Have you ever dreamed of leaving it all and getting a fresh start? You don't tell anyone where you're going you just go. It sounds like the tagline of a good movie. But for some people, it's reality. These people all embarked on the adventure of shirking their identity and starting anew. Thank you to everyone who contributed their story.
1. Everyone who I knew before 9/11 thinks I am dead. I changed my whole identity because I couldn't stand my life. Little back story first. My parents are very rich, my dad is a surgeon and mom owns a very expensive clothing store. I got married at 24, right after I finished my senior year at Brown, we lived pretty happily for a while, then I went to Law school and the whole thing started to crumble.
I was studying a lot, extremely busy and never had time to go home, so I guess it was partially my fault. As the years passed, my wife and I started to drift apart, we had sex maybe once a month, wife stopped talking to me about her personal stuff we still made small talk about the news, neighbors, and stuff but when I asked about her issues I was always met with, "Everything is fine, honey."
Then, suddenly we had a baby and I thought everything would get better but it only made it worse. My wife started accusing me of cheating on her. Our relationship went downhill very fast. Meanwhile, my parents stopped talking to me. My dad said I wasn't living up to his expectations and my mom took his side. Basically, my life was crap.
In the last 5-6 months before 9/11 my life became a routine that I just needed to do. Every day became harder to wake up. Then, a few weeks before 9-11 I discovered my wife had been cheating on me for the last 7 years and our 6 year old daughter wasn't mine. I didn't know what to do I was seriously lost.
Then 9/11 happened.
My firm was located in the North building. I was at a client's house looking over some files when I heard the news. At first I freaked out, naturally. My coworkers and friends were in that building. Then it dawned on me everyone probably thinks I'm dead. I was standing there and thinking the same thing over and over again and every time I thought it I felt such a weight off my shoulders, such a relief.
I took a cab to Garden City and just went into a bar, sipped beer while watching the news, stayed there until it closed. I was about to go home when I had a thought: "Why should I go home? I'm dead!"
I took a bus to a small town near Niagara Falls. My parents had a small house there that they never stayed at. I spent the night there, then went to a bank and took out all my savings from my personal account (about 80k).
I went to Canada.
I now live in a small RV park in Ontario. I changed my name and my appearance. I live a very modest life and I couldn't be happier. Every year on 9/10, I go to NYC and visit all the places that I went to on the day I set myself free. I go the bar, tip the bartender $100, visit ground zero, and take a quick peek at the place where my ex-wife lives with her new husband. I always imagine going up to the door and knocking, telling her it's me, and seeing the look of shock on her face, but I never do.
2. I moved from the United States to Taiwan. And, while I will likely only be here for a couple of years, it's amazing how much it helped. It cured the depression I never even realized I had.
I never realized I was "depressed" in the United States. I mean, I wasn't sad all the time. I had friends. I did well at a top tier university. None of that characterizes a depressed person, right?! But, I never felt very excited about anything. I just felt as if though I was going from box to box, looking for happiness. Wake up, get in my car. Drive to class. Leave class, go to a restaurant. Go home. Want to have some fun? Meet friends in a bar. It was all driving in a box to another box and convincing myself it all mattered. I just thought that's what life was, and the fact that I was always sorta "meh" was what being human was.
Then, I got a grant to move to Taiwan, and I did it. (Continued)
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I don't really know how to explain it, but I suddenly feel like a person for the first time. There is a large, large, LARGE sense of community here. I feel like things matter. I don't just drive from place to place, eating at identical restaurants. I realize I am perhaps being a bit cryptic here, but it just feels like things "matter" more here. Go out to eat? It's not always going to be a chain restaurant that looks like all the other chain restaurants, due to all the building codes and ADA regulations. I might find myself in a bit of a shack, run by a family for decades, where people pour their heart and soul into the food. I know I am being general here, and I KNOW that "real" restaurants exist in the US, too. But, in general, I feel like Americans have traded variety for security. We like the security of knowing we can travel to another state and find the same 10 restaurants. We like the security of strict building codes, knowing that all the door handles are the same design in case of an emergency. And, of course, there are merits to all of this.
