People who say they live their lives without regrets are lying. Almost everyone has something that they wish they could go back and change. While some have made huge, life-altering mistakes, others have made poor split-second decisions that they regret immediately. From the tragic to the hilarious, from mystery substances to broken teeth and packets of ketchup, these Reddit users have shared the times that they have messed up the most severely and the sometimes-surprising consequences of their actions.
1. Direct Hit!
I tried to walk across a guardrail and ended up slipping and hitting my groin area in just the right spot to tear my urethra. I had a catheter for about three months after that.
2. Looking for a Friend
I regret losing friends because I didn’t put effort into maintaining the relationship. Nobody tells you when you’re a kid just how hard it is to make new friends once you’re past your college years.
3. Automatic Responses
I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me as I go through the checkout line. I regret it every single time. Cashier: “The receipt is in the bag.” Me: “You too.”
4. Hindsight is 20/20
I was going to buy $100 worth of Bitcoin in 2010 which, at the time, would have been somewhere around 1,200 Bitcoin. I was fairly poor at the time, so I decided I should spend the money on bills and food instead. Looking back on it, I realize I should have starved for a week and let some bills go to collections.
5. Acci-Dental Emergency
One day, I got out of the shower and 11-year-old me came up with a great idea. Because I had my hands full, instead of using one hand to hold the towel and the other to turn the light off, I was going to jump up and bite the light switch to pull it down with my teeth. What could go wrong? So, I jumped up to bite the switch.
It was one of the switches with the string and a ball at the end where you pull it down, and as I came down, my two front teeth hit the ball… and snapped in half. I called downstairs through a mouthful of blood. “Mum… I think I chipped my teeth.” My mum came sprinting up the stairs, took one look at me, and said, “Chipped them? You’ve snapped them in half! There’s a perfect bloody circle in your teeth you idiot!”
So now, every now and then I have to get the other halves of my two front teeth replaced until I’m 21 and can get permanent implants drilled in. The funny part is that the light never turned off!
6. A Close Shave
I work with kids with developmental disabilities. One of the kids I was working with was afraid of hair clippers. With the approval of his parents and our director, who initiated this, we adjusted a tolerance program so that we were actually clipping some of his hair using a pretty thick guard on the clippers. He was getting REALLY good at it.
One day, I took out the clippers and was about to begin, but the kid looked at the clippers and said, “no no no!!” I reassured him that he was going to be fine, so he very quickly stopped and I proceeded. I began to cut his hair and then BAM, HUGE bald spot. It turns out the kid was saying “no” because he noticed the guard wasn’t on the clippers!
I freaked out and called his mom over. Luckily, she just busted out laughing. She said the kid’s dad preferred him with “short hair” anyways, so we proceeded to cut off the rest of his hair. He did great!
7. Not Knowing My Limits
About two and a half years ago, I was in my last semester at college to become a props and paint person for TV and film. I went to college at 30, when I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life, so I wasn’t quite as strong and indestructible as I had been when I was younger. Without thinking about possible repercussions, I helped a team lift a very heavy set piece.
It was too heavy, actually; we didn’t have enough people, but we got it to where it needed to be. It turns out that that lift messed up both of my wrists. For life. I spent the next two years after graduating trying to fix them, but doctors were struggling to figure out what was even wrong. Their final verdict: “Look into long term pain management.”
So, now I can’t work in the industry I wanted to be in, and I also can’t even do a lot of the stuff I used to do. I can’t lift anything more than 15lbs. without it hurting. I finally got a part-time job at an escape room recently, but I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I could have been working in TV, or at the very least, theatre, if I had just said that the set piece was too heavy.
It’s crazy how one wrong move can derail your life.
8. Junior Russian
I wish I had learned Russian earlier so that I had been able to have a rational conversation with my grandparents. Luckily, they are not dead so I’m learning now, but I feel like I could have had a better relationship with them earlier.
