Distressed People Share Their Confusing ‘Butterfly Effect’ Stories
What exactly is the butterfly effect, and why it is important to some people? Well, it’s the idea of small instances having major impacts down the line. If you switch to a different brand of peanut butter, you’ll suddenly have salmonella. If you walk to work instead of drive, you’ll be caught in a surprise thunderstorm. There’s no way to actually pinpoint when the butterfly effect will strike.
Meteorologist Edward Lorenz is best known as the founder of this form of chaos theory. While this theory was initially associated with the weather, it has become a part of our everyday lives. These people share some insane butterfly effect stories from their own life. After reading this, you’ll start thinking about small situations that became massive in your own life.
#1 Gotta Be More Than This
I always was interested in flying. My dad recognized it and encouraged me to learn to fly. I ran out of money quickly at 17 and ended up enlisting into the infantry. I came out without special skills (although I became a decent shot) and worked in security for a few years, moving from company to company, trying to make better money with each step.
I’d fly here and there, but it was more of just a recreational thing. One day, I was driving home and the Sugarland song Something More came on. I had heard it many times and I knew the lyrics, but as I sang along in my head, the words really cut into me. I told my supervisor that week that I was changing my availability to weekends only and dove headfirst into completing my training. A year after that, I quit that job to be a pilot. Three more years brings me to today, now an airline pilot. I freaking love that song.
#2 Was Their Name Sonic?
I was walking to school and got distracted by a hedgehog that ran in a bush next to me. Then, a big tree branch fell in front of me, and it would’ve crushed me if I didn’t get distracted by that spikey little mouse scurrying in the bushes. I gave him a dead cricket the next day to eat, and he took it. God speed spikey, mouse.
#3 Must Be A Popular Resort
I received an incredibly high-paying job offer to run our biggest competitor’s team. I told my boss that, even though I loved my job, they were offering more than double what I was making. My boss agreed to a reasonable raise, which was still not near the offer, but I decided to stay because I genuinely loved my team and the money wasn’t enough to leave that happy place.
In exchange, I had to take up another account and go on a business trip that I didn’t initially have in my plans. On that trip, I met my future husband. A couple of years later, we went on our honeymoon at a new resort in St. Lucia and we ran into someone I knew from work. Turns out, the competitor team that had offered me the job had made so much money that they had booked the same resort to celebrate. I sat there in awe. Life is nuts! I would’ve ended up there, either way.
#4 Speaking Their Language
I procrastinated one day in high school by watching a foreign musical on YouTube. I ended up trying to learn the lyrics and eventually the language. That led me to discover the field of linguistics, which I’m now majoring in. I don’t know what I’d be doing now had I actually started doing my homework that day instead.
#5 Family Comes First
If my biological mom hadn’t skipped town on me, I wouldn’t have had the incredible and privileged life that I was given through adoption. My younger half brothers were raised by our biological mom and they are a total freaking mess (I’m more of a mom to them than their actual mom). I would have been an absolute wreck like them if she had kept me.
Instead, I was given an amazing private education, and most importantly, a healthy, loving home with two parents who taught me that just because you share blood doesn’t mean you can’t love each other, and just because you didn’t give birth to a child doesn’t mean you can’t be their parent. I love all of my family, whether they’re biologically-related to me or not.
#6 Look Both Ways Before You Drive
I was sitting at a red light one day and the pendant I had draped over my rear view mirror just fell off of the chain. I bent over looking for it (it was my late great grandmother’s so I wanted to find it ASAP) and when I sat back up, pendant in hand, the light was green. As I went to drive, a semi came barreling through the intersection. I’m 100% convinced I would have been obliterated had I been looking at the traffic light. Now, I wait for a second and make sure there’s no one coming through.
#7 Note To Self
Just last month, a friend of mine told me a story from his recent heartbreak. Let’s call him Mickey. Mickey had been with this girl, Minnie, for almost four years. Out of nowhere, she told him that she was leaving him and moving out. He had no idea their relationship was in jeopardy, but she dipped. A few weeks went by and Mickey started hanging out with a coworker of his. They had just recently met and one night, they ended up at the coworker’s place to hang out.
On the fridge, he saw a note in Minnie’s handwriting. The note detailed several issues in Mickey and Minnie’s relationship. Mickey asks his new friend where he found this note. Turns out, he had gone to the same music festival as Mickey and Minnie a few months prior. He found the note on the ground of the parking lot and thought, “Wow, what a sad and angry note. I’m going to keep this because it’s so raw and interesting.”
