You never know what small decision may have a huge impact on our life.
Here, people reveal a seemingly minor event that changed everything. Link on the last page.
1. In an effort to get into a girls pants I tried to impress her by attending an Narcotics Anonymous meeting she suggested I go to. Never did get to bang her but 19 yrs later I’m still clean and sober.
2. First day of university I accidentally went into the wrong room and ended up sitting through an Italian lecture because I was too embarrassed to leave, three years later and I’m now living in Italy.
3. Passively, I introduced my sister to an older friend of mine while we were watching his uncle in a fighting match. One thing led to another and now I have a nephew. I didn’t even plan on introducing him, but he urged me to. I decided to go for it after he offered me a box of milk duds.
So basically milk duds are responsible for my nephew’s existence.
4. A girl came over to sell heroin to my roommate. I’ve never touched opiates but I tolerated my roommate doing it because I couldn’t afford to kick her out and didn’t have anyone else to live with.
I chatted with her for a minute and as she was leaving I gave her my number. I don’t usually give my number to people I just met, especially not drug addicts. I knew she was a junkie and I’m really not sure what drew me to her, but for some reason I felt like I had to get to know her.
She’s been clean three years, we’re married and our daughter is sleeping a few feet away from me. It’s just weird to think that our awesome little family only exists because she and my roommate were ruining their lives together with smack.
5. There was a college party I was invited to my freshman year in high school.
Didn’t go because my mom made my favorite dish; fried chicken.
The party ended up getting busted and a bunch of kids got locked up and kicked out of school for underage drinking and illegal substances.
6. I asked a girl at the bus stop if I was in the right place, we started chatting, became great friends, she broke up with her boyfriend, dropped out of school, and I took her apartment.
It’s a really nice apartment.
7. Almost five years ago now, I was a bit bored during the summer of my M.Sc. and fired off a little article pitch to the anonymous form online at Astronomy magazine for a short, not too serious or complex article. But it turns out the editor there actually liked the idea enough to write back, which evolved into my first piece for the magazine.
I’ve now been writing a few articles for them a year (even got a cover article once!), for them and other science magazines too. Always a thrill, and it pays well enough to cover my travels on weekends and further afield- I was very proud to cover a week to Curacao this year entirely from writing! But damn, am I happy I was bored that day… even if getting your first article pitch accepted totally spoils you for how it usually goes.
8. For a lark, while bored, I went over and sat on the arm of a chair where the shyest boy ever was studying, in 1963. I wanted to see him blush, in a cruel sort of way. Now have eight grandchildren and he still blushes.
9. When I was 10, I tripped and fell on my face chipping my two from tooth.
Being poor, we never could afford to get them fixed. I grew up with no front teeth. I never smiled. Never talked. Never ate in front of people. Until I was half way through high school, I never had them done.
It wasn’t until I finally had the teeth fixed was I able to make real friends and become social, but the damage was already done. I was very awkward.
On top of this. The crowns for my teeth were surprisingly expensive and caused a lot of arguments over money between my parents the following years. Yes it was enough to drag on several years. When I was in college, they split up.
I believe many of my personality traits have been shaped by this event when I was in 5th grade.
10. Was tired and thirsty, stopped my motorcycle for a quick drink. Decided to say hi to a girl there at the cafe.
Eight years later we are married with two kids.
11. When I was sixteen, I grabbed a bottle of wine from the basement to bring to a friend’s birthday party.
Turned into a huge argument between my parents about my dad’s apparent alcoholism and resulted in their divorce.
12. My husband and I were both working at jobs we hated, marriage was going through a rough patch. We decided to spend the weekend at his parent’s house. This included going to church with them Sunday morning.
After church, we heard someone talking about a local disabled man who was looking for live-in home care. It sounded way too good to be true, but we applied anyway. Got the job, moved – it totally changed our lives. The man, who became one of our best friends, passed away this year (23 years after he was told by doctors he wouldn’t survive), but his influence on us won’t ever be lost.
13. When I was a bit tipsy, I walked up to a girl I found attractive (but “too attractive for me”) and just started talking to her.
My general idea was that my buddy could laugh while I was told to screw off. I am pretty shy so this was way out of character for me. There was basically no reason for me to approach her, I didn’t know her from anywhere, just “hey I saw you sitting here, just thought I’d say hi,” type of thing. We’re married now.
14. I grew up believing I was a ‘creative type’ & was destined to work in the performing arts. I applied to study Drama as an accelerated subject in senior high school and there was an administration error so I got put in Biology by mistake.
But then I found I loved it! I decided to stay in Biology. Since then I’ve got a scholarship to do my science degree and won some awards for some microbiology research I did. I met my partner through collaboration between our research groups. I taught at the University for several years too.
