“We create nothing, express nothing; we only discover or uncover what is already there” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Michelle Mayo by ©Cyndal Lorch

I would classify Michelle as a true athlete; because in my opinion, anyone who can run over 20km in one go deserves all kinds of medals and accolades. She has been running since as long as she can remember, and has even run in the Chicago Marathon. I figured it was only fitting that her portrait for The Birthday Book Project be of her doing one of her favourite things. And like seriously, to have a perfect photo face while running??? Model much??   Haha Thanks Michelle! – Cyndal L

Image © Cyndal Lorch

An Interview with Michelle

Q. What is your best memory/moment from one of your past birthdays?

A. I have to go with my 28th birthday. We had sailed away on a Caribbean cruise for March break that year. There were 6 of us, and on the last night of the cruise everyone snuck into my room and decorated the heck out of it. I am talking, balloons, streamers, happy birthday signs. Every inch of the room had something birthday related covering it. I was so surprised and so touched to have friends like that in my life.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. Sorry to disappoint, I tried to think of a bad birthday moment and I’m sure there has been at least one. Maybe I have erased it from my memory because I have always tried to focus on the good in my life.

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that most surprised you?

A. Oh gosh…gifts…never been one to really celebrate with gifts but if I had to choose something I would say I was completely surprised when Jeff got me a Nikon camera for my 29th birthday. What surprised me even more was when he went one step further and got a tripod and lessons how to use it.

Q. Is there one food or dish that you insist on eating during your birthday celebration?

A. Dairy Queen ice cream cake was a staple growing up, it’s what I looked forward to most about my birthdays.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. It’s the one day a year you can truly and without guilt celebrate yourself, who your are, do what you want to do and do it for yourself. It’s your birthday and you can you use the birthday excuse to justify just about anything.

Q. Do you/your family/culture have any traditions/rituals/ceremonies that are performed to celebrate birthdays? What is it?

A. When I was younger the best part of having a birthday was always the ice cream cake. It was so simple but it always made my family and I so happy. We never had any traditions, I feel like birthdays were about whatever we wanted to do because it was our special day. So year after year as we got older our birthday celebrations always changed.