The next day, Minnie came over to pick up some of her things. Mickey produced the note and it led to a long, tear-filled conversation about their relationship and what went wrong. They didn’t end up back together, however, the resulting discussion helped them both achieve closure in a meaningful way. All because a random coworker found and kept her discarded note in a festival parking lot.
#8 A Shift In Careers
In high school, I didn’t get into the AP History class wanted. I changed my schedule by enrolling into a different gym class where I didn’t know anyone. I was heartbroken. I really wanted to teach, and without an AP class senior year, I was screwed. I made a new friend in gym class, who was wearing a volunteer firefighter shirt. He had just joined.
It seemed interesting and he invited me to check it out. They paid for me to get my EMT. Eventually, I fell in love with healthcare. Fast forward to today and I’m now an ER Nurse who looks after ‘precept’ students and new nurses, teaching them how to survive in the ER. I also do public outreach and injury prevention. I love it. Glad I missed out on my class.
#9 Swipe For A Better Life
I was pretty lost after graduating from university. One night, I ended up having a few too many drinks and, just for fun, I installed Tinder. I swiped once, and only once, which matched me with some person who I started dating. After a while, I decided to move to his state and start a new life there rather than go home. I started off with a subpar job that brought in almost no money.
I didn’t know if I was going to make it, but I still gave it a chance. Eventually, they ended up promoting me, sending me overseas to an amazing new country and paying off six figures of student debt in three years with money in the bank. All of that happened because I moved my finger slightly to one direction.
#10 Have You Had Your Piercing Today?
I got my ears pierced the day after I graduated high school. I worked at McDonald’s at the time and was scheduled to work that night. Before my shift, my girlfriend convinced me to get them done. Well, when I showed up to my shift with clear ear studs in, my manager gave me two options: either take them off or go home.
Being only 17 and not taking anything seriously, I went home. On my way home, I called my girlfriend’s dad and asked if I could work with him laying tile. He gave me a chance, and I quit McDonald’s that same day. I worked with him for about a year until a recession caused us to run out of work. Four months later, I landed a job in a new hospital handling admissions in the emergency room.
After two years, I got my phlebotomy certification. I’ve been doing that for a few years and now I’m in my final semester of nursing school. I attribute everything I’ve done to that day to my girlfriend pressuring me into getting my ears pierced. Who knows how long I would have stayed at McDonald’s.
#11 A Whole New World
When I was very little, I song completely with made-up words. My mom asked what it was and I said, “Evelynese,” since my name is Evelyn. Then a year later, I made up a fake country for that fake language (Evelyninis). Then I started making up some stories. Now, after a little over a decade, I’m in high school and I have a whole fictional world with three political superpowers.
I created a very intricate map of ecosystems (and soon, political borders of various eras), five distinct cultural and ethnic groups, and some unique flora and fauna. Former Evelyninis specifically has twenty families of nobility, two hundred and thirty-seven common families, a religion, a specific type of domesticated big cat, the bones of a conlang, two epics in the works (the first being adapted from older stories I made up), and much more. I’m probably going to work on this until the day I die. All because toddler me wanted to throw some snark at my mom.
#12 Every Picture Tells A Story
My girlfriend was planning on traveling with me for a very long time. The night before we left, I was just packing my things and at the last minute, I decided to include some camera stuff. I had an SLR that I didn’t really use too much. I very nearly didn’t bring it because it was big and space was at a premium. While we were away, one of the things we did was work in a wildlife rehab center. At the time we were there, it was very quiet, and we had very few baby kangaroos to look after.
I used this spare time to really get to grips with the camera and learn about photography in general. Now, I’m a wildlife cameraman. Had I decided to leave the camera, I never would be doing what I’m doing now… which is sitting in a freezing cold shed for hours at a time waiting for some animals to do something that they’re not doing.
#13 From Flirtatious To Heroic
One day, I was working at a surf shop. At the end of my shift, I wanted to hang out for a bit to flirt with one of my coworkers. This led to me witnessing a bad car accident just 30 minutes later. I ended up meeting an off-duty EMT on the scene, who introduced me to the world of trauma services. I became a paramedic and now I love my career. If I didn’t decide to flirt with that coworker, I wouldn’t be an EMT.