Since then, I have studied to become a teacher to hopefully let kids know that there is no such thing as a ‘science person’ – we’re all science people if we want to be! I got offered my first high school teaching job this morning and couldn’t be more excited.
15. Drank water from the tap at a gas station to wash down an aspirin. Microbial parasites nearly kill me! I rethought my life, dropped out of one of the top universities in the country, ran for parliament twice, taught rock climbing for a while, did some serious long distance hiking and ended up a stay at home dad and couldn’t be happier.
16. My husband and I, back when we started dating, got into a small argument. He pointed out that we never really did anything that he wanted to do. The argument was over and done with – but it triggered something in my brain, which made me realize that he was right. I’d actually spent a lot of my life being quite selfish, without even realizing.
That one small argument made me realize how I’d been up to that point in my life, and I became very aware of what I did or said – for the better!
He made me a much better person, from what was, at the time – a passing comment, and I think it’s benefited not only my relationship with him (he did end up asking me to marry him after all, for some unknown reason!), but with my family and friends as a consequence.
17. When I was 14 I was walking back to the bus during a school ski trip.
Saw a girl awkwardly struggling to carry her skis/poles.
Decided to help her carry them instead of walking by.
2 years ago today I married her.
18. Working in I.T. And the lowest on the totem pole (not me) usually gets coffee. I feel stressed out due to a big project and decide to get out of the office. I ask the newbie where he gets coffee and tell him I will do it today for the fresh air.
Cute girl serves me, sees my name tag lanyard with DC logo’s on it. She asked me if I had seen the new Batman yet. I said no!
Then I took my coffee and left.
About 3 hours later I clue in. I loudly exclaim “OH CRAP” at my desk and run out of the office. She was still there, I asked her if she wanted to see it with me, she said “I thought that was obvious.”
3 years later I proposed in disney land and we live together!
19. When I was 13, I met a girl in an online forum, and we started to talk quite a lot. This carried on for a year or two, until we finally fell out of touch.
Fast-forward to when I was 18, and a girl I barely knew from high school posted some photos on Facebook of her and some university friends.
I instantly recognized one of them to be that very same girl I’d spoken to all those years ago, although she looked understandably different.
(story continued on the next page…)
So I did what any shy IT student would do; I sent her a ‘poke’. The only one I have ever sent.
The next day, I logged on to see that she had poked me back, and also sent me a message! She remembered me!! After a week or two of exchanging messages, she suggested we meet up, as I would be in her city for a music gig with my Dad and some family friends.
I was so nervous and shy, I almost said I wasn’t going.
But through some reason or another, I agreed and she came to meet me outside the venue. I can’t remember much of what happened afterwards, but it clearly worked, as she asked me out that very night.
We now live together and have a cat! We’re both still young, but it’s a great start.
20. I offered to work my Saturday off to help a coworker out. A guy brought his sick cat in that morning for an emergency appointment (worked at a vet clinic).
That was just over 5 years ago and we got married 4 months ago.
21. I watched a YouTube video about South Korea and now I live in South Korea.
22. I have had difficulty making friends all my life. One time on camp, my usually table buddy during lunch (the guy who sat in front of me and who i knew from school) wasn’t there yet. Instead, an unknown kid sat in front of me, who had moved tables to get away from a certain bully.
We began to talk… 12 years later still best friends. Best bully ever.
23. Go to leave a party. Girl is sitting on my jacket so I ask her for it.
I think she’s cute so I ask her out. Dated her for 3 and a half years.
Broke up two days ago and I come home to a smashed PS4.
All I had to do was hang my jacket up like a normal person and my PS4 wouldn’t be broken today.
24. When I was in fourth grade my mother took me with her to Books-a-million so she could buy another mystery novel. I was walking with her and saw a book that had an interesting cover. So I picked it (Homeland by R.A. Salvatore) up, read the back of it and thought it would be interesting and asked my mom to buy it. It really enthralled me, and I started to read more and more of his books.
Eventually, I branched out to other fantasy authors like Tolkien and Pratchett. By the time I was in 6th grade I already had a college reading level thanks to them. However, in 7th grade I started to miss a lot of school due to kidney stones.
From 7th-12th grade I passed around 29 of them. However, thanks to my love of reading I only ever really fell behind in Math. You can pretty much get a concept of Science, English, and History from books though. If I had not enjoyed reading so much I probably would have failed out of school. I only went about 40 days in 7th and 8th grade.
25. Two years ago I was almost run over in a parking lot by a 24 year old asian girl. We’re getting married next weekend.
