I met Ian through Nathan when I was about 19 years old.
One afternoon when Nathan's car was broke down. Ian and his friend Daniel came to pick Nathan up at the Starbucks we worked at. Something about instantly had me interested. He was mysterious. There was a quality he had that I couldn't quite figure out. And I liked it.
Another girl who worked at Starbucks with us had put in her two weeks notice and was throwing a party as a final hoo-rah for all of us working together. I told Ian he should go with Nathan so we could hang out.
When I showed up, he was there, hanging out in the garage, smoking.
I didn't smoke. I had only recently started drinking and I definitely had never done drugs.
I guess you could say in that moment, Ian was the exact opposite of who I was.
Later on I found out that we were both born on the same day, in the same year, in the same hospital.
This only deepened my curiosity and connection to him.
After the party, we spent the next 3 or more days together and from then on for the next 2.5 years we were inseparable.
I more than felt like we were made for one another - I felt like at some point and time we existed as the same person.
About a year after we were together Ian and I decided we wanted to move to Austin. We planned for it a month out and in October of 2006(ish) we packed as much as we could in the back of my Honda Passport, strapped my most desired piece of furniture to the roof and off we went to the city who likes to "keep it weird."
Through out our time in Austin we fell even more in love, at times we hated each other, we said things we didn't mean, went on adventures that thrilled us, found ourselves wanting more and still not wanting to leave one another.
There were so many beautiful, unexplainable things about our relationship and there were just as many heartbreaks, hard lessons learned and anger.
On February 20, 2012, Ian Barker passed away. He became an undiagnosed diabetic, had a seizure and passed on to another time and space.
He is the first person I've ever lost that played such a significant role in my life.
Though moments with Ian were sometimes hard, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
My time with him made me who I am now. I've never learned so much about myself in such a short period of time.
When I found out the news, I was heart broken. I hadn't spoken to Ian in about a year. The last time was when I was visiting Austin and met him and his girlfriend at a bar.
I remember sitting there, looking across the bar at him and feeling immense gratitude. When we broke up in 2008(ish) I had a lot of anger and love for Ian. But in that moment, I felt nothing but grateful for getting to experience life with him, and without.
I'm truly grateful now that I was able to have the last impression of him that I did. That sensation of gratitude I experienced while looking over at him is what I will choose to remember forever.
What brings me great peace about his passing now is knowing that he know longer carries the anger and self-criticism that he always had before. He is at peace with himself and the world. And I love that.
Ian, if you're listening, you are loved, cherished and celebrated beyond belief. Thank you for everything.
This will send you a fresh copy of my blog every time I write a new post and update you on special offers.