A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet. Or...stranger danger. Honestly, the world views strangers in several different ways, but either one of the extremes results in an unforgettable story.
Here were some of the answers.
Play Til You Win!Giphy
When I was about 5 years old I was at a restaurant with my family and they had one of those claw prize machine games. My mom gave me a dollar to play and I was fixated on a little teddy bear stuffed animal prize. Naturally I was horrible at the game and had to walk away defeated. I returned to the dinner table and had we had our dinner. Apparently in that time an old man went up to the machine and kept playing for that teddy until he got it. He walked over with the prize and handed it to me. It was such a kind gesture.
However, at the time I was freaked out a man I didn't know was trying to hand me something. My mom ended up taking it from him and gave it to me in the car because all I did was just stare at him and sit frozen like a statue. Kids can be *ssholes. I hope he somehow knew how much I did end up appreciating the bear. I still think about it 25 years later and cringe at my reaction.
I was 17, and had been living in a facility for several years. I was outbound on a flight to the east coast to go see one of my brothers graduate from high school. It was the first time I'd left the facility since being committed.
While I'm waiting in line to board, a handsome, early 30's guy in front of me in a business suit is cracking jokes via a bluetooth headset. I'm watching him thinking, "damn, tech has come so far... I have missed so much." and sort of daydreaming about the kind of life he must have. He looks (in retrospect) like a cross between Steven Colbert and Chris Trager from P&R. Handsome, slightly aged, smile for days.
To my surprise, we end up sitting next to each other on the flight. As we're getting settled, he's cracking up watching something on his computer. I'm curious, but don't want to be nosy. He's laughing so hard he keeps having to sigh to get the breaths out of him after each fit of laughter. Just as I'm about to put my headphones in, he leans towards me and asks, a little puckishly, "Do you like satire? Do you want to see something really f*cking funny?"
I'm a little taken aback. I'm sitting there with my CD player (we weren't allowed to have mp3 players where I was living), feeling so painfully out of date and out of place next to his guy, and I'm only a teenager, why is this successful business man who could be talking to anybody he wanted, talking to me? "Uhh yeah man, I like funny stuff. Whatcha got?" I respond.
He pulls out and fancy pants apple computer (which I'd never seen before, due to being away from tech for so long) and shows me [this video] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AyVh1_vWYQ).
We both just lose it. We are laughing so loud, he is slapping his knees, I am crying.
We aren't allowed to watch youtube where I'm at, so all of this is so new to me. I love this type of deadpan humour, and it's ahead of its time for being from the mid 2000's.
After it's over, I have this incredible desire to watch it again, to relive that moment, where I have laughed harder than I have in my entire life, with this total stranger, but realizing the moment has passed. He then turns to me, smile just stretching out his beautiful face, and says, "Okay okay I'm sorry but can we please watch that again?"
I just groan, "UGH, YES?? PLEASE?" So we watch it again! It's even better the second time around. We're quoting it as it happens, through breathless laughter, and people around us are starting to lean in and figure out what's so funny. We may have made a minor scene, but folks around us were smiling inquisitively. Laughter, and smiling, is contagious. This is the happiest I've been in years.
When the video is over, the guy turns to me and asks if I have an ipod. I look down at my CD player and bashfully say "no, not yet.. I don't really have any money for that anyway."
"Well, do you want one?" he asks, "I have about.. 16 in my backpack. My company got our business card information printed on the back of these nano ipods since we have a contract with them. Now, don't get too excited, they're only 16gb (at the time, 32gb was the largest there was for the nano, he explained) bur it should still be a bit of an upgrade from that CD player you got there!"
I'm sitting there kind of freaking out, thinking there's no way this is real. He's going to forget, or he's just trying to be nice, or it's all some sort of joke. I've learned not to trust anything until it's in front of me. False promises are like currency where I've been living. Nothing nice comes for free. Just enjoy the moment.
The rest of the flight was fun. For 4 hours, we'd take turns so naturally at talking with one another, then doing our respective things for an hour, then talking again. The flow with this guy was insane. And I forgot, completely, that I wasn't an equal to this guy. He made me feel like I was just another work colleague or friend. He asks me about my goals in life, the music I'm into. And none of this is predatory "older man" type stuff. He's just a genuinely friendly guy who genuinely wants to share his happiness with whoever is around him, and it happens to be me.
Once we deboarded the plane, he stops me at the gate and said, "Hey wait up! Don't think I forgot about that ipod, little lady! Here ya go!" and hands me this brand spanking new, electric blue ipod nano.
