Transformed People Reveal The One Seemingly Inconsequential Thing That Changed Their Lives
Picking the wrong garbage cost me an eyeball.
Got your attention do I? Most people think of life-changing decisions as incredibly important. If something is going to change your whole life, you'd kind of want to put some thought into it, right? The truth is, we make decisions that could change our whole lives all day every day, and we don't even think about it. The smallest, most unimportant, thing could change the whole game for you. I'm proof.
Imagine this, you're doing arts and crafts with your kid and need to throw some scraps away. You don't want that glitter all over your kitchen, so you walk to the outdoor trash can to throw the scraps away. So far so good, right? Who hasn't taken things straight to an outside trash? Pretty much every parent has.
Because I chose that trash can, there was room for one single small piece of glitter to come blowing back out. Because I chose that trash can, there was plant matter in the air. Because I chose that trash can, the glitter was contaminated by that plant matter when it hit my eye. By the time treatments were over, I had lost my hair, had chemical burns across my face, and no longer had a left eyeball. The doctors weren't able to save the eye because the plant matter, essentially, made it mold from the inside out.
I lost my hair, my eye and half of my vision. I racked up the kind of medical bills you never pay off. I had to relearn life all over again with no depth perception (years later, I still miss most things the first time I try to grab them). Then I ended up accidentally internet famous when a fake story about it went viral. Out of that, I ended up with a really cool job (see? it's not all bad!)
All because of which garbage can I chose.
One Reddit user asked:
And of course I was in there SO FAST. These are my people! Other people whose whole world shifted over something little like this? Yes, please. Here are 20 of my favorite responses.
A Generous Pastor With A Love Of Music
When I was a kid, the pastor of my parents' church happened to hear me practicing Bach on the piano.
He asked if I'd like to try the pipe organ - something that had always fascinated me. I took to it like a duck to water, even though my feet could barely reach the pedals. Right then and there - knowing my parents couldn't afford it - he offered to pay for my complete music education in preparation for college. I learned organ, piano, theory, keyboard harmony, ear training and so much more.
I now have a career in in music.
All he asked in return was for me to substitute for the church organist when he was on vacation or away - something I was honored to do.
My first week of freshman year I lived in a co-ed dorm with a bunch of other engineering students. I was trying to be inclusive and get to know people. We had an open door policy, so I walked down the hall asking people if they want to make tea with me in the communal kitchen.
One guy playing Minecraft randomly said yes. I don't even think he was paying attention to what I asked him, but he rolled with it. Three years later he's my boyfriend and best friend and we're having a blast together.
Sure You Can Watch
Back in 1988 I went to the grocery store with my mom. The volunteer fire department happened to be doing a demonstration in the parking lot. My mom let me stay and watch.
30 years later I'm a firefighter/Paramedic and have been involved in emergency services since I was 12.
A friend & I planned to have a girls night out dinner. One of her friends happened to be visiting on military leave and she invited him to crash girls night out without asking me. I was pretty annoyed at both of them the whole night.
I ended up marrying him 6 years later. You really never know who you'll meet and when..
I had just given birth to my first born and called my adoptive father to tell him he was a grandfather for the first time.
We had a very poor relationship and he was a huge alcoholic. He lived hundreds of miles away, so letting him know seemed harmless. It was 10 am when I called, he was already drunk. When I told him, he coldly responded:
"You should call your biological father."
I'd never met him, but I knew his name. That comment stuck with me and three days later, I found my biological father on the internet. I called the number listed.
I remember the conversation.
"Where you married to (my moms name) in 1967?"
"Well I wanted to let you know, I'm your daughter and three days ago, you became a grandfather."
He was quiet (not surprising) and I gave him my web site so he could see pictures of me and the baby. They didn't even have internet so he went to a friend's house. He called back an hour later and said:
**"How would you feel if we took a little drive up to see you?" **
He and his wife drove hundreds of miles to visit.
That was 20+ years ago. I now know the whole story. He and his wife moved up here shortly after #2 was born. His wife and my mom are good friends. We see them almost every weekend. My kids are their only grandchildren and pretty much are the light of their life.
Never thought that phone call would change my life.
Thanks For Hitting Me With Your Car
When I was 17 I left school with no degree, no money and no idea what to do with my life. My dad managed to get me job in retail and on my way to work my first day I got hit by a car.