9. Mystery Pills are Never a Good Choice
I once took a very large dose of a research chemical thinking its effects would be similar to an acid trip… nope. I went clinically insane for about a year and required inpatient hospitalization. It took me two years after that to build my life back up and have a career, but I was never totally the same. Such is life.
10. Not Choosing My Own Path
I wanted to take six months off to volunteer before going to college. I was dating a girl who I loved, who was then a senior in high school. When she graduated, she was going to join the army, so I decided I’d take 18 months off for volunteering, hanging out with her, and working odd jobs. When I was ready to go to school, I found out that my school had messed up my grant paperwork as well as paperwork for a $750 book scholarship that I had applied for.
They said they would not be able to fix it before the enrolment deadline that semester, so I had to put school off another six months. Consequently, I started school two years behind my friends and peers and, since I hadn’t really been working to save up money, without a cent gained. The volunteering has not been much of a resume booster either, unfortunately.
But it got worse. On top of it all, four months after I started school, my girlfriend dumped me. I later found out she had been cheating for the last six months of the relationship.
11. Should’ve Listened to Mom
Not taking care of my teeth. I didn’t take dental health seriously for a lot of my life and now my teeth aren’t in great shape, especially my two broken molars, and I’m going to need a lot of dental work done to correct that mistake.
Not leaving toxic people sooner. I’m extremely patient and actively try to be kind to everybody. It takes me too long to realize that some people most certainly don’t deserve it.
13. Stay in School
I regret not taking college seriously, and not going to professional or graduate school afterward. I was smart, capable, and had financial support. I even had a full ride to a prestigious private school for undergrad. However, I was super immature and had no idea what I wanted to do. So, I played pool all day and concentrated on dating as many girls as I could instead of my classes.
Now, 20 years later, all my college friends are medical doctors, pharmacists, and lawyers. I mean really—like 15 or 20 of them. And I’m…not. That’s by far my biggest regret in life.
14. Playing Games
I tried to pursue a career in professional gaming. It led to three years of homelessness, struggles to find work, and lost my relationships with my friends and family. I’m now sleeping on a couch, doing temp work, and rekindling things with my family. I’ve also somehow got a girlfriend. I guess things will be fine soon enough.
But man, do I regret that career choice.
I regret believing that I was a good judge of people. Apparently, I am not. It turns out that liars and cheaters don’t ever come out and say that they are horrible people. Make sure that you judge people by their actions, folks, not their “intentions.”
16. Stars in My Eyes
I dropped out of college to act in a TV show that got canceled after the pilot. It took me 14 years to go back to school.
17. Universities Are Businesses
My worst mess up? Student loans. I got into the same private university that my Dad had attended back in the 70s. They have a great engineering program, and he was excited for me to follow in his footsteps. Of course, the tuition rates had skyrocketed since then. The money that my parents had saved for college was gone very fast, and the student loans began.
I ended up with $100k of student loans at the end of my undergrad. Then I accepted a position in their Master’s program with a full scholarship. Two years later, when I finished my masters, the interest had ballooned my debt to $115k, and the Master’s degree has not been any more useful than 2 years of job experience would have been.
Now I am out of school but financially crippled. All of my income goes to rent and loans. So many aspects of my life are on hold because of this debt. I have friends who got four-year engineering degrees with zero loans. Some of them went to the same school and got various scholarships that I didn’t qualify for. Others went to less expensive schools.
I feel like my whole life is postponed a decade behind theirs. Choosing the university and program that I chose is by far the biggest mistake of my life.
18. Fries On Fire
I once put leftover French fries in the microwave, but I wasn’t sure how long I should put them in for. The microwave had a button that said “potato” on it, and somewhere in my stoned, stoned mind I thought, “French fries are made from potatoes, perfect!” I went back to the microwave three minutes later and it was on fire.
Had to evacuate the dorms at 2:00 AM.
