Life is made of “little moments” that leave a big impact. These Redditors shared the seemingly minor encounters and accidents that changed the course of their existence. Take a wrong turn that goes oh so right with these stories of “butterfly effect” happenstances that changed lives forever.
1. Bad Neighbors to More?
In the co-ed dorms in college, the girl that lived next door to us dated one of the guys upstairs. It did not go well, and he and the rest of the guys really disliked her. They would stomp and jump and make horribly loud noises to make her mad, which lead to my friends and I going up there to “yell” at them (we really just wanted to scare them into thinking we were pissed), and that’s the night I met my now husband. He was the roommate of the guy.
2. Some Pit Stops are More Important Than Others
My sister’s muffler fell off her car on the way to a family function. It wasn’t a big deal, but it meant that she could no longer lend it to my mom later that week as it would be in the shop for repairs. My mom had already been told she could use the car and had already made a doctor’s appointment. My uncle volunteered to drive her instead.
This minor change in plans made it so that my aunt and uncle, who were planning on leaving the city, had to delay by a few hours. They were supposed to go to their farm, but instead my aunt waited at her mother’s while my uncle was dropping my mom off. My aunt’s mother had a heart attack and would have been completely alone that afternoon if not for my sister’s car trouble. Because my aunt was there, she was able to call the paramedics and they were able to save her.
3. Poetry is the Language of Hook-Ups
I was encouraged to enter a poetry competition by my teacher when I was about 17. There was a cash prize, so I decided after some convincing that I would give it a try. I ended up winning, and my poem got published. A couple of months later, I get a message on Facebook from a girl who would like to know more about the poem, because she has to analyze it in connection with her upcoming exam.
It turns out her and I are about the same age, so we decide to meet up and discuss it. We’ve been together for four years now and we’re getting married next month. I often wonder what my life would look like if my teacher hadn’t approached me back then.
4. A Game of Sliding School Districts
I had a crush on someone in the second grade, I did what a second grader would do when they have a crush on someone. I had to transfer schools, and what I didn’t know is she also developed a crush on me. Seven years later, I transferred to a different school again. To my surprise, she was also in that school. I only realized when she talked to me on the second week of class (she was my classmate). Well, she made the first move this time. A year later, she’s now my girlfriend.
5. World War You
I’m alive because my aunt was born. My grandfather was conscripted into the Romanian army as a medic, and his unit was one of the many acting as a defensive barrier, covering the Nazi supply lines to Stalingrad. She was born, and he was called back to Bucharest from the front. While he was on leave, the Russians launched Operation Uranus, which decimated the Axis forces.
He received word that his unit had been completely destroyed. He was never reassigned, and in 1948, my mother was born. I’m also alive because a bunch of Romanian cows got sick. My other grandfather was a pharmacist, back when that meant actually making medicines, and he was also a Jew. The town he lived in was largely agrarian, and their cow herds came down with some illness that was killing them.
He whipped something up that cured them. The townspeople were very grateful to him. So grateful that when the chief of police heard that the Nazis were coming to town to take inventory of who lived there, he came to my grandfather’s house with some train tickets for him and his wife. They escaped the Nazis, and never got caught.
My father was born at the end of 1945. I guess this is the opposite of the butterfly effect, really. Rather than one small action blowing up into a much more important chain of events, two hugely improbable events are what eventually led to my birth (and obviously my extended family as well)…and now, I run ads on the internet.
6. The Real Failure Would Be in Not Trying New Things
In high school, I didn’t get into the AP history class wanted. Changed up my schedule, including a different gym class, without everyone I knew. I was heartbroken. I really wanted to teach, and without an AP class senior year, I was screwed. Made a new friend in gym class, who was wearing a volunteer firefighter shirt. He had just joined.
Seemed interesting, and he invited me to check it out. They paid for me to get my EMT. Fell in love with healthcare. Fast forward quite a while, and I’m an ER Nurse and I precept students and new nurses, teaching them how to survive in the ER. I also do public outreach and injury prevention. And I love it. Glad I missed out on my class.
7. Found Families Are More Fun
If my biological mom hadn’t asked her parents to watch me for a couple of hours and then left town, I wouldn’t have had the incredible and privileged life that I was given through adoption. My younger half-brothers were raised by our biological mom and they are a total freaking mess (I’m more of a mom to them than their actual mom), and I would have been an absolute wreck also if she’d kept me.