The manager gave my position to someone else. With literally nothing left to do I decided to go back to school. That was about 7 years ago.
I finished school with honors, went to university, got my bachelors degree in electrical engineering - something everyone told me was impossible for me. Now I work as an engineer making more money in my first year of work than I ever did in my entire life.
Sometimes I think about tracking the guy down who hit me with his car to thank him.
Dave And Dad
Jr year of high school I was hanging out at my friend Marc's locker, like we all usually did. Another friend, Dave, was trying to convince Marc to join a club called "Junior Achievement" at their first meeting later that night. It's a 'young business leaders' sort of extracurricular club. When I asked what they're talking about, Dave suggested I should give it a try as well.
Later that night, my parents were late getting home from my some event, so I figured it was too late for them to give me a ride to this Junior Achievement thing. I was ready to write the whole meeting off and just skip it! But when my dad walked in the door and I reminded him, he hurried me out to the car so we could go.
I was in the club both junior and senior year of high school with my friends.
The club offered an annual full tuition scholarship to a local private university. A top tier school, but one I was not considering. Marc, Dave and our other senior year friends already had their college careers planned out, so they convinced me to apply for the scholarship.
I won the scholarship and got a nearly free ride into that university. That was amazing, because I wasn't accepted at any of the other colleges I was initially interested in.
So I owe my entire college career, all the friends I made there and probably my current job to Dave bugging us about a club and my dad deciding to keep his word and drive me even though he was tired.
A Dollar From A Stranger
When I was a kid we didn't have a lot of money, so we often shopped at thrift stores. What I loved about that was that you could get 10 books for a dollar, so I would plant myself in front of the book section and make piles of which one I wanted to get and then decided after I'd gone through them all.
One day an older lady saw me sitting with my piles and asked if I liked to read. I told her I did and showed her a few of the books I found that I liked. She smiled and then pulled a dollar out of her purse, handed it to me and said, "Promise me that you'll keep reading." I was so happy and immediately stood up and said that I would. She smiled and walked away and I went back to my piles able to pick out an extra 10 books to take home.
It was just a small act of kindness for her, but for me having a random stranger encourage my love of reading and making me promise to never stop definitely had a lot to do with my continued love of reading. This was over 20 years ago, but I still think of her whenever I buy a new book.
Too Lazy To Drive
I didn't go to my baby cousin's 4th birthday party. It was just really small with family and ice cream and I was feeling too lazy to drive close to two hours. He ended up passing away shortly thereafter.
I don't miss anything family now. I've actually gotten really close to my extended family because I won't miss anything anymore. If you're family, I'm there.
I was struggling in 3rd year of my engineering degree because I never learned how to study. One day I walk by one of the study rooms and see some people from my class I didn't know, finishing an assignment due the next day that I hadn't started yet.
I asked them, kind of as a joke, if I could join in. They agreed.
Turns out they studied in group sessions and had all of the old tests and assignments from every class we took. My GPA shaped up quickly, I learned how to study, and I finally had people to eat and hang out with.
They are the only people I have maintained contact with 1 year after graduation.
There was massive drama in my guild in World of Warcraft. Although it didn't have anything to do with me, it was making the guild atmosphere toxic. One evening, I logged in, clicked Select Server, and randomly choose a new server.
On the new server, I met my partner. Because of her, I moved to a different country, was able to get my Master's degree, and the move literally saved my life.
For 10 years, I had been going to the doctor with various ailments. I was always told I was just stressed out. Turns out it was actually my thyroid causing an irregularity in my heartbeat. Left untreated for much longer it would have killed me.
Married Because Of The Mail
During my junior year of high school, I received a well-crafted mailer advertising an engineering summer camp at a college I'd never heard of in a different state. My mother really liked the mailer, so my parents sent me to engineering camp that summer. On the first day of camp, I arrived late to the orientation and sat on the only available seat. The guy I sat next to fell in love with me instantly. We started dating at camp, then the next year, we both went to that college so we could be together. 4 years after that, we both graduated with engineering degrees and got married.
If my mother hadn't liked that mailer, I wouldn't have met my husband, I wouldn't have gone to that school, and I probably would have had a different major as well. Also, if I hadn't sat down next to him at orientation, we probably wouldn't have started dating. Pretty wild.