This thing is like gold to me. It is so beautiful, I can't stop turning it over and over in my hands. I feel like I might cry. I don't know what to say. He's just smiling at me and says, "I can tell you're a really smart kid. Crazy smart. That must drive you insane sometimes, I'll bet. But you're gonna make it, and you're going to do great things. I can see that. I hope you don't forget it. Sorry again that's only a 16g. I'd have given you mine if I didn't need the music that's on it right now. Anyway, good luck!"
And then he's gone.
I will never forget him. He did a wonderful thing for me that day. I still tell that story time to time. I can't remember the name of the company but I will never forget that guy. He did a small thing for me in his eyes--but in my eyes, he gave me a profound gift. Kindness.
And a smile that lasted for days.
A Whole New Kind Of Fomo
Guy walked up to me, put a quarter in my hand, and said make a decision. I had nothing to decide on so I flipped it and said "heads I go out for lunch". I caught it and before I could see it he took the coin off my hand, said "you should have decided to keep the quarter" and walked off.
To this day I feel as though I failed some sort of secret organizations entry test.
Young Kids Mafia
I was flying home from a business trip and my flight got canceled for weather reasons. There were direct flights that didn't have to pass through the weather but I wasn't on one of those.
I went to the flight desk and tried to rescheduled, it was my son's birthday the next day, either his first or second. So I was begging with the woman at the desk to help me get home for it. They told me I was likely not even to get a flight home THE NEXT DAY and I was going to miss it entirely because of demand, etc.
I was begging, I was offering to pay more (didn't matter, all booked), have them switch me to a different airline (no other airlines from this airport can get you there - not sure I believed that), offered to do 2 or 3 hops overnight whatever it took. She just kept steam rolling me.
A guy in the line heard me, stepped up, said he was whoever he was and would give me his ticket on the next direct flight. He was some VIP and listening to the conversation was like night and day. The second they stone walled him he just told them to get the manager, then they basically did whatever he said.
I tried to thank him and he wouldn't take anything from me. Just told me he knew what it was like when he had young kids and I should enjoy it while I can.
It was one of the the greatest things anyone ever did for me.
Here Come The TearsGiphy
After my grandmother died, I went to the cemetery with some of her favorite flowers on the day that would've been her birthday.
As I arranged the flowers at the grave, a kindly lady stopped by and remarked about their beauty.
She noticed from the engraved monument that it was my grandmother's birthday, and said, "If I were your grandmother, I'd be proud to have a grandson like you."
She just left at that point, and I stood there amazed that someone would care enough to go out of their way to share something so special - so comforting - with a stranger.
So, was grocery shopping and chatting with this person behind me. I have Epilepsy (seizures) that have been becoming more frequent. All I remember was talking and then waking up and just surrounded by him and paramedics. When I got to the ER, I was told the gentleman had caught me BEFORE I hit my head on the hard tile and held me on my side the whole time. I want so badly to thank him for that or else it could've been much worse for me. I could have bitten my tongue, hit my head, swallowed vomit or foam if I had foamed at the mouth and chocked on it. But I didn't, because he basically saved me. So thank you, kind sir.
I'm working on my computer in the study lounge in college when I notice my friend sneaking up on me through the reflection of my computer screen, trying to scare me. I let it happen, letting him creep closer. At the last second, before he is about to scare me, I spin around in order to scare HIM.
We both scream in shock!
It's not my friend at all. It's a random guy who was sneaking up on me, because he thought I was someone else, while I let it happen because I thought HE was someone else.
After the initial shock, we collapse laughing for a good long while, he is very apologetic, and then he goes on his way while I continue working. The memory still makes me smile and I still know what he looks like (not at all like my friend, turns out computer reflections are very deceiving).
A Calming, Yet Unsettling, Presence
A few years ago I was at a bar on the beach with two friends of mine. It was the last day of our two-week summer vacation and the sun was setting on the sea, so it was a pretty magical moment already.
This skinny man with long, curly grey hair, light blue eyes, almost grey, shorts and a short-sleeve Hawaiian shirt walks up next to us and orders a drink at the bar. He turns around to face us with a deeply relaxing, almost therapeutic smile and in a very soft, whispered voice, without having introduced himself or anything, confides in us: "You know why I'm so happy and free of worries? Because I've accepted that I'm mortal. I'm at peace with my inevitable death. When I truly realized that, I became perpetually serene."
