Friends in a big city

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

I moved to New York City for work just over two years ago. Though I grew up in a smaller town in the Mid­west and stayed close to home for col­lege, I re­ally love the pace of the city, and I’m start­ing to feel that I have my place here.

About a month af­ter mov­ing, I was in­tro­duced to my now boyfriend, “Josh.” We in­stantly hit it off and have a great, lov­ing re­la­tion­ship. He is from New York orig­i­nally and has a huge com­mu­nity nearby. Given all his fam­ily, co-work­ers and friends — child­hood to col­lege — there’s a vast net­work of peo­ple whom I now feel con­nected with. NYC can be a dif­fi­cult place to make friends, and Josh opened up a lot of doors for meet­ing new peo­ple.

Yet I still feel as if I’m “Josh’s girl­friend” to most of them rather than my own per­son. True, we mainly see each other when Josh is around, but I’d like to move past that. Josh’s work is send­ing him to Lon­don for three months, and I don’t want these friend­ships to dis­ap­pear dur­ing that time, too. As a fully grown woman, I feel em­bar­rassed to ask, but, An­nie, how do I make friends?

— Big Apple Blues

No need to feel em­bar­rassed. In many ways, so­cial­iz­ing be­comes more chal­leng­ing once we’re “fully grown,” as our lives fall into the rou­tine of work, sleep, re­peat. It’s hard to make friends in the rat race.

But as you’ve rec­og­nized, your cur­rent net­work is an in­valu­able start­ing point. Try spend­ing some time, sans Josh, with a few of his friends you feel you have the most in com­mon with. They in turn can in­tro­duce you to other friends and groups, un­til you’ve branched out into your own space.

And get ac­tive in your com­mu­nity. I would also rec­om­mend join­ing a site such as Meetup, which con­nects peo­ple with sim­i­lar hob­bies and goals — for ex­am­ple, run­ning a marathon, writ­ing a book, learn­ing a new lan­guage or learn­ing to cook. Visit https://www. meetup.com for more in­for­ma­tion.

I’d never felt com­pelled to write un­til to­day. The let­ter from “To Be or Not to Be” made me cry. My par­ents died within 13 months of each other. My fa­ther died from a lengthy ill­ness, and my mother, who was sev­eral years younger, died sud­denly a year later. I re­mem­ber re­ceiv­ing checks from life in­sur­ance, an­nu­ities, the sale of her house, etc. Ev­ery time a check came in the mail, it re­minded me of my loss. I would much rather have my par­ents than any amount of money.

So, “TBNB,” if you’re read­ing this: Don’t do it! Your chil­dren and grand­chil­dren don’t want your money. They want you to be a part of their lives for as long as God al­lows. This is what your two grown chil­dren would tell you if you asked. Look at it from their per­spec­tive. — Still Miss­ing Mom and

Dad

As you’ve rec­og­nized, your cur­rent net­work is an in­valu­able start­ing point. Try spend­ing some time, sans Josh, with a few of his friends you feel you have the most in com­mon with. They in turn can in­tro­duce you to other friends and groups, un­til you’ve branched out into your own space.

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