For example, in Taiwan, people will park all over the sidewalks, and you often find yourself dodging around parked cars when walking, into the street. As an American, I sometimes freak out and think, "WHY ARE THEY MAKING PEDESTRIANS WALK IN THE ROAD?! JERKS. THIS IS A SIDEWALK! AAARGH!" And, this isn't about sidewalks.
But this draws to a larger metaphor. In America, you'll get a ticket in a second for parking on a sidewalk, and pedestrians never have to worry about walking around cars on a sidewalk. To me, that is trading variety for security - we want to make sure every road is safe and "up to code," and as a result, all you ever see are empty sidewalks. In Taiwan, just walking down a block can be a fascinating experience, as you never quite know what you'll see. I worked in an un-air-conditioned building in Taiwan's 100 degree summer, and I was sweating all the time. As an American, it bothered me so much, and I took several showers a day. Then you realize, "I'm human, it's hot, I'm sweating... so what?" It's that overall mindset and general ideology that "freed" me in Taiwan, and made me feel like a person again. I'd rather just live, rather than attempting to set up a utopia of safety and comfort.
So, me? Personally? Hopping on my scooter, driving through slightly-un-okay-level dangerous streets, not knowing if I can always find "that restaurant I like," and knowing that every street will bring something completely new (good or bad).... It changed my life, honestly.
I am pre-preemptively worried that someone will misunderstand this as a Taiwan vs. America argument, which it isn't. If you can be as happy as I am right now in America, then more power to you. I am legitimately happy for you. But me? I can't. I needed a change. And, it wasn't until I made the change that I realized how badly I needed it. If you feel like you need a change, maybe you should just do it. Something like moving to the other side of the planet may seem insane and almost impossible. Well, it is. And that is exactly why you should probably be doing it.
3. I have an uncle who attempted suicide four times and failed. For his fifth, people were pleading with him to try anything else. I went to a park with him and smoked a joint and he told me he was planning on killing himself again. We sat in silence and jokingly, I suggested he just start over. (Continued)
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If his life was bad enough to end, then he could end his life that he's living and just starting a new one, in maybe Arizona or somewhere far away.
Two months later I heard he left out of state and got a new phone and maybe a new name. I found an M&M container with a thank you note and three perfect joints a couple weeks after that.
I'm sure he's doing ok.
4. I didn't have to fake my death, but I was an active heroin addict in my old life so I guess it's possible that people think I'm dead or in jail. I got lucky not to be.
When I got clean I also moved a few hundred miles and cut ties with everyone except my family. It's much easier to stay clean living somewhere without a ton of history of drug use, no reminders. I also am in a new college.
Overall it's pretty good; I have a quiet and productive life, not much socially but I have people I can call if I feel the urge to not be alone. Loneliness is an issue but I try to remember that it's better than living like I used to and isolating myself with erratic behavior.
So overall I'm pretty content with the whole "fresh start" deal.
5. A bit more than seven years ago I got denied from every Ivy League law school I tried for, leading to an existential personal crisis. I did it all right and still failed. After two months working in a kitchen in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I realized I was trying to go to Law School because I had never actually considered what I wanted to do. I took all my savings, a tiny loan from my parents and moved to South America.
After 6 months I got a corporate job (I spoke Spanish already). Then I started a business. The business exploded. I sold the business. I was in Argentina for 3 years, based there while traveling most of Latin America, and Brazil for nearly a year. I mastered Spanish and became fluent in Portuguese. Came back to the USA for a year, taught a little Spanish in a charter school and consulted for a few companies. A year ago I took a job in China, Im still here. What happened next was incredible. (Continued)
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Ive made a bunch of money and met a ton of people. Ive lived with a kind of autonomy and sovereignty over what I do every single day that I could never have imagined as a college student headed for law school. I see possibilities and value so many things that the old me didnt notice or value. I've had a few beautiful relationships. Ive been published and paid for writing almost a dozen times now. Im at complete peace with my career, my lifes trajectory, and money. I no longer see money as a goal but as a means to do what I want to do TODAY. Abandoning the path I was on and going off into the unknown was the best thing I ever did. It is still the primary experience that defines the path that Im on.