I found it particularly moving because I was in a bit of a rough period of my life and also because I had kind of wondered within myself that this man looked so calm, so it was like he knew what I had thought when I saw that smile if his. Then he just grabbed his drink, gave us a smiling nod and walked away on the beach.
I think I was about 8 or 9. My parents would always go to the mall during the weekends and I thought it was boring so I'd always bring my Gameboy Advance to play Pokemon throughout the day. We were once waiting in a bank for some errands so I just sat somewhere inside and played Pokemon until they were finished. Next to me was an elderly American man who just kept staring at my Gameboy and proceeded to talk to me about it.
Now me being the naive kid, I just started to talk about the game and the pokemon that I had and how the game is played. English wasn't my first language but I could manage myself enough to have a conversation. He talked to me about his young days and then talked about how the landscape of my country was when he moved in from NY in the 60s.
He talked to me about how before the mall ever existed there was long deep green vegetation as far as his eyes could see. My 9-year-old brain was mind-blown about the way he was describing a lot of things before something was constructed in them. It made me really appreciate nature in my country because at some point in my life I will be the one describing them to another generation.
When my parents came to get me after their errand, the elderly man complimented to my parents how good my english was for my age. My parent responded back smiling in broken english, "He speaks better english than any of us in the family."
I just graduated college and I still ask myself what has become of him.
My family encountered a young mother and her baby at the beach bus stop in Maine one warm summer evening. The bus had driven right by her while she was tending the child at the bench, waiting for the bus. She waved, yelled, everything. By the time we crossed the parking lot and got to her to see what was wrong (had she been attacked?) she was in tears, full new-mom meltdown. Stroller, baby bag, lunch cooler all packed and ready, and the bus didn't even pause.
The bus was her only transportation, rain was imminent all the way up the coast, and they lived an hour away. The panic was palpable and she needed to just calm down. So we called an Uber for her, which got her to the next bus station where she could then use her bus ticket home. The uber driver texted me and had made sure she got on the bus. I still think of her and the little boy and hope they are well. Being a single mom is no picnic, and even when you think you've done everything right, prepared for all contingencies, one thing going wrong just guts you. Be well, Maine Mama!
When I was in college I didn't have a car. One evening I was leaving the grocery store, thinking about how I bought too many heavy things as I struggled with the load, I was seriously starting to think I had too much to carry for the km walk home. It was snowing too. All of a sudden someone runs up from behind me and grabs the bags out of my left hand. It was this polite guy, about my age, he offered to help carry my bags with me until our paths split. He carried my bags most of the way and we parted ways,.
That was 18 years or so ago but I have never forgotten that kind gesture from a stranger. I was really struggling with mental health at the time and basically felt disconnected from the world. This interaction changed my perception of the world.
Catch A Falling Star And Put It In Your Pocket
I love this story:
So remember that big meteor shower a few years ago? Yeah, I missed it because I was working. I tried to lay out on my patio late to see if I could see anything, but I live in a major city so the light pollution was too much. I saw maybe one or two little pin-points shoot across the sky.
The next day I'm leaving work, and this one girl and I are standing at the crosswalk. Out of the corner of my eye I see this bright light.
A HUGE shooting star just streaks throughout the sky. It was so bright that it was blue. There were sparkles like fireworks. It lasted for several seconds and crossed the entire horizon.
"WOAH DID YOU SEE THAT!?"
"Was that a shooting star??"
"That was incredible!"
"I've never seen anything like that in my entire life!"
This girl and I, just the two of us, shared this awesome moment of seeing this incredible shooting star.
And we'll never see each other ever again.
So she's my shooting star friend :)
Hopefully, in her mind, I'm hers, as well.
Not Always The Best Time In A CarGiphy
When I was younger, maybe around 12 (20 years ago), my family was taking a road trip to visit my older sister in another province and my dad had to stay home and work. We got kind of lost and my mom turned off he highway onto a narrow side road to get her bearings. She tried to pull a u-turn on a small driveway (with a locked gate and guard dog/ no trespassing signs) but misjudged the space and had to back into the drive halfway through the turn. She misjudged that too and the rear passenger wheel went off the road and was hanging over the steep ditch that was beside the driveway, and the front wheels were now slightly in the air so we were stuck. My little sisters in the back of the van were freaking out and my mom was starting to panic about what to do (no cell phone, no idea where we really were, and a very inhospitable looking gate that we were stuck in front of). She got us all out of the van (possibly afraid it would fall back into the ditch) and my sisters were just crying on this little patch of driveway.
