Read

Finding Your People in Seemingly Unlikely Places

Published:
May 20, 2024
July 30, 2021
Read this reflective narrative about long lasting friendships.|Long-Lasting-Friendships|Long-Lasting-Friendships-Square|Finding Your People in Seemingly Unlikely Places|Read this reflective narrative about long lasting friendships.|Read this reflective narrative about long lasting friendships.|Read this reflective narrative about long lasting friendships.

As she finished college and set foot in the real world, Krista found her life falling apart. In her loneliness, she recognized a desire for good friends — the kind who share the stuff of life together. This is the story of how she found them.

I encountered the loneliest season of my life halfway through college.

A two-year relationship had come to an ugly end, and I was coping by drinking recklessly and waking up in strange places. I limped away from the wreckage and into a disaster of a different kind: my parents’ divorce after 20 years of marriage.

All of the collective collateral damage of these crises led me to pack my bags and transfer to a small Catholic liberal arts school close to home.

As the months passed, I tried to piece together a new life in the place where I’d grown up. I graduated, bought a puppy and a house, applied to grad school, and joined a gym. I went to classes and worked as a nanny and a shop-girl. I kept myself busy with work and school and reading novels in bed next to a goofy black and white dog. But no matter how busy I stayed, loneliness sat heavy on my shoulders and I grew weary beneath its weight.

I’d been raised Catholic but now I was doubting God’s existence, let alone His presence. On the rare occasion I showed up for Mass at the church down the street, I’d flip through the bulletin on the way to my car before discarding it on the floor. Always on the top of the third page was a small space detailing the monthly young adult meet-up. I’d see it, consider going and then quickly talk myself out of it. I had better things to do — or at least other things to do. This cycle repeated itself for years (like, three of them) until I started dating the man who is now my husband.

A month or so into our relationship, Jeff and I went to one of those young adult group events, and it was a real challenge. We almost didn’t go back. It seemed like everyone knew each other already and we didn’t fit in. On the drive back to my house, though, we agreed to go back one more time.

So the next month, we went back. It wasn’t drastically easier that time, but something kept drawing us in — it was the promise of community. Each month, we kept showing up.

About six months into this, the group gathered at a winery. The discussion turned to what we wanted from the group going forward.

“I want people,” I chimed in. “I want these to be the people who come over for tacos on a random Tuesday night and know where the water glasses are and help themselves to whatever’s in the fridge. I want these to be the people who show up unannounced and linger on the front porch for hours. I want these to be my people.”

I wanted the types of lasting friendships I’d witnessed and benefited from as I was growing up — friendships my grandparents and parents had nurtured for decades. I wasn’t alone, either. The others in the room nodded their agreement and voiced their own desires.

We discovered that we all wanted to play a significant role in each other’s lives. We had found each other, but it took work. Connecting in a meaningful way with others who share our values doesn’t just happen. We had to step beyond ourselves and reach out. And when we did, we found other people reaching back.

And here we are, two years later. Among the friends we formed in that young adult group, we’ve celebrated four engagements, three weddings, a baby, new jobs, and graduations. We’ve mourned deaths and breakups and job losses. We have walked together through the stuff of life and held one another’s joys and sorrows.

Meaningful adult friendships still exist in this day and age if we’re willing to do the work of seeking and sustaining them. Your village is within reach — they’re just waiting for you to show up.

Creators:
Krista Steele
Published:
May 20, 2024
July 30, 2021
On a related note...
Brewing Beer at a Benedictine Monastery

Brewing Beer at a Benedictine Monastery

Grotto

What We Can Learn from Older Generations

What We Can Learn from Older Generations

Ashley Adamczyk

Our Tips for Making the Most of Thanksgiving

Our Tips for Making the Most of Thanksgiving

Grotto

How to Be an Ally in the Fight for Racial Justice

How to Be an Ally in the Fight for Racial Justice

Kayla August

Finding Empathy for the Gang Who Shot Him

Finding Empathy for the Gang Who Shot Him

Grotto

#GrottoChicago | 12 Small Businesses in Chicago Where You’ll Find the Perfect Gift

#GrottoChicago | 12 Small Businesses in Chicago Where You’ll Find the Perfect Gift

Grotto

Raising Awareness to Prevent Drowning

Raising Awareness to Prevent Drowning

Grotto

How to Be the Best Kind of Sports Fan

How to Be the Best Kind of Sports Fan

John Acquaviva, PhD

Why This Marriage Therapist Appreciates the Enneagram

Why This Marriage Therapist Appreciates the Enneagram

Paul Campbell

4 Tips for Becoming a More Patient Person

4 Tips for Becoming a More Patient Person

Maria Walley

"One Word"

"One Word"

Marty Moran

Struggling to Talk Politics in an Age of Division? Lead with Curiosity

Struggling to Talk Politics in an Age of Division? Lead with Curiosity

Patrick Schmadeke

Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Grotto

What I Gained by Ditching House-Buying Conventions

What I Gained by Ditching House-Buying Conventions

Ben Wilson

My Hands Were Made to Serve

My Hands Were Made to Serve

Chelsea Kau

Sister Jean and the Loyola-Chicago Men's Basketball Team

Sister Jean and the Loyola-Chicago Men's Basketball Team

Grotto Shares

What I Learned From Being the First Interracial Couple in My Family

What I Learned From Being the First Interracial Couple in My Family

Clarissa Aljentera

5 Signs You May Be Dating ‘Potential’ Instead of a Person

5 Signs You May Be Dating ‘Potential’ Instead of a Person

Lillian Fallon

The Bergamot Band Sings Message of Hope

The Bergamot Band Sings Message of Hope

Grotto

Why Men and Women Can (and Should) Be Friends

Why Men and Women Can (and Should) Be Friends

Isaac Huss

newsletter

We’d love to be pals.

Sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll meet you in your inbox each week.