#14 Keep It 100
When I was 11, someone dropped a $10 on the ground and I instinctively grabbed it. I thought about it for a second and ran to the man who dropped it. When I gave it back to him, he smiled so warmly at me and said something I would never forget: ”Keep it kid, and also that’s not a $10 bill.” I looked down and it wasn’t a $10 bill. It was a $100 bill.
#15 Fired Up To Graduate
I was working a really dead-end job and my car let me down on the way to work. I was an agency worker, so they had the right to terminate my employment whenever they pleased. They rang me up 30 minutes after I told them I was going to be late. At that point, my car was recovered and I was on my way in. They told me not to bother as I no longer had a job there.
This made me go back to college, then eventually, to university. I graduated with honors from university and after a long time of applying and getting the knock, I built up a portfolio good enough to land a graduate job. I’m now doing something that I love, and it will give me financial stability for a long, long time.
#16 An Unusual Bathroom Break
I’m a carpenter. One time, my crew was remodeling a house. At this point, the house had no plumbing, so if we needed to do a #2, we had to drive to the nearest grocery store. When lunch break rolled around, I got in my truck and headed off to the grocery store to take care of my usual 12 o’clock restroom trip. On the way there, I saw a guy sprinting frantically down the road.
I debated on whether to ask him if he needed a ride or not because I didn’t want to have to drive him somewhere really far away and not have time to have a decent #2. But it was pretty warm outside and I could tell by his attire that he wasn’t running for exercise. I pulled over, asked him if he was alright and if he needed a ride.
Without hesitation, he jumped in and told me that he was late for work because his car had broken down. He asked me to drop him off at his house (which was on the way to the grocery store) so that he could shower and change into his uniform. I told him I could wait and take him to work, but he insisted that he could make it from there.
A few minutes later, I arrived at the grocery store. It was a pretty small one, and the only restrooms were at the very back of the store. I made it there just in time, and not a second too soon. I was in one heck of a bind, so much so that I did the unthinkable: I went #2 before I checked to see if there was any toilet paper. There wasn’t. Minutes passed and I was still stranded.
I was too far away to reach the paper towels. I thought about risking it and making a dash for them, but I couldn’t stand the thought of somebody walking in on me in the middle of the bathroom and my pants around my ankles. There was nothing I could do but wait. To make matters worse, I was still on my lunch break and needed to head back soon.
Finally, a guy came in. I told him I’d been stuck in there for a long time and I needed toilet paper. He told me not to worry and that he’d tell somebody who worked there to get me some. After a few minutes, I got the idea to call the grocery store from the bathroom stall and speak to a manager. I told them I’d been stranded in their bathroom for 45 minutes and I’m going to be late for work.
He apologized for the inconvenience and told me that he would be there in a minute with some toilet paper. He brought it to me and passed it under the stall door. All was well. I exited the bathroom to find the manager, who was waiting to apologize in person. It was the same guy I had given a ride back to his house earlier. We shared a laugh because we both helped each other get to work on time the same day.
#17 Love In Another Country
I wasn’t making the best life decisions after high school. I couldn’t stand to be home anymore, so I decided to join the Marine Corps. I was going to go into the infantry, but my recruiter talked me out of it and told me to go into a technical field. I learned IT and then got sent to Japan. I was supposed to stand duty on a Sunday (24-hour barracks watch) towards the end of the month, but I was asked by a coworker to switch duty days with them so they could go on a promotion board.
This freed me up to go out that Saturday night. That’s where I met my wife. When I got out of the Marine Corps, my wife didn’t want to emigrate from Japan so we decided I would work here. I now have a son and a fulfilling career that I never would have dreamed of having eight years ago. All because of bad decisions and heartbreak.
#18 Look For The Bear Necessities
When I was 15 or so, a Louisiana black bear ran across the road in front of my car. I was way out of their native range and it really struck a chord with me. It triggered my decision to focus on wildlife management going forward. I have my degree now and work with alligators. All because some lost bear crossed paths with me on a rainy night.
#19 America’s Family Network
When I was about seven years old, I must have been on the Disney Channel when a commercial for the classic movie Follow me Boys came on. It’s a movie about Boy Scouts. The clip was only a few seconds long, but at that time, I was intrigued. I begged my mom to drive me to Blockbuster so I could rent the movie. I watched it at least four times, then I decided to join Cub Scouts.
