Day 295 - Michelle

Day 295 - Michelle - (4th person I approached)
October 22, 2014 - Michelle was sitting at a small coffee shop, working away. She had in front of her, an on old-school paper diary, a computer and a phone.  She looked organized and perhaps a little busy. I wondered if she might simply look at me as if I was interrupting her. Much to my pleasant surprise, she said she’d chat with me. Before we started to chat, she took a moment to write a note in her diary, a reminder,

“So I don’t forget to do things, “ she said.


“I was born right here in Vancouver (British Columbia - BC). I was born in St. Paul’s Hospital (downtown) and grew up in West Vancouver,” said Michelle. She has one older brother, who is two years older, and another brother, almost ten years younger.

“No, he wasn’t my little pet, he was more like my little pest,” she said, grinning through clenched teeth.

“Oh, and I have one other sister who is considerably older, but I never lived with her. She was a secret. A child that my father had in a previous relationship. My mother didn’t tell me about her until I was twenty years old. I guess she figured I was old enough to be able to handle it then. It was still about another year before I met her. We’re like a carbon copy of each other,” she said.


Michelle went to one elementary and one high school, in West Vancouver.

“I did know a lot of the same people throughout my school years. I still have a friend that we will call each other and get together every once in a while for a drink, and to chat,” she said. Michelle loved languages in school.

“I studied French in high-school. When I graduated, I went to SFU (Simon Fraser University) and took languages. I studied Russian, German, French and Spanish. I really should have gone into linguistics. And I could have then become an archeologist. Russian was my favourite, it’s such an extremely beautiful sounding language,” she said.

“Perhaps though, I shouldn't have tried to study four languages at the same time." 


After one year of studying at SFU, Michelle took some time off.

“I worked for my father's food supply company for a few years. I made a lot of money so that I could go back to school,” she said, laughing.

“I went to SFU and started studying Science. I was doing general sciences first and then the idea was to go into microbiology. I love to learn,” she told me. By the end of her second year, Michelle switched programs.

“I became an artist and studied dance,” she said. I commented that I believe she was always an artist, and that she had decided to finally embrace it.

“I went to SFU for another four years and got my degree in dance,” she said. After graduating, Michelle started to teach dance for children.

“I was teaching all kinds of dance. Jazz, modern, hip-hop, all kinds. It became in part, a way of educating the adults about the various forms of dance, through their children.”


She wasn’t finished with school.

“I went back to school and got my Associates degree in Education. Then I expanded my own business,” said Michelle. Her company helps dancers become teachers.

“They are all artists and still have to perform in their own shows. The teaching is a good way to bread and butter money. It’s a good way to give back as well. The challenge is when the schedules don’t work if they do have their own shows. The thing with teaching dance is that it has to be consistent and the teacher has to be there every day,” she said.

"It's nice when the children continue to return and you watch them grow up." Michelle goes in, gets things up and running and then moves on to support her next dance training program.


While we were chatting, Michelle told me that she thought it was strange that I had approached her when I did.

“I was sitting here earlier thinking about this idea. I have a girlfriend who is single and we were talking about different ways to meet decent guys. I thought it would be a good idea to go out and introduce herself to well dressed men. She could have a conversation with them, and if they seemed like they have potential, take their photograph. It has good possibilities. And, here you are not twenty minutes later going around meeting people,” she said. Michelle is clearly still formulating the practical application of her idea.


I asked Michelle if she was married or in a relationship.

“No I’m single, but I have a boyfriend.” This confused me, and I asked again.

“Ohhh. I wonder why I said that. I do have a boyfriend, but I’m not married!” #notastranger