There’s Something About Johnna

August 19th 2015
I couldn’t stop asking questions.
I couldn’t help it.
I wanted to know it all.
“What does she look like?”
“Where is she now?”
“How did you meet?”
And the reason is this:
A handful of months ago I sent out an announcement to all my followers that said this:
olivethepeople olivebox collabo graphic
And the responses I got were the perfect mix of what I expected and didn’t expect.
I already posted one of my favorites.
And now I’m excited to tell you about the other.
It all started with an email that left me wanting to know more.
“What does she look like?”
“Where is she now?”
“How did you meet?”
Only because an email I received was from an amazing girl named Megan that said:
Her name was Megan. She lived in Knoxville, Tennessee. And she had a friend named Johnna who moved there a year and a half ago. She could tell she was an amazing woman right when she met her. But as time went on, she gathered concrete reasons why.
Turns out.
Johnna was with a man for 6 years. He had a daughter. And Johnna step-parented his daughter from she was 12 to when she was 18.
Then he dumped her.
Via phone.
Locked her out of the house.
Without ever a real reason why.
She was heartbroken. But she’d be alright. She just needed to find a new normal. And just needed a few minutes to figure it out.
Johnna moved back to her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Into her parents’ basement.
Got a job as an assistant publisher at a local magazine.
And things were kind of good again.
Her grandmother died.
Then her uncle.
Then another other uncle.
Then, the magazine abruptly closed, leaving her unexpectedly jobless.
But it was okay. Because she met a nice guy. She dated him for a few months. Mostly while he was away doing research in another country. She was patient. And she was kind. And when he finally came home in the spring, she found herself dumped again right after their “Welcome home!” hug.


But she was still okay.
In fact, she was amazing.
And Megan thinks more people should know that.
Despite absolutely all of it, Johnna’s spirit was incredibly unbroken. And her ability to laugh at herself? Was contagious. She’s an exemplary daughter to her parents, a loving aunt to her nephews and she hasn’t wavered once in the entire time she’s had the pleasure of being friends with her. The math of it all is, she had an entire year and a half of crippling setbacks.
And she rose above all of it.
And Megan wanted to tell me.
She was proud of her.
Very much so.
And asked me if I would send her an OliveBox. Just so Johnna had another reminder of how amazing she really was.
I contacted OliveBox immediately after I read Megan’s email.
Told them I found one of the winners for my contest.
And they sent Johnna a box right away.
As it turns out.
Johnna was with her nephew, Watson, dressed as a ninja turtle when she received the box:
Teenage mutant Ninja Johnna! (And Watson)

Teenage mutant Ninja Johnna! (And Watson)


Watson opened the boxed surprise:
This guy.

This guy.


And inside they saw this:

unnamed (2)




Complete with the note:

unnamed (1)



And then I began working on this story.
I asked Megan more questions.
I couldn’t help it.
I wanted to know it all.
“What does she look like?”
“Where is Johnna now?”
“How did you meet?”
She told me Johnna was beautiful. Mostly because she was proud of who she was. Comfortable in her own skin. And even with a serious case of scoliosis, considers it one of the most ‘rockin’ things about her. She likes good bras, a real wrist watch and cheap sunglasses—but without scratches would be nice.
The first time they met, was through the editor of the now-defunct magazine where she was working at the time. Megan writes weekly social columns for the local paper, and they were introduced at a media event.
Similar interests = the perfect excuse to become quick friends.
Megan began inviting her newfound friend to events here and there, eventually skipping professional parties and having more personal interactions over at her apartment like real friends would—no one else to entertain, no one to interview for an article, no program to pay attention to, no drinks or plates of hors d’oeuvres to balance, just the two of them…
They talked. In sweatpants. About life. About each other. About what we had been through, and where we were going, and what we were going to do when we got there.
Johnna was a boisterous woman, the life of every party and undeniably the person who would drop absolutely everything just to listen to a love-induced-rant.
And that’s when Megan realized.
There was something about Johnna.
Something great.
Great enough for her, you and especially me to take note of.
I asked her where Johnna was today, and Megan told me she working for The Billy Houston Group at Keller Williams, claiming to sport “the most realistic looking biz card they allow her to have.”
But most importantly.
She was happy.
And more than okay. And if you think about it.
There was something truly amazing, inspiring and cool about that her.
megan and johnna 1

Megan (left) + Johnna (right) = The Best People




Think Megan is as great as I do? Check out her blog here!