Instead, I was given an amazing private education, all the sports and musical adventures, and most important a healthy, loving home with two parents who taught me that just because you share blood doesn’t mean you love, and just because you didn’t give birth to a child doesn’t mean you can’t be their parent.
8. Accidents Come in Twos
I moved a potted plant on one side of an elevator about three inches up to be symmetrical with the other. A guy walks in and breaks his toe on it (I think he was running). On the way to the ER, in his car with a coworker driving, they got into a car wreck.
9. My Kingdom for a Horse
If I hadn’t bought my horse, I might be dead/very disabled. Why? In 2014 I bought my horse. At the horse pension, I met L. We became friends, although not being the same age and having really different personalities. In 2015, we had a nice evening out at a winter market, which we wanted to repeat at the same date in 2016.
I had strong headaches and had to tell L I couldn’t come. She asked some questions and after telling her for how long I had that headache, she used her free day to take me to the ER in the hospital she worked at, as they have the best neuro around here, which I did not know. This might have saved my life, because I had a freaking thrombosis in my head.
If I hadn’t bought my horse, I would have never met her, and if we hadn’t had planned on repeating that evening and if she wouldn’t have worked at that special hospital things would have turned out different for me.
10. Thanks for the Tip, Sonic!
I was walking to school and got distracted by a hedgehog that ran in a bush next to me. Then, a big tree branch fell in front of me. It would’ve crushed me if I didn’t get distracted by a spikey little mouse scurrying in the bushes. I gave him a dead cricket the next day, he took it and ran off. Godspeed, spikey mouse.
11. When a Honeymoon Becomes a Career
So, my then-girlfriend, now wife, and I were planning on going away traveling for a very long time. Several years. The night before we left, I was just packing my things and at the last minute, I decided to include some camera stuff. I had an SLR that I didn’t really use too much. I very nearly didn’t bring it because it was big, and space was at a premium.
While we were away one of the things we did was work in a wildlife rehab center. At the time we were there it was very quiet, very few baby kangaroos to look after, but we had to be ready as that could change in an instant. Like in one day, three could be born and boom. Full-time job. I used this spare time to really get to grips with the camera and learn about photography in general.
Now I’m a wildlife cameraman. Had I decided to leave the camera I never would be doing what I’m doing. Which is sitting in a freezing cold shed for hours at a time waiting for some animals to do something that they’re not doing.
12. A Leak can Save a Life
Pregnant cousin usually takes the bus at around 5:10 PM after work. She was about to hop inside the bus, but she needed to pee really badly, and the commute is about an hour long, so she decided to go to the restroom instead and just catch the next bus. That 5:10 bus ended up falling from a cliff.
13. Four Weddings and a Banking Issue
To make a long story short, I over-drafted and caused four marriages and five babies. Longer version, I was just out of high school and new in town with no job. I was living off what savings I had left, and my account went below zero without me knowing. I was overdraft charged like 10 times and owed $300+. I went down to the bank spoke with a teller, and she ended up being a lifesaver.
She worked with me and helped me and got all the charges removed. On top of getting the charges removed, we got to talking about my current situation and she said that her son worked at a local restaurant, and she would help me get a job. She was a woman of her word and by the end of the week, I was working at the restaurant full time.
Fast forward, I met a cool dude who worked there, we became friends, I introduced him to my sister, they fell in love, got married and had two kids. His best friend came into town for the wedding and I introduced him to my roommate at the time. They fell in love, got married and had two babies. I also got my best friend a job at the restaurant where he met a girl working there, they fell in love, got married and had a kid.
Right before I left, I got my roommate a job at the restaurant, where he met a customer, fell in love, got married and had a kid. As a bonus, my best friend, whom I helped get the job, repaid the favor and got me a job at a different restaurant, where I met a girl, fell in love and got married.
14. Ambition, Pursued by a Bear
When I was 15 or so, a Louisiana black bear ran across the road in front of my car. I’m way out of their native range, and it really struck a chord with me. It triggered my decision to focus on wildlife management going forward. I have my degree now and work with alligators, but I’ve worked with bears in the past. All because me and some lost bear crossed paths on a rainy night.
