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What seemingly insignificant event changed the course of your life?

(127 Posts)
ladybee28 Mon 21-Jan-19 18:26:26

Someone asked me this morning how I ended up living where I do (small island off the coast of Africa), and the genuine answer is that my ex-boyfriend's roommate found a good deal on a surfboard on eBay...

My boyfriend at the time and I were living in Senegal. Things had been pretty crap between us for a while, and when we had a huge row one day, it felt like we needed space. So he moved out, and started sharing a new place with a surfer.

One night they got pretty drunk together and this guy found a surfboard for sale on eBay. Only thing was, it wasn't in Senegal – it was on the island where I now live.

In their drunken state, they bid on it, they won, and they decided to book flights to pick it up (it's not so far, flights were fairly cheap). My ex thought it would be romantic to book me a flight too, as a 'make-things-up-to-you' getaway.

So off the three of us fly for a long weekend... in which I reach boiling point with said boyfriend, break up with him, and decide to stay on this island for a month to cool off.

3 years later... here I am still! And I often wonder where on the planet I would be if that surfboard had been listed somewhere else...

What random event / insignificant thing ended up playing a huge part in your life story?

ladybee28 Mon 21-Jan-19 19:40:05

Ahahahaha these stories are AMAZING!

Makes me think of that movie Sliding Doors – I wonder if we're all living different lives in a parallel universe somewhere...

For those asking about 'my island' –I'm originally from the UK, but live in the Canaries now.

Most of the wider context of my story is very outing, but in short I chose a pretty unconventional career path that took me all over the world from my early 20s onward (hence the relative ease of my "sod it, I'm staying here for a month and you can bugger off" decision when I broke up with the ex!).

The ex was what my grandmother would call a "Large 'Oops'" in life choices, but his willingness to make drunken last-minute flight bookings defined a lot of how my life looks today, so... gratitude where it's due, and all that...

BTWifiwithFON Mon 21-Jan-19 19:49:50

Stopping by a camp fire on the way to the (grim) toilets at a rock festival because I was cold and seeing a man sat there by the fire. Looked at each other and it was actual love at first sight. Was very very much not expecting that to happen and usually quite cynical. Still together twenty years on.

sar302 Mon 21-Jan-19 19:51:53

Outing if anyone I know is on here!
In the early 2000s as I started uni, I did a "pre-term" orchestra week, and met a girl I was going to be in halls with.

When we moved into halls, I went to find her and ended up making friends with another girl on the same corridor, who I've been best friends with ever since.

In 2016, I married that second girl's nephew!

MitziK Mon 21-Jan-19 20:00:42

Was soundchecking for a gig (much to the disgust of my jealous, controlling and parasitic ex, who was convinced I was sleeping with the tall, muscular, blue eyed rhythm guitarist and I'd finally decided to ignore the whining, moaning and all too predictable tantrum and leave him indoors to get paralytic again).

The guitarist dropped out at the last minute and the Lead Singer called a mate on the offchance he was available at 30 minutes' notice.

The new guitarist was unexpectedly home, just 5 minutes round the corner.

I was sorting out the monitors when this short, skinny, dark eyed guy bounced up onto my stage, looked me in the eyes, grinned and said 'Hello'.

After a few false starts, mates supported me in unpeeling the parasite, engineered a few about twenty purely coincidental 'oh, is it OK, I've brought x along?' evenings/weekends and, five months later, we went on our first date.

Been together ever since.

CandleConcerto Mon 21-Jan-19 20:02:48

Huge row with DH. Real moment of rebellion against feeling trapped with three small children and like I didn’t have an identity. So I got writing. And it all happened from there. Now I have my dream career.

JennyHolzersGhost Mon 21-Jan-19 20:03:34

Lovely idea for a thread smile

I have two.

1) quitting my job and my relationship and fucking off travelling for six months. I got a way better job when I got back, plus more importantly I learned a shitload about myself, and it led on to a career I never would have dreamed of before. (And the bloke and I are happier apart too).

2) someone I follow on social media mentioned that a job was going at an incredible company I admire a lot - email xyz address to get the job spec. So I thought “why not” and asked for the job spec. When it arrived, it turned out that I ticked all the boxes so even though I really had no hope of getting it, I thought I might as well apply. Yup I got the job! Amazing. And it made my career.