In March-September 2015, I'm filming a travel, surfing, rock climbing, and rural culture documentary with some old friends. My job on the team is 'scout,' I'll be riding a motorcycle ahead of the production crew to scout locations and conduct pre-interviews. When my contract in China ends, Im taking a year off to travel and write a book that already has a publisher while I wait for the documentary to start.
My parents miss me and I miss them. I've seen my sister 4 times in almost 10 years. I've lost nearly all of my American friendships, although I've managed to retain a handful of the most important ones. I'm 27.
6. My uncle disappeared (disembarked off cruise ship, didn't come back). Nobody heard from him.
He reappeared 30 years later and asked to borrow money. Got money, disappeared again.
7. Faked a big move and cut ties with family and friends. I live about 20miles from my old home and kept my job. It has been 2 years and my anonymity remains intact. Happy life without the drugs, drama and abuse. Still keep in contact with my little brother, but that's it. Everybody thinks I now live in Russia.
8. A few months ago, I threw my hands in the air, said "To hell with it," and moved several states away. (Continued)
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The fresh start is awesome, and I'm so much happier now. I have just about everything I've ever wanted here, and I love the fact that I don't have to relive ancient history every time I pass a landmark that reminds me of something.
Just cut ties with whoever is causing you grief, regardless of who they are or what their impact on your life is. Excise the tumor, and then pick up and go. Don't ever let them back in, either...because cancer spreads.
9. I didn't do anything drastic like change a name or fake a death; I merely chose to cut out the terrible people in my life. My father abused me growing up. While coming to terms with this as a young adult, I tried to kill myself. After leaving the mental hospital he mocked me. That was when I saw the light and decided to cut him out. A year or two after that my mom decided to a) uninvite me to christmas, and b) kicked me out the day before the holiday when she realized I didn't intend to go. I left, she changed the locks. I decided to leave totally, and merely left town, blocking everyone there on my fb (didn't want my whereabouts getting back to my family.) I live within an hour's distance, never had a run in since. No regrets.
10. This has been pretty much my way of living for the past 10 years.
Every few years I pack up, move countries and start new. Burner phones, changing emails, and no social network accounts.
I don't really have a reason for it, I just enjoy being a vagabond and seeing places.
I grew up moving country to country as a child, and when I turned 16-17 it just seemed a natural way of living. I've hit around 150 countries so far, and lived in over 20.
I'm still young, and I work in all these places. (surf instructor, running hostels, bartender, teacher, etc.)
11. I dropped everything and left without telling anyone where I was going. I hardly packed anything, just grabbed what I needed and left the state. I go by a different name now and I have no regrets. I was in a terrible place and now I'm so much happier.
I think the only difficult thing is how to figure out who I am now. I spent so much time living for the people around me that I didn't even know who I was. Do I even really like to bowl? Is this really how I want to dress? But I get to re-learn and re-explore myself slowly and it's a wonderful journey.
12. I was always the one that my 'friends' would pick on. Got high grades, so got called the nerd. Had a boyfriend, was labelled as the slut. Travelled a bit, suddenly I'm a snob. Wanted to go study something other than education or nursing (the standard fields they all chose), they accuse me of thinking I'm better than I really am. This went on for 9 years. Didn't matter if whatever they picked on me about was something one of them also did, I was the punching bag. Obviously as a young girl stuff like this has an influence on how you see yourself, so by the time we were in our final year in school, I practised my hobbies in secret, didn't really engage in social activities, kept to myself, always scared of what they will think. I internalized everything, it got to a point where I cut myself in secret (that's a story for another day).
Finally while on holiday in the middle of my matric year, I met a group of people (eclectic and weird bunch of hippies, they were awesome) who I hung out with for the three weeks I was away. They were all so different but they fit in so well with each other because they respected the fact that everyone needs to be their own person. That's when I decided eff this, I'm done with all the crap, and I'm done with the people. What I did next I never thought I'd do in a million years. (Continued)
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So I spoke to my parents, told them my plans, and they agreed to let me do it. After school I moved 1500km away from where I grew up. Lived in residence at varsity, studied what I wanted to without the constant negativity. I met my now best friends there, they're wonderful. I know more about who I am now (still learning a lot) and I'm not afraid to be myself anymore. It's so freeing.
