Have you ever had a "life defining" moment?

@JenInTN (27516)
United States
May 30, 2010 6:45am CST
I was thinking yesturday about life and what defines it for each of us. I think that there are certain events and choices that we make that can actually define where or what our lives turn out to be. I think there are lots of small moments but some of us experience a huge one. One that changes everything..good or bad. I think I have had a load of small ones but I can't think of one exceptionally huge one that has changed everything. Have you had a life defining moment or just a bunch of little ones?
7 people like this
22 responses
@climber7565 (2579)
• United States
30 May 10
OH yes I know what you mean, first hand. I used to be able to run 10 miles each way to play soccer and play 3 games back to back. Picture this: Going back 7 years ago. I was training to be a Marathon competitor, coaching soccer, trained so hard, such that my work outs were made of a mile swim, 8 mile run and 30 weight lighting every other day , all back to back. So I decide to go sky diving, and one bad landing changed my life in less then 10 minutes. My whole life changed from that day on. Now I am grateful if I can run for 30 minutes. I had a double surgery on my right ankle and carry a titanium plate and a little throbbing pain tends to remind me, its there every day.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
30 May 10
Wow! That is a life defining moment. I hate that it defined it in that manner. I bet it has been a huge adjustment for you. Thanks for sharing your story.
2 people like this
• United States
30 May 10
Hey there Jen, Hope you are having a nice weekend. Oh yes this was drastic indeed and forced a huge life adjustment for me. I love soccer, coaching and doing sports, but the limitations I am forced to endure always pose an additional obstacle. I was on crutches for 9 months, broke my leg a weekend before I got my new job. LOL
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@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
30 May 10
Awww..that's terrible. I'm glad you've shared though because I have a friend that has been trying to get me to go skydiving with her! I don't think I would be able to do it anyway. It takes a lot of courage to do that. Your additional obstacles show great courage too. Take care.
2 people like this
@suehan1 (4344)
• Australia
31 May 10
I suppose my life defining moment came last November when we dicovered a tumour in my neck. They were not sure even after all tests what it actually was, and I had to wait until they operated to find out if it was beign or not.This sort of wait does your head in and you do start to evaluate your life and you do make changes in how you look at things and what is most important in your life, and everything else does not matter.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
31 May 10
I had to have an operation on my neck too. It was a brachial cleft cyst...I think their kind of rare too. I was terrified. It really does make your mind spin when the future is so unsure. Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
@ohiocy (215)
• Malaysia
31 May 10
Haha.. I believe I have loads of small ones as well. In fact I believe in the saying 'it's not who we are that defines us but what we do that really marks us' That's why to me, every single moment of our life is a life defining moment every step no matter how small, that we take, will actually make us different from one another and also different from the 'us' a second a go. Have a nice day :)
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
31 May 10
That is a great quote. I also think that change happens by day but then there are those days when everything changes. Thanks for the input and take care.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14693)
• United States
31 May 10
I had one huge defining moment way back when I was 19. I had surgery to get rid of cancer cells. Two days after being sent home from the hospital, I began hemorrhaging and was rushed back to the hospital. I guess it's the way they did things back then but they packed around the bleeding and "watched" me. Not only that but they came in every half hour to take blood out of my arm. When I asked them why they had to do that they said it was to be sure of my blood type. HUH????? It's not like it changed every half hour! I told them to take the blood from where I was hemorrhaging instead since there was plenty of that! Anyway, I lost too much blood and actually began to die. I went through the whole leaving my body thing, then they rushed me back into surgery to patch me up. When I woke up from that surgery, I realized just how fragile and precious life is. We can't take anything for granted, not anything! It can all be over in a split-second. That was my life defining moment. When I got out of the hospital, I saw life differently. I was so much more aware of everything around me and I appreciated every little thing. I've carried that attitude with me ever since then. I've had some minor moments, too, like when I realized that my mother was crazy and I really DIDN'T have to try to please her all the time.
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
31 May 10
Wow..that is a defining moment for sure. Amazing how quickly things can happen that are often out of our control. Thank goodness your ok. Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
@kaylachan (34424)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
30 May 10
Personally I can't say that I have, though I know I've had some life- altering moments. Granted those aren't exactly the same. But, you get the general idea. I think everyone has something that's life-changing even if they themselves don't know it. I know that I can recall a lot of life altering things that've forever changed me, but... I don't want to go into details.`
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
31 May 10
I understand..sometimes those moments are private and better left to ourselves. Thanks for responding.
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@lelin1123 (15627)
• Puerto Rico
31 May 10
My life defining moment happened back on 9/11/2001 while sitting at my desk at the World Trade Center on the 91st floor of the South Tower. I thankfully got out even though I was still in the building when the second plane hit my building. However, it changed my life completely mostly for the worse and few things for the better.
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@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
31 May 10
Holy cow!!! I could not imagine that life defining moment! That is amazing! I guess that day was a life defining moment for millions of people but even more so for you. I was working second shift when that happened and I remember just before the second plane hit the building..I was crying. I didn't even really know what was happening at that moment but I remember being so sad. Thanks for sharing and take care.
