June 2008 Weddings
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Late night poll: Life-changing experiences

Okay, ladies.  What do you think is the biggest thing that you have ever experiences (whether it happened to you or you just witnessed it) that you think shaped your life?  Obviously, your family has shaped your life.  But what event/thing do you remember that completely changed you?

Re: Late night poll: Life-changing experiences

  • I'll obviously go first.  I have a really tight-knit group of friends.  Some of us met in elementary school, some joined in high school.  But we've been friends for 20 years now.  Well, in 2001, my friend Becky was getting married.  We went out for her bachelorette party the week before the wedding.  There was of course a lot of drinking, a stripper, etc.

    The next day, she died.  She died 6 days before her wedding.  Not of alcoholic poisoning, but her mom would never tell us what happened.  All that we know is that she was fine the next morning (she did wake up and talk to her FI), and that she had recently had an operation on her foot, and she wouldn't take her medication.  But we never got a final answer.  My circle of friends were close before then, but we have become exponentially closer since - which is a good thing, I guess - if that could come from it.  And personally, I always feel like I have to live for the day.  When someone asks me to go somewhere or do something, I always go - even if I shouldn't because of financial, work-related, or other reasons.

    I think that may have something to do with my post below . . .

  • My dad died suddenly when I was 20. It changed my whole outlook on life and living for the moment and having no regrets.
  • My oldest younger sister died when I was 19. She was 17 with Cystic Fibrosis, and we knew it would eventually take her but it still seemed very sudden. I definitely take the chance to see people that mean something to me more. I also try to be more like her in some aspects--she didn't hold anything back. If she thought your shirt was ugly, she would tell you whether you asked or not. I know I will live longer to deal with repercussions, so I moderate (if you ask what I think of your shirt, I will tell you if I think it's ugly). I just try to laugh, have fun, and look at the positives everyday!
  • My parents' divorce (when I was 7). It's not really one moment, but one decision that has altered the entire course of my life. I also believe it's what pushed my brother (who was 13 at the time) to make really bad decisions (dealing drugs) and end up in prison (he's out now). I was talking about this with DH the other day... I think this is why I'm so into the J&K drama. In some weird way I still blame myself for my parents' divorce (even though my logical mind totally know it's not my fault). It's what kids do- they blame themselves for divorce. I was WAY to emotional during the last episode... I guess it stirs up my dark side. LOL.

    On a positive note, I've had several happy life changing experiences...  my baptism (13 years old), graduation HS and college, meeting/marrying DH, getting my first real teaching job. I even accredit the divorce for making me stronger and teaching me how to deal with life, so it, too, could be a positive thing. That's just how my mind works... I try to see only positives in people/situations.

  • Wow - these are all really moving.  Mine is not quite as intense/moving but it has changed my life.  I moved from my hometown in Cincinnati, Oh to live in New York City when I was 18.  I did it right after I graduated high school and took a year off before college.  I am a singer, so I was pursing my "dream".  It was really hard but it made me who I am today and I have very few regrets.  I'm grateful for that experience because I think it's made me a better wife today too having that experience.
  • My mom passed away suddenly from a stroke when I was 14. I ended up moving in with an aunt and uncle and once I realized how crazy they were, I moved in with my dad who I really hadn't had a relationship with in about 5 years. I think that year or so of my life when all that was going on really shaped the person I am. I was forced to grow up really quickly and make "adult" decisions as a freshman and sophomore in high school.

    I'm grateful that I had my mom in my life as long as I did because I know that a lot of who I am is because of how she raised me, but I also know my life would be very different if things hadn't happened the way they did.

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  • October 14, 1998 - Our house caught on fire and my mom lost everything she had worked so hard as a single parent to give me. That day changed me for the better and for the worse. I learned about the compassion of people, everyone came out of the wood work to help support my mother and I. I learned how strong of a woman my mom was, she never once cried (or at least showed it to me).