I never told anyone there where I went or that I was leaving. It's been 6 years without them and with no contact with anyone from my home town. It's the best thing I've ever done for myself. My parents moved from there the same year that I left as well. I've never been happier.
My only regret is that it took me so long to realized how poisonous those people were to my health.
13. When I was 17 I up and moved a few states away. Didn't tell a single soul.
I was sick of being picked on and harassed. I had a drug problem, my friends were all dying, my mom died when I was young, and my dad left me after she died, so I was taken into foster care. After I was taken into foster care I was homeschooled, and never got the social integration that I so badly needed. I was isolated to the foster family. They refused to let me hang out with anyone, have friends, girlfriends, etc. I started acting out at like 14/15 years old, doing drugs and dumb stuff to feel like a person. My lack of social skills got me beat up and stepped over every day. I just wanted a friend though. Anyone I would hang out with would steal my money, or talk behind my back...this, that....I guess the teenage experience.
So one day, I decided to just leave.
I had a lot of people that knew me, I had family, not a real mom or dad, but I do have blood relatives. And...yeah....
The story is pretty messed up.
I had a realization that anyone I cared about was dead, and I would be too, because if I didn't destroy myself, I'd kill myself. So, I decided to grab a bag of clothes and hop on the next train out. No money, not even a wallet. Just a small duffell with a blanket and about two days worth of clothes. I snuck on the train, went 4 hours, and got off when I felt like it. I begged for bus money, and slept on the street and random strangers couches for about a year.
The rest of the story is kind of boring, just a lot of struggling. But I will say, it was the best choice I ever made.
I have my own place, a new car, I got my GED, got to college, work as an EMT, and also work at MIT. None of that would have been possible without leaving. It was refreshing. Nobody knew me. I wasn't a failure to people up here. I wasn't that weird kid. I wasn't being bullied to the point of thinking about suicide. Nobody really knew my situation, well, anyone I was talking to as friends anyways. But that doesn't matter now. People don't matter to me. I concentrate on my own life, my own well being.
I'm content with reaching my goals, and being the person I aim to be, on a daily basis. Someone who is there for whoever needs it, as a shoulder to cry on, a door to be opened, a person to vent to, a couch to crash on.
14. I closed my Facebook account in March and it really put my "friendships" in a different perspective. It felt like, for a lot of people, I was gone. I now have about 5 close friends who still keep in touch after I deleted it, everyone else seemed to trickle out of my life.
Books are life. Recently studies have been published that reading for fun, reading for knowledge, just interest in reading in general is down, and that is a tragedy.
We've become too obsessed with our binge watching and ADHD mindset that we've lost focus on one of life's greatest joys... literature.
There are some stories and books that should be a mandatory read for life. There should be age benchmarks that require knowledge of certain books in order to progress. I know, how "1984" of me. ;)
Redditor u/bugtanks33d wanted to hear about what literature we should all be familiar with sooner than later by asking:
What's a book everyone should read at least once in their lives?
One of my favorite books is "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." It was a key element in unlocking what I could see with my imagination. No adolescent should go beyond sixth grade without knowing it. What else?
"ANNOUNCEMENT FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE READING THIS THREAD:"
"MANY OF THE BOOKS MENTIONED HERE ARE IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN AND IN AUDIO BOOK FORM. GO THROUGH YOUTUBE/RANDOMHOUSE/AUDIBLE/OVERDRIVE FOR ALL THE CLASSICAL GOODNESS YOU WANT."
"It almost totally eliminates the financial/time commitment that many will cite for not picking them up. I listen to books on double speed all the damn time. I am working my way through "A Tale of Two Cities" now."
Meaningwondering simon cowell GIF by X Factor GlobalGiphy
"Man's search for meaning - Viktor Frankl."
"The Phantom Tollbooth."
"Milo: "Many of the things I'm supposed to know seem so useless that I can't see the purpose of learning them at all."
"Princess of Sweet Rhyme: "...what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover the wonderful secrets of tomorrow."
"Johnny's Got His Gun. It's so intense, but it's so good. Metallica's song One is based off this book. Guy has his arms and legs blown off, goes blind and deaf, and is left to live like that. I only read it once, but it's forever engrained into my memory. It hits you like a freight train."
