They say we learn from our mistakes, and that's true, but sometimes, we don't have time for reflection.

A mistake can really cost us all that we've built our life up to be. it can really cause things to take a down turn for the worse in such a way that our lives forever change from that moment. It's definitely a learning experience-a very high-stakes one.

u/SethNKelly asked:

What was a life-changing mistake you made?

Here were some of the answers.

Career Vs. Love


Quitting a great job with huge advancements when I was 19 because a girl, the job took me out on the road for 2-3 weeks at a time and I didn't want to leave her for that long at the beginning of our relationship. Dang that was dumb. It took me 8 years to make that much money again, and that girl dumped me after 5 months of dating.


The Van Could Have Killed You

Heading home after a nice motorcycle ride on a Sunday evening. Decide on a whim to take a small 10 minute detour because it was one of the last days of the year with nice weather.

Crashed into the side of a van with 80 km/h that didn't give me the right of way. Spent 12 days in intensive care, ended up with persistent health problems and a reconstructed shoulder which left me partially disabled and unable to do sports, lift anything serious, etc.

It was a nice ride though!


It All Worked Out In The End

In my mid 20s I was dating and living a wonderful woman, but I was extremely immature and did a terrible job of keeping my life in order and keeping up decent employment. She gave me so many chances to get my stuff together, but time and time again I would just be a useless lump and she eventually broke up with me and kicked me out. I had to go live with my parents.

I completely changed after that. Video games became something I did after all my responsibilities were met, not something that kept me from them. I stopped smoking for a while so I could land a reliable job (even though the one I found ended up not drug testing me). I started saving money because I couldn't stand living with my parents...

Eventually my ex and I reconnected and we eventually moved back in together. We ended up getting a new place that was ours (I had moved in to her place) and things just kept getting better. We're now married and homeowners, and I'm waiting to hear about and even better job opportunity. It's a shame we had to come to that for me to get my stuff together but it changed my life.


My Friend Judas

In the mid 2000s I used to work a call centre job while finishing up uni. It was a startup fintech type job. People got promoted quickly and they paid above minimum wage. But I was naive and didn't realize how backstabby some people could be to get ahead.

I carpooled with who I thought was a friend until he started secretly recording our conversations in the car to curry favor with my managers. Thinking I was safe I was honest about my feelings about certain things at work and sure enough he played the recordings to my bosses and soon after I noticed a change In how I was being treated.

They let me go with severance when I caught on to the fact that I was being asked to train my replacement.

This led to about 10 months of unemployment with employment insurance and me finding a much better paying job. It was a blow but I learned from it and I'm glad I'm not stuck in what is ultimately a dead end call centre job, no matter how they spin job titles.


The Cycle Of Capitalism

Not ever taking the time to sit down and think particularly hard about the career I wanted or how to realistically go about getting it before I went to college.

9 years and one liberal arts degree later, I'm not using said degree at all, and I'm working in an office at a job not at all related to what my degree is in, nor what I desire to do. I want to go back to school, but I need money. I need to go to school to do what I want to and to make money, but I need money to go back to school.


MS Paint Is Never The Answer

When I was fresh out of school with a useless degree in creative writing and no experience, in the middle of the recession, I interviewed to be a Marketing Coordinator for a local fishing resort/marina that was also headquarters for a few dozen vacation resorts along the west coast. Pay was great, job perks included free travel and food/accomodation at any of these resorts and a fairly freeform job in creating print and web ads, blog material, doing some market research and interviews. It sounded super fun. I aced the interviews and felt like a shoe-in based on how they were talking to me. I prepared for my life of luxury.

They asked me to just throw together a quick ad concept. I was staying at my girlfriend's house when the request came in and she didn't have Adobe CS, so I threw something together quickly in Paint, yes Paint, kind of assuming it didn't really matter since it was just a concept. It was terrible. They went silent, I didn't get the job, and I faced a difficult few years of racking up credit card debt, digging up freelance work, and mass-applying to jobs that never contacted me back.

I'm doing okay now, but I always wonder what things would be like if that had worked out.


Far Across The Distance And Spaces Between Us

Breaking up with a girl I dated in college. I thought it wasn't working, turns out she found out she had some serious medical stuff going on that she just didn't want to burden me with. I thought she was just getting distant because she was disinterested.

Found out years later. Turns out she actually really liked me and - for various reasons I won't go in to here - we were "perfect" for one another according to some mutual friends.

She's went on to get the medical stuff fixed/managed. Unfortunately also fell in to drugs and alcohol abuse and is no longer in a good place. Wish I'd have stayed and helped her through it all.



Short explanation of the school system here: We have 6 grades in one school building and grade 7-9 in another building. Grade 1-6 is the same for everyone, while 7-9 has two different kinds of difficulties. Rather easy and pretty difficult. Nothing in between.

To my story, as I finished the 6th grade, I was one of the lucky people to choose to which difficulty I was about to go in. I, being as incompetent as I am, choose the hard way. And... Well, I didn't make it. I was planing on taking on the easier way anyway, but still. And because of that, people looked down on me. Telling me that I'm way too stupid (I only failed because of 2 points, I think).

To say it short, I regret taking the hard way.


Hear That? It'll Rot Your Brain

Honestly? League of Legends. I sank in 5.5 years of my life into it since 2012. I started to care less about school and my health. All I wanted to do was come home and play LoL.

I met some incredible people through it, but I ended up not being serious about a career until last year because I was such a slacker. I do still have a soft spot for it, but now I don't play as much and will get on every few months for an ARAM. There's better games out there.


When Debt Comes Knockin


I bought a Wii U. I had just gotten a credit card for the first time, and thought I could pay it off in two months. (Reasonably though, I could have but things didn't work out that way). Next month I had to get a new car battery and replace a few parts, eating up what should have gone to paying the rest off.

Things got worse from there, I had to leave my job to be able to graduate college, then couldn't find a job for 8 months and living off of scraps a month and having to put more and more on a credit card. It didn't get any better for awhile, more things happened, I moved three times within a year, and now it's 4 years later. I'm just now starting to feel like I'm secure again.


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