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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?

MulticolourMophead Thu 24-Jan-19 14:02:39

I do suspect that if I'd been allowed to go with the back up O level option in group 1, I'd be on a different career path now.

At the time, there was a huge push in science along with languages. My parents were happy that I was selecting sciences as options, and I was told to choose French as well. Those selected to do these were put into some form of elite group.

Now, I was fabulous at sciences, but my French was crap. Largely to do with my poor hearing. I would have been totally happy with my 2nd option of Design instead of French, in fact I do a lot of creative crafts as hobbies.

Who knows what I could have done if I'd followed my real interest in art and design? Maybe I wouldn't have met my abusive ex.......

Moononthehill28 Wed 23-Jan-19 23:24:54

I answered an ad from someone in the paper who had moved from NZ to my home town and was looking for new friends. This was pre internet!! I made friends with her and some other people who also answered the ad. She threw a party one night at her flat. I didn’t know anyone who was going to be there apart from one woman, and didn’t feel like going. I had recently had a breakup with someone I thought I was madly in love with and had given up on men.
I remember sitting in the living room wondering whether to go or just not bother. I did go, and met my now OH there. That was many moons ago.

notquitethesame Wed 23-Jan-19 16:38:18

I have my current job because it was sunny and my friend's neighbour needed chocolate!

I was really fed up with my job (long hours, long commute and never saw the DC etc) and decided to leave, have a bit of time off to think then get something with a better work/life balance. A bit of a mid-life crisis you could say. My friend and I were drinking tea in the sun in her front garden when a neighbour came past and made small talk. She told us she was on her way to the shop for a big bar of chocolate because several of her team at work had left and they could not find replacements or even temps in the area (small semi rural town). One of these was vaguely my area of expertise so I jokingly offered to cover for a few weeks if they were desperate. 2 years on I have a bigger role in the organisation and work flexibly round my DC and hobbies which is just what I wanted.

trevthecat Wed 23-Jan-19 16:21:56

I met my partner when we were 14. Just friends, I moved away at 16, at 18 I was visiting family back home and we met up and had a one night stand. We didn't speak again. 10 years passed. I moved back to my home town. One afternoon I bumped into an old friend who had just moved back from new Zealand. He asked if I fancied a drink in his local with some old friends, I agreed and as I walked in, there was my now partner. I didn't know they knew each other!! It was so strange. The connection was instant and 4 years later we have a little boy, bought a house together and are getting married next year. I often wonder where I would be if I had been busy with something else that day.

brownmoose Wed 23-Jan-19 16:11:51

A tweet I made about a guy who I thought was alright on a TV programme.

Guys mate replied to my tweet. Met said television person, dated a little, he ended up being a complete knob.

In the process had got to know a friend of his.

Now married to delicious friend who lived 250 miles away.

WeeMadArthur Wed 23-Jan-19 16:04:39

Was out with my friend at our usual pub when I bumped into a guy that had been at university at the same time as me a couple of years before. We had never spoken but exchanged meaningful glances occasionally if we saw each other in the corridor. That night his friend was taking him out to drown his sorrows after breaking up with his girlfriend of several years. He bought me a drink and we chatted but didn’t exchange numbers and I thought that was that.

Two days later I get a phone call from work asking me to come in early as someone has called in sick. I’m standing on the platform at the (small town) train station when he appears over the bridge from the other side, he has just got off a train from the city and is going to the next town for a job interview. We chat about the chances of meeting again and off he goes. He then turns up at my work a few hours later and asks me out. We only dated for a couple of months but he encouraged me to apply for the post grad course he was just finishing, which resulted in me getting a job 300 miles from home and meeting DH at work. I would never have thought to apply for that course if I hadn’t met him and it completely changed my life.

MrsGideon Wed 23-Jan-19 13:13:24

This is such a lovely thread! Nominated for Classics

Yousignup Wed 23-Jan-19 12:39:08

I was starting work as a barrister in the UK when I met a drunk bloke from my parents' home country in a pub. He was ranting about privelege and said it was a shame I didn't go back there to practise, as the country's legal system was being reformed and they needed "young people". A chance comment, but it was a tiny seed and now nearly 30 years later I am here.