15. It All Begins With a Coffee
Got arrested for growing weed, moved back home. Got the first job I could, at Ikea. After working there for over a year, I randomly decided to check Craigslist for jobs and saw an opening at a cafe and they were hiring right then, so instinctively went for it. The cafe was connected and owned by one of the most popular brewpubs/beer gardens in the area.
They hired me to host there, quickly worked my way up the ranks to bar manager. Met the girl of my dreams; we are now married with two amazing kids. Opened two more restaurants with them, and I’m currently the assistant director of operations, overseeing three restaurants @ 3, 5, and 8 million a year in sales! Love my job, love my family, love my life. No idea what I’d be doing if I never got arrested, or never applied for the cafe job.
16. A Team to Root For
Went to a soccer match on a Thursday night in August 2010, after years of turning down invites from multiple groups of friends. But this time it was for someone’s birthday, and they gave me a ticket, so I said what the heck, ok. Fell in love with my local team. I had watched soccer in high school and college and, of course, the World Cup, but this…this was different.
I rekindled friendships from years before through our mutual support of said team. Made new friends. Experienced new things because of friends and team. Drank more than I usually did. In January 2016 I got laid off from a job I had grown to hate after eight years and a lot of rounds of layoffs, just waiting for my number to get called.
That March, I was getting antsy and bored at home because I was trying to save money while still looking for work and decided to get off my couch and go to an off-season supporters group meetup which I usually don’t like to do because I’m not good at the social skills. If I hadn’t been unemployed, I KNOW I would not have gone, but that night I met the woman I instantly knew I was going to fall in love with.
Got a new job. Quit drinking. Finally went on a date with her six months after meeting her. Figured out I hated the new job. Quit that job. Moved to her city 35 minutes south in 2017 and have been working odd jobs part time and doing gig economy stuff. I moved in six months later. We had a puppy magically fall into our lives within three days of just talking about maybe getting a dog. It’s my first dog ever and I am so happy about it. Got engaged. Got married in December and I’m so, so, so happy about it.
17. Can I Take No Orders?
Getting my ears pierced the day after I graduated high school got me where I am today. I worked at McDonald’s at the time and was scheduled to work that night. Before my shift, my girlfriend at the time convinced me to get my ears pierced. Well, when I showed up to my shift with these clear ear studs in, my manager gave me an option: Either take them out or go home.
Being only 17 and not taking anything seriously, I went home. On my way home, I called that girlfriend’s father and asked if I could work with him laying tile. He gave me a chance, and I quit McDonald’s that very day. Worked with him for about a year until the 08’/09’ recession caused us to run out of work. I got laid off.
Four months later, I land a job in a new hospital doing admitting in the emergency room. Did that for two years before I got my phlebotomy certification. Been doing that for a few years and now I’m in my final semester of nursing school. I attribute everything I’ve done to that day my ex-girlfriend pressured me into getting my ears pierced. Who knows how long I would have stayed at McDonald’s?
18. Love & War
IDK if this counts, but during the Sri Lankan civil war, my dad and his family were chased out of their home and were forced to seek shelter at his cousin’s house a couple of towns over. His cousin only had one neighbor, and that neighbor was my mom and her family. They used to meet up at the fence dividing their lawns and talk for months. One of the pictures from their wedding was them at that fence.
19. This is Why You Stay Hydrated
It was early in the morning and I was about to leave for work when my mom reminded me that I forgot my water bottle on the table while I was walking out. For whatever reason, I decided to go leave my backpack in the car and then walk back into the house for the water bottle. Well, that took about maybe 10 seconds in total.
It started to rain heavily on my way to work and couldn’t see very well but I noticed the brake lights of the cars ahead stopping suddenly and some moving off onto the shoulder and decided to slow down and put the hazard lights on for the people behind to slow down. Well, turns out everyone was breaking because a five car accident had just happened seconds before.
All the cars were scattered across the highway spread across the left/right shoulders, and one had hit the crash barrier—basically a total bad mess. The drivers were still in their cars, I guess processing what had just happened. After seeing it I immediately started to think that if I hadn’t gone back for the water bottle there’s a chance that I could have easily been in the accident, or at least even closer to it. It tripped me out for the rest of the day.
20. The Gods Toss a Coin, Someone Gets a Degree
Almost everything that has happened in my life for the past eight years is a direct result of me literally flipping a coin to decide between two colleges. I play the sport I do, have the friends I do, am dating the person I am, and very nearly every other aspect of my life, is because a nickel landed on heads.
