There are certain turning points in life that seem to come out of thin air.
You’re going about your business and your daily routine, and next thing you know everything changes. Before you know it, you’re living in a new normal.
Here are the major turning points in life that most people miss.
Thinking about them ahead of time helps us all to slow down and be patient and grateful about the blessings we have, which can so easily change in ways we don’t expect.
Let’s dive in!
1) Meeting someone and falling in love
No matter how hard you’re looking for love or not looking for it, you can never quite predict when it’ll come along.
And when you meet that special someone it changes everything.
Love doesn’t always have a happy ending, and it can be very stressful:
Suddenly finding you care a lot about someone can be overwhelming, inspiring, scary and all-consuming.
It will bring out your best and worst, and change everything about your priorities and future plans.
But most don’t see it coming or underestimate how strong the impact will be.
2) Relationships and marriage
When falling in love does lead to a relationship or marriage, it’s another major turning point in life.
Being connected to someone for a long period of time is a huge commitment bringing its fair share of blessings, challenges and learning that you never expected.
You’ll experience parts of your past come up for better or for worse and go through ups and downs that you never saw coming.
No matter how much you’ve imagined the way a relationship will be, it’s quite different once you’re actually inside it.
Whether it lasts or not, every relationship is unique but also teaches universal lessons.
You change as a person by what you go through and that close, one-on-one connection you form with another person.
3) The end of a relationship
The end of a relationship is another turning point that many people never see coming.
That’s because when things are going well (or at least trending upward), it’s tempting to think it will always be that way.
Our tendency is to imagine that if we do our part then the relationship will last and everything will be fine.
But, in fact, many times relationships end for reasons quite outside of our control.
This is just the ugly truth.
And when a relationship you care about does end you’ll go through a range of challenging emotions. Even if you’re the one who ended it, you’re likely to have regrets, relief, sadness and fear about the future.
Your life has changed forever.
4) Finding your calling and profession
When you find your calling in life, it’s a turning point that changes you forever.
I stumbled across my calling seemingly by chance after being unemployed and volunteering at a local TV station and realizing I loved being around news, writing and documenting news.
Although the format of my work eventually became more about written work, I found my calling step by step in unexpected ways.
When you find what really lights your fire, you’ll never be the same again.
Often, looking back you can see how your passion for something started already as a young kid and has roots that you can trace all the way back to your personality and talents.
Other times it comes as a surprise or as a result of the demands in a particular situation.
5) Career shifts and endings
Finding your calling is one thing, but earning a living from it is another.
Ideally, your purpose and your way of earning a living are aligned completely. In reality that isn’t always the case.
Quite often it’s necessary to pursue various jobs on the way to one you truly love. Quite often you go through major changes as industries change, careers end and you change your employment.
Whether by necessity and endings that aren’t your choice or by bold decisions to try something entirely new, career change is a big shift.
You change what you do on a daily basis and everything else changes, too.
6) Financial success and disaster
Along with major career changes there are the twists and turns of your personal finances and material well-being.
Money certainly can’t buy happiness, but not having money can make life much more stressful and difficult.
When you find that you’re experiencing a lot of financial success, it lifts a big weight from your shoulders and opens up new opportunities, purchases and contributions to society that you weren’t able to consider before.
When you go through tough times financially, by contrast, you learn to be much more careful with money and endure stress and penny-pinching that you never thought of as necessary in other circumstances.
7) Having or adopting a child
Having or adopting a baby is another major turning point that many don’t see coming.
I’m not yet a parent so I can only comment from close friends who’ve told me of their experience:
Becoming a father or mother completely changed their life in ways they never expected.
Not only did they experience all-powerful emotions of deep bonding and commitment to their child that they didn’t fully expect, their priorities and entire life shifted completely.
They lost a part of themselves but also gained something huge in bringing new life into the world, and all my friends tell me it’s something you can only understand once you have kids.
8) Accidents, tragedies and major letdowns
Many of the most unexpected turning points in life come with tears.
Accidents and tragic occurrences can change our lives when we least expect it. We just never know what news we’ll get when we wake up in the morning.
Whether it’s the loss of somebody we love, a sudden natural disaster or the unexpected breakup of a relationship we cherish, it’s never something you can prepare for.
You’re suddenly living in a new normal and have to deal with it accordingly.
9) Diagnosis with a medical condition
Being diagnosed with a medical condition unexpectedly is another turning point in life that none of us can see coming.
Even when you live the healthiest way possible, unexpected conditions do unfortunately occur.
Whether it’s through an accident or by way of a genetic predisposition, it’s never less than a shock to find out you’re unwell.
Through friends I know, the diagnosis of a serious medical condition, especially one that’s potentially life-threatening, throws everything else into perspective.
The harsh reality that life is temporary comes to the fore, and you’re forced to confront the fact that what we do in our brief span of time here does matter.
10) Sudden surprises, victories and blessings
In addition to illness and misfortune, life also gives us massive blessings and unexpected windfalls that change everything.
This isn’t just something like winning the lottery:
It can also be making a friend in the worst of circumstances, or being introduced to somebody who completely changes your view of what’s healthy to eat and how to lead your life.
It can be waking up one day and simply being done with an addiction or psychological ailment that’s plagued you for years. Without trying it’s just…no longer there.
These things do happen, and they are turning points that none of us see coming, especially when the way seems full of rocks without hope in sight.
Suddenly hope appears and everything changes.