Gregory Paul Johnson > Journal

I’m happy to announce that today Makur and I got engaged. I’ve refrained from writing about our relationship until this point because we’d not yet made a formal commitment, but now I plan to include some journal entries in the future about our experiences together. The photo here is from a trip we took with some friends on October 27 to pick out pumpkins at a pumpkin patch.

Because journaling about my life has been very important to me, and because I’m sometimes in the media, I was hoping to find someone who wouldn’t mind living a somewhat public life. So, I’m happy that Makur is open to sharing our journey.

When we first met, on Tuesday, August 21, there was an instant spark and we quickly became good friends (a great foundation to start from). Since then, we have had an opportunity to spend a lot of time together and get to know each other quite well. In addition to having a lot in common and enjoying the practical benefits of being very compatible, we have a love and chemistry that makes sharing life much more enjoyable.

On Sunday, September 9, I was driving to Menards in Iowa City, which I discovered had closed at 7:00 PM. As I was driving along I realized that I was driving near where Makur lives, so I began thinking about her. Up to that point, we’d seen each other only a few times at work and then at a pot luck. Although I didn’t really know her well, for some reason as I looked toward her home, I felt a love for her in my heart — which surprised me. A few moments later, she called me on the phone. I told her I was just thinking about her and was driving past where she lives, so she invited me over for tea. Amazed by the synchronicity of her phone call at that moment, I took a photo and uploaded it to my live feed. The next day, we spent about three hours visiting while configuring her new notebook computer. The following weekend, on Friday September 14, we began dating.

On Friday, September 28, we went to the Amana Colonies in Iowa to see the special Oktoberfest events. We returned again on Saturday, September 29. Photos from Friday and Saturday are online. We were surprised that weekend to discover that we both have a passion for photography. Later, comparing some of the photos we’d taken independently, we found that many of the pictures we had taken were of the same things, framed in the same way, and using the same depth of field. I have a very unique taste in abstract photography, so I was surprised to find someone who has a similar “eye” for seeing a unique photo. Makur would point out a potential photo and it would be something that I would have stopped to take a picture of had I seen it. It was like having an extra set of eyes.

In addition to having a similar “eye” for photography, we also like the same music, food, style, movies, books, and activities such as cooking, reading, and going for walks. We enjoy working together on computer-related projects. We share similar philosophies about financial planning, family, and keeping life organized and simple. Our views about faith and world religions are similar. We’re both vegetarian and have an interest in Yoga and meditation. Our approach to writing is very similar and we enjoy writing together.

On Wednesday, October 3, we were on a Sustainability Walk of Iowa City. For a moment we stopped in front of the New Pioneer Co-op grocery store and someone I know from Iowa City approached us, and upon looking at us and, apparently seeing how happy we were together, asked when we were getting married — this surprised me since he’d not previously seen us together or known that we were dating. Below is a photo of our lunch from that day.

Over the months, other friends who had seen us together said that we look like we are meant for each other. It’s a nice feeling to have such kind and affirming words from friends.

Having been on my own for most of the past seven years, and really enjoying the tranquility of being single, I wasn’t sure how I’d adapt being in a relationship again. On one occasion, I mentioned to Makur that being with her was “like being alone.” I explained that when I’m with her, I felt the peace and tranquility one finds when they are alone, since her habits and ways are very similar to mine. There’s not much to get used to or adjust to. More recently I’ve described the experience as being “twice alive.” Makur has introduced me to movies, music, foods, books, and other things that I would have enjoyed had I known about them before. Being with someone you are very similar to and highly compatible with is kind of like being with a clone of yourself. You can read more about my search for a partner in my December personal update.

We’re both looking forward to our future together and want to thank everyone who has been supportive of us.

Below is a photo taken on October 6 while we were at a local political rally.

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