When One Choice Changes Everything


I’ve often pondered the many forks in the road of life. Whoa, that sounded deep. Let me start over.

Have you ever just looked at your life path and realized that some tiny, seemingly insignificant choice changed your whole life? Certainly there are some big decisions. The ones you know will alter the entire course of your life. Where you go to college. Who to spend your life with. Moving across the country. But what about when a seemingly irrelevant decision changes everything?

The road ahead

Three years ago this month, I was looking for an apartment. After living with my parents for 5 months (while sharing a room with my 10-year-old sister), I was more than ready for my own space. I began looking for apartments in the young section of the city, close to work. The real estate agent had shown me several apartments when we came to the last one of the day.

It was a tiny 3rd floor walk up with a 3/4 size fridge and a bedroom the size of my queen sized bed. It was $660 and included heat, a big money saver in the winter. The bathroom tile was the exact same tile as my house in college (that I’d loved so dearly). I took this as a sign from God that me and this apartment were M.F.E.O. (made for each other – if you don’t know that, you need more Nora Ephron in your life). I was sold.

But as a girl renting her first apartment, I had to have my parents opinions first. Security deposit in hand, I returned the next day with them to check it out.

One foot in the door and I knew my Stepmom didn’t like it. Hugely opinionated and fiercely loving, she insisted that the apartment was too small. She pointed out the things I had been all too eager to overlook. The stove had only two burners. There was absolutely no place for a kitchen table (ironic because in the last 3 years I can count on one hand how many times I’ve eaten at the table). I would be able to fit zero other furniture in the bedroom besides a mattress. The real estate agent could tell things were going south. So we went to look at one other apartment that night.

I didn’t wind up getting that apartment. Instead, I chose a slightly larger (still tiny) apartment 2 blocks away for $40 more a month. And that seemingly insignificant choice changed my whole life.

At my new apartment, I met the guys whose house backed up to mine. They invited me over to watch Jersey  Shore (listen, it was 2011, okay?) and drink beer. I accepted enthusiastically, over eager to make new friends in my new city. I waltzed in to find two other girls there. One would become one of my dearest friends. She worked for the non-profit that I now work for. A year later, when she moved to New York, she recommended me to take over for her. And thus my life in the non-profit world began.

And it was all because I chose one dingy apartment over the other.

I’m sure there are a million other instances of this in my life (and yours). But as I drove by that apartment the other day, I couldn’t help but connect all the dots and realize that if I had chosen that apartment, I wouldn’t have spent the last year and a half of my life working with kids with cancer. And i was so thankful my Stepmom talked me out of it.

It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it?


Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to Kristen from Treats and Travels.

Treats and Travels

Kristen recently made the jump from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. Can we get a round of applause? Congrats, Kristen! Are you planning a trip with friends in 2014? Kristen has you covered with her tips on planning a group getaway. She also shared an amazing recipe for stuffed peppers (if you are a vegetarian like me, just replace the ground beef with black beans! yum!). I loved reading her “someday I will post” but Kristen, I hope you got Netflix by now. You need Netflix. I also loved the project she did during November where she shared things she is thankful for about her significant other. Want to see more of Kristen? Head on over to Treats and Travels or follow her on Bloglovin.

A quick sponsorship update….Kristen’s sponsor spotlight will be my very last one! I have updated my sponsorship program and will now be offering more social media options and guest posting. Interested? Take a look.

  • What a fun story. I love when, suddenly, you can connect the dots like that. It’s like everything you have thus far in life was laid out for you without you even realizing it.

  • The butterfly effect right? Everything has a way of mysteriously working out right? 🙂

  • This is so, so true. A few years ago I unexpectedly lost my job, and I ended up interviewing at two places within a couple days of each other. They were similar positions, and I’m still not sure why, but I picked one over the other and ended up meeting my future husband. The romantic in me likes to think that if we’re meant to be together, our paths would have crossed somehow, but the realistic part of me knows that we probably never would have met if I took the other job. Every time I drive by the other place, I can’t help but think about how different my life could have been, and how happy I am that I was drawn to the job that brought us together. Life is funny like that!

  • This is so true. I made the decision to stop at one last company at a career fair. One I hadn’t been thinking about at all. That one choice led to an actual career with said company. Little things like that can definitely change things. For the better 🙂

  • Kind of the same for me. I decided to apply to my current university because my friend told me about it. I just wanted to give it a try, without expecting much. I got in, and decided to enroll because my parents liked it too. I met my current boyfriend here whom I surely wouldn’t meet if I hadn’t gone here! The world does work mysteriously.