When I was ready to become a Boy Scout, I decided to join one particular troop because one of the Scouts in it was patient enough to listen to me regardless of my stutter. His name was Forrest. Forrest was my mentor through most of Boy Scouts and high school. He introduced me to the members of the photo club, one of which was in theatre.
I went with her to a couple of rehearsals and was so fascinated by tech that I wound up committing three years of my life to theatre tech. Finally, in my senior year, after having made life long friends, being in three relationships through theatre, and winning two awards for theatre accomplishment, I made my Eagle Scout rank.
My grades weren’t the best, and if it weren’t for that Eagle Scout rank, I may not have gotten into the college of my choice. Having a passion for theatre tech, I chose to study new media, where I have since come to college, fallen in love twice, and found one of the best jobs I may ever have. All from seeing a clip on the Disney Channel.
#20 Poem For The People
I was encouraged to enter a poetry competition when I was about 17. There was a cash prize, so I decided, after some convincing, that I would give it a try. I ended up winning, and my poem became published. A couple of months later, I got a message on Facebook from a girl who wanted to know more about the poem, because she had to analyze it in connection with her upcoming exam. It turns out, she and I were about the same age, so we decided to meet up and discuss it. We’ve been together for four years now and we’re getting married next month. I often wonder what my life would look like if my teacher hadn’t approached me back then.
#21 All In The Family
My parent’s whole relationship is a butterfly effect, and without that, I wouldn’t even exist. My parents both happened to know this one person in completely unrelated ways. My dad used to work on the stock floor and knew this person through other people. My mom worked with this person and became friends through her job.
There was a dinner party hosted by this person, but my dad was still in a tentative relationship with someone. My parents hit it off, but it took a few more happenstance meetings before their friends basically cajoled them into going on a date. My dad broke up with his girlfriend for unrelated reasons, and eventually began dating my mom.
There were one or two instances when my parents almost broke up permanently, but something or someone always saved the relationship. The funniest thing about this is that my mom almost didn’t go to the original dinner party; she knew she wouldn’t know many people there, and her little introvert self resisted until the last. This was the biggest butterfly effect—had she not gone, she would have never met my dad.
#22 Code Of The Streets
I had no interest in computers or IT, I just wanted to play games. I had a cousin my age and I always was kind of a jerk to him and wanted to be better in everything he did (except school in general). Once, he told me he learned to code in school and he was totally into it, so I pushed myself hard to learn it too. I just kept doing it and showing him all the advanced things I did that he didn’t know how to do. Fast forward to now: I’m still programming and founded my own tech company. I make a good living and just built a house last year with my soon-to-be wife.
#23 Gathering A Massive Amount Of Debt
A group of people at the college I went to offered to teach me how to play Magic the Gathering one afternoon between classes. Two years later, I was out $15,000 due to gambling and debt from college expenses. I also ruined my relationship with an incredible woman. Only just recently was able to finally pay off the last of my college debt, but that was a dark time of my life, especially in retrospect. Its been a year and a half since I last played cards or gambled.
#24 Remember This Number
When I was in grade 6, the TV was left on and a random ad I had never seen was playing about a new psoriasis treatment trial needing volunteers. I knew my dad had it bad and the number showed on the screen. I remembered the number and didn’t write it down. I told my dad about it and he wrote the number on a box in the garage. Two weeks later, he actually decided to call and they booked him in for a medical screening.
During the test, they found his blood pressure was so high he should have been dead. He was given medication for the next few years which prevented the strokes and heart problems from killing him. Had he not had the medication, he would have died within the next month or two. All because of a random ad on TV.
#25 Walk The Plank
I had a pizza job and was working during the 2 a.m. bar rush. That usually meant I would not be getting home until 4 a.m. It sucked and I hated it. When I got home, I wound up web surfing at 5 a.m. I saw a “Deckhands Wanted” post on a job board for the tall ship HMS Bounty, a square-rigged ‘pirate’ ship. At 8 a.m., I received an email that read, “When can you start?”
Ten months later, we were working with Disney, and I can be seen in the background steering the ship behind Kiera Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean 2. Four years later, I was an officer commanding a semester at sea ship where I sailed from Nova Scotia to Europe, then South Africa, through the Caribbean for the third time, and back to Nova Scotia.