All of a sudden this old pickup truck comes driving up the road from the opposite way we came (so driving towards the highway) and pulls up next to us. "Hey you guys stuck? Here let me!" A big golden retriever hops out of the box of his truck and runs up to my sisters and just lays in front them and they all forget all their worries and they start petting this friendly dog and the guy hitched up a winch to van and pulled us out in about 2 minutes. He gave my mom directions back to where we wanted to go, hopped back in the truck with his dog and drove back the way he came as if his sole purpose from driving out to the highway from this random country road was to save trapped travellers.
Off we went without another issue and I always think of that guy as being the perfect person at the right place at the right time for what we needed.
Cute With A Tangy Name
I never once spoke to this kid.
My freshman year of high school, he sat behind me during the standardized test. Never saw him again until my junior year. Not even in the hallways.
Then every day in between three classes there he was, heading in the opposite direction of me. We passed each other every day for that whole year.
Then never saw him again.
He sat next to me.
Like, i recognized this guy as the guy who scratched the metal of his pencil on the desk anxiously behind me during the test, with the pretty eyes and swoops hair, for three years. And then he was just the cute guy I passed in the hall every day.
And I didn't even see him at graduation rehearsals. I didn't see the dude until the day of graduation and he was sitting next to me.
Didn't even know his name until the principal said it so he could walk across the stage.
Poor guy was named after a soy sauce. Not really but his name was Kirkland.
The Curious Incident Of The Pizza And The Streaker
I was on a porch in Lexington drinking bourbon with a few of my buddies. It was an autumn night--certainly long pants and hoodie weather, but not all the way into coat territory yet. It was kinda the ghetto and streetlights were few and far between, however in the distance, we could see a man running up the street for all he was worth. As he got closer, it became apparent that he was about our age and wearing nothing but his shoes and his boxer shorts, and that he was carrying a pizza box. This man did not break from his sprint for an instant--we watched him tear up the last hundred yards or so at full, breakneck speed.
"Ay!" my friend Ricky shouted as the young man ran past us. "You alright, buddy?" They guy turned, full deer in the headlights expression, and then walked casually up to our porch.
"You guys want a pizza?" he asked, offering up the box he was carrying. Ricky took the box, opened it, and sure enough--there was an entire untouched pizza.
"Uhhh...thanks, man," Ricky replied. "You want like a shot of bourbon or some pants or anything?"
"No, no, I'm fine," the guy waved dismissively. "You guys have a great night!" And at that, he once again took off sprinting down the street. I watched him go for a minute before turning back to Ricky, who now had his face full of pizza.
"Dude," Ricky commented. "This is really good. It's like...still hot."
I've thought about this for years, and I still have absolutely no explanation for who this semi-nude, pizza-delivering mystery sprinter might be. Wherever you are--thanks, man. That was some seriously good pizza.
Sometimes The Only Upside
I had several ruptured aneurysms in my lung last year and was hospitalized for less than a week.
They put me in a big room, with four other beds.
Suddenly I hear loud laughter in the hallway coming towards my room. The curtains around my bed are closed, but I can tell it's an elderly man and his daughters are with him. He shouts "Any ladies in here?" "Yes." I reply. He grins loudly and says something like, he is a lucky boy, surrounded by pretty ladies, nurses and a ~lady~ room mate.
This man had severe dementia, and his daughters told that he was reliving his best years as a happy and healthy teenager. He was biking a few weeks ago, fell, and had to have hip surgery. He then forgot, biked and played soccer with some strangers in the park. He then fell again, and had to have the surgery all over. But he was so happy, and really made my stay wonderful.
Well, his daughters leave, and he asks if he can draw the curtains. He would love to see his ~lovely lady neighbour~. I tell him, okay. He draws the curtain and sees my nasal cannula, and my IV. He just laughs and tells me, that I probably couldn't play soccer with all that gear. And tells me I look very graceful. He was so lovely. He made me smile and laugh.
Before he came, I felt so lonely sad and was hurting. I had been puking a lot from vertigo and hadn't been able to eat.
The nurses return with dinner, and he asks if we could eat together. He just kept talking about soccer and how he couldn't wait to get out and play. We both had trouble eating and we both vomited after. I think he heard me cry, and he just joked about the food being terrible.
We hugged goodbye when I left a few days after and he said we should play soccer some time.
