Day 155 - Michelle

Day 155 - Michelle (2nd person I approached)
June 04, 2014 - I saw Tom today, from Day 10. He was sitting on a bench talking with another gentleman. I usually stop and say hello to Tom when I see him, which is a few times a month. He always asks me what number of stranger I’m up to, and asks how it’s going. Today he told me that his car is a write-off after making a turn directly into another vehicle. No one was injured but his “Bu” (Subaru) is no longer drivable. Once again, Tom displays grace and resignation to ‘what is, is’ and said he actually was glad to no longer be driving. Now he uses his car as a way to stay out of the rain while he has a cigarette. I hope to catch him for coffee in the next few days to have a longer chat.


Michelle was enjoying some coffee, a healthy looking cookie, and reading in the sunshine when I asked her to chat. She was born in North Vancouver and grew up in White Rock, BC (British Columbia).

“One set of grandparents are from Alberta. The other set of grandparents are immigrants from Holland who settled in North Vancouver. My parents had lived on the North Shore for a long time. We moved to White Rock because at that time, some 25 years ago, houses were more affordable and came with more property,” said Michelle. She has one younger brother.


From a very young age, Michelle remembers spending time with her Dad kicking around a soccer ball.

“My father, with his European heritage, has always been into soccer. I started playing at a young age. My Dad, my brother and I would spend time together kicking a ball around. In school I was on a few teams and then during high school it was pretty much all I did outside of school. I was on the BC Girls soccer team,” Michelle said.

“I wasn’t into partying and getting into trouble. I was too busy playing soccer. I got to go to New Zealand to compete and did a lot of traveling with my team. My mom was into painting and gardening, so she was happy to have us out of the house playing soccer while she did her thing.“


When she finished high school, Michelle went right into hairdressing school. I asked her where her inspiration and interest came from.

"I guess in part because I had really long hair down to here,” she says gesturing to her waist. “I always did my own hair and I would do my friends hair when I was at school as well. I liked it and it just seemed right,” she said.

“My father was in real estate and I considered going in that direction, but I just couldn’t see myself working in an office.” 


Michelle moved to Abbotsford for some time and then back to White Rock.

“I moved in with my then boyfriend and going to Abbotsford made it easier for us to afford to live together. We had been dating for a couple of years by that point,” said Michelle. When their relationship ended, she moved back to White Rock.

“I was working in a salon and was back at home. After living away from White Rock, it wasn’t long before I realized I didn’t want to live there. I got a place in Kitsilano and set up a small studio in my apartment and did hair from my home. I continued working two days a week in White Rock for a while. Then I eventually worked on just my own clientele from Kitsilano,” said Michelle. She also wanted to experience what life on the North Shore was like.

“I found Kitsilano to be reminiscent of White Rock. It seems that once you're over White Rock, you move to Kitsilano, so I was always seeing people I knew. I really wanted to know more about where my parents had lived and to experience living on the North Shore. A friend was looking for a room mate, so I moved to North Vancouver,” she said.


This month, Michelle moved once again.

“I just got a place with my younger brother. He was still living out in White Rock and wanted to move out. I thought if we lived together we could get a nice two bedroom, two bathroom place. We’ve always gotten along very well,” said Michelle.

“He would tell you that he’s two years and nine months younger than me, and I’d just say three years. My mother says she can’t ever remember us fighting,” she said.

”Well, at least not until he got taller than me. Then we’d fight over who got to sit in the front seat of the car. Now I always get the back seat.” #notastranger