"Surprised I haven't seen it here already so I'll add it... The Brother's Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. In Slaughterhouse 5 Vonnegut said it could teach everything that we needed to know about life, except that wasn't enough anymore."
"If the only thing that book did was make you marvel at how people centuries and oceans removed from you in time and place, could experience the exact same emotions about life as you did, it would be worth the read. There's so much more to it, but Dostoyevsky had such a knack for digging deep into universal human experience. And it's just a hell of a good story too."
Classicsdiva read GIFGiphy
"Speaking as somebody who isn't religious, the literary value of the Bible (and the Hebrew Bible) is severely underrated."
I took a class on it in college, with a prof who'd once allegedly gotten into a bar fight over Beowulf. We would sometimes spend half a class discussing a single verse or two because there's so much stuff going on under the hood."
I know so many of those. And sadly, I'm already behind in my studies. I love books and I'm always on the path to find more to consume. Let me ready my already lengthy list.
WARWar Shockwave GIFGiphy
"All Quiet on the Western Front. Everyone should have to reckon with the reality of what war actually means."
"Night, by Elie Wiezel. It is absolutely heartwrecking , and I hated every moment of reading it, which is exactly the effect it is supposed to have."
"Came here looking for this one. I had to read it back in high school and it blew me away how moved I was by it. Stories like his need to be remembered for all time, no matter how hard it is to get through (emotionally-speaking; it's actually quite an easy and short read). I'm so grateful that my English teacher assigned it."
"The Westing Game."
"A Librarian here, such a terrific book. I have gotten so many kids to read it by hooking them with the fact that the reader can play the game and has all of the clues. And good luck as it is fiendishly clever."
All the Good Crazy
"The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Such a great book."
"Oh my god yes. I love this book for being the sex, drugs and rock and roll of the classics world. It is lengthy but has revenge, treasure, plots and schemes and drugs. There is nothing stuffy about this classic."
"The Giver- that book made my 9-10 year old mind really think about what was important in society. It was the first time the idea of "good" things having a negative consequence was presented to me. I think what makes it work is that we are learning how this whole society really works along side a character who has lived in it his whole life."
"As the facade of the utopian society begins to fall away to show devastating consequences of the "perfect life and society" the reader not only feels their shock but the main character's shock. This was a book I read in school 4 times- once in 5th grade and once in 10th for English and then in both high school and college sociology classes. This book written for 9-13 year olds made for great discussions."
Good and Bad of Liferead ford GIFGiphy
"The Grapes of Wrath and/or Of Mice and Men. Both are heartbreaking, but not for the sake of being heartbreaking - instead they provide a glimpse of how freaking hard life can be, but also how beautiful it can be."
That is a lot of good advice. And a lot of great storytelling and advice giving. Did anyone miss anything that should be there? And make sure you read anything by Harlan Coben, he's a fav.
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It's always our high school dreams, as shown by every high school teen movie ever, to marry the popular girl or the jock. But high school is high school for a reason; life does not really last outside of the walls of high school in the way it did within.
Jocks tend to fall off their athletic bandwagons. The popular girls have a hell of a time making their way in the working world when their popularity means nothing. People's lives sometimes completely freeze in place.
Or sometimes those people really do completely change, and live their lives for the better.
Here were some of those answers.
"My mom was the elite Atlanta debutante and lived a very cushy life at a budding Miami country club. Beautiful and very popular at the private school. My dad grew up on a farm in Virginia. They weren't poor but they were definitely not refined."
"Eventually my father's family made it down to Miami after selling the farm. He became the lifeguard at the country club pool where my mom spent days lounging about."
"My parents say they saw each other and that was it. The scandal was great - the debutante and the lowly lifeguard...."
"They just celebrated 54 years of marriage. My 'lowly' lifeguard father made quite the life for my mom regardless of what all those elite twats said was going to happen."
"She gladly left the country club life for him and they are still so utterly in love it's crazy. He carries a photo of her at the pool where they met. The only references she makes to being 'that girl' are that they proved everyone wrong."
"They are beautiful and I love their story."-wadinglimpkin
Just Because He's Hot Don't Mean He Can't Be Smart Too
"Not me but my mom married my dad who who was hot sh*t. They met in college when he was an absolute hellion."