He really made my stay something else. Bless this man. He was the happiest man I have ever met. :')
People hard up for cash will do anything. But what about the other way around?
There are a ton of jobs or favors that don't require much skill, experience, or labor, and people who are fortunate enough to get hired walk away with a king's ransom.
Looking for those kinds of "jobs," however, is like finding a teardrop in the ocean.
"What's the dumbest thing you were paid to do and how much were you paid?"
Good luck finding these well-paying tasks.
"Had a WFH gig working sort of as a personal assistant for a rich guy on the opposite coast from me. I did all kinds of wacky sh*t for him. For example, one time I had to break up with my boss's girlfriend because he was too wimpy to do it himself. That was literally my job."
"One day, I bought him a new pickup truck. Meaning, I negotiated the deal and paid for the truck with his credit card. All in all, I'd say the process probably took about two weeks, for which I was paid my usual wage at six hours per day. No big deal."
"Somehow, his dad found out about the new truck and he decided he wanted a new pickup truck too. He called me about a week after I bought the truck for my boss and said he'd pay me $2,000 to buy a truck for him. I called the same dealership back, spoke to the same salesman, told him what was up and basically said give me another truck, same price as before. The salesman was only too happy to comply."
"It took ten minutes to make the phone call and then a day or two to get the title and other paperwork sorted out. So, depending on how you look at it, I made $2,000 for just ten minutes worth of 'work.'"
"Somehow, my boss's rich friend found out about all this. He decided he wanted a new SUV. 'OhYeahThrowItAway, you have to buy it for me!' I told him the last time I bought someone a vehicle, I got paid $2,000. The friend was basically like F'k it, I'll pay you $3,000, just get it for me' and then he emailed me his wish list."
"That deal took a little longer, maybe two weeks."
"I made $5k extra in just two months buying vehicles for lazy (or dumb) rich people."
Staying Out Of The Picture
"I was paid $300 to move my car for a movie that was filming by my apartment."
Pack It Up
"Got paid 10k to leave an apartment because it was sold and new owner wanted to move in. I was tenant (renter) under previous owner. I had 4 months left in my rental contract. This was in Spain (Barcelona)."
"I was flown to Paris to do a compliance audit, the systems weren't set up for the audit, couldn't get access so spent the week being taken to restaurants and shopping. On 1 of the days and at the last minute the company decided to send me to London for a meeting, literally just to meet people. I missed the Eurostar because I forgot my passport (totally blanked that I was entering another country), they had to rebook the Eurostar. Nothing was achieved out of this trip. No audit was completed. Nothing came of the meeting. The cost to the company 25k+ for me to do nothing for a week. Corporate money is ridiculous money."
Not much labor was required for these so-called "jobs."
Ten-Minutes Of "Work"
"I used to work for a PR agency. Every month one of our clients wanted a handful of photos re-sized for their website; nothing fancy, just setting the width to 500px in Windows Photo Manager."
"It was maybe ten minutes of work every month, but the contract said the minimum amount of time we would charge them for was one day - and this was for the full team too, not just me. It must have cost them several hundred pounds every month."
"I showed the client how to do it several times, and explained that they could save a lot of money doing it themselves. They didn't seem to mind."
"In the end I made sure I got it in writing that I'd informed them of their options and let them get on with it."
Thank You, Goodbye
"$175 to do some kind of user study at Netflix, I show up in the lobby and then they go, 'actually we got the data we needed from the studies earlier today, you're free to go!'. Still got paid!"
"I did an event for a national association for deaf people at which they did every presentation in ASL. I am an audio engineer, who specializes in live sound and concerts. I did nothing for 5 days of show, $450 a day."
Paid To Play
"I got asked to do 2 hours of barrier watch (Guarding a barrier ribbon while a crew did x rays inside a power plant). This was asked last minute after a 12 hour shift so the bonuses of staying happening to be a Sunday, etc I was being paid $110 to stand and play on my phone and make sure sure nobody tried to pass all the DO NOT ENTER DANGER DANGER signs during a time of day with minimal personnel."
"I rented my chicken to a photographer for fifty bucks."
Gotta Have Wendy's
"I was driving for uber. Picked up a bunch of drunks at like 2 AM. They were like 'Yo we gotta grab some Wendy' I go 'I'm sorry this is my busy period' they go 'Can we bribe you?' I go 'Absolutely you can bribe me.'"
"One the guys said I'll give you $100...I was shocked it was that high, another guy said '$150' and finally his wife said 'F'k it I want Wendy $200 and we buy you Wendy too.'"
