There's no way of knowing what's coming for us. With all the preparation and planning, our world can still be turned upside down by a dead battery or a runaway train. Nothing is certain, so it's better to be prepared for things to change than to be prepared for what you think might happen. Otherwise, you might miss out on some amazing opportunities, or not know when to turn away from a bad thing.

Let's hear about that today.

Reddit user, u/abayomi02, wanted to know when everything changed when they asked:

People of Reddit, What's one mistake or decision you made that completely altered the course of your life?

Unknowingly Made The Right Call

When I moved and switched middle schools wayyy back I threw out all my stuff except for my math textbook. When I went to my new school the math class I was in was a little bit behind from where I was and I told them but they didn't believe me. But then I showed my old math textbook to show that I was way ahead of that class. Two of my classes were changed, and in both of my new classes we're a bunch of friends I made. If i threw away that math textbook I wouldn't have any good friends right now.


A Symposium To Remember

When I was finishing a program at City College, the students were asked to volunteer at a symposium, checking badges, handing out programs, you labor. We were told to bring resumes, as there were companies there who might be hiring entry level.

I wasn't going to go. My mom told me to go; my friend (also in the program) said she'd give me a ride. So I went. And I talked with a man at one of the booths who was hiring. He asked for my resume and to set an interview.

I began working there the day after I turned 21 and was there 16 years before I got laid off in the aerospace downturn.


I met my husband there. We've been together 33 years.

I would never have met him had I not agreed to go to that symposium.


Actually More Surprised You Remembered The Account Password

I checked an old email account

I was hanging out with a friend one July 4. We didn't have anything to do (too young to drink, too poor for anything else) so we met up with some guy my friend had met at a party. New guy and his friends were nice enough, but loud and goofy. At the end of the night, new guy asked for my mailing address so he could write me a letter. He was headed to a military training where snail mail was the only option. My mailing address was also my home address, and I hadn't really clicked with him, so I gave him an email account that didn't use very often and forgot all about it.

4 months later, I was in a cleaning mood and decided to check this account to clear out spam and whatnot. He had sent an email 2 hours earlier that he was back in town and wanted to grab a coffee.

As you may have guessed, we have been married almost a decade now.


Life Changing In The Weirdest Bad Way

Said "yes" when my now college friends asked if i'm from canada. I'm not. I was just wearing a team canada hockey shirt and I got flustered when they asked. Now they think i'm from Canada, and it's too late to say anything now.


A Lifelong Truth Uncovered

I flunked out of my first school. I imagine if I'd stayed and gotten my degree, my life would have been a lot different. Instead I ended up working for a few years, realizing the value of a degree, and re-starting my life.

It's made me realize that kids shouldn't be forced into college right after high school. Some of them need to work, or travel, or whatever, to figure out for themselves what their path is going to be. 18 is way too young to point a finger at someone and be like "okay now you need to decide the rest of your life."


Everything, And Nothing, Like You Hoped

Went to meet my bio mom. 8 years later, a crippling disorder, brain damage, and some significant trauma later... turns out there was a very good reason I was adopted.

I got to meet my sisters though, and I'm the uncle to a whole herd of nieces and nephews, and I wouldn't trade that for the world. Makes the damage worth it, honestly. The way their faces light up when they see me and how loved I feel with them is something you can't ever replace.

Edit: To clarify, I met her 8 years ago. She didn't abuse me for 8 years - she abused me for two, stalked and harassed me for two more, and has been out of my life for four years or so, since I got a restraining order.


Saved By The Scalpel

My wonderful 2 year old daughter was not planned.

But thanks to her, I decided to have a vasectomy. I had always had one slightly enlarged testicle due to a mountain biking accident 10 years prior.

My urologist had it biopsied because it didn't look right.

Turns out I had had testicular cancer for an impossible to determine period of time. Four rounds of chemo later and I'm perfectly fine. Had I not had my daughter, I would have probably had much worse results years later when it finally made it's presence known via pain and had spread into my body.

So my daughter technically saved my life, which is knowledge I'm sure she'll use on with great glee during her teenage years when I'm trying to punish her.


Jumping From Job To Job

In 2014 I was a server at a BBQ restaurant and I hated my job. November-January is a slow season for my area and, on top of being unhappy at my job, I was concerned about paying bills. My mom's friend, who worked for a luxury retail store, offered to recommend me for a temp position at his store to earn extra $ when my shifts were cut. I was given the temp job but I was really nervous because I'd never worked retail before. On my first day I drove to work in tears because my anxiety was so severe.

It turns out retail was a great fit for me and I caught on quickly. I thrived in the environment and when the temp assignment ended I was heartbroken. Again, I cried. I knew I wanted to work at the store and so I followed up consistently, asking if any positions are open. I interviewed for a sales position and it was the worst interview of my life. I left there thinking, "I will never be hired at this company".

A few months later they reached and offered me a part time job. I balanced two jobs (worked 7 days a week) and did everything in my power to make sure they KNEW they needed me. I was promoted to sales 2 months later and happily quit the BBQ job via text message.

6 years later I'm still working at the same store. Not only has my hard work earned me a management position, but I am the in-house brand expert, I now speak Mandarin fluently, AND I met the love of my life at this job. Turns out it pays to try something new because you never know what you're missing until you do.