Taking those two miracle moments together, I still wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t taken that leap to say fuck off to my awful job and awful boss and bog off travelling. I suspect I’d still be in unfulfilling job hell. It just goes to show what a difference small moments of risk taking can make.

Anyone else want to watch Sliding Doors again after reading this thread ?! wink

EvaHarknessRose Mon 21-Jan-19 20:04:09

DH's sister heard a radio ad for a kids camp that needed volunteers (the one and only time it was advertised nationally), hence she and a few years later DH ended up in my neck of the woods and we met.

JennyHolzersGhost Mon 21-Jan-19 20:05:28

Awful boss is stagnating in awful job hell by the way. And yes I believe in karma grin

buttonup26 Mon 21-Jan-19 20:07:16

34 years ago I was persuaded by friends to go on a last minute day trip to France. Didn't really want to go and at first I wasn't able to get day off work but then colleague said they would cover me. Arrived in France by ferry and got onto a shuttle bus into the town centre. Sat next to a young man who helped me do up my seatbelt. We have now been married 29 years .....

Exhsuatedmuch Mon 21-Jan-19 20:10:42

Fed up of online dating I decided I'd have one last look. I put in a celebs details, ie age and where he was from and a long list of men came up. Picked the first one. Loved his car so messaged him to say love the car marry me as a joke. Two hours later I had a response, he had logged in to delete his profile as he was sick of not meeting anyone. We have been married 12 years and have three kids now. If he had logged in to hours earlier he never would have been the one at the top of the list. I knew from the minute I met him a month later he was the one and so did he.. I often think myself lucky I messaged at the moment rather than wait.

FloatingthroughSpace Mon 21-Jan-19 20:21:46

I applied to uni after A levels, worked for 6 months, and went travelling for 6months.
My first choice uni I really wanted to go to. I had offers from my other 4. 2 days before my scheduled flight I posted a letter accepting my second choice uni, thinking that as it was late for offers I had probably been rejected (my application the previous year, in year 13, had been a complete disaster with 3 rejections from my top 3 courses which no doubt affected my sense of fatalism).

The day before my flight an acceptance for my first choice uni arrived. I weighed up postponing my flight, cancelling my letter, and sorting the mess out or just going to second choice uni. (Days long before email, internet etc). I decided to stick with second choice.
I met my now husband at that uni and have lived in this town for 20 years and had my kids and made my life here. I sometimes wonder who and what I'd have been if I'd gone to the other uni.

ForalltheSaints Mon 21-Jan-19 20:27:26

One of my family is a published author (non-fiction) of one book published about 25 years ago. Curiously about 8 or 9 years ago I wondered if it was still in print. Other people with the same surname cropped up, and I discovered shortly afterwards that they were ancestors. I have found out a whole branch of the family as a result, and will be meeting three of them in the summer.

Burpsandfustles Mon 21-Jan-19 20:38:16

Fabulous thread op.

I remember wondering whether to accept a contract role quite a bus journey from my house (3). I remember the exact moment I was debating it in my head. I took the job thinking it would get me by in the short term and yes! I met my future Husband!

abbeydo Mon 21-Jan-19 20:40:39

I chose one job over the other and now I'm married to someone I love and who can give me a lovely life. We also have an amazing little boy

aniallen Mon 21-Jan-19 20:47:51

After a horrendous time in my last job which combined with my own mh issues, I was hospitalised for 2 months and received a settlement agreement.

I had wanted to get into a niche industry for some time. Found a job online via an agency but the agent said I couldn't apply as I didn't have experience in that industry. I did however have experience in the three industries that make this industry.

After hanging up the phone with this agent, I googled the company description and found out who it was along with the live job ad.

After a fairly tough job selection process, it went down to two and after a meeting with with Chairman, I got the job!

A few months later I checked the signin book to see who my opposition was and she'd written the name of the agency.

Guess who the agency was? Yep the one that I had called about the job ad.

Stupid agent missed out on a whacking commission for that one. Then when one of the other agents called me to see if they could advertise a role I had posted, I took great delight in saying no because of my own experience with that company.

Isth Mon 21-Jan-19 20:48:19

What a bloody fabulous thread!!