"But since then he became a doctor, still a really fun dude. He's also a licensed contractor so when he was bored he built a 6000 square foot barn in our backyard over 10 years completely on his own."
"Absolutely stand up dude."-GravityMyGuy
"I married the cool girl. Super athletic, everyone was her friend. We started dating in high school."
"She's kept up everything people loved about her. Nowadays she isn't as interested in other people, and focuses on herself, her career, us and our future."
"We're planning to buy a house and have kids soon. I'm the breadwinner today but I'm not so sure if that'll be true in a few years lol"-WakeAndVape
See, not all the cool kids go on to have horrible, boring lives after. Sometimes the cool kids were cool because they deserved it.
"As it turned out, I married one of the mean girls, didn't go to her school, didn't find out she was considered that until after the divorce. That's how it turned out."
"Then I dated one of the cool chicks. Did go to her school, did know she was considered that. And she was the most amazing human being I've ever known. That one didn't work out either."
"Now I'm just retired from relationships for a bit, strike 3 would kill me right now."
"This was very therapeutic. I have friends and family that are awesome. Hopefully, I'll have more Someday. For now it's me and my kids I'm focusing on."-read110
A Tale Of Strength (On The Outside)
"My mom was the cool girl all through high school, undergrad, grad school. But life didn't go that well. For most of her life, she had to be caring for someone in the family who was ill, and that took a huge toll on her."
"First it was her dad, then it was me (I had childhood illnesses), then her in-laws in quick succession, then her dad again, and finally she had to nurse my dad until he passed away from a terminal illness."
"She was meant to be social and have fun, and instead she was forced to be around sickness and sadness for her best years."
"But she is a very happy and mentally strong person in general who made the best of things. She hosted a lot of people and events."
"My house growing up was full of people visiting and having fun. She's very charming and easy to talk to, and has a lot of fans all the time."
"Though, my siblings and I find her social side rather annoying. She isn't like that with us, and she tells us her charming side is just an act, and the real her is the lady who is constantly critical of us 'for our own good.'"
"She likes having groupies hanging around, people who are happy to take her help and be grateful to her. She has very few friends who could be considered her equals."
"She also expects a lot from other people and is constantly disappointed. She wants to be the center of everything. She doesn't know to be a guest at anything, she somehow ends up running every event she's invited to."
"She sincerely believes she's helping, but it's just disrespectful sometimes and when we tell her that, she doesn't get it."
"She likes to dominate everything and make decisions for everyone. We joke that if the prime minister was her friend, she'd somehow end up running the country for him."-sensitiveinfomax
Sometimes, Chase The Waterfalls
"My mum was the nerdy girl who got all the As and had zero social skills, and somehow managed to start dating my dad who was the popular, good-looking guy who everyone thought would peak in high school."
"She was actually advised by her family and friends that he wouldn't give her the future she was hoping for. They got married at 19, had me when they were 20, and while they were pretty broke the first few years of my life, he paid for my mum to attend law school, started his own business and 25 years later with 3 kids, they're still so in love and have a pretty cushy life."
"My dad actually met one of the loud voices who told my mum she was making a big mistake marrying him, and she had said how she always knew he would turn out well, which he found hilarious."-samknowsbest8
"Found out recently (30 M) that my dad was extremely popular in highschool from my aunt. I had no idea he was an all-star football player with lots of college offers and was prom and homecoming king."
"Never talks about it, but he's doing well. 2 kids, a dog, and a loving wife, imo he's still winning."-ZoatDGoat
And what counts as successful in high school doesn't necessarily count toward success in later life.
What Kind Of Woman?
"My brother was one of the hottest guys in high school and went on to be a model. He's still cool and hot to many but now he's a bit fat."
"He's my brother so ewww on the hot part in my opinion. But women still swoon and he's so obnoxious. Think Matt Dillon, etc…. Era."
"He got dumped by his model 17 years younger wife for a 26 year old. He has impossible standards and it's making him miserable. He's into these flashy shallow women. Overall he's doing really well and his business is thriving."-RunRevolutionary9019
Always Take The Risk
"I sat next to the popular guy every day pretty much for five years and I was so afraid of speaking to him. I'd watched him and his friends picking each other up and shoving the chosen one into lockers, or chasing each other round into a pile on and throwing their shoes at each other. Typical school sh*t."