"I finally said yes, FYI I hadn't said yes yet because the reality is $20-$40 would have gotten me to stop at Wendy."
"So there I sat at Wendy as those 3 drunks bought me wendy and paid me $200."
"One time I was at this super fancy dinner party. I'm talking servers and everything, I was in a freaking tux! It was outside and catered by a professional bbq company. I mean these guys had won international competitions. Well get this, they were double booked and didn't show. The other servers didn't know how to grill, and this totally smokin server in her 30s is just staring at the grill like a deer in the headlights. Well I don't want to be a hero but I ask if I can help. The entire staff spend the rest of the night bringing me drinks as I make this bbq and NOBODY realizes the award winning chefs didn't show up!"
Where Do We Apply?
"Ok this wasn't a job or anything.... But I got 10$ to eat half a watermelon."
Some opportunities present themselves.
When I was a kid, I hung out at a Japanese summer festival booth where you roll a bowling ball on a track that had two hills. The objective was to push the ball hard enough to get it over the first hill but not too hard to get it over the second hill.
I was fascinated with the challenge and stayed there for a long time as my parents were over by the food booths with their friends.
It was a slow day, and the dude working the booth wanted to peace out for a bit, so he offered to pay me $50 to "hang out" in his stead.
Of course, I said "sure."
No one ever came, and I earned fifty bucks rolling bowling balls for an hour. Was it the dumbest thing I ever did for money? Maybe, but I laughed all the way to the piggy bank that day.
That guy really must have despised his post enough to give a twelve-year-old kid $50.
Everyone talks about how the 20s are supposed to be the time of our lives. And that's largely true. But it's not all wine and roses.
Among all the freedom and youthful exuberance, so many people spend that decade struggling through the chaos of having absolutely no idea what their passion is.
And when we've internalized the desire to find an occupation that aligns with our values, sounds cool to talk about, and provides us with existential fulfillment, it can be difficult to identify the perfect fit.
So we hum along rather aimlessly.
Thankfully, some people do find their vocation and hunker down. But for others, it takes a little longer.
Perhaps struggling to locate that ideal passion, Redditor wibly_wobly_kid asked:
"People who discovered their passion at a later stage of life, what is it and how did you figure it out?"
Many people talked about making a career switch when they least expected. For the longest time, they new they didn't enjoy their work, but they didn't know what to do instead.
Hiding In Plain Sight
"I went to college twice in my early 20s for journalism and communications, but never graduated. I spent the rest of my 20s in a dead end food service job, miserable and angry at myself. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life"
"My extended family has lots of little ones (cousins having cousins) and every time there was a family get together, I always found myself playing with and entertaining the kids. One day, my uncle pointed out how good I was with kids, and did I ever consider working with them? I laughed it off but later thought 'hey, I have nothing better going on. What's the harm in researching a bit?' "
"I found out I could become an early childhood educator, working in daycares or kindergarten classes. So I applied to a couple of colleges and got in right away (applied on a Monday and got accepted the Friday). I quit my dead-end job and focused entirely on school. I made the dean's list all 4 semesters (something I have never done), and aced all my classes."
"I had a placement at a daycare/before and after school card place, and they hired me right after I finished my placement. So now I'm working there and happier than I ever was in my 20s"
Never Too Late
"Law. I was 45 when I went back to school. I'd worked blue collar jobs all my life, was a high school dropout. My daughter started taking paralegal classes and I thought, 'I could do that.' "
"So I got my GED and signed up for a 2-year paralegal certificate program through the local community college. Fell in love with law. Also discovered I was good at it. I had several professors who were lawyers tell me I'd be wasted as a paralegal and should go to law school."
"So I transferred to a 4-year school. Worked full time through undergrad and graduated with honors. Got into law school. I graduated law school at 55, oldest in my class. But I'd gone from being a high school dropout to a lawyer in just 10 years."
"Passed the California bar first try and I've been a public defender ever since, which is the only thing I ever wanted to do with it. I'm 60 now but I'm healthy and energetic and have a lot of years left. I love what I do, I'm very good at it, and it's the best move I ever made."
Every Week an Achievement
"Was 39 when I took a temp job in a social services type industry. Just basic stuff."
"Realised after a couple of years that I'd circled back to my idealistic 17yo self's plan for my career. Spent the previous 20 working sh** jobs I hated."
"Turns out it's really important to do something that aligns with your values. Finish the week feeling like I've contributed to society, rather than working to screw people for money."