People always ask how I got to do all that cool sailor stuff and I always tell them the same thing: I hated my horrible pizza job enough to leave that life behind to run away with literally the Pirates of the Caribbean. Youth is wasted on the young; drop out of college now, have an adventure of your life, go back to college after and get a high paying job then.
#26 Adventure Of A Lifetime
When I was 13, my twin and best friend were going to a Coldplay concert. I hadn’t asked for a ticket because I didn’t have much of an interest in music. On the morning of, my friend’s mom woke up really sick and it was pretty apparent she wouldn’t be able to make it to the concert to chaperone them, so her ticket was offered to me. I accepted on the basis of having nothing better to do.
Regardless of what you think of Coldplay’s music, that concert freaking blew me away. They were my favorite band until I was nearly 17 when I really started branching out my music taste. It pushed me to start taking bass playing more seriously. I even formed a couple of school bands. Eight years later, listening to music is still how I spend 90% of my free time.
#27 What A Difference One Number Can Make!
Back in early 2012, I was playing Minecraft, joining random servers. I typed the IP address wrong by one digit and ended up on another server where I played with this one girl. We played for the next few weeks, until one day, it was announced that the server was closing down. We exchanged Skype details and talked on there while we played tons of games together.
Long story short, she is currently my girlfriend. She lives in the States and I’m in the UK. I regularly fly out to visit her and her family for weeks at a time and thanks to them, I’ve been able to spend Christmas in Florida and summer in NYC. All from being one digit off in joining a roleplaying MC server. It was a true butterfly effect.
#28 Giving To Those In Need
One time, I was on the 405 freeway ramp on bumper-to-bumper traffic, waiting to get on. There was a homeless man about 15 cars ahead of me asking for food, money, or water. Not a single car ahead of me gave him anything (absolutely nothing wrong with that). It was around the holidays, so I felt generous and decided to give him $5 once I got closer.
I gave him the money he said thank you. As I drove away, I happened to look into my rear view mirror and noticed the car behind me also giving him something. I thought it was nice of them. Then, the car behind them rolled down their window and gave a few dollars. The 405 traffic is horrendous and the on-ramp for the 405 is quite long.
It took about 10 cars for me to finally get on the freeway, but I was absolutely blown away that EVERY SINGLE car behind me (until I finally got into the freeway) rolled down their window and gave something after I decided to help out. It just goes to show that it just takes one person to start something good.
#29 Slide Into Those DMs
After attending concerts, I always go on Instagram the day after to look for any photos and videos from the shows. One time, while I was searching for the hashtags, I found a really good quality video. I was so impressed that I messaged the owner to say how good the quality was (I had never done that before, ever). We spoke about the gig and then ended up talking about our hobbies, jobs, etc.. Soon, we became friends online and that was it.
A few months later, I was down at the local park with a friend and we saw a double rainbow. I took a photo and posted it on my Instagram. The girl from the gig messaged me, saying that she recognized that park. Turned out, she lived in the same town as I did. Fast forward a year later and after being best friends, we are now dating.
#30 Sock It To Me
I bought a new pair of boots one day. I went for a walk with my dog and noticed my sock was low. It was rubbing a small sore. I figured I could deal with a blister. Fast forward two weeks and the blister turned into a purple caldera of pus. Infection! I went to the doctor and got some antibiotics. The next day, I took a pill and went out with my dog for a walk with proper footgear.
Then, one mile from home, I started violently throwing up. I dry heaved the entire way home. That was bad enough, but somehow during the upright convulsions, I managed to herniate my L4/L5 and L5/S1 vertebral discs. For the last nine months I had been suffering from crippling sciatica, sometimes being unable to walk or stand upright on some days. Now, I have thousands of dollars in medical bills, a serious spinal condition that will affect me for the rest of my life, and we’re still looking for effective treatment options. All because my sock was about a half-inch low.
#31 Not What They Expected
My friend accidentally gave me the wrong CD some 15+ years ago. It was unlabeled and supposed to be some pirated movie or something like that, but it was his big brother’s backup CD with all kinds of programming tools and code. That got me interested in programming. Soon after, I graduated, moved out, and went to an IT-related university program.
I started working in a web development company, met my wife, met most of my current friends and acquaintances, and started my own successful company related to the field. Basically, I’m pretty sure I would be a completely different person, with different friends and family, education, profession, home, and hobbies if my friend didn’t grab the wrong CD from a shelf.