19. Sticky Fingers
When I was 13, my sister began dating a girl who was older, about 15 or 16, who did things like smoke, drink, and steal. I was close to my sister, and we both fell into the wrong crowd and began stealing. I’m not talking about stealing a pack of gum from the corner shop; I’m talking hundreds of dollars’ worth of clothes, perfume, jewelry, the lot.
Our mom caught us a few times, but we didn’t stop for quite a while. It is still my biggest regret. Only a few people know about it. To this day, I get annoyed at myself for it. I knew it was bad but did it anyway. I don’t do it anymore, but it still bothers me that I did it in the first place.
20. You’ve Got Mail
I graduated from college without having learned a lot about life. I couldn’t find a job, so I spiraled into bad and then into worse habits. One night, I had a few too many and stupidly got behind the wheel. I crashed my car into a mailbox that punched through my driver’s side window into my head. My blood alcohol content was way over the limit, 0.32%.
Legal repercussions followed and I had the pleasure of digging myself out of that hole. It ended up turning out well though. It was a wakeup call that caused me to get my life together and see things a bit more clearly. An employer took a chance on me eventually, which got my foot in the door for the industry I wanted to work in. Other opportunities have followed.
It was not the path I planned, but it’s what happened.
21. Blood and Ketchup
The biggest mistake I ever made was getting a packet of ketchup in third grade. It was recess, third grade. Little me had chicken fingers or whatever from the cafeteria, and what do you need with chicken fingers? Of course, a couple of packets of ketchup! So I got a packet or two. And let me tell you, I was so excited to dig into those chicken fingers that I ran back to my table.
The condiments were around a corner from the general eating area, so to get back, I had to get around that corner. Unfortunately, at the same time, a kid in fifth grade, who seemed equally excited, was also running around the corner. An impact was inevitable, and as he saw this, he let out a scream. As he did so, we ran into each other, and his tooth went right into my head.
I felt fine for a little bit, but a bystander grabbed me by my shirt’s arm and rushed me to the nurse’s office. I still felt fine, but on my way there, my vision was starting to get blurred by the blood dripping from my forehead. I, understandably, freaked out. I was taken to the hospital and had my wound stitched up. I missed my friend’s birthday party, but for the most part, that was it. Or so I thought.
Fast forward eight years, to high school. I was standing in line with my buds to buy a soda, when all of a sudden, I woke up in an ambulance. I had fainted for some reason, but I couldn’t figure out why. The EMT told me I had had a seizure, which worried my parents and me. I saw a neurologist, got my brain scanned, and was cleared. They said there was nothing wrong with my head.
A year later, I had another seizure, while I was at home. No ambulance was called, but my parents took me to the neurologist again. This time, they found something up there: a scar on the front of my brain. At the time, I couldn’t think of any reason why there’d be a scar there, but thinking back on it later, it had to have been the time I nearly got a tooth lodged in my skull.
I now take my pills and stay away from anything that would endanger me further, but it’s not too much of a life-changer. Besides legally being branded as an epileptic, I’m fine for the most part. If I could talk to my third-grade self, I’d scream, “Just walk you idiot, the chicken fingers aren’t going anywhere!”
22. Picking a Fight With a Fighter
I once got into a fight without knowing the guy I was fighting with did some kind of martial arts. He punched me extremely hard in my chest. As a result, my bones have somehow receded, and I now have a “hole” in my chest. I had trouble breathing for a long time after that. At least he didn’t hit me in the face.
23. Bah, Humbug!
I regret leaving my ex-husband. We had a good life. He treated me well, we were financially stable, enjoyed traveling, had many things in common. I took it for granted. I pretty much had a midlife crisis and thought it wasn’t exciting enough and that I wanted more; I wanted “passion.” I’m now going into the second half of my life financially insecure, shocked by how bad the dating pool is, and living in a space the size of my previous bedroom.
