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What is the one thing you were not prepared for in life? How did you handle it or get through it? How did it change your life? What did you learn?

IrishTxJudy 8 July 28

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Ear hair. I've still not come to terms with the fact that this is a thing. It changed my life insofar as it was something I never thought I'd have to deal with. And I learned from this, that if there is a god, screw him/her/it for inventing ear hair. 🙂

@DrGiallo cheap trimmer at Walmart. Voila, problem solved


Pfft, life itself. I'm thirty years old and I have no idea what I'm doing. We're all just winging it, and anyone who says otherwise is either lying to you, or lying to themselves.

@jc2018 We can try to control how we react to change. Sometimes though, reaction happens, and how we handle the aftermath of that reaction makes us more mature than we were.


I would say my brother-in-law's KC-130 blowing up over Mississippi. It was a day just like any other day... then suddenly... I'm watching TV and they break in about a plane crash. While nobody told me who it was, I knew he was on that plane.

As to how I've handled it... I'm not sure that I have. I "survive" it... Television and Vodka...


Well to be honest with you life itself the act of living through a lifetime is something that no person in the world can possibly be prepared for


The JFK assassination. I was depressed for weeks.


My moms passing. I am still dealing with it. It made me realize that I am truly on my own.


Becoming a widow at a relatively young age. I wasn't prepared,and I'm still not, for letting go of many things we wanted do together when we retired. I still may be able to do a few of the things, but it's going to require a whole new plan and some thinking outside the box.


I thought all toys were already assembled. Imagine my utter shock and surprise when I had my first Christmas with my son. I spent all night putting together toys.

I told my parents about it and they laughed their asses off.


Just one thing? I have a laundry list of things that I was not prepared for, starting with adulthood!


I wasn't prepared to learn that not all people are meant to be parents, and
not all parents love their kids.


how to argue without making it/taking it personal my father loved to argue but never fell out with anyone i envy that skill as i have still to learn it


I thought I was not prepared to be a grandmother when my daughter got pregnant at a very young age. But it turns out I was. I was REALLY unprepared for that old lady looking back at me from the mirror every day!


Narcolepsy. Sure I had it since I was a teenager but I couldn't have imagined it would get worse and fuck everything up.


This is a hard question. I guess that I would say getting married at 19 to a man who was completely unsuitable for me. He was a nice guy, who I had known since I was a little kid, but I was to young and to inexperienced to be married. He was completely unable to make decisions, land I hate to say it, but weak. I ended up being the one to make all decisions and take responsibility for every decision from what color to paint the kitchen to a decision to make a do not resuscitate for our daughter and remove our son from life support. We were married for 25 years, and it made me a much stronger, independent, and capable person. He left me for another woman after I had breast cancer, and kept going back and forth between me and his girlfriend. It taught me that whatever happened to me was my own fault and own responsibility and that if I continued with that behavior, I had no one to blame but myself. He did me a great favor, in giving me the impetus to take charge of my life. We were good friends for the rest of his life.


Three stand out. The first was falling in love with my best friend in college. He didn't feel the same about me. But it was the first time I got my heart broken big time, the first time I knew what it was like to feel such intense feelings for someone, and taking a long time to understand that being in a relationship at that time was something I wasn't ready for... The second was almost five years ago, losing a sister to cancer. You don't expect to lose a sibling who is still young. It tore my family apart... The third was getting diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma in January 2017, going through 12 rounds chemo, and being declared in remission last August. Opened me up to changes -- good ones -- I never would have expected.


My wife cheated on me and left me for another man. Going through a divorce now and the more I learn ther more I find out this wasn't the first time and I'm better off without her.

Dfox Level 4 July 28, 2018

This is going to be a weird explaination but here it goes nothing. I won a reading from a psychic in my hometown at a fundraiser.
She asked no questions just explained how things she would tell me might be significant now or in the future. Ten minutes in she told me I had 3 previous lives. Out of those 3 lives I only took one child with me in any of my lives. ( I have 3 children). That child is my youngest who is 17. In our previous life my youngest only lived to age 5 and was a male. Stop the world. Stop my heart.
My youngest is on the way from female to male transitioning. This woman had no way of knowing.
It somehow felt like a relief. That confirmation that all parents of transgender children struggle with..are we doing the right thing.
It may seem strange to some how significantly this impacted my life. I surely could have mentioned some truly devastating events that changed who I was as a person. This impromptu reading however just stays with me.


My daughters going through teen years where I went from hero to zero in no time. No one gave me any freaking warning !!!!! They are adults now, one turned around quite nicely...the other one still today knows (and I would say enjoy) how to push my buttons


My divorce, I have been saying for a while that I've been single for 5 years, I found out about 2 weeks ago it's been 8 years, Only thing I know it was a lot of pain. i don't have the pain anymore and I have learned to be happy with myself.