1 person likes this
@lelin1123 (15627)
• Puerto Rico
1 Jun 10
You take care too and have a great day!
@common_man (1799)
• India
30 May 10
i had never experienced life defining moments as described by you. But have experienced many moments when my life was at threat, and some body came to help me from nowhere. It has happened with me, that whenever i have faced any problem, somebody always come forward and help me, the helping person may be known or many time unknown. Such moments have made me realized importance of helping others. So Whenever i get chance to help someone, I also extend the help willingly.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
30 May 10
That great that it has happened for you that way. Helping others can often open doors for them in their life. Thanks for the response.
• India
30 May 10
hi yes helping others will always help us in long run.
@paula27661 (15815)
• Australia
31 May 10
I think I’ve had both. There are incidents that happen every day and sometimes they have more of significance on the scheme of things than what I give them credit for at the time and it’s usually not until sometime later that I can see why things had to happen the way they did. As far as a big defining moment, I think the day my daughter was born everything changed not just because of the obvious lifestyle changes but because up until that point I did not clearly see my purpose and why I was here. Since then I’ve had many reasons to see that there is a basis to my existence but I do recall the day I had my child feeling like a big weight was lifted from my shoulders and not just my body (LOL) I remember thinking, “If I don’t achieve anything else in my life, that’s okay because now that I’ve done this I know that I am here for a reason...” Strange isn’t it?
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
31 May 10
The moment we know our purpose can be a huge relief. Children can definitley lift a weight off when they come in to the world. I think that sometimes all we need is to know we have a greater reason than just wandering around in the dark. Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
@jamed28 (1907)
• Philippines
31 May 10
I had, and not only once or twice. I should have decided the other way around. Well that is life. So next time we should always open our eyes, because just maybe another opportunity might come by, so don't just let it pass. Good Luck
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
31 May 10
Maybe your choice isn't as bad as you think. I have always heard that looking back keeps us from moving forward. Thanks for the response.
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@takie23 (142)
30 May 10
My life defining moment would be when I and my husband made a decision to go to UK for our son to have better education. The decision turn our lives around in such a way that I couldn't quite tell if it is completely good or bad. The bad part this that the decision we've made made us met a number of people who define the word 'human beings'. I've come across the kind of experience that if anybody telling me about this five years earlier, I wouldn't believe it at all. I've met selfish people, evil people, plain bad people, and a very-very jealous and bitter people who would only think bad about you and want to pull you down hill with them. They are so disgusting you couldn't imagine there's this kind of people on earth. The good part is, I get to know exactly how I should run my own home as a good mum and a good wife. I now know exactly how to be nice, but not too nice so people will not just walk all over you, because that's exactly what the bad ones look for opportunities to do. I learn to cherish good relationship with people and also try to live life to the fullest.
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@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
30 May 10
I can see how a move like that could be very defining. There are so many kinds of people in the world and your right that they can be quite the surprise. I'm glad that your experience hasn't been all bad. Thanks for sharing.
• Philippines
30 May 10
Just those little ones and some medium ones for me. There even those you think has a huge meaning but turns out to be nonsense. I'm still waiting for it and i believe i'll only experience it when i achieve a huge goal in life.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
30 May 10
Your right..sometimes what we think are huge defining moments are nothing in comparison when you have later ones. I hope you have your moment soon and that it is wonderful. Thanks for the input.
@ANTIQUELADY (36457)
• United States
30 May 10
good morning Jen, I think i have had many life defineing moments.I think the first one i had was when my sister got killed in the car wreck , when my 2marriages failed, losing a baby, the brain aneurysm i had just to name a few. Happy sunday to u. hugs.
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@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
30 May 10
You have had a lot of defining moments Jo. They are what makes us who we are and just when we think we are in control...they can jump up and bite us. Thanks for sharing.
@qamarep (4447)
• Pakistan
30 May 10
some times God likes a person and he give s them this kind of tough experiences then they get the lifes real meaning
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
30 May 10
Do you have any moments that you would like to share that changed your life?
@se7enthbird (8313)
• Philippines
30 May 10
i also have a lot of little ones, but i guess i have to defining moment that changed my life. when i was a teen i was with friends that i thought i can call friends but unfortunately i picked the wrong friends. when i realize that they are not good friends after all so from then on i roll alone. from school i no longer hang out, i just go straight home and watch tv, play video games. or read a book or practice playing guitar. then as i was maturing ii also had relationship that did not work out. so that made me became more deeper on being a loner. then i met my wife. she changed my world we got married and had a child. so after that i was never a loner nor alone. one more thing is the typhoon that flush flooded us last september 26. flooded my mothers house till the roof. that is one thing i will never forget, the nerve rocking and tension, the scary feeling and adrenaline all in one feeling. so maybe that is so far my life defining moments and a lot of little bunches to that is worth remembering as well.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
30 May 10
Sounds like you have had some very interesting life defining moments. It's funny how they can be good or bad but they change things. Thanks for sharing.