Not to mention I caused him a lot of pain in the process. I wish I could have had an Ebenezer-Scrooge-like premonition of what life would be like three years later. I would have been a much better wife and much more grateful for my “boring” life.
24. Superhero Complex
I severely regret thinking I was invincible when I was 18-19 and sleeping around without protection every time. “STDs won’t touch me,” I stupidly thought. Uhhh, yes they will.
25. A Heart-Shaped Photo
There was this girl in high school that I had a huge crush on. She was my close friend, but definitely out of my league. She was very beautiful and popular, and people always asked her why she hung out with me. I never made a move because I was certain she’d reject me. At graduation, she gave me a nice card and a box of assorted chocolates.
I’m allergic to nuts so I couldn’t eat any, but I really appreciated the gesture. To thank her, I bought her some socks that said “best friend” all over them. After that, she acted very strangely to me. I thought maybe she didn’t like my gift or that she wanted to focus on college or something. Eventually, we just drifted apart.
Since I couldn’t risk eating any of the chocolates, I left them in my parent’s fridge. About six months later, my Mom asked if they could eat the chocolates, over text. I said sure. A few minutes later, she sent me a picture with the message: “This was underneath the chocolates, I think it was meant for you.” I couldn’t believe it. It was a photo of the girl and me, cut into the shape of a heart.
On the back of the photo was a message from her, professing her secret feelings for me. By this time, she had a boyfriend who she’s now married to. I had a shot and I blew it, and I’ve thought about it every day since.
This is going to sound strange, but I regret going well out of my way to do something for my family. This is what happened: my grandfather passed away, and I turned down signing the lease of a new apartment with my best friends for a place that was around the corner from my school. Instead, I agreed to move in with my grandma, who lived an hour and a half away, to help support her.
Unfortunately, I eventually got into a car accident falling asleep on the freeway because of how exhausting the drive to school from her place was and messed up my knee pretty badly. Around the same time, my grandmother ending up moving to another home, so I was left to tend to my knee injuries all by myself. I hurt my shoulder using crutches and, at one point, used a rolling chair to pull myself back and forth to the kitchen.
I lost my “recruited in my field” job, racked up some medical debt, felt the onset of mental disorders from the weeks of solitude, dropped classes and my GPA, resented other family and friends for leaving me alone, and suffered a plethora of compensation injuries. Throughout all this, no one came to make sure I was ok. No one.
This was three years ago, and I am still learning to walk normally again. The one thing I can say is that my strength was tested and reinforced. When I close my eyes, I can remember moments when I made it through things that were far from easy. I also learned to never put anyone else’s needs before yours. Selfishness seemed like a bad character trait to me before, but now I see it as a necessity.
You have to look out for you first and foremost, because no one else will.
27. Don’t Do Drugs, Kids
When I was 23, I did blow for the first time. I had never done it and it was quite clean, so I only felt great the whole time. I had no idea how much was too much though, so I did line after line for about seven or eight hours straight. That night I slept maybe two hours. The next morning, I got up after two hours of sleep and, feeling terrible, I decided I would go to the skate park and skate it off.
Within about five minutes of being there, I had my first seizure. Never before in my life had any illegal substances, amounts of alcohol, or lack of sleep induced a seizure, not once. I have now been epileptic ever since. I cannot drink more than 4-5 drinks in an entire day without running a serious risk of having a seizure the next day, and I need at least seven hours of sleep if I want to avoid the risk of having a seizure the next day.
I had a seizure driving on the freeway once, totaled my girlfriend’s car, and woke up in the hospital. I had a seizure in line in security at Heathrow Airport, I had a seizure in Norway and woke up to be mandatorily hospitalized for two days. I live in California, a state with absolutely terrible public transportation, and I am now not allowed to drive.
It took quite a bit of time to truly understand how epilepsy affects me since everyone’s brain and habits are different. I’m not saying blow is necessarily the reason for my seizures entirely, but I wonder every day what my life would have been like if I had never done it that one time.
