

13. Don’t be afraid to start over.

14. Your life and journey is yours alone to walk, not anyone else’s. What happens to you is only on your timeline to own.

15. Do something until you do something else, don’t wait for the magical moment.

Photo: Joe Rodriguez — (Instagram) @jrodriguez713

16. Bask in the music, bask in yourself and enjoy the air you breathe when you dance with yourself.

17. People are the way they are for a reason. Explore that.

18. Nobody ever has it together, somebody is always missing something.

Photo: Joe Rodriguez — (Instagram) @jrodriguez713

19. Take five minutes outside to breathe. Breathe in that beautiful, rare air.

20. Dreams are really great fuel to keep you going, but dreaming won’t get you there.

21. Time and humor will heal everything.

Photo: Joe Rodriguez — (Instagram) @jrodriguez713

22. The most important relationship you will cultivate is the one with yourself.

23. People will disappoint and surprise you.

24. You’re stuck in this body forever. You’re not going to wake up and magically become the person you thought you’d be. Instead, you’ll wake up, look at yourself and realize this is who you’ve grown into so far.

25. Love, resilience, and the courage to pursue your goals, be unapologetic, and lead with kindness and empathy will take you very far.

I hope you were able to leave something with some of the things I’ve learned. I hope to hear about some of the things you’ve learned to along the way in this tumultuous time of our twenties.

I wish you well.


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