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One decision that changed your life forever? (Read 578 times)
Morphy
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One decision that changed your life forever?
Oct 1st, 2019 at 8:51pm
 
Looking back on your life can you see the cross roads more clearly than you could when those moments were standing before you? What are some seemingly mundane or trivial moments/decisions that ended up changing your life forever?
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Kick
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #1 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 5:16am
 
Well, the biggest decision that changed my life happened before I was born Cheesy My dad, when he was around 18 or 19, wanted to go abroad. He decided he was going to apply to be an au pair but he had to choose a country to go to. He was looking down the list and saw Finland. He had never heard of Finland, didn't know anyone that had ever been and didn't know anything about it. He decided he would go there. He had absolutely no idea of the ripple effects of that decision.

He came over and stayed with a family in Nakkila, near Pori. He fell in love with Finland and kept coming back to visit as often as he could, staying with the same family who, despite the language barrier, had welcomed him as one of their own. He then decided that he wanted to come to Finland as part of a teaching EFL course (English as a Foreign Language). My mum was also on that course. At the start of the course, she had plans of teaching in the sun, lounging around on a Spanish beach with a drink in hand and somehow, SOMEHOW, my dad managed to convince her to instead come to Finland for a year. Amazingly it all worked out and they moved back to the UK after a year and myself and my sisters came along. We would go on family holidays every other year and go and see that same family my dad had originally stayed with who now had 4 daughters, 3 much older and one the same age as me. Over the years, the older ones got married and started having their own kids.

Fast forward to 2011, I was a 17 year old with nothing much to do so I was "encouraged" by my parents to spend the summer over in Finland, moving around to visit all the families that had now spread out around Southern Finland. I helped chop wood at some summer cottages and looked after a few errant children here and there. Now, this next bit can get confusing so stay with me here, during this summer trip, I went to stay with the oldest daughter of the original family. She had got married and had three kids and she thought it was a great idea for me to meet her niece, her husband's brother's daughter, who was about the same age as me and needed to practice her English. I was infatuated at first sight. Unfortunately, I was an awkward teenager that had never had anything close to a relationship so was paralysed with fear of rejection. We awkwardly danced around how we felt about each and before I knew it, she was heading off to, of all places, England for a language course in Oxford for the rest of the summer. I watched her walk off and said nothing. I had blown it. And then she texted me saying she had asked her aunt for my number and would really want to meet up once she was back from England. I very nearly had a heart attack. We spent the rest of the summer near constantly texting. I think I spent over 100€ just on texting.

So, fast forward again to get back to the original question, the next life changing decision came a bit later and was one I actually made for myself. I was getting ready to go off to university in England. I had my place confirmed, my accommodation sorted. I was ready. At this point, it was a long-distance relationship and we both lived on Skype. For the last summer before I started university, 2013, I went over to Finland to spend time with my girlfriend. Who knew when I would next be able to visit? I would have a lot of studies and practical placements to be doing so jetting off to Finland wouldn't be easy. My girlfriend had her studies to be doing as well so visiting was going to be difficult for the foreseeable future.

During that summer, I realised I couldn't do 3 years of Skype conversations. I just couldn't. It was too painful and it was killing me. Here comes that decision: I decided I wasn't going to go back home. Of course, I did go back, I had a return ticket and all my stuff was in my childhood bedroom still, but the decision was made. I was moving to Finland. Luckily my girlfriend's parents are the kindest, most supportive and amazing people ever, so they welcomed me with open arms to live with them (anyone that says Finnish people are stand-offish and reserved could not be more wrong, as my entire life will attest). I cancelled my university place, packed up and moved to Helsinki.

There is not a single second of the last 6 years I regret that decision that was almost 40 years in the making.

Kind of long, but, if I'm going to explain it, I need to do it right Cheesy
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Morphy
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #2 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 8:55am
 
Wow that is a great story Kick! And to think your Father would never have guessed that one decision to go to Finland would change things for generations to come.
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Kick
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #3 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 11:32am
 
It really is a crazy story. The ripple effects are still going out even after all this time.
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Rat Man
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #4 - Oct 3rd, 2019 at 12:29pm
 
   I have mentioned this before.  I was stationed in Seoul in the mid seventies.  While there I made friends with some very important people.  I had an opportunity to do my whole enlistment there then become the representative to America for a rapidly expanding export business.  Stupid young Rat Man got homesick for the States, got stationed in a stinking hell hole called Ft. Campbell which I hate to this day, and was never a huge financial success.  How totally different my life would have been had I done my whole enlistment in Korea.  I would have had a Korean wife, probably lots of Eurasian papooses, and ate lots of kimchee happily ever after. I don't spend a lot of time regretting my bad decision.  Everything I've done and every decision I've made, good and bad, have made me who I am today. It is what it is.
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #5 - Oct 7th, 2019 at 12:03pm
 
    This is a quirk of fate and not a decision but when I was a young child there was a sort of lottery called The Irish Sweepstakes.  Maybe it's still around today. I don't know.  I believe it was based on a horserace somewhere.  It was a very big deal when I was little.  Anyone who hit it was more than set for life. 
    My parents were first runner up.  We had the #2 ticket to the biggest prize of the day.  Had they hit I would have grown up a very rich, spoiled little brat.  Instead we stayed poor, got a few household odds and ends, a tiny bit of cash, and a trampoline that we enjoyed very much.
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #6 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 5:23pm
 
The thing with pivot points in your life, is that you never know till they've happened.

There are a couple things I regret not doing - I suppose over more than 50 years, just having 2 major regrets isn't bad.

I console myself with the fact that somewhere, in various alternate universes, life played out differently and I made the right (or wrong) decisions.

