Ivan Howard

Some time has passed since you changed my life. You came in casually, as you do, but you brought with you an energy, a creative force, that would, effectively and indefinitely, shape my perspective in reference to what I now expect out of my experiences.

You were standing on my coffee table yelling, “It’s 2am on a Tuesday and we’re g*d*** adults,” and something similar to “This is living.” We were living, most ridiculously, in fact.

At the time (I was younger and less exhausted) you knew what it meant to me to have my name on a guest list for a show. You happily created opportunities for me to indulge in my excitement and love for music and the creatives responsible for making it. You gifted me experience, after experience, and you shared the tales of your experiences with me. Your vulnerability during that time has served as the standard I hold myself to when it comes to true friendship; I expect it of others, and I offer my own in exchange.

You also encouraged me to move along, on a different path, to find something more for myself. I can still hear you relaying a bit of wisdom, at the time that I did not believe and did not want to hear, “This place to is too small for you.” It was actually too small for you, but I am thankful for that moment of transference, as the words rattled around in my brain until the day I packed my things and left Wilmington.

Our friendship was a conduit, perhaps even an incubator, for a period of personal growth that allowed me to develop an enriched sense of purpose in my life. I found that I wanted more of the same and something different all at the same time. You introduced me to a world where that was absolutely accepted. I met my husband through you and my best friends because of you. As I said, my life was irrevocably changed.

I can actually imagine you “redirecting” while you are reading this post, and I know the thought of this sentiment will make you role your eyes. You are simultaneously accepting its truth . . . because you didn’t mean to, but you kind of did, but nah, you totally didn’t. 😉

The timing of this post is not random. Today is your birthday. I am thankful for our friendship. I am thankful that you believed in me and that you shared a piece of your world with me.

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