21. The Language of Putting Things Off
I procrastinated one day in high school by watching a foreign musical on YouTube. I ended up trying to learn the lyrics and eventually the language. That led me to discover the field of linguistics, which I’m now majoring in. I don’t know what I’d be doing now had I actually started doing my homework that day instead.
22. Two Out of Three Tunnels Ain’t Bad
My mom had uncomfortable digestive symptoms for about a year or so that couldn’t be explained. Her doctor ordered a colonoscopy and discovered colon cancer. She quickly had surgery and recovered well. She then decided that it was important that my dad be screened, just in case. As it turns out, he also had colon cancer.
Six months after my mom’s surgery, my dad had a portion of his colon removed as well and recovered quickly. After recovery, my mom still had the same initial symptoms. It turns out she was lactose intolerant. Since both parents had colon cancer and no telltale symptoms, my mom decided I needed to be screened as well.
So, my mom becoming intolerant to lactose later in life lead to me getting an otherwise completely uncalled for colonoscopy at the age of 27.
23. Quit the Habit, Get Paid
A close friend smoked two packs a day. Every day, he’d walk to the 7-11, buy a couple of packs, and walk home. He wouldn’t buy cartons for some reason. Liked to change his brand occasionally, I guess. Anyway, his apartment was right across the street from the 7-11, and he would always take the same stoplight to cross the street to get there, etc.
Smoke a cigarette on the way over, hang out outside the 7-11 to finish it, throw it in the garbage, then walk in, buy two packs, and smoke one on the way home. The guys at the 7-11 knew him by name, loved the guy. He was always friendly, and they knew his schedule. Home from work around 7, come over, grab a couple of packs.
Sometimes he grabs a six pack of beer. So, eventually, he decides it’s time to quit smoking. He has a tough time of it. Tells the guys at the 7-11 he wants to stop smoking and they tell him good luck and encourage him. They encourage him so much that they refuse to sell cigarettes to him when he has a moment of weakness.
He freaks out, heads back across the street in anger without waiting for the light, gets clipped by a motorcycle speeding through the intersection. Motorcycle crashes, the rider is tossed. Ambulances come—both head to the same hospital. Turns out motorcycle is ridden by a guy who runs his own construction business. Feels pretty bad about it.
Talks to my friend about his business—my friend hangs drywall, but doesn’t like his boss. Eventually, the rider hires my friend at a higher salary. Friend has a good job for a bit. Two years later friend, is doing very well, promoted numerous times, now has a team of guys working for him. He gets a phone call—boss was in a motorcycle accident, in hospital.
Friend rushes there directly. Boss ends up being paralyzed, has some brain damage from a concussion that slurs/slows his speech. Within a few weeks, Boss has a friend running the business for him. Friend is doing great. Business is doing great. Boss decides to sell the business to my friend. He decides to take it over and buy it.
Friend now owns a construction business and has grown it a lot. A few years later my friend gets an offer to sell the company to a larger company. Takes the money. My friend is 42 years old and retired, worth over $10M now. All because he quit smoking. Well, and because he worked his ass off when the opportunity arose. But still, if he hadn’t decided to quit smoking, who knows?
24. Oh, the Heights You Will Reach
When I was three years old, my father gave me a cheap, plastic toy airplane for Christmas. We didn’t have much money, and my parents did their best. I fell in love with aviation because of that toy. I mean, I’ve been obsessed with it my entire life. This drove me to enlist as a helicopter mechanic and spend 10 years in the army.
Last year, my love of aviation drove me to buy a ticket—that I could barely afford—to the annual air show. It was there that I met a representative from a helicopter flight school and learned that I could use my G.I. Bill benefits to pay for flight school. Now, I’m a private helicopter pilot and I’m working towards additional ratings.
All because we were really poor when I was a child. My dad ended up giving me the greatest gifts a parent could give a child when he gave me that toy plane…imagination and passion.
25. Take a Sick Day, Start a Better Life
First off let me tell you just a little back story. My mom and dad were married in Mexico but soon after their wedding, my father immigrated to the US. He was a legal resident so he could come and go as he wished, yet my mom was not. He would visit, get my mom pregnant and soon after, go back to the United States to work.
