Finding Friends In Your Backyard

English: Newbury Street, Boston

After college and then graduate school, I lost a lot of friends to geographical sprawl. I have stayed steadfastly put here in Boston, watching friend after friend take off for Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Diego, New York, Tennessee and countless other states. And while I still love and cherish their presence in my life, it is not, and will not ever, be the same.  Each good friend who moves away leaves a little hole in your life, a scratch in the fabric of your existence.  I can be proud of them and excited from afar, but it comes with just a trace of sadness that they’re gone.

Boston is filled with twenty-somethings in the same semi-lonely state so one might assume it would be easy to make new friends. Wrong, wrong and so wrong. This is a topic of another post, but the NY Times did a great job explaining it here.  Over the past few months, though, people I never thought would become a part of my life, or never thought would return to my life, have suddenly appeared.  As if the heavens noticed that my heart needed some suturing and sent me the people who could do it.

There must be some grand plan for all of us up there in the sky, right? Whether it’s God, another deity that suits your religious beliefs, or just a tech-savvy guy with a super-computer, there are some things that have the definite ring of destiny to them. For me the past few months, I have had both the dumb luck to run into some wonderful women from my past and the smarts to realize that these ladies are meant to be in my life and will evidently find a way to be there. For anyone else experiencing this, let them stay. Otherwise, they will simply find another path.  And these people will keep popping up in unexpected places until you open your heart and your life to them.

Of course, opening up your world to new friends (which is exactly what I am suggesting you do) can be completely terrifying. Who doesn’t have a healthy amount of scar tissue from old, soured relationships? I’ve experienced it all: backstabbing, judgments and sabotage. But I’ve also experienced the best in people. And I’ve discovered that our relationships are like a garden, they constantly need weeding, watering, food and attention. The past five years have been weighted towards loss.  Friendships lost to relocation and friendships lost because they just weren’t working.

And now, feeling settled in Boston, I have engagement celebrations to go to, potluck dinners and doggie playdates, midday coffee breaks and maybe even a new training partner.  And this all because I had the sense to open my eyes to the women living around me.

6 thoughts on “Finding Friends In Your Backyard

  1. Eileen Santoro says:

    I love reading all your blogs Tori, but I particularly related to this one. After 57 years of living in the same area, as you know, we relocated to a whole new state. At first, all i could do was focus on the losses that this move brought, mostly loss of family…children and grandchildren being the hardest. I’ve learned in life you can’t go under, over or around painful changes…best thing is to just go through them….feel your feelings and then when the time is right, be free of them. That took me a long 8 scary months to do and there were times I just didn’t know if I’d ever feel good again. guess what? Time heals all pain and things started looking better and the time came to reach out and as you say, “open up my world to new friends”. And they are out there….great people, friendly people, good people. I am learning so much about myself by constantly putting myself in situations where I am feeling uncomfortable and socially awkward but growing so much each time I do. I’ve also learned you’ve got to go through discomfort sometimes to reach comfort. I am becoming so much more comfortable in my own skin after all these years of life and if we didn’t move, I never would have had this opportunity to try on my new self.
    I think it’s refreshing, that at your young age, you are so open to learning and growing. Never lose that; life is just about that I think. To learn and grow and learn and grow some more! All we have to do is remain open-minded and and to look for the lessons that life is trying to teach us! Love you!

  2. thelimberlawyer says:

    Thank you so much for such a beautiful, thoughtful comment. I know moving can be difficult, but moving and relocating like you did must have been crushing. I think it’s fascinating that you spoke about going through discomfort to get to comfort. I blogged about that for my law firm in a professional sense, but it is equally applicable here too! I like how you say “look for the lessons life is trying to teach us”. I think life teaches us things, and sends us gifts, and so many people either can’t or won’t accept them. Love you! And am so so looking forward to seeing you!

  3. Aislinn says:

    This post rings so true for me – I’ve just moved to London to do a PhD and I’m finding it hard to make friends. But I’m sure if I keep my eyes open then opportunities will arise when I least expect it! Your positivity is refreshing!

    • thelimberlawyer says:

      London is a wonderful city, how exciting! Relocation is so incredibly difficult, I have a friend who went through the same thing when she attended LSE. Good luck to you, I’m sure your time there will be amazing!

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