The thing I regret most is not moving to canada when my sisters partner died and looking after my nieces. I have transferable skills, the computer industry hadn't quite tanked back then, so work would have been available.

I just wimped out.
Could I have KLived with my sister without us killing each other ? Dunno. But I can see where I could have really helped with the girls. They haven;t turned out bad - considering. But it's that 'considering' that nags me.

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Do All things with Honour and Generosity: Regret Nothing, Envy None, Apologise Seldom and Bow your head to No One  - works for me Smiley
 
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Morphy
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #7 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 5:23pm
 
Similar story to you RM. When we were kids my Mom had written down lottery numbers she intended on playing. She went in to buy a ticket but was told she was 5 minutes too late to buy one for that night.

Sure enough those exact numbers came up. The prize was I believe 28 million. We would've been set for life. Guess it wasn't meant to be. That 5 minutes changed not just her life but all of ours forever.
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Rat Man
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #8 - Oct 9th, 2019 at 8:01pm
 
Morphy wrote on Oct 8th, 2019 at 5:23pm:
Similar story to you RM. When we were kids my Mom had written down lottery numbers she intended on playing. She went in to buy a ticket but was told she was 5 minutes too late to buy one for that night.

Sure enough those exact numbers came up. The prize was I believe 28 million. We would've been set for life. Guess it wasn't meant to be. That 5 minutes changed not just her life but all of ours forever.


  Something like that could literally drive one mad.
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #9 - Oct 12th, 2019 at 3:34pm
 
If I look at the last 5 years, one of the most significant decisions with unintended consequences was to start a business. My wife saw the idea for our business on Pinterest, and we put $1000 into trying it because it seemed like it might be fun. A year later, we had hit $100k in sales. We were processing all our inventory in our bedroom because it was the only area of our tiny house that wasn’t covered with pet hair from 2dogs and 2 cats.  Since I like being able to go to bed, we decided to move to a bigger house. One month later we had a contract on a house where we could live upstairs and have an office downstairs where the business would be contained. We still had room in the new house, so we added a couple more children to the pack, including one we adopted from a family friend. When the adoption came up (very unexpectedly), we just happened to have the extra cash in the bank to pay for the adoption expenses because we had just sold our old house... which we had sold because our business had outgrown our space!  If we had not adopted our boy, the birth mom probably would have adopted him to someone in Norway, and she never would have seen him again. The fact that an adoption was necessary is already tragic, but because we have been friends for years, she is still able to see her son from time to time, and the sadness of the situation is lessened... all because my wife and I took a chance on a crazy business idea that we saw on the Internet!
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Morphy
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #10 - Oct 13th, 2019 at 10:01pm
 
That's really cool NOOC. And honestly as happy as I am for you that the business is doing well, the fact you are able to adopt a kid in need and put that money to use helping others is even better. Really makes me happy when people who have been blessed can take that blessing and make other's lives better. That's what life is all about.
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #11 - Oct 14th, 2019 at 1:55am
 
Thanks Morphy!  I am definitely blessed, though not always with material possessions Smiley
The business occasionally earns a little spending money, but we wouldn’t have had the tens of thousands to spend adopting if it weren’t for selling the house. I never planned to adopt anyone, but it was hard not to in this case because we had the opportunity and the means to do a little good. It was a very strange chain of events, but the timing of everything was just too perfect.
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #12 - Nov 30th, 2019 at 10:18pm
 
    After serving in the army my brother in law's brother, Jimmy, and I, who happened to serve at the same time, decided to move from the Delaware Valley to the northern Idaho panhandle.  We would live near a little town called St. Maries, which is pronounced St. Marys. He lived in Philadelphia and I in South Jersey.  He had an army buddy who's family owned a mountain there.  We could live there on their mountain while we found jobs and got established. There was a mine nearby that we planned on working in.  We were both in our mid twenties then. 
     I worked for a few months in a restaurant called the Indian Chief Tavern to get up some money for the trip.  Finally we made the move.  We drove across the country in my Jeep CJ-5.  What a beautiful trip.  You see America very differently once you've driven completely across it.  I very much intended to spend the rest of my life out West. 
    Northern Idaho was wild, incredibly rugged, and beautiful.  After spending one weekend out there I had an experience that's hard to explain and that I still don't completely understand to this day.  I was compelled to leave.  It was like I was being physically repulsed from the place.  I have never felt anything like it before or since.  It wasn't right and I HAD to leave.  I apologized to Jimmy... I don't remember if I tried to explain or not.  It would have been difficult since I didn't understand it myself.  I wasn't homesick.  I had just spent three years away from home.  You may or may not believe in such things but I've had several strong premonitions in my life.  My best guess is that's what this was.  Whether or not that's the case, I couldn't stay.  I drove all the way back across the country by myself. 
    Not staying in Idaho was a decision that definitely influenced my life.
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Re: One decision that changed your life forever?
Reply #13 - Dec 2nd, 2019 at 12:08am
 
I had a similar “premonition” of sorts in the form of a conflict. The summer that I got married, I was working as an engineering intern earning $18/hr. I had a new wife to support, and no college degree yet, so I planned to stay at my intern job and change schools to live in Dallas. A week before the next semester started, I had a run-in with the dean of engineering. Two days later, I broke my lease, packed up my belongings, and quit my job to go back to the school I was attending before.

The crazy thing is... day I walked in to clear out my desk, everyone else was doing the same thing. The job would’ve vaporized anyway if I hadn’t quit! 
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« Last Edit: Dec 2nd, 2019 at 8:18am by NooneOfConsequence »  
 
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