28. Toxic Leftovers
I accidentally gave myself really bad food poisoning in 2018. I wasn’t paying attention to how long leftovers had been in my fridge and I reheated them and ate them. BIG mistake. Just 24 hours of misery right? No. I became severely unwell with a bad stomach ulcer. After two months of suffering, I began to develop this insidious anxiety and depression.
Two different doctors did a whole bunch of tests on me and concluded I had pretty much nuked my gut biome, introduced something called H pylori, and that the anxiety and depression were a result of that due to the brain-gut relationship. So, they prescribed me some meds. I took one pill and immediately felt excruciating pain.
I threw up a load of blood and my heart started racing faster than it ever has before. Long story short, the medication was eating through my stomach through the ulcer. It took me seven months to recover. Now I suffer from OCD because I’m terrified I will poison myself again, or poison my family. The depression went away, but the anxiety has remained, along with a bad case of emetophobia.
Cooking meat is a big deal for me now. The main symptoms tapered off around October 2018, but then I developed IBS. My doctor tells me it will never go away. During my depressive state, I quit the best job I ever had. I’ll never get that back. I think that is probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. One little slip-up in the kitchen cost me an entire year of my life.
And I’m still paying the price.
29. Love Does Not Conquer All
I turned down a major career and life-changing opportunity in the film industry in a city close to my family because I “chose love.” My live-in partner didn’t want to move cities, even though she wasn’t even from the city we lived in, we had few friends there, and no family. We broke up five months later and the guy who took the job I turned down is now mega-rich and successful.
I’m doing all right as well, but what a dumb choice that was.
30. Misplaced Leap of Faith
I regret moving to a third world country with little savings and trying to “make it.” Fast forward three years later, I have nothing to show for it besides debt, jail in a third world country, dealing with corrupt cops, four failed start-ups, an abusive business partner and an abusive significant other. Well. I tried.
31. Don’t Live Beyond Your Means
I borrowed $120,000 to go to law school and then incurred $60k in credit card debt to finance a high-maintenance wife and lifestyle. I’m now making six figures but somehow living paycheck to paycheck because of the debt.
32. Reply All
My biggest mistake? While working on an account for a company, I accidentally emailed a batch of documents to a client, which included our whole project profit database. Which was definitely supposed to be confidential. The client went mad, the company went mad…it was a genuine mistake, but I was forced to resign and apologize to the business directors.
Happily, it turns out it was a blessing in disguise. I went freelance after that point, and I’m now earning more money with a more relaxed work-life balance. At the time though, it was the worst point in my and my family’s life due to stress.
33. Missed Witness Opportunity
I regret not riding with my brother years ago when he was collecting scrap. I was like 16 at the time, and my brother was collecting scrap for money, as he was down on his luck. I stayed home when he asked if I wanted to ride with him. He went to this lady’s house in town and knocked on the door to ask about the scrap laying in her yard, but no one answered minus a kid crying in the upstairs window.
Then suddenly, the woman who owned the house ran over and yelled at my brother, saying she saw him trying to break in. He stayed and tried to explain to her he just wanted to ask about scrap, but she was having none of it, and called her husband, and then the police. When her husband pulled up, he immediately ran up to my brother and pinned him against the door, screaming at him.
Then the police pulled up, and the woman told them she had watched my brother try to break in. My brother explained his story, but the cop basically told him that since two people were saying he was trying to break in, he was getting arrested. There was even a witness across the street that stood and watched the whole ordeal, but apparently he wouldn’t say anything.
Long story short, my brother spent six months in jail and was forced to take a plea agreement for something he didn’t do, because we couldn’t afford his bail or legal defense. I have always felt that if I had just gone with him to collect scrap, I could have been a witness, and he could potentially have avoided all of it.
