People Are Sharing The One Small Event That Changed The Course Of Their Entire Life, And I'm Starting To Think Fate Is Real
"If I had blown off that study session, I probably would not have known the love of my life."
Recently Reddit user u/PM_Me_Pierced_Labia asked, "What small action did you take that you later realized had 'butterfly effect' that turned into something much more important?" Here are some of the best responses!
1. "My grandpa was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few years ago. When he called me to tell me he only had six months to live, I stopped at the liquor store on my way home and bought a bottle of gin. My roommate came home shortly after, and we drank for hours, laughing, crying, and sharing deep personal stories about our lives with one another. Drunk, confident, and armed with the knowledge that we could die at any time, I went in for a kiss. I was surprised she reciprocated, and after that night we began dating. My grandpa died before our wedding, but I attribute the beautiful life that I have now to him."
2. "Not me, but at college orientation 12 years ago, a boy came into my orientation group late because he had changed his major to the same as mine last minute. He copied my class schedule because he was late, and now he’s my husband."
3. "Invited someone to lunch along the Maine coast, water view, my treat. Had not seen her in over 40 years. The intention was to thank her for being fun when we were kids. I had no idea at the time, but she told me later she had been contemplating suicide. That lunch saved her life."
4. "I sent a very dear friend of mine a stupid meme, and he called me a few minutes later to tell me that I unwittingly interrupted a suicide attempt and saved his life."
"He's doing better now."
5. "This past summer I commented on an AskReddit about a small donation that I made to a charity that supports foster children and young adults who have aged out of the foster system. Redditors from around the world saw my comment and made hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to the charity, allowing kids' wishes to be fulfilled."
"Reddit visitors caused the charity's website to crash, so redditors with tech talent worked with the charity to make the site more resilient. I've never been happier to witness the goodness in people."
6. "My coworker’s family lived in Oklahoma City when she was younger. The daycare she went to was in the federal building that was bombed in 1995. That day, her mom dropped her off at the daycare and headed to work. Her mom said she had a stomachache and decided to call into work, so she turned around and picked up her daughter from daycare and then headed home. The bombing happened shortly after, at around 9 a.m."
7. "My grandfather ... went to school during the second World War in Estonia (pre-deportations), and once he didn't go to school because he couldn't find his hat. Apparently, the same day some kids had found a grenade in the school's attic and blew themselves up."
8. "I was due to leave for school one morning but decided last minute that I needed the toilet. A bus crashed into the area where I would have been walking had I not turned back. My mom’s annoyance at me for stalling going to school instantly turned to relief."
"Turns out the driver of the bus had a heart attack at the wheel and crashed into the buildings across the road from where I lived."
9. "The year was 1972, and I was being drafted into the Army. ... I'm in this big room with maybe 200 guys and maybe 25 chairs in which to sit. Of those 25 chairs, maybe 6 were lounge chairs; the others were metal folding chairs. I was one of the lucky ones who somehow got a stuffed chair. So, we all sat and waited, and if you left your seat too bad. After about five hours, I had enough and needed to stretch my legs and got up to walk around. About that time a door opened up and two sergeants began counting down guys to get on a waiting bus to be processed. The guy who got my chair was one of those chosen."
"Fuck, I'm thinking, I could have gotten on the bus and got started processing. After they took and loaded about 30 guys onto the bus a Spec. 4 sticks his head in the door and says, 'You should thank your lucky stars you're not on that bus because they are heading to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to become processed into the Marines.' The Army was bad enough, but the Marines were 100% heading to Vietnam. ... I thank my lucky stars for giving up that seat to this day."
10. "I was working till 11 p.m. at a restaurant managing. The midnight shift girl called in sick, so I had to pull a double. Around 5:30 a.m., a man came in with his daughter. We talked a bit, and he told me to apply with his property management company. I did, got the job in February 2020 (got out of the restaurant business just before COVID), moved, met the love of my life, got married, [and] found a stray husky that is now mine. All because the girl called in sick."
11. "Back in high school, I wanted to go get a snack, so I went to Sonic to get a few things for me and my mom. On the way home, I lingered at an intersection to let a truck pass, since I was still new to driving on my own. Just before the truck passed, I got rear ended. The woman driving was having an issue with her pacemaker. If I wasn’t there, she either would have crashed head on with the truck or plowed through the elementary school."
"So if I didn’t go get a snack when I did, the woman and her passenger would have either been seriously hurt or even killed."
12. "I made an off-handed joke to a coworker who responded with his own off-handed joke. This caused me to spiral for over 24 hours thinking that nobody liked me, my career was over, and I was a detestable human being. I recognized that my state of emotions was irrational, so I accessed my work EAP to go to counseling."
"My therapist gave me three sessions before she told me that my fiancé was too dependent on his drinking and it was ruining my life as well as his. I left my fiancé. Started getting promotions (one of them led to me meeting my now-husband)."
13. "I had broken up with my first serious boyfriend and was having a really difficult time back in the dating game. ... I was supposed to go to a party later that night after work, but was asked to stay late. ... Usually one of my duties is taking the garbage out, and I do it right away to get it over with, but I delayed doing it for some reason. When I finally did get to it, I was unloading it in the shared garbage disposal room (I worked in a mall), and a guy walked in (another retail worker from a different store). Normally I’m very shy, but for some reason I just had this gut feeling and instinct and started chatting. Anyway, we’ve been together for three years."
14. "I was too nervous to be first row clarinet in high school, so I switched with a friend to be in the second row. There I met my best friend, who introduced me to a friend of his (who lived out of state, so we never would have met without him), and now we're married 14 years! All because I had anxiety about sitting front row."