I had always thought I was 6'3" until I went to a prison museum with an ex. I stood by the wall and only came up to 6'2". When ex and I broke up, I reactivated my OK Cupid profile and updated the height...
My current girlfriend had her max height set to 6'2". I wouldn't have even shown up for her had I not changed it. Fortunately I did, and we've been dating for a year and a half now.
My husband and I "re-met" 3 years after high school. I was in the neighborhood and drove down a street to take a shortcut. He was outside his parents' house washing his dad's car. I stopped to say what's up.
We will be married for 22 years next month! Best driving shortcut I ever took, ha!
A friend from school was having an engagement party. I'd moved several hours drive away since high school and was having car trouble, so I wasn't sure I could make it.
My friend gave me the name of one other person living in my new town who was also invited, a friend of her future husband. I got in contact with this guy and introduced myself, then asked if he was planning to go to the party and wanted to split the travel costs. Unfortunately he wasn't able to make it to the party either because of work commitments.
Tracking him down still turned out to be worthwhile though. Next year will be our 20th anniversary together.
Back in 2011, I was playing a text-based game online. I got a notification that another player had tried to "break into" my game apartment. I messaged that player with a cheesy joke about how next time they can just ring the doorbell.
We got married and we are now in the (painfully slow) process of my wife moving 11,500 miles away from home to come live with me.
Had she never tried (and failed) to rob me online in the first place we never would have been where we are. Had I never had this sense of humor that urged me to message her, we never would have been where we are.
At age 15, I was forced to hang out with a family member on a vacation I didn't want to be on. We ended up going to the zoo. I didn't feel like walking around with them, so I decided to hang out by the chimps. I ended up seeing one of them make a face of what appeared to be laughter and was surprised at how human-like it was. I went home, did some research, and stumbled upon the discipline of anthropology, which turned out to be one of my greatest passions.
Soon after, I denounced my old religion, and became a proponent of evolution, causing an enormous rift in my family life and sending me on a path of "heathen" adventures.
Freshman year of college, I decided to hike the John Muir trail with my dad and a friend. This trail takes weeks to trek, so e spent months getting ready, prepping gear, physically training, etc. This was a huge thing to prep for. My dad hurt his knee and had to bail out. I was really disappointed, but was going to finish with my friend.
My friends shoes began to fall apart 40 miles in and he needed to quit. This wasn't a trip I wanted to do alone, so I begrudgingly left the trail with them.
When I got home, there was an email from my professor asking for people to work as TAs and to respond by that Friday if you were interested. I respond, and he's delighted to have me.
Worked as a TA and his only grader for two years until he retired. Before he retired, he wrote me a glowing letter of recommendation, which I attached to applications when applying to internships. I got an interview, despite my below target GPA, the interviewer for one particular oil company explained, because of my TA experience and the letter of recommendation. I end up getting an internship at that oil company, and eventually a full time job after graduation. Several years later, the company transfers me to Montana, where I bought a house and met my now-fiancee.
So, if my buddy had bought a little better shoes, I might be in a totally different place in life...
Sand Gets In Your Eyes
I was riding my motorcycle years ago to visit a chick in Tallahassee fl.... it was 1am and i was trying to figure out exactly where she lived. (Pre gps days)
I got sand in my eye from the road and stopped at a redlight to try and clean them out. The light went green but i sat there a few seconds cleaning my eyes. There was nobody around so i wasnt worried about blocking traffic.
Right at that moment an old hoopdie blew the redlight doing almost 100mph.
I am 100% positive i am still here because I got sand in my eyes.
Check Your Pockets
I walked into a hot tub on New year's with my phone in my swimsuit pocket. Doofus move.
It resulted in me missing a call from my mother who was worried about my younger sister and didn't know where she was because she was supposed to be home by 1:00am. She was nervous and my father had gone to bed. Instead of waiting she decided to drive to the house she knew I was at to figure out the address of where my little sister was. On the way to me she was hit by a drunk driver. I went home the next morning to find a note from my father about how my mother had been in a car accident. I went to the hospital to visit her immediately and found my father and sister there. She needed physical therapy for the next few months and I drove her there for every appt because it worked well with my schedule. I then met her physical therapist, who was two years older than me.
I got engaged to that therapist and we have been married for five years now, all because I destroyed my phone in a hot tub.