Skittlesandbeer Wed 23-Jan-19 12:33:37

I went to a Sunday market near my house to buy some flowers. My (quite hungover) brother met me there. We decided to wander over to buy a sausage-inna-roll. Next to the sausage van were two young people (our age) doing a dance demo, with a CD player on the ground beside them. We got chatting and they gave us a free lesson voucher.

We went along. It was fun, and ended up completely obsessed with the dance style. We both met our future spouses at that class! We brought our little sister along eventually and she met her fiancé there too! Irony was, none of us had any intentions of hooking up or ever marrying. Something in the music, I guess?!

HollySwift Wed 23-Jan-19 12:32:28

10 years ago my ex partner broke my heart by cheating on me when I was pregnant. I was young, insecure and heartbroken and ended up having a ONS with someone else.

I’ve been married to that ‘ONS’ for 6 very happy years and we share 3 children together. Best ‘mistake’ I ever made!

WorldofTofuness Wed 23-Jan-19 12:27:17

If I'm honest there are plenty of times when I wished I'd given up sooner and just walked away but some days I am glad I waited.

Yeah, I kind of know what you mean...

Mine is only a bit Sliding Doors-y, as I was bound to find the ad as I was looking every day in that bit of Loot (the actual classified paper, back in the '90s). I was starting a job in London so needed a houseshare. This ad said "Georgian house, Dalston" (location changed as outing). I didn;t known where Dalston was, but liked the sound of the Georgian house. Chatted to the advertiser, and found we had several random things in common. Met him and was initially perturbed by how old he was: just over 50--I was 25 and was envisaging a 20-somethings houseshare. Anyway, liked him/ the place enough to move in. We started seeing each other (I already had a boyfriend blush) a few months later. We didn't get together 'properly' for over a decade, because of the age gap, not being sure if we were really the one for each other. I also had a really unsatisfactory work life, which tbh I soemtimes wonder if I wouldn't have had a better past 15 years upping sticks and starting off somewhere else. However, a slightly shocking medical diagnosis 6 years ago concentrated my mind on wanting kids, and we are now a family of 3 smile

HughLauriesStubble Wed 23-Jan-19 12:08:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Igotmylipstickon Wed 23-Jan-19 12:00:27

After finishing my degree, I applied for another course I really wanted and was delighted to get it. However the course was subsequently cancelled and I was devastated. A friend of mine from college recommended a different course but I didn't follow it up. A few days later, DH (boyfriend then) and I went to the movies on a weekday (unusual) to a cinema with never normally go to and happened to bump into said friend. She asked me about whether I had applied for the course she had recommended and went to the trouble of sending the information the next day. I decided to go for it and that course changed my life both in terms of what I learnt and what I did afterwards. Had I not met her at the cinema, I probably would never have done it.

MrsGideon Wed 23-Jan-19 11:58:29

Also, my now DP literally flipped a coin to decide whether to stay in Australia or move to the UK. It came down on the side of UK so he packed a couple of bags and moved his life here. When he arrived he decided to apply for a random job at a company he thought sounded kind of cool to tide him over until he figured out what to do. I interviewed him for that role, recommended they hire him and about a month later we got together. We're getting married in May grin

cjt110 Wed 23-Jan-19 11:57:10

I messaged a colleague (J) as I fancied his friend (C) - a mutual colleague - to get him (J) to find out if mutual colleague (C) also fancied me.

We - Me and J - have been together 15 years this year, married for 7 years this year.

MrsGideon Wed 23-Jan-19 11:49:58

I didn't get the grades I needed to get into my first choice uni to do Theatre and Performance, so was all set to go to my second choice instead. Before I accepted, I thought I'd have a quick look at the clearing list for first choice and stumbled upon a Theatre Design course that I thought looked cool. So I sacked off my second choice and applied through clearing and got in. It turned out to be much better suited to me and even though my career has gone in a different direction, it gave me a lot of skills I wouldn't otherwise have had.

Also, because I'd had to start the process again, I didn't get into the halls I had originally put down in my application so I got stuck with the old, run down halls that have since been demolished.

On my first day in those halls I met a group of people who would go on to be some of my best friends, including a girl who will be bridesmaid at my wedding in May this year. I sometimes shudder at the thought that if one of many small factors had changed, I would never have met them.