Well, while living here he would carpool with a friend to go to work. He never missed a day because he was saving up to bring my mom, my two siblings and I to the US so we could all finally be together. One cold winter morning, he woke up and decided not to go to work. It was heavily snowing out. That never stopped him from going to work, yet that day he decided otherwise.
It turned out that the guy that he would carpool with got in a car accident and died. It’s scary to think that my dad would have died along with him. We would have never come to live in the US, and overall life would be so different for my family and I.
26. Online Friends Can Lead to Offline Opportunity
I played World of Warcraft. More specifically, I was obsessed with World of Warcraft. Wayyyy back when, I wanted the original collector’s edition, and it was coming out on my birthday. A series of mix-ups occurred: my mom really wanted to get it for my birthday, but she ordered the standard edition instead of the collector’s edition.
This was a huge deal to me so we got it fixed, but it delayed the shipment, so instead of getting the game on the day of release, it was scheduled to be days late. I had originally intended to take the entire week off work (I was 16, working full time at the time), but I didn’t, since I wasn’t gonna have the game for ages.
So, at 11 AM on that fateful Thursday, I’m packing my backpack and I’m walking out the door to get to my noon shift. Meanwhile, 2100 miles away in Texas, some jerk I don’t know has just created a night elf, and decided that the night elf starting area is BS (which is totally true), so he starts the massive, EPIC walk all the way from the night elf starting area to the human starting area.
So, I step out the door, and I walk face first into the UPS guy. It turns out that my game has arrived, three full business days early, literally at the last possible moment. I freak. I rush back into the house, start the install, and frantically start calling coworkers: can SOMEONE pick this freaking shift up? YES! They can! I log in.
Make the human paladin (I still play this dude) and start killing bandits. Some dude I don’t know does a /yell/ to the zone that he’s starting an awesome new guild. I join it. A night elf who just finished his massive trek across the entire world also joins it. This guild lasts exactly 17 minutes before the guild leader says something crummy and we all tell him to screw off.
During that 17-minute window, when I was supposed to be at work, playing a game that wasn’t even supposed to have arrived for a week, I meet Alex the Night Elf. Three years later, Alex needs a roommate and can’t find one, and I desperately want to leave Vermont. We both say screw it, and I move to Texas. I go to school. I make friends. I get jobs. I date girls.
The last ten years of my life would be completely, TOTALLY freaking different if some random jerk hadn’t made a single /yell/ at a time when I shouldn’t have even been logged in, and if a dude had been ten minutes slower crossing two continents to level in his favorite leveling zone.
27. Your Loss is My Family’s Gain
My grandpa went off adventuring as a young man with some of his pals: a buddy who boxed and a buddy who played guitar. My grandpa didn’t have any special skill like that, so he washed dishes for money. These three guys just ambled across America, boxing, strumming, and scrubbing for enough cash to make it to the next town.
After a while, the adventures tapered off and the other two fellas made their way back to their corners of the world—but my grandpa couldn’t scrounge up the money to get back to Illinois. So, he kept washing dishes for quite some time, hoping for a lucky break. That break came in the form of a wallet he found lying on the sidewalk with enough cash for a bus ticket back home.
He wasted no time. He met my grandma back in Illinois, settled down, started a family. And as a result, I exist. Sometimes I think about that man that lost his wallet, and how mad he must have been when he realized. I owe him my life.
28. You Can’t Hide This Under a Rug
I tripped over a rug at work but caught myself before I fell. I didn’t bother to fix it for whatever reason. An hour later, my coworker (she’s an older lady) walked in and tripped on it too, but she ended up falling face first into a door. She dislocated her shoulder pretty badly also and needs surgery; she’s been on medical leave for about three months. Last I heard, she might also sue the company.
29. A Scheduling Change Can Save a Life
On Monday, September 10, 2001, my father received a call to let him know his job interview for tomorrow had to be postponed until that Thursday. Because his would-be employer had overbooked his schedule, my father was not in the World Trade Center when it went down.
30. What’s Yours Is Mine
My dad raised me to be highly competitive. One day in junior high I tried out for a play but didn’t get in. Then I saw on the bottom of the cast list that they were looking for a student director to help out. I wasn’t particularly interested, but another girl saw it at the same time as me, and she did want it. I wanted to beat her.
So, we both applied and I got it. Long story short. I was a theatre director for 15 years and have started directing films now (though now I prefer to write). All because of how competitive I am.
