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It feels like life never goes the way you want it.

This can come down to a lot of factors, some of which overlap creating a hazy mess that feels hard to peer through. You try to make the right, informed decisions, either regarding your future or romantic potential, but sometimes the rug gets yanked out from under you and you don't know what's happened until it's too late. Fortunately, with the power of hindsight, you can look back, pinpoint the moment everything changed, and use it to make better decisions in the future.


Reddit user, u/calllmejz, wanted to hear when nothing was ever the same again when they asked:

What was that specific moment that completely altered the course of your life?

Sometimes the change comes from elsewhere, a place you couldn't see coming. That can be good, as the unfamiliar leads to strong, explosive choices, shaping your entire life.

What Are You Doing With Yourself?

"A conversation with my girlfriend at the time after a date talking about school. She came from a difficult background and told me about how she had managed to pay her way though college by working multiple jobs and pull a near perfect GPA. I had been a mediocre student in high school and It made me think "I really have no excuse." she inspired me to be a good student and set high goals and now, 4 years later, I graduated summa cum laude and got accepted into MIT for my masters. Oh and by the way, we got married and she still inspires me :)."


Someone Lied To You

"The day i took some cocaine that was clearly not cocaine. It was awful I didn't sleep for 3 days was incredibly ill and depressed, only one eye dilated so I was convinced I'd given myself brain injury. It was terrifying but i never took hard drugs again and I [believe] that day is the reason I'm not a junkie now. Instead I have a great boyfriend, lovely house and job I enjoy."


The Right Book Can Solve Everything

"As a kid, I was really into reading books and writing stories. Whenever I'd think of high school or college, it always involved me taking Eng Lit or something and being one of those literary types."

"So one day when I was 12, I was looking for something to read in my dad's study. After a lot of searching, I decided on this book called The Music of the Primes. And oh man, that book changed the direction of my life completely. As soon as I finished it, the spark had been ignited. All of a sudden, math made SENSE."

"In my free time, I started to research math formulas and experiment with them. I read about famous mathematicians and important problems in mathematics. I also got extremely interested with engineering as a whole, with my math skills powering me through subjects that I didn't like (e.g. chemistry). My good grades in math later on got me accepted into colleges, and here I am now, about to go for a math major in college."

"So yeah, I often wonder how different my life would've been if that fateful day, I'd just decided to pick up a different book."


A Supportive Comment Can Change A Life

"When I was 14 years old and just started making Minecraft videos on YouTube, someone randomly left a supportive comment. As a result I subscribed to their channel, joined their server, and met people I'm still friends with 9 years later. Our group began to meet regularly at a gaming festival which defined my teenage years and gave me my first taste of independence. Someone I met in that group encouraged me to get into programming, which led to me studying computer science at university, where I met all of my current best friends, along with culminating in my current job and my current house."


Oh Yeah. The Worldwide Pandemic.

"University pulling me out of practice because of Covid when I was due to qualify in summer 2020"

"Still waiting to qualify rn which has of course altered a lot of where I thought I'd be rn :')"


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Don't Let Any Teacher Tell You Anything Otherwise

"Mine's definitely not as grand as a lot of the others, but when I was going into third grade, I changed schools. My new teacher, while being good in a lot of ways, had very clear favorites. She had "Explorer's Club", which was basically the kids she had picked as the smart kids getting special attention and doing extra projects - except it was only the kids who had already been at the school and thus had a good reputation. None of the new kids (myself included) were invited to join. She had no idea I existed - I would frequently not turn in assignments and major projects, and she wouldn't even notice. I felt so frustrated that no one seemed to notice me."

"Through the rest of elementary school, I was pretty average, but when middle/high school rolled around, I realized that I, along with everyone in my class, had a fresh start, as none of our elementary school reputations carried over to our new teachers. I took as many hard classes as I could, tried new clubs and sports, got involved in student government, etc. If I hadn't been so desperate to be seen as one of the "smart" kids, there's no way I would've tried the stuff I did, and I really loved it. To any middle/high schoolers reading - try new things! You have no idea what you might end up loving!"


Obviously, the easiest change to pinpoint comes from the romantic side of things, where we can see how our partners have shaped and changed us over time. Typically, the change began the moment you started talking but sometimes it can come a lot sooner than that.

Was The Chest Waxing Not Long After?

"I went to see the movie 40 year old virgin at the theater."

"That movie was about me. I worked at circuit city, he worked at circuit city. I rode my bike to work, he rode his bike to work. I collected action figures and painted models, he did too. I had never had a girlfriend, neither had he. I was awkward around girls and he was too. I wasn't 40 but I didn't want to be like him."

"I went home and immediately packed up most action figures and sold them. I ripped the dragon posters off the wall and trashed them. I made it a goal to at least talk to some girls and try to ask them out. Within 2-3 weeks I had gone on a date or two. It still took a few years but after about 3-4 years I ended up with the woman I'd go on to marry and have kids with."


He Got That Good Hair

"The guy who walked into my psych class in college and sat in front of me. I liked everything about him but I fell in love with his hair first. Sadly his hair did not last as long as our relationship - 43 years and counting!!"


Waiting One More Day

"For me, it was deciding not to delete Tinder for one more day back in 2018. If I had deleted it the day I planned to, I never would have received the message from the man who is now my husband. I wouldn't even know he existed. Because of that decision, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life."


These are the big ones, the moments that radically shifted everything we thought we knew forever. Big budget movies only wish they could have life-altering ramifications like these.

Sounds Like Two Big Events

"The day I got expelled for something I didn't do. Not only did it mess up my future college plans, but it destroyed my trust in the people in power around me."

"Also the day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I now have an amazing family and couldn't be happier."


Witnessing What's Waiting For You If You Just Try

"I'd had a huge fight with an abusive mother that had a mental breakdown (throwing stuff, calling family to say I'd attacked her, screaming, hitting me etc) went to a friends house and stayed there for a month. Experiencing that freedom and independence and seeing his life pushed me to find a way to obtain my own freedom. I'm now moving in to my own place next year after living in a hostel."

"I distinctly remember standing on his balcony and realising I would either die or get to where he was and I refused to go back. I regret nothing."


Cash Or Life?

"When Pennsylvania raised the cigarette tax by almost $3 a pack. I quit that day after smoking a pack a day for over 10 years, haven't had one since. Only decent thing the state of Pennsylvania has ever done for me lol."


The Choice Is Made For You

"I was diagnosed with cancer at 19; I was pursuing a career in the culinary arts, loving life and all that. Now, I'm 37, I've had 8 different instances of cancer thanks to a genetic mutation that makes me randomly develop melanoma tumors."

"I'm on disability, and cooking a single meal is exhausting most days. I've spent my entire adult life focused on this battle. I gave up having children, a job, a business—but I'm alive, so…yay?"


Be aware, keep your ears open, and look for the signs. Change is always coming so long as you can be aware of the shifting tides. Don't be afraid of it, as any specific moment can lead you to that next great thing.

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