#32 Driven For Success
Everything I have in my life right now is due to a DUI I got when I was 22. At the time, I was working as a shuttle driver at an airport hotel. After the DUI, I realized I needed a job with tips where I wouldn’t be driving. A friend worked at a local steakhouse and got me a job there as a lowly busser. The money wasn’t as much as I made, and I didn’t have any of the benefits I had at the hotel. It was a rough start.
After four years, I was promoted to server, which led to another serving job, then another. I met a girl there and started studying wine since I liked it. Now, I work for a high-end steakhouse, and I’m taking the Advanced Sommelier Test in November. I also proposed to her two weeks ago. Everything happened because of that DUI.
#33 San Diego Serenade
I was laid off in the early days of the recession of the 1990s. I was also a comic book fan, so I decided I would sell off my collections in case I needed the money. I went to a comic book store and bought a weekly collector’s newspaper called The Comic Buyer’s Guide. And, wouldn’t you know it—it had a big ad for the San Diego Comic-Con.
I never had anywhere near the amount of money it would take to buy a plane ticket and book a hotel, but here I was with a bit of severance pay and no job to occupy my time. So, instead of selling my collection, I splurged and sent myself to San Diego. Oh my, what a fantastic city to live in. I resolved to move across the country as soon as I could, which I did. I ended up meeting my wife in California. We’re now living in San Diego and raising two kids —all because I said screw it.
#34 Making The Right Turn
One night, I left my house to get milk. I lived in a cul-de-sac and the quickest way to the shop was to turn right onto the main road. I accidentally turned left. I cursed myself because I had to drive an extra couple of kilometers, but on I continued. On the way back, only 20 minutes later, I was traveling home from the other direction and couldn’t get through as the road had been closed by emergency services.
A couple of police cars and ambulances could be seen in front surrounding a car accident. I have often wondered if I had turned right that night whether I would have been involved in that accident. This ‘butterfly effect’ didn’t change the course of my life at all. I detoured home and was a bit longer than my family expected. Now, whenever I make a wrong turn, I don’t curse myself as I figure everything happens for a reason, even if we can’t see or imagine what that reason is.
#35 A Musical Experience
New Year’s Day, 2011: I happened to go to Best Buy to look for something. As I was leaving, I noticed they had ukuleles for sale for $99. I decided to buy one, even though I didn’t know how to play. Since then, I’ve met hundreds of people, including my three best friends. I also now play bass, which I probably would not have taken up without the uke experience first.
#36 Dodging A Severe Tragedy
A while ago, when I lived in Illinois, my dad was going out to pick up some stuff from Walgreens down the street after a big storm passed through. I was about seven, so I really wanted to go with him. When he went out, I followed after him and he told me to get in. We pulled out of the driveway and got to the first stop sign.
He patted my head and stayed at the stop sign for a little longer while he was admiring me. Then, a few seconds later, about 200 feet in front of us, a stray bolt of lightning hit a big, 150-year-old tree branch. It fell onto the road, cracking the concrete. I’m convinced that me being in the car with him saved his life.
#37 Change Those Tires, Folks
I was sixteen at the time. I just got my license and was driving a dark blue mini-van. My brother told me to get the tires changed before I continued taking it on the road. Being dumb and ignorant, I didn’t listen to him and just kept driving it to school. When I was with my girlfriend one day, the car that was supposed to be our ride to the pizza place was having some issues.
I ended up driving to the pizza place, which was only about a mile away. The day after, I was driving on my way back to school and I decided to take a longer route around so I could hop on the freeway to save some time. One of my tires blew out right before the freeway entrance. I can’t imagine what would have happened if they blew out on the freeway. Trust me, I learned my lesson. Take good care of your car, kids.
#38 Finding Pizza Elsewhere
My dad and I were on a motorcycle trip and we were going to stay three days in Branson, MO. Unfortunately, the weather was calling for rain on the third day. My dad and I were thinking, well, maybe it won’t be that bad, we’ve ridden through some really bad stuff before. My mom, however, kept insisting on us coming home a day early, which we did. Our plan all along was to stop in Joplin later in the afternoon for dinner at Pizza Hut, which we still went through with. The next day, the Joplin Tornado destroyed the Pizza Hut we would have stopped at.
#39 A Criminal Diagnosis
I was told, after a CT scan, that I had numerous kidney stones in both kidneys, tubes and my bladder which were going to form one giant kidney stone. I was working through an agency at the time and they let me go due to the hospital appointments I had. I struggled to get another job for a few months so decided to go freelance to make some money.