I did not understand, fully appreciate or just simply get what unconditional love meant until my daughters were born. And the answer to the rest is I just embraced it 🙂

ipdg77 Level 8 July 28, 2018

Considering the "education" I received from my parents, there's very little I WAS prepared for. About all I could confidently do once I left home was feed myself and others well, housekeeping, and light home maintenance. I knew nothing about money management, credit, or relationships. I've had to learn the hard way.

@jc2018 You would think that, wouldn't you? My parents divorced when I was young, and my mother told me all the time to never depend on a man. She refused to teach me about anything financial because her finances were personal, and "none of my business." I probably could have learned a lot from her if she'd been inclined to be forthcoming. The woman had an 800+ credit rating and never really earned much above minimum wage. Of course, the mortgage was under $100/month, and her car, bought used, sold for $4000, brand new.

As for relationships, all I was ever shown was dysfunction. Thankfully, I understood enough to know my mother's approach to any relationship was terrible, but I didn't have any good examples to observe. So, my mother taught me that love is ALWAYS conditional, and could be pulled away at any moment. While I think I've internalized this and expect it as a recipient of love or affection, I did learn to never withhold love and affection from my kids, and to never let them feel as though disappointment means indifference. So, my romantic relationships will probably never be satisfactory, but my friends and family feel loved, always.


Compulsory military service cracked me. Well, I guess there was some mental flaw before, because other recruits left the army unscathed, but when I entered the service I was full of joie de vivre, when I left that was gone.

Matias Level 8 July 28, 2018

Wow, as a former fundamentalist Christian, that's a tough question, as the list was long.

If I had to pick a single thing, though, it would be that I did not understand how to select a mate. I did not know myself, much less had a basis to evaluate others. My total concept of mate selection was "marry a good Christian girl". Regrettably, my "good Christian girl" also had severe mental health issues. That marriage resulted in 15 years of Sisyphian attempts to hold the relationship together against the divorce taboo and the resultant scarring on all involved; two children with a ... shall we say, weird ... childhood; fatal damage to my religious faith, although not fully recognized as such at the time; and a school-of-hard-knocks education concerning the realities of mental illness and mental health treatment in 'Murica. And various knock on effects like a bankruptcy.

It's been the gift that keeps on giving. My son died at age 30, proximally due to mental health issues of his own; my ex wife is in the nuthatch to this day; my relationship with my daughter was, for a long time, prickly and fraught, though now in good order; I have a grandson showing some signs of mental health issues (which, admittedly, I am only assuming come down genetically from his biological grandmother). And the experience sent me down the path of deconversion, which, at least, has on balance been a very positive outcome.

Understandable that you call yourself "biting".
I guess that it is a relief to blame religion for all that misery.

@Matias Why, how very kind and understanding of you. And how totally misconstruing my point.

I had a role to play in all this, as did religion. I scarcely could lay all the blame on religion, especially religion generically. Also in play: a misguided idealism courtesy of my temperament and my parent's style of raising me, various fool romantic notions courtesy of popular culture and society generally, and my own youthful inexperience and hubris. A broken mental health system and the stigma attached to mental illness. A broken health care system. The poor choices of others as well as mine.

I would not want to hurt the tender flower that is religion, and which must be protected in every way possible, now, would I? So I hope that makes you feel better that the big, bad atheist doesn't completely blame religion for "all that misery".

Sometimes I wonder, though, if you're capable of allowing religion to accept any role in anything negative. Is it somehow not okay or legitimate that I think religion played some role? Or that I have personally found areligion in most ways beneficial relative to it? And for dog's sake, did I say anything more than that in my post? Or fail to mention other factors at all?

This is eerily reminiscent to me of how theists often take simple failure to agree with their views as personal affront on a good day and personal annihilation on a bad one. Please make an effort to read what I actually said (and didn't say). And please don't feel you have to score debate points in a topic where I'm sharing personal things that aren't even primarily about religion or religious harms.

@jc2018 I am sorry to hear that he passed and that he suffered on the way out. I'm sure you didn't want that for him. My ex has been, so far as I've been informed, somewhat improved and reasonably stable over the past 25 years, in good care and doing as well as can be expected. I don't know exactly how I would feel if informed of her passing, but regardless of whatever transpired that was negative, and regardless of the failure of our marriage, I believe I would be sad and see it as a loss, albeit blunted at this great distance. I think I would need to grieve a bit for the person I once thought I knew, and who I certainly loved.


Having the whom I loved deeply break up with me over religion. I have never forgotten my feelings for her.

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