ElfrideSwancourt Wed 23-Jan-19 11:42:55

First night at uni - girl in the room beside asked me if wanted to go to the Union with her as she was going to meet her school friend who was at the same uni.
Her friend was there with another student he had met on the way.
Other student and I will be celebrating our silver wedding anniversary this year...

Tighnabruaich Wed 23-Jan-19 11:32:27

My friend and I worked for two different tv companies. On her birthday we were going out to celebrate, but a major UK tragedy unfolded and she had to spend the day getting news teams to the location.
At the end of the working day she was exhausted and we were both drained, so we decided not to go out but to just go home to her flat and open a bottle of wine.
On the way to her flat we perked up a bit in the taxi, and decided to pop into a wine bar nearby.
I got talking to a guy in there and six months later I married him. I'd never been in the bar before, it was miles from where I lived, and wasn't one of her normal hangouts. Sheer chance brought us together. If the tragedy hadn't occurred we would have never met. I

pintsizeprincess Wed 23-Jan-19 11:10:53

I had been single since leaving my abusive ex h 3 years before. My friend suggested on line dating. I thought the last thing i wanted was another bloke but after a few drinks was persuaded to set up a profile.

After a few months during which time i had a few crappy dates, nothing special. Was becoming disillusion when i decided on a whim to widen the search engine to look at profiles over 100 miles. I was instantly attracted to one guy in particular, we hit it off and chatted for ages. 10 months later i moved 400 miles to live with him. 9 years and 2 children later we get married this year.

BoatyMcBoatFace2 Wed 23-Jan-19 10:02:11

I had poor attendance in sixth form and decided to drag myself in for A level French one day. My friend who was in told me that there was going to be a party in an abandoned residence and I agreed to go. I met the most handsome young man I'd ever met in my life. 9 years later, a 3 year old and still going strong.

MrsBobDylan Wed 23-Jan-19 09:57:00

Working holiday in Oz, rang round some youth hostels, one said they may have a job as a 'laundry girl' but needed to see me first.

Used the last of my cash to book a bus ticket, got the job, met my dh.

mumof2kiddos Wed 23-Jan-19 09:56:50

The story is not about me but my niece who lives back in my native country. She was seperated from her husband at that time and was a single working mum (in the hospitality industry, this is important in the context of the story) with a pre-teen daughter although with a strong parental support. Once her mum (i.e. my sis-in-law) visited us in the UK through some work and we introduced her to some of our friends here as we had organised a small gathering. She got very close to one such family, they took her for some day trips etc and it turned out that a very close relative of them is the Managing Director in a large hotel where my niece is desperately trying to get in to. There were exchanges of information etc and over the course of time my niece did get a very good job offer in the same hotel, the MD and her family became quite close to niece and her family and finally my niece could concentrate on her career and raise her daughter confidently!
It all started because 1. my sis-in-law visited us when she did 2. We planned that gathering and those friends turned up. So many things fell into place perfectly to give my niece such a grand opportunity in her life!

doubleshotespresso Wed 23-Jan-19 09:47:15

Had my mobile phone stolen from my handbag on the train, nipped out of my little on bed flat to use a call box to let family know as my Father was in hospital at the time.

A man I encountered on the way asked for directions, asked if i was okay as he could see I was upset and eleven years on, one four year old and three houses later life is good.

He was the first person I had ever met who does not give shiny shit what anybody ever thinks and this has made life so much more enjoyable too.

BillywigSting Wed 23-Jan-19 09:43:22

I asked the new girl in primary school if she would like to borrow my skipping rope at lunchtime because she was alone.

We ended up going to separate secondary schools but staying friends. I ended up going out with a friend of hers from secondary school who she introduced to me. He taught me how to play a geeky card game. I met dp playing that game.

Who would have thought lending someone a skipping rope would lead to a 12 year relationship and a dc?

JessieMcJessie Wed 23-Jan-19 09:39:05

I was offered a transfer with my company to their office in Asia. At the time my Mum had been having a terrible time personally and I initially said I couldn’t leave the UK as she needed me. She convinced me to go, and I met my husband there a year later. Only sad thing is she died before we married and had DS.

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