The Five Most Important Things I Learned By 27

By GORDON BROWN / Posted on September 17, 2017

So you’ve finally made it: At long last you’re a grizzled veteran of adulthood, and there’s nothing that this universe can throw at you that you haven’t already beaten. Not unless you’re anything like me.

So you’ve finally made it.

Officially in your late twenties – half a decade out from college and conquering the great, wide world through pure grit and elbow grease. At long last you’re a grizzled veteran of adulthood, and there’s nothing that this universe can throw at you that you haven’t already beaten.

Not unless you’re anything like me.

It’s been barely over a year since I wrote about “The Five Most Important Things I Learned By Twenty Five”, and I was pretty sure that by now I’d know everything there is to know. After all, thirty is only a few years away, and that’s the age where I’ll be instantly transforming from a bright-eyed kid into a crotchety old fart (I assume that’s how it works). Life, it turns out, had a few more lessons to teach before then. Here are the five most important things I learned by twenty-seven:

Rejection Is A Skill

It was around this time last year that I finally worked up the nerve to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a fiction author. Day after day I sent out short stories and flash fiction pieces, and day after day my inbox filled up with rejections. In spite of what they might tell you, it doesn’t get any easier, and the latest “thanks-but-no-thanks” stings just as much as the first. That doesn’t change, but what did change was my ability to handle it.

Took me long enough.

Racking up an 81.6% rejection rate (yes, I ran the numbers) I started questioning if my stories were really any good, if I’d ever amount to anything, if I wasn’t just kidding myself. And somewhere in the middle of that miserable pity-party, I finally asked myself the only question worth anything: is my pride more important than my dream?