When a county deputy served me a petition for divorce, I placed it in a desk drawer, unable to endure its typed finality. One day soon afterward, I took it out and taped it to the refrigerator door. I needed to see it, to absorb the harsh reality that my marriage was over. The next day, I found a hawk feather on my front porch. A few days later, I found another hawk feather in almost the exact same spot. It was no accident. I believed I was being alerted to the possibility that, from a distance, this vast rejection was a blessing in disguise, I placed the two feathers above the petition and felt a little less sad.

Divorce is not something desired; I think it is often a terrible mistake with far-reaching consequences. Yes I know the law of balance works, and probably I will reap manifold gifts from my brief marriage. When I look at my son's face, I see I already have.

As long as I am alive, I will be rejected. We all will. I try to loosen up, to become more of an observer, as though I am watching a film whose plot twists and turns only enhance the eventual resolution. It's just plain interesting to go through big changes, to feel improved as a result of pratfalls, turnarounds, and upheavals. Rejection? Bring it on, I want to say. Bring it on.

Suzanne Finnamore is the author of Otherwise Engaged (Vintage).

Failed at Something? You're Not Alone!


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