"They were rowdy and loud and intimidating, but he was the quiet yet seriously funny one and I crushed on him HARD for years. He remembers me as the little blonde girl who didn't speak to anyone (because I was so anxious all the time)."
"He also protected his sister from some a**holes every break time and she'd come to find him for safety from bullies."
"Should have spoken to him sooner when school finished, because we have the same music taste and we get on well enough now at 26 that we have a 6 month old daughter together, my daughter from a previous relationship and we just got engaged last weekend. I adore him, he's handsome, charming and funny and I would do anything for this man as he would for me."-hospital-flowers
High School Never Ends
"I married the Student Council President/ Prom King. He jokes that he peaked in high school. Graduated 20 years ago. He dropped out of three colleges and hasn't found a career path he is passionate about."
"He hates his job, but he's actually really good at it. He's kind of trapped in it because it would be incredibly difficult for him to find a new job without a degree."
"He's a good husband. He's an amazing father. He struggles with anxiety and some depression. A lot of self-doubt. He's incredibly social and the pandemic hit hard."
"He's put on weight and hates his body. He admits that he worries about what other people think of him and wants people to like him."
"He's introspective and wants to be a better person, but anxiety gets in the way sometimes. He married a theater nerd lol, but we didn't meet until college. I felt a little intimidated by his popular past, but he's very down-to-earth."-madestories
We really want our lives to fit neatly into these stereotypes, but at the end of the day, we are all just people repeating a cycle of wanting more for ourselves over and over again. We can't shove that into a stereotype.
Even the student council president, the prom king, the homecoming queen, and the jocks can't run away and hide in a single identity forever. Life makes you into a more rounded person whether you want to be one or not.
Movies' strong focus on creating drama through conflict inevitably has lead to countless on screen deaths.
Some of those movie deaths occur to minor characters we don't care much about (enter Wilhelm Scream). Nonetheless, they can still pack a punch if the manner of the death was gruesome or sad enough.
On the other side of the coin, a death doesn't have to be spectacular to create drama if it happens to a character we've grown to love throughout the film.
And sometimes, a beloved character faces a gruesome end. That's the double whammy.
Redditor Boston_Strong_CQB241 asked:
"Out of all the deaths you seen in movies, which one really stands out to you as the worst?"
Many Redditors recalled the deaths that drew their intensity from the connection they'd felt with the character who did the dying.
And, yes, sometimes the manner of death only heaped on the drama.
"The soldier in Saving Private Ryan that had the knife slowly plunged into his chest after a hand to hand fight and he was begging the other soldier to stop. Intense."
That Etched Wooden Beam
"The old man (Brooks) who hangs himself from The Shawshank Redemption."
" 'Get busy living or get busy dyin.' "
A Very Different Boxing Film
"Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby. Almost becoming World Champion, then paralyzed, her family only caring about the money she won from boxing, then having her limbs chopped off because of bed sores that got infected."
"All this just to be put down as a act of kindness like the story she foretold of her dog she grew up with. I will never watch that movie again."
Stoic Until She Wasn't
"Vesper Lynd drowning in 'Casino Royale.' That moment when she goes serene and calm, to a panicky and frenzied last gasp for air.... that really bothered me."
Others were spooked by the pure violence of some onscreen deaths. They could barely watch the gruesome moments when they erupted.
But now they can't forget them.
Slam, Slam, Slam
"That f**king wine bottle scene in Pan's Labyrinth. The casual brutality is so horribly realistic." -- Darth_Mufasa
"My jaw dropped the first time I saw it and it still haunts me. In fact, that movie gave me nightmares for two weeks" -- TheSilverCrystal
"The curb stomp." -- AUTheatreNerd
"American History X. The curb stomp. It haunts me." -- DigitFisher
"Ryan Reynolds getting his insides eaten out by an Alien in the horror movie Life. It still traumatized me."
And some people recalled the deaths they witnessed as children movie-watchers. All grown up now, they still can't unsee those old images.
