1. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Key moments in your life...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by SethLoki, Nov 14, 2016.

    Ever made a decision, whether in haste or deeply deliberated, that's had a big impact on your life? Ever had one made for you? Of which the consequences (good or bad) are so obviously with you today.

    One of mine rests on a coin toss. At nineteen I lived in another part of the country. I wasn't happy with how I was living my life. A few beers into a night out ( < that basically described my existence) I joked with my friend that I'd obey the result of a flipped coin.

    Heads I stay, Tails I leave for a new life.

    Tails.

    I left the pub, a taxi back to my lodgings where I packed all I own into my car and (slightly over the drink drive limit) hauled myself here to Manchester.

    It's 20+ years on now and I feel I've put my energies to better use and have earned the choice of whether to work or not from hereon. Of course I couldn't be so rash again, the financial freedom aside, I think it gets more difficult with time as the family/social responsibilities pile up. The spontaneity has to be more calculated.
     
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  2. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Eleven years old, and I sang quite beautifully for the National Youth Theatre, for their top audition guy.

    He said, 'Yes you, you tubby over there, you wait behind,'

    but I walked outside by mistake.

    I thought he meant somebody else completely. I shall never know. Porky White went on to the Edinburgh Festival, and I, on the other hand became a bicycle gang-leader, also the solitary school punk until I met another punk. That is how it goes - with punks.
     
  3. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    I'll do a serious one later. I'm such a dick - mostly true tho'.
     
  4. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Gotta count for something if you can remember it this far on. Maybe, could'a would'a should'a been you 'Walking in the Air' all colour pencil sketched, animated in the moonlit sky. Not that Jones boy.
     
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  5. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

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    Sunday afternoon after a hard weekend, I was all stinky and pale, had been out for a walk on the common with friends.

    'I'm going home,' I mumbled from within the hood of my sweaty red hoody. 'Need smoke, food and a shower.'

    'Bollocks,' said friends, 'if you go home now you won't come back out.'

    'Oh, all right,' I said, checking my armpits. 'I'll just come for one.'

    In the pub I met a girl.

    Later I moved to Spain, married her and had two kids.

    Here's to not having showers.
     
  6. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @SethLoki - you're right the Chinese send their kids abroad often. Studying abroad is a prestigious thing, and also a lot of HK kids who don't make it through school get sent to boarding school in the UK, because Chinese schools won't take them. Then they get to improve their English and get a degree from the UK and go back to HK and all is well again lol. My cousin got sent to boarding school in the UK when she was 11 and she emigrated back to HK after her graduation from her masters. And then it's common for the Chinese abroad to send their kids back to China to live with the grandparents for a spell, to learn Mandarin usually. But in our case, no, my family just emigrated altogether lol. I wasn't against moving - I don't honestly think I knew what I was leaving. My mum actually begged me to go back to Hong Kong initially, and I said no, because there's no homework in English schools :p true story.

    Another moment - when I moved to the Czech Republic (I'm still here now). I'd just graduated and was working in London for a website and I hated every moment of it. It was a dead end job that was boring me to death and soul-destroying in that sense, and I couldn't find a single friend in London. I made the unfortunate choice of attending a posh, upper-class, Oxbridge-filled church that basically tried to split me and my then-fiance up and told us that they honestly don't think we should move to Prague. The pastor actually read Proverbs 31 with my then-fiance and asked him, "Do you think she's like the woman described here?" (implying I'm not but I should be) Gah. Anyway, couldn't get another job, wanted to give teaching a go but had no experience and had the rent to pay, so what do you do?

    Then my genius fiance says, hey let's go to Prague. In his defense, it wasn't just a random idea out of nowhere. He's Czech and his family lives there :D He wanted to be closer to his family and said I could try teaching English there. So, I agreed to go for a year - just a year, I said.

    It's now been SIX years, and I got married and gave birth here. My daughter doesn't even hold dual nationality (thank the Brits for anal nationality laws) so officially she's fully Czech. With Brexit and actually, I still don't hold any formal teaching qualifications and of course, the UK doesn't even recognise teaching experience gained abroad outside of the British curriculum anyway, and husband has a good job (his excellent English is quite an asset here combined with native Czech), all that and we're in the process of buying a property - I just don't see how we could ever move back... I'd like to, to be close to my family, but seriously...? Again, when I moved, I honestly wasn't thinking about what, or who, I was leaving. I can't say I miss the UK, but sometimes I wonder if I'd have moved if I'd known.