Mine would be when I was 6, my family moved and I had to go to a new school. The teacher asked one girl to show me around and she said she didn’t want to do it (rude!) and another kind little soul said she would do it. We’ve been inseparable since. Countless weekends away and holidays and all through school and college together, I was her maid of honour last year, she’s hinted at me being godmother to her baby (due any day) and she’s going to be my maid of honour this year.

ladybee28 Mon 21-Jan-19 20:52:49

Reading these, I can't help but think to myself how telling it is to look at what we all think of as the 'defining' elements of our lives (and who!).

Reminds me of what really matters, and puts some of the 'small stuff' I've been sweating into perspective smile

weekfour Mon 21-Jan-19 21:04:41

I got so drunk at a Xmas do that I rang in sick. When the post came, my ex was trying to remortgage my house behind my back. He would usually be home first and would have forged my name if I hadn't caught him. I left him that day.

That was fifteen years ago and it still makes me feel sick!

Lou0390 Mon 21-Jan-19 21:16:02

After ending a miserable long term relationship with a cheating knob head, my self esteem was on the floor. Took me months but I finally got the confidence to to join a local spinning class to get fit and feel a little better. Long story short I meet my kind and gorgeous DH, marriage and babies followed. Best decision I madesmile

StaffiesAndPonies Mon 21-Jan-19 21:17:59

When I was doing my UCAS form in the 1990s, I accidentally put the wrong course code for one of the universities and ended up getting accepted for a subject (History) in which I didn’t even have an A-level.

I really liked that particular university so went anyway. I went on to do a history MA and have written several books, been on TV, done loads of speaking engagements... all because I got one digit of a code wrong.

ItsClemFandangoCanYouHearMe Mon 21-Jan-19 21:22:43

Stuck in a rut, went to a pub I never ventured to with then crappy boyfriend. See a very handsome man making a bit of an ass of himself being silly and remember thinking that he was cute, doubt I'd ever see him again.

We just kept running into each other after that. Relationship I was in ended and handsome man in the pub is now my DH grin

Pretty boring compared to OP really!

DareDevil223 Mon 21-Jan-19 21:27:46

I joined Twitter a couple of years after my marriage breakup and ended up following , meeting and then dating my wonderful DP of nearly 7 years.

Bennyismydog Mon 21-Jan-19 21:32:01

my Exh was an Arsehole and he cheated on me abused me and stupidly I was almost numb to it, it’s didnt matter what he did I just carried on because I was so ground down.
One day we were driving in our shitty car back to our shitty house because he did nothing but gamble our money away and as we were driving a nice car drove past us.
Nothing ott just a nice Mercedes and I said ‘oh I’d love us to have a car like that one day’ and he said to me ‘I don’t ever want a car like that I love driving run down cars and having more money to spend on things I enjoy’ ie gambling.
And in that instant I just knew my life would never get better with him, he had no drive or ambition.
I went home that day, got all my stuff together and went to a letting agents the next day. I viewed a house that day moved in two weeks later and have never looked back.
I still don’t drive a Mercedes grin but I drive a lovely car, have a lovely new house that’s just mine, I got my career back on track properly too.
I still find it weird that a single sentence just completely made up my mind like that after years of crap not making a difference

Coffeeandcrochet Mon 21-Jan-19 21:43:12

I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen for a couple of years in Sainsbury’s and she told me about an am dram play she was going to be in the next week. I thought it sounded fun so bought a ticket. Got chatting to some of the cast in the bar afterwards and long story short met my closest friends and my husband smile

slinkyme Mon 21-Jan-19 21:47:56

These are great and just what I need. About to take a risk with my career - not a huge one but pretty big for me. About to leave a job of almost 15 years, take a career break and hope that I will get another job later on this year. I am toing and froing about the decision and actually this thread shows that taking a risk sometimes just worksout brilliantly. Every time I have taken a risk (the few times in my life) it has worked out well.

So my contribution is the application for my post grad course. I was due to travel the day before the application was due. Had been procrastinating - my DF made me send in the application - said he wouldn't let me fly if I didn't send it in. Anyway I sent it in.

My DH also was thinking of applying from abroad. He had a job offer in another country and on the same day decided to turn that down and come to the UK and applied for the course. We met eventually and the rest is history - married 20 years.

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