"That shoe from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, it was so happy and friendly and then it gets slowly dipped to death. The smoke and its cries of pain are burned into my mind 25+ years later."
"Artax in the swamp of sorrows. Made me cry so much as kid, Atreyo was so hopeless." -- kirby60
"Don't you dare do this to me right now" -- OmgOgan
Multiple Movies' Worth of Sadness
"Stoick from How to Train Your Dragon 2, I still cry every time I even think about it, and the flashbacks in the third movie just break me, great trilogy. Full of emotion and great everything, best Dreamworks movies, in my opinion"
The worst part is that this is only a small handful of the tragic movie moments that are out there. And we have so many unknown future deaths we'll see too.
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It might feel like a challenge to come back at someone who has just insulted you, but it's easier than you think.
What's the most memorable comeback you've heard in your life?
No one knows you like your family, hence why they're usually the one who know the best way to eviscerate you using only their words. Anyone with an older brother and/or sister knows what's going on with these comebacks.
She Can Stay
"My son and his newlywed wife were poor college students living out of state. When I went to visit them I took them to the grocery store and let them fill up a couple of grocery carts that I paid for. As we were leaving the store I said, "Now, when your kids are poor married college students trying to get by, don't forget this". My new daughter-in-law piped up and said, "Oh we won't forget. We're going to tell them to go get grandpa!" Haa haaa haaa...I love that gal."
Got That Sacred "Dad Laugh"
"I don't care if it's self-congratulatory, I'm proud of this one:
"Having dinner with my dad and older sister. I got straight As in school or something, and she's doing the older sibling thing."
"Sister: You may have gotten the book smarts in this family, but *I* got the street smarts."
"Me: The corner doesn't count."
"Dad: *chokes whiles laughing*"
Oh, Good Lord...
"My uncle to my husband. "When are you guys having a kid?"
"My husband. "Please don't ask me about my sex life with your niece"
Like, in public. Where people are. Other people. People you don't know, who might just be going about their day-to-day business, and they just so happen to hear someone being roasted alive?
What's Keeping You Alive, Grandpa?
"Was standing behind these two older adults and this teen girl at the gas station last year. She was on her phone and the guy snapped at her for "not knowing how to live without technology" and without looking up she went "don't you have a pacemaker?".
When The Store Hates You...
"Someone yelled out in a Walmart , "I'm not ashamed of who I am".
"Another voice echoed back, "that's your parents job"
You Would Really Walk Up To Someone You Don't Know And Say This?
"Young pregnant co-worker had a stranger stare disapproving at her in a restaurant, then walk up and say "pregnancy isn't very becoming on you." She replied, "well, being a nosey rude bi*ch isn't becoming on you, but here we are."
And then there's these clapbacks. Unplanned, zero preparation, and with little prior knowledge, there needs to be a call placed to some local medical center with how much damage was done with these comebacks.
If You Pantsed It, Fix It
"My friend got pantsed, underwear and all at a party. Instead of pulling his underwear and pants up, immediately, he just kept going about his business, while hanging dong. Those of us that knew him already thought it was hilarious. The people at the party that didn't know him, looked really uncomfortable due to this dude having his pants and underwear around his ankles, with his wiener hanging freely. Our friend/the host said "dude, why don't you pull your pants up?" Pantsed guy said "I didn't pull them down." Then took his turn in beer pong. The host then found the guy that did pull them down and made him pull our friend's pants back up."
Definitely Seems Like You Got Tricked Here
"When I was working as a bartender one Halloween, I came dressed as an old Western style bartender (complete with mustache and accent). We had the evening split up into a little costume party for kids and families in the earlier hours, and then an adults only costume piss up later on."
"One of the regulars laughed at my costume and said I looked stupid, so I told him"
"You should probably come back after the kids have gone because you've come dressed as a c-nt".
"He didn't talk to me for weeks after that. It was blissful."
That's A Mom Burn! Those Don't Heal!
"I asked my mum out of curiosity what she would do if she found a used condom in my brother's room."
"Her response: "I would remind him that you can't get HIV from your own hand"
"For context, I live in South Africa where HIV is very common"
If you have some ice nearby it might be a good idea to go and grab some.
These burns spread.
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