Seems Like It Was Your Destiny

Saved two women, then 5 years later began a career as a bodyguard.

Driving home from church in Baltimore on Father's Day 1988. Saw an apartment complex on fire and felt the need to pull over and make sure Fire Dept was called. This was way before cell phones. After I pulled over, heard a woman screaming for help on third floor balcony. I hopped a fence, climbed up the outside of the building to get to the woman. She and another woman were panicking as the apartment filled with smoke from the fire directly below. I had them stay low on the balcony as I tried to make bedsheets into a rope ladder. Smoke was pouring in from front door and women were older and would not have been able to jump from balcony. All I could do was just stay with the crying women on the balcony until firefighters came. Ultimately got out and 2 months later got an award on TV.

Fast forward to 1994 and did my first bodyguard assignment. As of today, I've done 322 protection assignments. On every one of them, I've made a commitment that I would not let anything happen to my protectee. The night before each one, I took a look back at my life and realized that if something were to happen and I was going to meet my maker, I was at peace knowing I led my life right. 32 years later, I still get a bit anxious watching a building or car fire on TV.


A Friend Of A Friend Of A Love

In December of 2015, I had just gotten out of a 3 year long relationship and was renting a room at a coworkers house while I looked for something more permanent. One Friday night, we had planned on going to a bar with a few others but everyone ended up cancelling last minute including my coworker. It had been awhile since I had been out anywhere so I decided to go by myself.

What I didn't know is that I would end up meeting one of my best friends that night. If I had gone in a group, it's unlikely I would have ventured out of my comfort zone to meet strangers. If I didn't go at all I never would have met her. About 1 1/2 years later, a longtime friend of hers from high school ended up coming to visit from out of state, and that's how I met my fiancé. Life is crazy.


Failing Up

I failed an unfailable class at university because I totally flunk studying. I was so sure it is unfailable I didn't study at all.

I had to re-take the class in which there were group projects. Second time over, I was in a team with this girl.

I married her last summer.


Loving the plot twist haha


Let's Get A Drink

Said yes to going to the pub.

I was on a backpacking trip around Europe. At a hostel in Belfast this Australian guy who was in the same dorm as me asked if anyone wanted to join him for a drink. Me and a New Zealander tagged along. We had an absolutely epic night in what was then still a city under martial law. Next day we all went in different directions but I kept in contact with the Australian.

At some stage, months later, he mentions that I should come and visit him in Australia. About six months later I did. I had a fantastic time, travelled around Australia and liked it so much that I applied for a residency permit.

Thirty years later I'm still here. It's been absolutely great, but none of that would have happened if I didn't say yes to a few beers all the way back in the 80's.


An Opportunity To Show What You Can Do

One day my foreman just flat out didn't show up to work. I was vaguely familiar with what had to go on at the site, and who needed to do it, so I just started calling people, and talking to those on site saying I was filling in for him for today...

Fast forward a few months and people are saying they greatly prefer me organizing jobs, and management starts giving me jobs of my own. I start getting great reviews from clients and my jobs are making money. Eventually my old foreman gets fired (not because of me directly, but because of some questionable antics and poor performance).

Now I'm enjoying a significantly better paying and more fulfilling job. What started as a job to make a bit of money while I figured out what I want to do has turned into something with serious career potential.


For Better..

Forgot hamburger buns.

Dad died, depressed, was without a job for over a year. Applied at a few different places and heard nothing back. Went to a bbq at a friends house and stopped at the store first. We got everything we needed, went out to the car, started packing up and realized we forgot hamburger buns.

I go back in the store, am walking down the frozen foods aisle and run into an old coworker, who happened to now be a manager at one of the places I applied at, months ago. Chatted it up with him for a little bit, and 3 days later, I get a call out of the blue to come in for an interview at his company he worked at.

Ive been with the company 18 years, last month, all because of that chance encounter in the frozen food aisle, all because I forgot hamburger buns.


...Or Worse

Accepted a painkiller at a party.

Started as a every other weekend thing. Then it was every weekend. Then it was hard days at work. Then it was daily before work. Then it was multiple times a day at work. I'd be snorting lines off my desk, in a call center.

Then money was getting insanely tight and my dealer was like "Dude just start doing heroin it's way cheaper" and I remember laughing in his face like you f-cking idiot that'll be the day.

Then a little while later money became non-existent AND I found out your could snort heroin. Problem Solved!

And then a few handful of years later I found myself homeless in Skid Row, DTLA. Going from a loving, supportive family with amazing AMAZING friends, near six figure job, everything going super great... to passing out in piles of garbage and having teeth fall out.

I only got out thanks to suboxone but I'm so glad it exists. Moved out of the homeless shelter September 2019. Starting life over in your mid-30s is pretty sh-tty but it's doable. My life is simple as f-ck now and I have literally zero friends but that's still an upgrade from where I was a short time ago.

F-ck heroin.


I guess it really is a "not even once" substance for a lot of people. Good for you and good luck going forward.


Thanks man. Thing have definitely been so much better the last 2 years. My family tried so hard to help me and eventually gave up.. I missed my baby sister's wedding which if you know our family is like mindblowing.

I went from that to being invited to move in with family if I needed. I didn't take them up on their offer but it's insane how much things can change over time. I was lucky though.