    How the hell did I manage to accidentally emigrate!?
     
  7. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    There's the Key ↓
    Sometimes the soft option pays!
     
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  8. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

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    I'd just turned 30, I was broke and income from my acting career was sporadic at best. My only steady source of money was state benefits and when I turned up to a meeting wearing shorts, I was told I had a bad attitude and they were going to cut me off. (Funny if you think about it; turn up in cut-offs and get cut off. It was almost prophetic.)

    Job prospects were dismal (where does one find a job that allows time off for auditions?) so I applied to a university and an art college thinking I would live off the student loans and still have time for what was really important, my acting career. Both accepted me, but since art college seemed like less of a time commitment, that was where I went.

    But then I met someone. It was literally 'across a crowded room' and I was smitten. Four years later when I graduated, my acting career was over, I was back to being broke, job prospects were still dismal, but I had someone to share my life with... or maybe it's the other way around.

    It was a huge change I didn't see coming.
     
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  9. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Supporter Contributor

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    Several layers, but to give you the three highs:

    First one: A friend asked the stupid question 'If you had to study, what would it be?' - He got a phone call, I was bored, looked up the curriculum, found a related curriculum of which I hadn't even known the name of prior, he came back, and I said 'I am going to quit my job Monday.' I did, too, and enrolled in university. That took care of the next three years.

    Second one: Wrote a whimsical email asking about the requirements for taking on a specific diploma thesis. Got an email back 'You got it if you want it'. That took care of my first international move, a whole lot of amazing memories and experiences, and all the following years - never would have imagined that I'd be living abroad from then on.

    Last one - to date, who knows what comes - I signed on on THIS site :D

    PS: my whole life is a string of happy 'accidental' decisions ;)
     
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  10. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    My take so far is that while 'whim' is a soft word with seemingly small consequence; it's actually, or should be considered to be, quite the opposite. What feels like destiny for most of us has got good old whim to answer for. Up to now (with the above stories) serendipity's got the upper hand. I'd wager though whim's got a darker side.

    Anyone's whim get them into life changing trouble?
     
  11. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Getting my first real piece of crap published in the 'staff news' was a buzz that first time. But was it life-changing?

    I remember everybody looked at me in the street, and down corridors -

    'Hey, the extinguisher maintenance author.'

    They were not really thinking that at all. It took a while to...sucking cheeks in elevators. I made sure everybody had their own copy.
     
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  12. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My biggest life-changer was moving to Southern California from Canada. It's been 20 years and my heart still yearns for Canada, but right now it would take all the King's horses, the X-Men, and Star Fleet to make it possible for me to move back. Argh.
     
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  13. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sliding Doors is one of my favorite movies.

    I moved to Japan to teach English at a private conversation school. One year contract, renewable, I figured I'd stay for a year, year and a half tops. About three quarters of the way through my first contract, I had a lesson with a female student roughly my age. Nothing special, just another lesson with a high level student. That night, on the way home, I decided to stop at a local gaijin bar for a burger and a beer. As I was walking in, a group of Japanese women were walking out. One of them said "Oh, Iain! How are you? Can I join you?"

    She bade her friends goodbye and had a couple beers with me, then we exchanged phone numbers, went on a couple of dates every weekend for the next three years, got married....

    It's been almost sixteen years here in Japan now. If I hadn't decided to go for a burger, or been ten minutes later, I'd almost certainly have moved back a long time ago.
     
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  15. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Iain Aschendale - yeah, that illusion of "just for one year" is deceiving :ninja: I have a soft spot for all things Japanese. Did you ever learn the language then, since it's been so long? I'm really starting to take an active interest in Czech now that I have a baby in Prague - just having Czech spoken at me (since passersby sometimes talk to the baby and therefore also to me) has improved my Czech comprehension noticeably lol.

    @Carly Berg - giving birth sucks. I'm still wondering if an elective C-section might be less painful :bigfrown:
     

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