31. Accessible Communication is the Real Victor Here
My mother had a deaf friend in middle school for about a week until she moved. She had learned a couple of signs and the alphabet to communicate with her. Had me a few years later and taught me what she knew. My middle school and high school had large deaf populations, so I communicated with them with what I knew from my mom.
It really fascinated me. Decided I wanted to interpret, took ASL in high school, and eventually went to one of the three schools in the country to offer studies in interpreting ASL. Met my partner, moved in with him and his family, and now here I am. No longer majoring in ASL, but because my mom met a deaf girl in fifth grade, I went to my school, met my partner, and found what I really want to do.
32. Making the “Adult” Decisions
I got fired from a company because I asked a co-worker if he was gay in order to set him up with my gay friend (I was 21 at the time and really dumb). I had some savings and unemployment money, so I decided to try for a career in the movie industry. I worked for free on a couple of movies and gained some set experience.
Well the savings ran out and I needed to get a real job, so I answered an ad on Monster.com to be an assistant at a pretty large adult video company since they wanted someone with set experience and office experience. I was the assistant to the head of production, which meant I was doing most of his grunt work. Booking talent, locations, crew, managing budget, etc., as well as handling distribution and fulfillment.
Basically, I became a producer for dirty movies. I left that company, which was straight videos, and went to work for a gay fetish wrestling company, where I met a guy who would introduce me to another guy who worked for Digital Domain. He hired me as a day player on The Italian Job, and in the past 16 years, I’ve worked on 20+ major Hollywood movies, including Avatar, Suicide Squad, and Aquaman.
So basically, if I wasn’t an idiot, I wouldn’t have the career I have today. Makes it really weird when kids ask me how I got into the movie biz…
33. A Good Use of Spare Time
I moved to New Zealand to pursue my dream because my ex-fiancé was playing music on a speaker in public and wouldn’t stop when I asked. That one incident cracked the relationship so badly, it led to him breaking up with me and then crawling back. In those five hours, I applied for the school I wasn’t going to go to because of him. I’m now with the love of my life and couldn’t be happier.
34. All Aboard the Survival Path
Back in the 80s, my mom studied abroad in England. A couple of days before her flight back home to the US, she got too homesick to wait any longer and spontaneously bought a ticket home early. The flight she was originally supposed to take was Pan Am flight 103, where all 243 passengers and 16 crew died. If not for her homesickness, her and my dad would not have met, and my brother and I would not have been in existence.
35. Look to Yourself for Inspiration
I was very little and singing a song completely with made-up words. My mom asked what it was, and I said Evelynese (my name is Evelyn). Then a year later, I made up a fake country for that fake language (Evelyninis). Then I started making up some stories. Now it’s a little over a decade later, I’m in high school, and I have a whole fictional world with three political superpowers (that I won’t name for personal reasons, but just know Evelyninis has a better name now).
This world has a very intricate map of ecosystems (and soon, political borders of various eras), five distinct cultural and ethnic groups so far, and some unique flora and fauna. Former Evelyninis specifically has twenty families of nobility, two hundred thirty-seven common families, a religion, a specific type of domesticated big cat, the bones of a conlang, two epics in the works (the first being adapted from older stories I made up), and much more.
I’m probably going to work on this until the day I die. All because toddler me wanted to throw some snark at my mom.
36. Her Life for Yours
My mother’s death. My mom was diagnosed with cancer while I was in community college. Unfortunately, she passed, and it was time for me to apply to colleges to transfer. I applied to a college out of state because the running joke in my family was that she loved this place so much, she would have come with me to college to live in my dorm room with me.
I applied as a joke, never thinking I would get accepted. Turns out I did, and I accepted the admissions offer. Five years later, I live 3,000 miles from home and have an amazing life studying science. If she didn’t pass away, I would have gone to a state school and followed my then boyfriend. I would probably be pregnant and married by now. But instead, I’m a very independent person who practically lives on the beach.
37. Trip Back into Parenthood
My mother wore heels to work and slipped on the carpeted steps, resulting in a broken high heel and a broken leg. While she was home recovering, she somehow developed allergies that led to her needing an inhaler. The inhaler interfered with her birth control, and now I have a brother 13 years younger than me.