34. A Near Miss
When I was 13, I was practicing archery in my backyard. My backyard faces about a mile of woods, with nothing but trees and a hill at the end. I was messing around and decided to turn around and pull back my bow, and then spin around and try to hit the target without aiming. Bad idea. I lost hold of the arrow mid-way and it flew straight over my fence and into my neighbor’s garage.
They were both outside in the front yard and saw the arrow clear the fence, soar between both of their cars, clip the ground, and then slide into the half-open garage door. It stopped at the back wall. Apparently, they had just been in the driveway moments before it happened, and if it had happened a couple of seconds sooner, my arrow could have hit someone.
Me being a kid, I naturally was terrified as I ran around to the gate and into my driveway, screaming “Is everyone okay? I’m so sorry!” They were more confused than mad, and once I explained what had happened, they had a bit of a laugh at my expense. My parents were called and the bows were locked up for almost a year before I was allowed anywhere near them again.
And that was the closest I’ve ever come to potentially killing/maiming someone.
I once submitted the wrong file for a crucial university assignment. To make things worse, it was a group assignment. By submitting the wrong file, I affected my whole group and not just myself, making us all fail the 12-week-long semester module!!
36. Knowledge is Power
At 19, I worked at a clothing store. One day, I saw that my manager and co-worker just ripping up clothes and breaking bottles of perfume and jewelry. I asked why they were doing it, and the manager said it was because they didn’t want people digging the items out of the trash later on and getting them for free. I asked if I could take a few of the perfume bottles, and he gave me permission to take them all.
I did so and gave some to my family and friends, but sold most of the bottles. I told the manager how much I had made, and he told me he would give me more if I gave him half the cash. I said sure. In the back of my head, I was suspicious, but me being young and green, I felt like I could trust the general manager. So for about a month, I sold the bottles for him.
Then, one day I came into work and was pulled into the office for a meeting with theft prevention and the district manager. They accused me of stealing from the company. They had images of the online ads I posted for the items I had taken home, and told me that if I didn’t write that I stole over $15,000 worth of cash and goods, they were going to call the police and throw me in jail.
I was terrified. I’d never been in trouble, and I tried explaining to them that the manager had given me permission, but they didn’t listen. I also told them I had never stolen cash after they informed me that they also had an entire deposit missing. I wrote down what they told me to because I was so scared, I basically gave a complete confession.
Kids, don’t EVER do this. I was naïve, and wish I would’ve just let them call the police. Instead, I did as they said and was escorted out of the building and told the police would contact me. I tried calling my manager to ask him what was going on, but he never answered, and the next day the phone was turned off or he’d blocked me.
I’m also pretty sure he took off with the deposit because he never went back to work after he heard what happened to me. Because I was a first time offender, I was charged with felony theft and given four years of probation with the option to defer when I finished. I spent a lot of years working bad jobs with low pay because my background check wouldn’t pass anywhere decent.
I became depressed and began to drink heavily. I was so deeply ashamed that it was hard for me to even look at my parents because I knew how badly I had let them down. It’s taken a long time, but I’m a harder person because of all of it. I’ve learned a lot about my rights and about people in general.
37. Phone vs. Windshield
I was sitting in my car arguing with my ex-girlfriend on the phone. This was back when we had those big old Nokia brick phones. She said something terrible and then hung up on me. I was so furious that I hurled my phone at the dashboard. Well the phone obviously broke, and then bounced off of the dash and cracked my windshield.
That took the wind out of my sails pretty darn quick.
38. Black-hearted Buyer
I unknowingly sold a car to a drunk driver with a suspended license. He still had the actual license card on him, so it didn’t even cross my mind that it could have been suspended. Later, I found out that after I sold it to him, he drove 10 miles, stopped at a pub to drink, and then drove off and fatally hit an 11-year-old with the car before fleeing the scene.
Since I was still the registered owner of the car, the police came and broke down my door. There was an armed standoff and everything. I wish I had never sold him that car.