@RawBill1 (8537)
• Gold Coast, Australia
4 Jun 10
There have been a few small ones throughout my life that have changed the course of my life eventually, but there have also been a few big choices and events that have changed my life big time. The first was probably choosing to move interstate away from all of my family and friends to start a new life in a warmer climate with my new girlfriend at the time. Then I chose to go overseas and work in the USA for six months and travel around the world. This changed my outlook on life massively. The next two big changes to my life were when my two kids were born. This had probably the biggest effect on my life and led to the next one when I chose to give up my comfortable job and trade to work from home. Choosing to do this in 2006 has led to lots of financial strain, but I have been able to spend a lot more time with my children than I ever could before.
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
5 Jun 10
I bet moving away from your family was a huge change. It was for me when I left because when I left home..I didn't look back. That was a defining moment for me too. I've considered the job thing a lot over the last 11 years but it is very hard to take a chance like that. I'm glad it has worked out for you. Sometimes the hardest choices can define our lives in the best ways. How did you know what you wanted to do at home? Did you think about it long before you took the step?
@RawBill1 (8537)
• Gold Coast, Australia
5 Jun 10
Moving away from my family was not a huge thing for me as I never really saw them that much even when I lived nearer to them. I actually contact them more often via phone than I used to when I lived there. I looked into giving up my work for years as my trade was hard and dirty work. I was good at it though and reasonably well paid but I did not enjoy it anymore. I initially gave up my job to concentrate on trading the stock market. We had done a course and I felt that I could learn more and start earning from it more quickly if I just made the break from my job. After doing this for six months we were offered a business and could not refuse it as it was such a great deal. So I stopped trading, pulled the money out of it and put it into our business. 3 years later we are still running the business from home. It has not been easy but very rewarding as we have learned so much.
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
7 Jun 10
That is very impressive. My job is hard and dirty too but the pay and insurance keeps me hanging on..lol..I am in management but the job is still tough. I have been going to school for a business degree since October. Hopefully it will help lead me to my own or at least a better place.
@idowrite72 (2213)
• United States
31 May 10
This is so interesting........I do think that I have had more smaller moments, but a larger one that comes to mind is in June of 1996 when I had a stroke. I became aware of how I am not guaranteed to be here tomorrow, and although most things didn't change, there were some things which did. I knew to take better care of myself and not to let things get me stressed. I think my son learned this quickly since I stopped yelling at him and just talked, for a change. He wasn't able to push my buttons as easily. I have become aware of my own body and when it needs something that I am not doing for it and to take better care of ME.
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
31 May 10
It's good that you don't get so stressed anymore. Did you feel it coming on or was it very sudden?
1 person likes this
• United States
31 May 10
It was something I felt, but indirectly. My daughter thought that I was acting stangely so she took me to the ER. I didn't have my check prepared at the store, as I usually did and acted strangely. I also didn't recognize some stars on TV and asked who they were when she knew that I knew who they were. It was all very unusual, but she was right that there was something wrong with me!! Thank God she realized since I didn't know what was going on.
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
3 Jun 10
That is a good thing that your daughter noticed differences in your behavior! I don't know if my family would notice such subtle differences in me. They might notice but I don't know if they would know to take me to the hospital.
@celticeagle (132891)
• Boise, Idaho
30 May 10
I think I have several at different stages in my life. When I made a decision and it was actually a good one. Recently I realized some things about my daughter and the situation at that point in time and came to grips with some things I either had not been able to or didn't care to before.
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
30 May 10
Close family can be huge in the matter of life defining moments. They can change everything sometimes. Thanks for responding.
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@celticeagle (132891)
• Boise, Idaho
30 May 10
I so agree. And my family has always been my life.
@celticeagle (132891)
• Boise, Idaho
14 Jun 10
Half the job is figuring out the problem. Then you try to figure out what to do.
@dawnald (84802)
• Shingle Springs, California
2 Jun 10
I suppose it was my year in Germany. I wouldn't have ended up with my husband if I hadn't gone.
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
3 Jun 10
That must have been an exciting year. A trip to Germany plus a new hubby!
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84802)
• Shingle Springs, California
3 Jun 10
OH we didn't get married that year, but we did get to know one another.
@balasri (26541)
• India
20 Jun 10
That is a good one.Yes I too have so many moments that defined my life.But almost all of them are big decisions.And than God all of them have turned out to be favorable to me.Recently I have ventured into HR business and it proved to be good too and I am sure that I am moving in the right direction with the very right efforts.
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
20 Jun 10
I'm glad they have been mostly favorable for you. It is amazing the moments we happen in to. Thanks for the response.
@savypat (20217)
• United States
1 Jun 10
I can remember many such moments. The day I got my first horse, the day my parents divorced, the first day at boarding school, the birth of my first child, my first job, my last job, All these and many more changed my life.
@JenInTN (27516)
• United States
2 Jun 10
Hi savypat! Those all sound like very defining moments. There are always the good with the bad. It is what makes us what who we are. Thanks for the response.