During that period, I watched Time: The Kalief Browder Story and discovered an interest in prison reform. I started writing about prison and criminal justice related issues before discovering a (fairly) local university is rated number one in the country for criminology. I didn’t have the grades to get into university so I studied for a qualification in social sciences that can get me into university.
The course is basically the first year of university. Yesterday, I found out I got an A in my graded exam and I needed a B to get into university. I’m going to be studying for a degree in criminology from September. My diagnosis was actually incorrect but had I not been falsely diagnosed and let go from that company, I would never have had the time or energy to explore any interest in prison and criminal justice issues and would definitely not have gone back into education.
#40 A Few Seconds From Doom
My wife and I were having dinner in Hawaii one night on vacation. As we were getting up to leave, I noticed she hadn’t finished her drink. I told her she should finish it since we paid some ridiculous price for it. Fast forward 30 seconds later and we left the restaurant, walking down the three blocks back to the hotel. About 50 feet in front of us, as we were walking, a car came flying out of a side street from the right and smashed into a wall in front of us. If she didn’t finish her drink, we would have been smoked by the car and most likely squished. We always finish our drinks now.
#41 Food For Thought
I got a fortune cookie that sent me to Taiwan. I needed direction in life, but since I couldn’t talk to my dead father, I went out for Chinese food and got a fortune that said, “To teach is to learn twice.” I mulled it over and applied for a job at a local language school as an ESL instructor. Two years later, an earthquake hit Taiwan and the company asked if anyone was interested in going to Taiwan to replace some English teachers at their sister school. I signed up for a two-year hitch, got a promotion, then got a wife, a dog, a son and a daughter. All because I like Chinese food.
#42 Mike And Ike Are Sorry
I decided to put a candy dish on my desk at work. I filled it with my favorite candies and had no restraint while eating them. Within six months, my cholesterol shot through the roof, whereas it had always been low before (and since). I was put on a statin and within a few months, my blood sugar shot through the roof. The doctor thinks the statin may have done it. I was put on Avandia and within one year had developed early stages of congestive heart failure. It has been a struggle, but I am stable these days. I can’t help but think all this was caused by my hunger for Mike and Ikes and Red Hots.
#43 Saved By The Bottle
It was early in the morning and as I was about to leave for work, my mom reminded me that I forgot my water bottle on the table. For whatever reason, I decided to go leave my backpack in the car and then walk back into the house for the water bottle. Well, that took about maybe 10 seconds in total. It started to rain heavily on my way to work and couldn’t see very well, but I noticed the brake lights of the cars ahead stopping suddenly and some moving off onto the shoulder. I decided to slow down and put the hazard lights on for the people behind to slow down.
Well, turns out everyone was braking because a four to five car accident had just happened seconds before. All the cars were scattered across the highway spread across the shoulders and another had hit the crash barrier. The drivers were still in their cars I guess processing what had just happened. After seeing it, I immediately started to think that if I hadn’t gone back for the water bottle, there’s a chance that I could have easily been in the accident or at least closer to it. It tripped me out for the rest of the day.
#44 A Real Life Cupid
I was just out of high school and new in town with no job. I was living off what savings I had left and my account went below zero without me knowing. I was overdraft charged like 10 times and owed $300+. I went down to the bank, spoke with a teller and she ended up being a lifesaver. She worked with me and got all the charges removed.
On top of getting the charges removed, we got to talking about my situation and she said that her son worked at a local restaurant and she would help me get a job. She was a woman of her word and by the end of the week, I was working full time. Fast forward, I meet a cool dude who worked there, we became friends, I introduced him to my sister, they fell in love, got married and had two kids.
His best friend came into town for the wedding and I introduced him to my roommate at the time, they fell in love, got married and had two babies. I also got my best friend a job at the restaurant where he met a girl working there, they fell in love, got married and had a kid. Right before I left I got my roommate a job at the restaurant, where he met a customer, fell in love, got married and had a kid.
#45 Nature Called At The Right Time
My pregnant cousin usually takes the bus at around 5:10 pm after work. She was about to hop inside the bus but she needed to go #1 really badly and the commute was about an hour long. So she decided to go to the restroom instead and just catch the next bus. That 5:10 bus ended up falling from a cliff. Her life was spared.