39. Not Taking a Chance
I had numerous chances to invest in Bitcoin at less than $5 and didn’t take advantage of any them, even though I had lots of disposable income to do moon-shot investments at the time. My friend, who actually followed through with Bitcoin, is now a multi-millionaire.
40. Disappointing My Father
I robbed a bank when I was 20. This is actually the first time I’ve openly said this, as it makes me feel very ashamed. I was prosecuted and it completely changed my life. I’d go back and stop myself from doing it if I could. The worst part about it is when I was in court, I was required to answer the question, “How do you plead?”
They had me dead to rights on camera, so my attorney told me that I would have to plead guilty. Saying it out loud wasn’t the worst part for me, though. After saying “guilty” for the courtroom, I had to turn around and look at my father, and I saw the heartbreak written all over his face. I’ll never forget the way he looked at me.
When we left, he didn’t yell. He didn’t hit me. He didn’t do anything to me that I thought he would. He just looked ashamed. To this day I don’t think I’ve truly forgiven myself.
I messed up by having sex with the wife without realizing that antibiotics negate birth control pills. But we’re excited anyway.
42. Untrustworthy Seamen
I trusted the new junior engineer while working on a 30,000-tonne ship. I believed that he had done his work properly and not been lazy. I’d checked everything he’d done before then for the past month, but that day I decided he was trustworthy enough, so I didn’t double-check. It turns out he had left a job half done and hadn’t bolted a sea strainer down more than a few turns at each corner, yet still tagged everything in correctly.
I got the shout over the radio to open up the hydraulic valve and, within half a minute, got flood alarms across the entire compartment (roughly 200m²), the censors for which were at about a half a meter’s depth. Both of us got the reaming out of a lifetime and threats of being fired, demoted, castrated, and even defenestrated from the bridge window—rightfully so.
It took me until midnight to fully pump the place out into the bilge tanks because the junior engineer bailed on me. So yeah, I nearly flooded and sank a 30,000-tonne tanker due to misplaced trust. The junior engineer got his comeuppance a few weeks later, by being noticeably drunk on watch.
43. Don’t Step On a Crack Or You’ll Break…Your Ankle
I stepped on a crack in the sidewalk while taking out the trash. Lots of pain and swelling, so I thought I’d sprained it. Turns out I tore three ligaments but was misdiagnosed for five months. Did more harm to it by treating it as a stress fracture. Been almost a year, hurts as bad as when it happened. May never heal properly. It sucks.
I can walk fine with a little pain. Standing long hurts. Can’t do anything remotely sporty. Have random intense pain and aches. If I had just slipped on my shoes, it wouldn’t have happened.
44. Video Game Addict
My biggest mistake was wasting away about 20 years of my life deteriorating in front of a TV or computer screen playing video games. Now I’m in my mid-20s with no skills and low motivation. Only now a few years ago did I truly make the change to be a participant in my life instead of a spectator. Giving up the toxic and addicting technological habits has been one heck of a battle though.
Everyone warns you about doing illegal substances when you’re young, but no one warns you that you can just as well become a junkie with a computer.
45. Always Carry Your Business Card
I was in college studying Industrial Design. One day, when I was at an auto show, the head of design for BMW, Chris Bangle, asked for my business card. I didn’t have any, and in the confusion of the show, I didn’t give him any contact information. Now I work in a warehouse stocking shelves.
46. Insurance Pays…Or You Do
I recently got into a car accident and totaled both cars involved. I only had minimum insurance coverage, so my car is a total loss, and I potentially owe $15k for the remaining balance of their Mercedes. The worst part is, it wasn’t even my fault. While I was making a left turn, the Mercedes blew yellow light, and I got 100% fault.
Lesson: don’t cheap out on insurance. I ride a bike to work now.
47. Tackling Senior Year
I was a good athlete in high school and hoped to be a decent athlete in college. During my senior year in high school, I was playing backyard football with a bunch of guys during class. I knew it was tackle, so I figured I would tackle some people. Bad idea. I ended up tearing my ACL, missing my senior year, and experiencing knee pain almost every day, even though it has been almost five years.