15. "I'm recently divorced, was settling in to be single and alone for the long haul. My brother came over to drink whiskey and play Mario Kart. We randomly decided to go to a karaoke bar. My normal place was closed, so I googled for another one. Ended up in a hole in the wall I've never been to. Met a girl at the bar. Turns out she's awesome. We've been together seven months, and I kinda don't want to be single anymore."
16. "I was home for the summer after my first year of college in the early '90s. Buddy had a random weekday off, and we decided to drive up to San Francisco with no real agenda. On the way there, I decided to drop by Sega’s US headquarters, because why not? I was a kid and had no idea you couldn’t just go to a company and visit. They politely kicked us out, and as I was backing out of my parking spot I hit an executive's car as he was driving out. Turns out that exec went to the same college I was attending and stayed in the same dormitory. I ended up getting a summer job answering phones at Sega and have been working professionally in the games industry ever since."
17. "When I was in my mid-20s I was in a dead-end job. ... One day, I was about to clock out and realized I hadn't done the bank deposit. My friend offered to do it, even though he wasn't allowed. ... He threw his backpack on top of it, and just forgot it was there. When he realized, I told him not to worry. I told my boss right away. I thought since I had worked there seven years that she would understand. She told me to get my stuff and leave. "
"I made up my mind to go to college and to get a job where I would be valued. I was so determined to be treated better that I forgot that I was scared that I would fail. I went to school. I worked my ass off. I got a good job, then a better job, then a great job. I'm in my late 30s now. I live in a beautiful apartment with a killer view in San Diego. My husband is a stay-at-home dad. I like to go to work every day. And I am SO thankful I forgot that fucking bank deposit."
18. "In a college class we got our first exam back, and I got an A. The guy in front of me turned around and asked me and [the] girl next to me what we got. We both said A's. He was disappointed that he got a B. When the next test came around, he asked if I would study with him. ... We were to meet at the library on a Sunday around noon."
"Well, that Sunday rolled around, and I was tired and hungover from a party the night before. I thought about just not showing up to study and apologizing when I saw him in class on Monday. At the last minute, I slung it together and went to the library. I looked like death warmed over. We studied. Both got A's. And have been married for 41 years. If I had blown off that study session, I probably would not have known the love of my life."
19. "I turned right down a hallway I'd never been down before in college instead of taking my usual exit. Saw a job posting. Got the job. Met a girl at said job. Thirty years together this coming July. Two grown daughters living their lives. Right instead of straight out the door did that."
20. "My mum tagged me in a Doctor Who-related post on Facebook. Some random guy who was part of the same group saw the comment and liked it. He added me, and we got chatting. Became really good friends, and after a year and a half of chatting, we decided to meet up. We’ve been together for five years this July!"
21. "I was taking a very important exam, and I was debating on two possible answers. I wrote down A, and at the last moment before turning in the exam I used white out and wrote down B instead. The answer was A. I was devastated."
"When I got my exam back, it turned out that because the white out was so last minute it wasn't dry. The paper on top of mine rubbed it off so my answer remained A. That question was worth three points. I got into my dream school with just two points over the line. If I had lost that question, I would be going to an entirely different and lower-rated school."
22. "In 2003 I went to uni, but in my first term my dad died, and I ended up dropping out. I took a two-year break and decided to move to Bristol and try uni again. In the first week of the term I met a boy (let’s call him Dylan), we became besties and that led to romance, and now we’re married and been together for over 16 years. ... I became a teacher. I have never been happier in a job my whole life. I love it."
"I had a best mate called Lilly who went to school with me and she would visit me in Bristol. Dylan lived in a shared house, and Lilly met his housemate, and they became romantically involved too. They have also been together for 16 years and have 3 kids. Lily’s parents and brother, who are all from London, decided to move to Bristol to be closer to Lilly and the kids. After they moved, Lilly’s brother met a girl, and they got married and have two kids too. If my dad hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have met Dylan, and five kids wouldn’t have been born. I would be in a job I hate. It’s the only thing that brings me peace, because I was devastated when he died. He looked out for me I’m sure!"
And finally, let's end on a long one, but a good one:
23. "I was working the night shift at Elstree Film ... and had the option to get a free breakfast in the canteen. I almost never did. The only reason I had the breakfast that morning and got the later train ... was because I hadn’t eaten the night before. ... My mate said, 'Fancy a pint?' and I’d said yes. Was in pub all evening so missed dinner. My regular train that I would have been on was blown up in the London 7/7 terrorist attack that killed 56 people."
"I was able to take a job in Dubai later that year, where I met the woman who would be my wife, and we had a son. While in Dubai, I once grabbed a small kid who was about to run out into the road and would definitely [have] been run over. ... I also have a very rare blood type and was able to answer the call for donors that ultimately saved a kid’s life.
The guy in 2005 that I went out for a pint with was a mate from back home. I’d become friends with him through another friend. I’d met THAT friend though a five-a-side team that I joined with another mate. I’d become mates with THAT guy because we were in the same year at school and collected Panini Football Stickers and we did swaps. I’d only started collecting those football stickers because the guy I sat next to in primary school introduced me to them. And I was only friends with him because I chose to sit next to him in class when I was 5 years old.
So, the decision on where I sat when I was 5, through the butterfly effect, ended up saving the lives of two children in Dubai, via a few seemingly minor choices at the time, choices that saved me along the way and led to me creating life with a women I’d met."
TL;DR: Be kind, reach out to old friends, take a different route on the way to work, and never, I repeat, NEVER change your test answer.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.