Others discussed the passions they've discovered outside of their working life. These won't bring home any income, but their importance to life satisfaction cannot be understated.
"My dad discovered his life's biggest passion at 67. Mountain climbing. Serious mountaineering."
"He climbed Kilimanjaro and Whitney just months apart."
Plenty More Shredding In Store
"I started Rollerskating (on ramps) just before I turned 40 , it's never too late to start, you just need more safety gear :)"
"I've been doing it for years now I'm in my mid 40s and still rollin. It makes me a bit sad I didn't start when I was younger, but I reckon i've got another ten years left in me."
Moving the Needle On Women's Pockets
"Sewing/tailoring clothes. On a whim I took a class at a local community center and got hooked. After learning some basics in the class and following some YouTube videos I can make a passable pair of pants/trousers and basic shirts. I'm lucky that my local library had sewing machines you could check out so I didn't need to commit any real money early on."
"The best thing to come out of learning this new skill was making a pair of pants with actual pockets for my wife. Guys, you have not seen joy until you see your wife get a pair of functional custom pants with human-sized pockets. I thought her head was going to explode she was so happy."
Keep an Ear Out for Jingles
"I always wanted to learn an instrument that wasn't academic related."
"Over COVID lockdown I picked up the guitar."
"I picked it up pretty quick. So I learned the drums."
"Now I'm finishing building a music studio. I wanna write commercial jingles and just throw a bunch of sh** online for fun"
Unexpected, But Sounds Awesome
"I'm 31, but one year ago I discovered camels. Now I own three. I love them 🥰" -- ZhenHen
"I assume you are not talking about cigarettes, so how does one acquire not only one but three camels? Where do you live? How much did they cost? I'm very intrigued." -- dufresne90
"When you're into camels, every day is Hump Day." -- HolIerer
And a few put a finer point on the nature of that work vs. hobbies dynamic. They assured that one's professional career doesn't necessarily have to provide all the fulfillment they're looking for.
Sometimes, we just need to punch the clock.
Earning Free Time
"PSA: you don't have to be passionate about your job. Your passion can be a hobby you do in your free time. I don't think I will ever find a vocational passion."
"Used to think I was broken because of that but really there is no requirement to be head over heels about what puts money on the table and food in the pocket!"
Career's Moving, Still Painting
"Late 40s here. Got a book called Learn to Draw in 30 Days about 4 years ago. Then about 3 years ago I heard about #the100daychallenge where the goal is to create art every day for 100 days. I never stopped and made it a goal to hit 1000 days."
"In that time, I won contests, got about two hundred commissions, raised over $5000 for a charity, and had a great time. When I hit the 1000 days back in December, I decided to go back to college and get an art degree. I signed up for classes and talked with my manager at work to see how much they would pay for college, she was excited that I was going to get a business degree and said she'd work on getting all of the classes covered."
"Free college became too tempting to pass up so now I'm planning on getting the business degree and then on to law school because they'll pay for that too. I just finished my first semester with a 4.0 and I'm on day 1136 of my non-stop painting journey."
So if you're still looking around for your passion and feeling discouraged, rest assured that it might come your way when you least expect it.
And life is long, my friends.
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Don't disturb my beauty sleep! That's the one rule I have––and thankfully I live alone, so there isn't anyone to bother me, which is fabulous. But that doesn't mean I'm immune to getting woken up in the middle of the night. The worst way I can think of off the top of my head? The time a drunk guy wandered into my friend's yard and started banging on the window while I was trying to sleep. It was 3 a.m. The incident also gave me the fright of my life!
People told us about the experiences that yanked them out of dreamland after Redditor GratefulD_86 asked the online community,
"What is the worst way you've been woken up?"
"By raw sewage pouring through my ceiling (in my bedroom) from my upstairs neighbor.
He partied and ripped the toilet out of the floor, then continued using it. Took maintenance almost 16 hours to show up and turn off the flow."
"I literally didn't even know..."
"Cops beating on my door to search my house for someone I was hiding. I literally didn't even know the person."
Terrifying. This could have ended very badly.
"Cops busted down my door..."
"Cops busted down my door to take me to jail for having meth except. They had the wrong house."
"Neighbor decided to hang shelves in her bathroom after midnight and drilled into our shared wall. Scared the crap out of me."
The walls do indeed have ears.
"The phone woke me up..."
"The phone woke me up a little after midnight. I was informed that my mother had died. It was not totally unexpected. Her health had been declining.