It’s not the end of the world, but making that tackle was really stupid, and I regret it almost every day.
48. Fork Chin
One day, I was tipping back in my chair while holding a fork in my hand. I fell back and cracked my head open as well as somehow stabbed my self in the chin. I now find it impossible to eat without my scar making me cry a little bit inside.
49. Proposal Let Down
My regret is my reaction to my partner proposing. By the time he proposed, we had been together for 10 years. I knew it would eventually happen, but did not expect him to propose that day. I must have imagined the moment thousands of times and daydreamed about how excited I would be. I imagined myself jumping up and down, screaming with joy.
Instead, I was so shocked that I fell silent and just cried. I feel like I robbed myself of my dream reaction, which is ridiculous, but I still wish I could redo it.
50. MIA: Missing in the Air
Not a pilot—but was an air traffic controller. I have a million screwed-up pilot stories, though. One very sad story was a pilot who flew in on “emergency fuel” in his MiG he flew around to air shows. He was erratic and didn’t listen to instructions well, but landed safely. He left my airport a few days later, then went down in the mountains and was never found.
The finding was: Likely low fuel due to scraping his fuel tanks at an air show prior to arriving at my airport. He never even had it looked at while he was at my airport. He was aware he had scraped his fuel tanks, he came into my airport using emergency fuel, yet he pressed on after that, to his death. The truth is, pilots are just people. They’re flawed like the rest of us.
51. Always Check the Decimals
I very nearly injected a premature baby who had Down Syndrome with ten times the amount of Lasix I was supposed to give him: I had put the decimal in the wrong place when I did the math on the dose. That baby would almost certainly have died if I’d given it to him. I had the liquid drawn up in the syringe and had the syringe actually in the port ready to push through before I looked inside the chamber and realised how uncharacteristically full it seemed.
Paediatric IV doses of anything are simply tiny. I was supposed to give him 0.1 mls, and nearly gave him 1.0mls. I needed a very large cup of tea after that.
52. All It Takes is a Few Seconds to Change Your Life
I used to work for a business that provided service for people with disabilities. Basically, it was a state-funded service that provided transportation for people who could not use public transit. Since we did some return trips from hospital to home for people who had gone to the hospital by ambulance, we had a spare wheelchair in the car, because these patients’ wheelchairs would be at their homes.
One evening I went to pick up an elderly man from a hospital with the car’s chair. As I arrived, I found out that the man was an amputee and probably over 80 years of age. When we arrived at the given address, the man seemed slightly confused and claimed that he had never seen the place. I took him onto the lift that was at the back of the car since I thought that the darkness outside and tinted windows on the back of the car had just confused him.
Yet even on the lift, where he could see the building, he didn’t recognize the place. And that’s when I made a huge mistake. I had been instructed to never take my hand off the wheelchair if it was on the lift, yet in the confusion, I did exactly that. I locked the brakes on the wheelchair so he wouldn’t accidentally roll off of the lift, and told him to wait a couple of seconds so I could check the list of residents’ last names, which was on the stairwell.
I managed to take two steps away from the car and wheelchair when I realized that I simply could not leave the man as he was. I either had to put him back into the car or lower him down onto the ground. As I turned around, I saw the man leaning back, pushing the wheelchair’s front tires off of the lift, while his hands were reaching for the knobs that release the brakes.
The man fell headfirst about 2.5 feet to the ground. I of course immediately called an ambulance, and a couple of minutes later, the man’s wife came to see what was going on. Tragically, the man passed away two days later in the hospital from blunt force trauma on the back/top of the head, which led to brain swelling.
I was prosecuted and deemed guilty. The sentence was just a 2,000€ fine. I could have continued in that line of work, but after a while, I had to get away from it. I just couldn’t do it.