  • Funny how things work out!

  • Love this post, so true. I have been following your blog for a while now, and today I had time to read through lots of posts… and I must tell you I have enjoyed every minute of it! You are so funny and I have been bent over laughing for the major part of the last 30 minutes. Thanks so much for entertaining me on my lunch break. I will continue to be a faithful reader! 🙂

  • I totally feel you! I have a similar situation with my work situation (also non-profit, woop woop!!). In college we had a zillion career/job fairs and there was one in particular that I just wasn’t interested in attending…long story short my BF convinced me to go, because well you never know…and he was so right! I was approached by the company I now work for for a totally different and unrelated-to-my-major job. I told the recruiter this, and she then remembered a position (my current) that was opening soon that would be a perfect fit. I love thinking about that, and hearing other stories about how certain decisions affect your life!!

  • It’s crazy when little decisions end up having such a huge impact on our lives. A little over 5 years ago, a friend texted me about coming over to hang out and maybe rent a movie. I had spent that afternoon day drinking at the river on a float trip and immediately went to bed for a two-hour nap when I got home. He texted me while I was sleeping so I didn’t get the message until about an hour or so after he sent it. I briefly thought about just not responding because I was tired and sunburned and, even though I really liked this friend, I wasn’t sure I had the energy to be “on” for the evening. I decided to suck it up and go hand out anyway – he offered to make dinner so at the very least it would save me from a night of cooking! Well, fast forward to 2013 and that “friend” and I were married exactly 5 years after that dinner-and-rented-movie “date.” That little decision to suck it up and take my friend up on his offer for a free dinner ended up getting me a husband! Ha!

  • what a neat story! I have had so many things like that happen and am in the middle of one right now! love how life seems to work its way out 🙂

  • What an awesome story and such a crazy thing to think about.. really makes you wonder if everything really does happen for a reason. If I never had gone to that Boys 2 Men concert, I probably would have never met my boyfriend.. then I probably wouldn’t have ever gotten a Great Dane.. and I probably wouldn’t still live in Michigan. Now excuse me while I go ponder the meaning of life.

  • YES. I talk about this with my friends so often. It’s one of the reasons why I really and truly believe in fate – otherwise, how can I explain how I got to where I am, and where I wholeheartedly believe I was meant to be?

  • What a great story! I never really stop to think about the small decisions I’ve made that effect my big picture. Pretty cool.

  • My boyfriend and I talk about this all the time. We met at work and we always wonder what would have happened if one of us found a new job before we met. We wonder if we would have found each other still.

    Glad to see things worked out for the good with that decision!

  • I love thinking about stuff like this! I met my bf at a bar on a night when I really didn’t want to go out and had contemplated staying home. I don’t think we would have met any other way, so it’s crazy to think that one decision really changed my life!

  • That’s awesome! My insignificant decision that changed everything was choosing to tagging along with my best friend to the bar one night. She was going out with a guy, but didn’t want it to seem like a date. I had cancelled a date for that same night with a class A douche so she dragged me along with her. As fate would have it, the guy she was going with dragged out his best friend, which turned out to be my future husband. A night of drunken shenanigans got me married to the best man I could have ever met. (and our friends are no longer together)

  • I LOVED this post! It was so inspirational and the perfect thing I needed as I enter the post-college world. Thank you for this!

  • I love to look back and connect the dots like this. I’m constantly in awe of how things are so meticulously orchestrated, even the messy parts of life that you don’t understand at the time (like being put on bed rest for my whole 3rd trimester and getting that time to spend with my parents who spent every day in the hospital with me while my husband was at work…time that I will cherish forever because my dad ended up passing on to heaven a year and half later from cancer).
    You’re right in that we all probably have a bunch of these stories, and I LOVE to look back and be thankful for the trajectory of my life. My life is full of stupid decisions I’ve made too, but even some of those have been turned into good! Okay, I’ll end my mini novel now 😉

  • Loved this! So true! I can’t think up of anything this “small” that created such a large ripple in my life, but I loved hearing this!

  • I think about this all the time, and am so thankful for all the choices I have made so far in my life (even the little insignificant ones) because they have all shaped me into the person I am today.

  • I often find myself doing this little dance of connect the dots. I like to entertain the ‘what-ifs’ for fun. I loved this story that you shared! It’s amazing what choices will lead to others!

  • I think about that too. A series of events led me to move to Florida where, 6 months later, I met my future husband. I always wonder what my life would be like if I had been too nervous to make the move.

  • I so get this, and even though I can’t think of a single event to equal it in my life I know that said events have happened I just cant’ think of them right now.

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