38. The Language of Friendship
Grew up speaking Spanish, so in high school my mom made me sign up for French. I didn’t really care, but I figured whatever, at least it’s something new. I was a good kid, bit of a cut up with absolutely zero direction. In that class, I met a girl and we sort of became friends. She got sick that year, cancer. It was horrible.
Visited her in the hospital, got close to her family (still am), she passed the following year. French, it turns out, was her favorite subject, and her dream had been to study abroad. Her parents asked if we (her friends from that class) could do that for her. The years went on, I worked every summer trying to save up to study abroad.
I noticed the others who had made the promise weren’t making moves towards it, so I worked even harder. Finally went for a semester in my third year. To be fair, I always enjoyed French, but it wasn’t a passion. Except that semester, something kind of shifted. Came home, finished undergrad, then got into a masters in French.
The whole time my friend’s mom is excited, feeling like my friend is somehow vicariously living through me. I graduated from my masters and then moved back to France. Been here three years now, and May 1st was the 11th anniversary of my friend’s death. As I type it out it’s not so outwardly obvious, but the entire time it’s been so clear for me that she’s been with me on this journey.
39. Healing is Sometimes Hurting
My coworker has a big ego and thinks she knows best. We had a patient who received home visits. He had a medical condition that, if observed by a newcomer, might cause alarm, but we were very much informed about it and familiar with it. Instructions were that the condition was “normal” for him, not a concern in itself.
One day, the patient’s wife and my coworker seemed to have some kind of power struggle/disagreement about his condition and treatment, and the coworker ended up calling an ambulance (for his long-term unchanged condition that we were very familiar with). He was taken to the hospital and while there caught an infection.
This infection impacted his eating, and he lost a lot of weight fast. His condition deteriorated over the next few months, and he passed away. Honestly, it wasn’t unexpected that he might pass, but it seems the specific way it ended up happening stemmed from that unnecessary hospital visit.
40. From the Bathroom to the Wedding Aisle
I was going out to grab a pizza and a case of beer for me and my roommate, but he texted me that he had a stomach thing, so I walked to a restaurant and ordered dinner at the bar. I met a girl there and now we are married and have two kids—all because my roommate had diarrhea.
41. Bottoms Up, or We Go Down
The wife and I were having dinner in Hawaii one night on vacation. As we were getting up to leave, I noticed she hadn’t finished her beer. I told her she should finish the beer since we paid some ridiculous price for it. Fast forward 30 seconds, and we leave the restaurant and are walking the three blocks back to the hotel.
About 50 feet in front of us as we’re walking (we were walking down the sidewalk on the left side of the road), a car comes flying out of a side street from the right and crosses through the street, hops the sidewalk in front of us, and smashes into a wall. If she didn’t finish her beer, we would have been smoked by the car and most likely squished between the car and the wall. We always finish our beer now.
42. Different Roads Lead to the Same Vacation
Received an incredibly high paying job offer to run our biggest competitor’s team. Told my boss, even though I loved my job, but it was more than double what I was making. Boss agreed to a reasonable raise, still not near the offer. I decided to stay because I genuinely loved my team/coworkers, and the money wasn’t enough to leave that happy place.
In exchange, I had to take up another account that meant a business trip I didn’t have in the plans. Went on that trip and met my future husband. A couple of years later, we went on our honeymoon at a new resort in St. Lucia. Ran into someone I knew from home/work. Turns out, the team that I’d been given the job offer for had made so much money that they had booked the same resort to celebrate. I sat there and went WOW. Life is nuts! Would’ve ended up there, either way.
43. Swipe Right on Your Future
Was pretty lost after graduating University. Ended up having a few too many drinks, installing Tinder, and swiping exactly one time. Matched with the first person and we started dating, doubled down on staying in that state rather than going home. Got a bad job for no money that ended up working out tremendously, promoting me, sending me overseas to an amazing new country and paying off six figures of student debt in three years with money in the bank. All because I moved my finger slightly to one direction.
44. Crushed to Find Gainful Employment
One day I was working at a surf shop. At the end of my shift, at 6 PM, I wanted to hang out for a bit to flirt with one of my coworkers, which led to me witnessing a bad car accident 30 minutes later. Which led me to meeting an off duty EMT on scene, which led me to become an EMT/Paramedic and now I love my career. If I didn’t decide to flirt with said coworker, I wouldn’t be an EMT.