What is a Lady and her Luggage all about?

I started a Lady and her Luggage as a girl who just wanted to make sense of her life; I was trying to be a great lady in this crazy world. For many years, I have attempted to discover my purpose in life, and it is only recently that I realized my purpose was not a destination for me to find, it was about all the little moments along the way.

Cate twirling bluebell field Edinburgh

I’ve been a round peg trying to fit in a square hole (maybe even something less regular than a round shape…maybe I’m more like air that’s trying to be put into a box).  I guess “Lifestyle” is really the only niche my blog fits in to, because “Lifestyle” encompasses all of life’s intricacies. I tried travel blogging for a while, but it wasn’t honest. I don’t live my life on the road and I probably never will. I truly enjoy finding magic right in my own backyard.

And I want to share every bit of this wonderful life with you, dear readers. Whether that be my latest hobby (like my obsession with potted plants) or perhaps my love of wholesome food. Maybe I’ll write about my travels, or share details of my favourite outfit and hairstyle. Who knows? Nevertheless, I promise whatever I choose to write about, it will be extraordinary – because the one thing that I do believe, is that there are little bits of magic in our everyday lives, and all we have to do is look close enough.

Cate black lab pink chair indoors pillow

Cate’s Story

I’ll spare you the details of my childhood, but instead share my “road less travelled” adulthood.

After barely attending high school, I decided right away that getting a post-secondary education wasn’t a route I would take. Too afraid to make any changes in my life, I continued to work as a hairstylist, like I had done throughout school. As an extremely introverted person, dealing with new people on a regular basis and then having to make small-talk for hours just wasn’t my thing; eventually, I couldn’t deal with it anymore.

I jumped into sales, but only because the opportunity had been handed to me. The job involved more talking and people-meeting and I burned out oh-so-quickly. A couple of great things came from that job: I began writing a blog and discovered social media as a form of marketing.

Then I took my first big trip abroad as an adult. It may be cliché, but it changed my life. As soon as I returned home, I enrolled myself in a local college’s Travel & Tourism program (post-secondary? I know, crazy…and that’s why I never say “never” anymore). I met some amazing people there, and finally felt as if I belonged.

My education led to a series of jobs that didn’t suit me one bit, unfortunately. Customer Service and Sales were once again at the heart of what I was doing. I continued to write through it all, and started a Lady and her Luggage. After some time, I figured that I really should pursue writing, as that’s what I had done throughout everything: from the journals I kept as a child, to the stories I would make up, and then later, my blogging.

Cate reading in bed

So back to school I went (never say never); I took Communications at University. Culture and writing were at the core of my learning. Most importantly, I learned how to work harder than I ever had before.

But the depression that had followed me throughout my life was kicking in again, and I was trying so hard not to drown.

With every job or thing that I’ve done in my life, I like to look back on why it was important for me to do that thing in that moment. Hairstyling gave me the skills on how to make a first impression, and why your appearance does matter. The sales job showed me that I can do things that make me uncomfortable, and I learned how to sell myself. Travel & Tourism school showed me what it was like to blend work and passion together. The jobs following showed me that I need change in my life; I couldn’t go to the same place every day and sit at the same desk and do the same tasks. And University taught me to work.

After one year at University, I decided to leave. The thought of being stuck somewhere for four or more years was suffocating me. At the end of it all, I discovered a term that changed my life. It was another good thing that sprouted from attending university. I was (and am) a multipotentialite (I’ll eventually write a post I’m sure, but for now, here’s a TED Talk).

It was like the heavens opened up and I could finally breathe. After all the years of changing hobbies and never finding a career and “sticking with it”, discovering that it is possible to do many different things opened up a world of possibilities. So now I’m just hanging out and doing me.

Cate pink jacket Inverary Scotland

What am I doing? I’m writing, working on photography, learning how to speak a second language (bonjour!), having mini-adventures, taking time for art and music, learning code, reading about alternative ways of living, discovering the joy of cooking, nesting in my new home near Edmonton, Alberta, and working as a server to foot the bill.

Cate planting pots on balcony

Cate bagel cafe

And most importantly, I’m here to tell you that you can do things differently.

I had been searching for anyone to tell me that it’s okay to be a waitress (or work in a shop or walk dogs or be a tour guide or, or, or), it’s okay to never figure things out, and it’s okay not to be climbing a career ladder with an end goal. It’s okay to not make any end goals at all. It’s okay just to live and be happy. Do make goals for today and do create a life for yourself. But please, focus on the magic that happens along the way.

playing with black lab in snow