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Have you ever taken a big risk and had it pay off in ways you never expected?

If so, you might belong on this list!

17. Some incredible dates

“The one and only time I’ve given my number to a random stranger at a bar, he turned out to be a multibillionaire. The relationship ultimately didn’t pan out, but I did get some incredible dates out of it!”

—sydneyr4eac977ac

16. A message from my husband

“After months of begging me, a friend basically forced me to try online dating.

Well, a night of drinking led me to agree to sign up for one week only. I chickened out and went to delete it the next day, but I had a message from my now-husband.

We have been married for five years and together for eight!”

—betseys3

15. A jump into the unknown

“I was extremely unhappy at my previous job. On a whim, my manager was walking by and I asked if we could talk. I told him I was resigning. He asked if I had another job lined up. I didn’t.

“I ended up taking a solo trip to Hawaii for a month, then came back and submitted an application for an entry-level position at another company. Fast forward three years, and I’ve worked my way up and am now the assistant manager of a company that is a global leader in the travel industry. I don’t think this would have happened if I didn’t take the risk and jump into the unknown without a backup plan!”

—kimaaa33

14. Always shoot your shot

“I went through a bad breakup while away for college and decided to move home over winter break and finish my last semester online. At home, I’d left an awesome job and an amazing manager who I’d always had chemistry with. We had talked the whole time I was gone, and when I told him I was moving home unexpectedly, he was thrilled.

I decided to shoot my shot and asked him if he wanted to get a drink the night we got back.

Two years and a wedding later, we’re now expecting our first baby. Always shoot your shot!!!!!”

—mylesd3

13. Be brave enough for one little text

“I texted my work crush and told him that I was in love with him. Literally the words ‘head-over-heels, can’t-stop-thinking-about-you in love with you.’ Next thing I knew, he ran into my office and started kissing me.

“Eight years, marriage, kids — the works. Best. Text. Ever.”

—frans410af24ac

12. For the first time in my life

“I didn’t finish high school and it’s been 12 years since I left. I’m a single parent and I have my child 100% of the time. Last year around this time, I just decided I needed a better life, so I applied to college.

It’s been really difficult, but this is probably the first time in my life I have ever felt proud of myself. I can finally say I am happy with my life — both for myself and for my child.”

—spookshowbaby

11. Fans and friends

“I took some time off of work to follow my favorite band to as many shows on their US tour as I could. On the first night of the tour, I met a guy in line who quit his job and was following them around as well. Since we were going to be seeing a lot of each other, I got his number so we could hang out before the shows. A week later, I started seriously crushing on him. A month later, we went on our first date. Now we’ve been together for almost a year and a half!”

—partypoison723

10. The best decision I’ve ever made

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“I stopped working for a few years when I had my children, but then I decided I wanted to go back to working. However, the only job experience I had was working in retail and in bars. I kept seeing job listings in my area for care assistants, but I had no qualifications — still, I thought I’d give it a try and apply for one.

“With the application form, I sent a long letter explaining why I thought I’d be good for the job even though I had no experience. Amazingly, I got the job! I’ve now been a care assistant in a dementia home for two years. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made and I absolutely love my job!”

—sarahannw453cb5fbe

9. A really good friend

“I’m only 14 so this is pretty elementary, but I texted the boy I liked and asked him to hang out. He agreed, and we had a really fun time together. It didn’t turn into anything romantic — I’m only 14 so I don’t need it to be — but I made a really good friend whom I always talk to.”

—pbruehler

8. Daily updates turned into forever

“Ten years ago, I took the same bus every Tuesday and Thursday. There was a man who also rode the bus who caught my eye, so I’d text my friends about him. Two days a week, I’d give them updates about this man — ‘He isn’t wearing a ring…’, ‘Today he was wearing plaid pants,’ etc.

“After checking him out for about a month, I dared myself to talk to him. But as the bus pulled up to the curb, I chickened out. Just then, HE walked up to me and said, ‘Nice weather we’re having.’

“Three years later, we were married.”

—jeanettec439d752da

7. It nearly cost everything

“I switched careers completely at 28 years old. I had an established life in public relations for six years, a six-figure salary, and I lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City. I was also a miserable, anxious mess whose only joy in life came from yoga and the few tattoos I hid under my work shirts. But when my career and I snapped at the same time, I decided to take a chance and leave the industry with severance to pursue fitness full-time.

“The switch nearly cost me everything, but now at 30, I’m a head coach of a private training studio, about to expand to a new location for classes, and I just finished my yoga-inspired geometric/watercolor sleeve on my right arm. I’ve never been happier.”

—maplebacononastick

6. Be a good neighbor

“When my friend and I moved into our apartment, this guy showed us the place, but I didn’t pay him much attention. After we moved in, I saw a cute guy walking into the building and my friend told me it was the guy who had shown us the place.

I called his name and invited him to our apartment for dinner. He agreed. We’ve been together for 13 years now, married for 10.”

—d4bc79428e

5. He could just be too chicken

“I gave my now-husband my number the first time we met because he was taking too long to ask for mine. I’m talking hours of us being in the same place and being flirty, but no move, so I asked him for his phone and put my number in. Ten minutes later while still at the same place, I got a text. I responded with, ‘Hey boyfriend,’ and he responded with, ‘Hey wifey.’

“On the second date, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Four months in, he asked me to marry him. Three years in, we’re married with twins. Ladies, shoot your shot. He could just be too chicken to make the first move.”

—ivyymoon

4. I picked up and moved immediately

“When I graduated college, I was looking for ANY job. One day when I was playing around on job boards, I saw an ad to become an underwater photographer on Grand Cayman.

I didn’t know anyone and I certainly didn’t know where Grand Cayman was on a map, but I picked up and moved immediately. 11 years later, and I’ve become a SCUBA instructor and traveled all over the world!”

—cortiec

3. One memorable night

“One of my friends was going through an awful break up, so a bunch of us took her out one night to cheer her up. Halfway through the night, she was about to drunk call her ex. I talked her out of it, told her to take a sweep of the bar and pick a guy, and I’d go talk to him for her.

She decided on a guy, so I marched up to him and told him that my friend thought he was cute. She ended up going home with him and having what, even THREE YEARS LATER, she still calls the best sex of her life.”

—babygirlxo

2. She took a chance

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“I spent my freshman year spring break at my college roommate’s house. While I was there, I started to get a major crush on her brother. When we got back to school, I took a chance, and in an effort to be totally transparent, I asked my friend for her brother’s number.

She agreed to give it to me, and six years later we’re still together and about to buy a house!”

—abbyjanec2

1. Aim high

“A few months ago, I was filling out applications to summer music programs.

A friend of mine told me about a competition she did where the winners got to play at Carnegie Hall. Without any expectations, I sent an application and a video of me playing in to the competition.

About a month later, I woke up to one of the best emails of my life: I had gotten second place in my age division and would get to perform at Carnegie Hall!”

—cellogirl1006

For the rest of us chumps, you know… better luck next time.