We are delighted to be joined this month on A Simple Path by Cat from Simple(ish) Living. Through writing in her spare time about slow living Cat has built up a loyal social media following and readership for her blog, in which she shares recipes, DIYs and product reviews, all with an eye for the simple and sustainable.
Here she describes how being in debt led her to discover a simpler way of living, how she has made a positive out of what she previously thought of as a character fault, and the one homeware item she can’t do without.
Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?
My real job is in IT – it’s what pays my bills! My Instagram and blog started as a little side hobby back in 2017. It’s still a side hobby, but it’s something I would like to focus on a little more in 2019. I wasn’t in the best headspace when I first started my blog, so I created a space where I could write and document reviews, recipes and ramblings. I never expected people to follow along!
If you had one piece of advice or wisdom to pass on to your younger self, what would it be?
When I look back at my younger self, I see a girl who was always trying to protect herself. I never really let anyone in, and felt my sensitivity was a huge weakness. As I’ve gotten older, I realised there are some real positives about being sensitive. It means I care and, because I care, I’m willing to change. I’m a lot more open to other people’s opinions.
It’s a double-edged sword sometimes as I can overthink things a lot! But ultimately, I would tell myself that ‘caring’ isn’t a weakness. It’s a form of strength.
What is it about slow living and the simple life that you find appealing?
I was in a lot of debt before I dabbled in the concept of minimalism or simple(ish) living. Firstly, I’m not a minimalist! But there are a lot of aspects I like about it: buy want you really want or need; buy things that serve a purpose. It’s really an old school philosophy, but it helped a lot with getting rid of my debt.
How can we counter the pulls of content-sharing and curating images of our lives with the need for being in the moment?
It definitely was a bad habit of mine, taking photos and posting online while with a friend or my partner. Back in 2016, I took almost a year away from social media. I also deleted Facebook. I felt ‘disconnected’ at the time, at least in the beginning. But the friends I wanted to keep in touch with, kept in touch. I still don’t have Facebook, but I started my Instagram page last year because I wanted to document and write about my journey. My phone habits aren’t as bad as they used to be, and I’ll normally only take one or two photos while I’m with friends or family. Other than that, I rarely use my phone while I’m around people. But don’t get me wrong, I still check my phone a little too much while at home!
Who inspires you?
Is it cliché to say my parents? My parents survived the Khmer Rouge and went through a lot to find refuge in a different country. So, I really admire them for everything they have done for me. What also inspires me is the environment. There’s something about going out in nature and hiking and seeing how beautiful this place can be.
What are your essential homeware items/ things you couldn’t do without?
My high-powdered blender. It’s how I make my nut milks and nut butters. I use it all the time. I also love using produce bags, they’re a great reusable alternative to plastic bags.
What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?
There’s the ‘dream’ and there’s the ‘altered dream’. Ultimately, I would like to work for myself and write. But I understand this is a tough business. So, in ten years’ time I would like to have a healthy balance of work and living ‘the dream’. I would also like to travel and eat a lot of different food – food is my life.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?
I haven’t really done any wild things that I’m proud of. Sorry, I’m so boring! I did stupid things when I was younger, but the wildest thing I did was party in Vegas! Most nights, I’m sipping on tea while baking.
Thanks so much for joining us, Cat! We’ve loved hearing your thoughts, and look forward to following your adventures in the New Year.
Wishing you all a peaceful, prosperous 2019.