26. My ex spent a good hour yelling at me about socks I had ordered so I just walked out. I didn’t plan on it, I had no plans on what to do I just left and went to my mom’s house.
It’s taken a solid year but Ive finally rebuilt, all because of some socks.
27. I was sitting in a park on a bench as a teenager when a punk guy in his 20’s came up to me.
We chatted about life and he inspired do what I love and not be ashamed of who I am. After I left to go home for dinner, a lady walked up to me asking if he had hurt me. It showed me the ignorance and judgement of some people and taught me to both be more careful but also openminded.
That silly, old bench shaped me in who I am today.
28. Went to a party with my roommate my freshman year of college. The party was run by the school sports fan club thingie. That party was basically everything I wanted in college.
Because of that party, I went to their next meeting, met someone who worked for one of the IT departments on campus and who at some point later on said I should apply to work there. I wound up working there, doing great, and now run a help desk for a school.
That party also introduced me to nearly all of my best friends and they are responsible for pretty much every great moment I had in college. 10/10 would halfheartedly follow my roommate again.
29. A good friend thought she had a minor pneumonia. Went to the hospital with some minor breathing problems.
It was the last time she was ever outside that hospital. She missed all the signs and never went to a doctor earlier… She was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal lung cancer and passed away 6 months later.
At least she got her dream to come true. She was married to her long time boyfriend just 2 days before she passed. To a mostly standing ovation of family, friends, staff and patients who could stand in the hospital chapel. One of the happiest and saddest weddings I have ever attended.
30. Overhearing a girl I was just about to ask out tell her friend (they were playing some sort of would-you-rather-game) that I looked like a “burnt out potato stabbed by a stake” and they started giggling. When I heard that behind the cabinet of books, I sorta quietly laughed and carried on, not really caring.
Long term, looking back, it was the start of anxiety/self-loathing/depression and low esteem which I still fight today.
31. Missed the 30 day deadline to add my daughter to my insurance when she was born and now owe 30,000 dollars to the hospital.
32. I fought my parents fiercely to move us to the best school district in the area, but also because I didn’t want to leave my friends. They had to settle for a smaller home just for middle school me being a classic angsty teenager.
Sometimes I look back and I can’t believe how different our lives would be if I hadn’t been such a pain in the ass. We’d have lived somewhere else, I’d have probably had different friends, gone to a different college, gotten different job offers.
33. I was vacuuming my room. I wanted to get a hard-to-reach spot, ended up twisting my knee so badly, I chipped my femur, almost dislocated my kneecap, required 90 min surgery, couldn’t do stairs for 6 months, couldn’t run for 9. Cue: weight gain; temporary immobility; depression; failing my classes.
However, I’ve since gotten much better. I decided I didn’t want student debt, so I learned German in 2 years and am now studying Biology in Germany. My knee still bothers me sometimes, but it’s good again. My lifestyle has become much healthier, I’m stronger physically, emotionally and mentally, I’m happily in a relationship with an amazing guy, and the depression is gone.
34. In 5th grade, my mom lost her job in the bank she worked at due to her area of work being computerized. We had to move in with my grandparents for two years, and I had to change schools. I thought the new school would just be the same as the last one, and I would be bullied just as much. Long story short, it’s about 5 years later, and I’m actually quite popular and respected along my peers.
35. The first weekend of freshman year in college and I barely knew anyone besides one guy from my hometown. He asked me to be his wing man while he went to a girls room to try and ask her on a date. My job? To entertain the roommate.
The roommate and I hit it off immediately and started dating a month later. 10 years later we got married. That night I thought I was going to sit and watch the guy get shot down, turns out it was the most important night in my life.
36. I loaned a crying guy at a night club my cell phone so he could call “his girl that was in the hospital”. Turns out he was her stalker. I apologized to her and explained the situation. We talked for a few hours and I asked her if she wanted to get some food.
That was 7 years ago. We are married with 2 kids.
37. I was looking for something to avoid working on my undergrad dissertation and went to a dinner party with some people I didn’t really know very well. Ended up meeting a girl who, over the next 11 months, would date me, be engaged to me and then dump me. From that one act of procrastination I have learned more about relationships, human beings and what shit life can throw at you than at any other time in my life.
38. What was going to be a night out with friends, ended up being the night I began to fall in love with my now fiance.
If I hadn’t gone out that night, I would’ve almost certainly gotten back together with my ex-girlfriend.
39. After going to a play with a couple of friends, I decided that I wanted dessert. It was late and we ended up spending half an hour looking for a place to eat, but everything was closed. We gave up and headed for the subway. My decision to want dessert and our half hour delay put me right next to a very pretty girl on the train who I started talking to and yada yada yada she is now my wife of many years. My quest for a late night dessert got me married.