    At the time, I was 13 and misserable - we had to move in with my grandparents for 6 months because we had no place to go and my mom was trying to get back on her feet. Living on a farm and having to get up at 5 am was not ideal for a 13 year old. But my grandpa died in 2001 so looking back it was nice to have that time with him. I realized at a very young age that material possessions do not matter - not one bit.

    BUT the fire did things for me emotionally that have ruined me in ways. It started in my bed room and all though it was determined electrical I have the extreme fear that it will happen to me again. I can not leave the house with out having thoughts of "did I unplug this" "did I turn this off" - so bad to the point where I've made myself go home to check when I am out. I freak out when we are on vacation and have to call home to make sure the answering machine picks up.

    That would be my life changing moment.

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  • In 2006 I moved from NJ where I lived all my life, in the same house and same neighborhood to Georgia. It was very hard to get a teaching job in NJ and I went to a job fair, a county I heard good things about was there. They liked me told me to come down for an interview. I came down and was hired right away. So DH and I packed up and moved. Basically left everything I ever knew behind family and friends. I think it was the hardest thing I have ever done. It showed me I was alot stronger then I had ever given myself credit for. I have been here 3yrs now and dont regret it at all!
  • Wow, these are all really moving.  I can think of three:

    1. Summer 2005, I went on a school trip to Europe to travel a few countries.  There were too few people signed up, so I actuall;y signed my dad up (he's really cool).  We ended up in Germany at one point at one of the concentration camps.  Looking around where they stayed, the showers, the posters showing what had been done to these people...and then dad and I went and stood in front of one of those ovens.  We just stood and stared.  After that, whenever I have a bad day, I just think of how helpless, hopeless and tortured those people were...watching themselves and their children or parents suffer and die.  I don't have real problems when I put them in that context.

    2. Summer 2007, the guy who had been my first boyfriend killed himself.  He'd always been so depressed and everything and back then I hadn't understood that stuff, how much it can affect a person. I felt awful because the last time I had seen him (we hung out as friends after dating) I was angry at him for something and told him to go to Hell.  I had talked to him on the phone after that, but I felt terrible that that was the last thing I had said to him when he last saw me.  So...I always end things on a happy note, even if I'm angry at the person.

     3. The first time I volunteered at the Special Olympics.  The whole thing was so moving.  And now, whenever people use the "R" word to say something is dumb they get an earful from me.

    Anniversary
  • Mine is a little different.  When I found out my brother had been hit by a car, I prayed "God, I know it's thy will be done, not my will be done, but whatever you do, please give me peace."  He died 3 days later, right before Christmas.  I didn't want to ruin Christmas for DH (then just bf), so we decided to go to Christmas Eve services with his parents.  Turned out, they aren't services like I'm used to, they were passing out doughnuts to people working that night.  There was two feet of snow on the ground, and I'm standing there with boxes of Krispy Kremes in my arms, and I just thought, "God, I don't want to be here." 

    Then I felt something hit my head.  I was ready to murder whoever threw a snowball at me, but then I felt it.  It was bird crap.  Bird crap in Ohio with blizzard remnants of December.  As crazy as this sounds, I knew my brother was okay then.  It would be the way he would let me know.  I still miss him, but I have peace now.  It made me realize that there is someone looking out for me.  And when things get 'crappy', I know I'll get through it.

  • About a month after DH proposed to me (fall of 2007) he was driving home from work and a lady T-boned him, flipping his Police SUV on it's side. He walked away without a scratch. I think mostly due to it being a reinforced cop explorer. I never saw the pictures from the wreck but from what I was told, she hit his back doors instead of the drivers front. Still, too close for me. When he FINALLY came home that night, I felt like I was looking at a ghost. It was really weirie for about 2 weeks. It still is sometimes, thinking he could have been gone, just like that.

    That next fall, I had my anatomy class with a gal that lost her Newlywed, high school sweetheart in the war. She was 27 and a widow. He had been dead for not even a year. I felt so bad for her as I sat there with my new wedding band and thinking about how I still have wonderful husband.

    I always tell my Husband I love him before he leaves for work. Even if I am mad at him. And he always kisses me goodbye in the morning (or night-since he's been working nights).

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