I still dread hearing the phone ring late at night."
"A cockroach entering my mouth on my first day of camp."
"Police department knocking..."
"Police department knocking on my door at 2 a.m. saying the meth lab across the street might blow up so we needed to get out ASAP."
Is this a deleted episode of Breaking Bad?
"My cats were chasing each other..."
"My cats were chasing each other and one ran across my face while I was sleeping. The scratches were pretty bad all across one side of my face. It was the day before my senior prom too, so I ended up having a scratched-up face for that. I still have a scar right by my eye."
Cats are always at their most unpredictable very late at night!
"My Dad would keep a bag of marbles in the freezer. If you didn't wake up the first time, he dumped them into your bed."
"The neighbor in the building across from us..."
"Glass shattering. Lived in a 6 story apartment building. The neighbor in the building across from us was having some kind of psychotic break and was throwing everything he could get his hands on off his balcony. He was aiming for the windows of other apartments. We were far enough away to not get hit but watching that go down was not super fun."
We don't envy anyone of these people. Hopefully their lives have been filled with plenty of glorious, uninterrupted sleep since.
Have some of your own stories? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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I love food! Maybe a little too much. It's been an especially amorous relationship over this pandemic. And I know I'm not alone.
All of our palettes are tuned to our own personal tastes. And sometimes certain items and combinations of tastes can leave others less than enticed.
I've lost track of all the side-eye I've gotten when I declare how much I enjoy PINEAPPLE on pizza. I said it. I meant it. Fight me. Let's discuss who else has eclectic tastes.
Redditor u/CatVideoFest wanted to discuss the mixing of certain ingredients that don't leave the best taste in one's mouth by asking:
Food is for survival. That was the plan. But over the years it has become somewhat of a way of life. Some of the most annoying people are foodies. They get so uppity about the preferences of others. Like, let me just enjoy what I enjoy.
Mom No!Mom Smile GIFGiphy
"I don't like my mom's cooking."
"Livestock have refused to eat my mother's cooking. She's a terror in the kitchen."
Take them OUT!!
"I hate walnuts in baked goods. It tastes like wood shavings and completely ruins the flavor."
"I love walnuts but I feel this way about raisins in baked goods, raisins are fine by themselves but not in sweets, I once ordered cinnamon rolls at Hardee's and bit into it and found out there were raisins in it, and I was grossed out and didn't want to eat it. At least freakin' McDonald's serves real cinnamon rolls without freakn' raisins!"
The Fart Ingredient
"I don't like kidney beans except in chili."
Oh thew Crunch...
"Pickles and onion make the best sandwich. I make most of my own pickles from stuff I grow or get from local farms in the fall, but I responded to another comment with two different heinous concoctions I enjoy. Crunchy, salty, sour. I really like pickles and onions to begin with."
"I use more than pickled cucumber though. Like the last one I made, I used garlic naan, mayo, red onion, scallions, pickled garlic, green olives, Kalamata olives, garlic dill cucumber, and green beans. Shallot, sour pickled onion, sweet pickled cucumbers, and sushi ginger on sprouted 14 grain bread is also also a favorite of mine."
No Sizzlebacon GIFGiphy
"I do not like bacon."
Who doesn't like bacon? That seems like a sacrilege. Right? But to each their own. Though I will never understand not loving walnuts in comfort food. Y'all need more self love.
Love the Big M
"Fast food tastes amazing, yeah its unhealthy as hell but don't you sit there and lie and say it tastes bad."
Blasphemy!golden girls flirting GIF by HULUGiphy
"Cheesecake is disgusting."
Too Many Legs
"Lobsters and crabs are giant insects."
"I don't really think that's that controversial, in my area of the world we even call this creature a 'Moreton Bay Bug' even though some fisheries try to give it the more appealing name of 'flathead lobster'."
"Boneless wings are vastly superior to bone-in wings. I think bone-in wings are a ripoff because when you get half a pound of them, part of that half-pound is inedible. It's like if you ordered a quarter-pound cheeseburger, but the restaurant considers the weight of the plate to be part of that quarter-pound and you end up with just a slider. Just give me some damn meat."
The Slimeman oyster GIFGiphy
"Oysters are truly disgusting and absurdly overpriced for quarter sized pieces of snot that tastes like salt water and hot sauce."
Ok, I'm trying to stay calm. I don't want to judge. But some of these opinions... are leaving me shook. Except the oysters. That is that work of the devil. Look away...
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