Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my online world!
Chance are, some of you already know me actually...
We probably already met in person. You might be a neighbour, a date, a colleague or a long-time friend, or our paths have crossed somehow, somewhere.
Maybe you know me strictly online, through Instagram.
So, for those who need introduction...
my name is Ingrid
I am a '40-something' single french-speaking lady, living on her own in a cosy studio flat in London Docklands.
I am working a 9-to-5 corporate job to pay my bills and like many of us I am always dreaming of 'becoming' more, 'loving' more, 'travelling' more, 'experiencing' more... but for some strange reasons seem to end up stuck in a rut, broke and single most of the time.
I am very much the "next-door-kinda-girl", a "Bridget-Jones-lookalike" who continually seems to end up in hopeless situations.
Gauche and speaking my mind without filters, some of the people I know will say I am a lovely mess, hopelessly in love with the idea of falling in love.
Well... Some of my friends and acquaintances believe that my stories and life adventures are somehow hilarious and dramatic enough to be worth being told. I am not sure that's entirely true, but I will let you judge on that.
Writing a blog is for me a creative way to share with the world the "real" me, with all my flaws, my vulnerabilities but also my strength, my passion, and my ambitions. It is a therapeutic way of expressing my thoughts and feelings and dealing with the loneliness that often comes with singlehood.
Sharing with you my personal stories and every step of my journey gives me the motivation to live my best life. And I hope that my blog will somehow inspire you to do the same.
it took a global pandemic...
My blogging journey
As some of you might already know, my blogging journey is not really a new thing and I have had many, many "false start" since 2017.
Every beginning of year, I have this urge to go after my dreams and launch my personal blog and I miserably fail at it, every single time!!
Well, in a nutshell: I have a bad tendency to procrastination, perfectionism and self-criticism!
2020 seemed to be no exception. until today at least!
It actually took a global pandemic and a lockdown to finally come to terms with my fears and have the courage to go for it!
When I first started or attempted to start this blogging journey in 2017 I had no idea where I was putting my feet into and to be honest I got a little overwhelmed by the daunting task of finding topics and by the writing exercise, and I sadly stopped posting anything.
Also, English is not my first language and at that time it required a lot of mental energy to put together my thoughts into words and sentences that made some sense.
Trust me when I say that a lot of "googling" was required before I could feel confident enough to publish what I was writing.
... like a goldfish trying to swim its way among sharks
There are so many lifestyle bloggers and the blogging market seems to be so saturated that I literally felt like a goldfish trying to swim its way among sharks in the big ocean of the "world wide web".
I was comparing myself to all the bloggers out there and trying to find excuses why mine would not be popular and would look pretty silly.
I was getting paralysed by my own overwhelming expectations and high standards and was blowing off the whole project before it had a chance to even start, convincing myself that there was no way I could meet the standards I was setting up for myself.
These sky-high standards mixed with a belief that my blogging performance was tied to my self-worth just grinded me to a halt every time.
Some will ask: "Why doing it?" when the real question should be: why not?
I recently came to the realisation that there is a crucial difference between who we are and what we achieve. And there’s so much more to my worth than my accomplishments.
If this blog ends up to be a fail, I will still be that genuine, kind and resilient woman dedicated to self-grow, determined to improve herself and live out loud her best life.
We are all unique and we all have something to bring into this world.
So here i am making the big jump, like a crazy and very stubborn goldfish!! Also, nothing excites me more than an impossible challenge!
Even though it is scary to put myself out there, share my life and tell about my thoughts and feelings, I have also learned that vulnerability is the only way to establish real connections.
I also believe that "sharing is caring" and that opening up about my life could help others to relate and feel less lonely in a society obsessed with social media and virtuality.
My blog is a "message in a bottle". I throw it in the ocean of the World Wide Web Hoping for the best. Somewhere, someone might read this and feel like they are not alone and that's all what matters.
behind the name...
Many lifestyle bloggers and influencers seem to have it all in Life, with their perfectly filtered and colour-coordinated social media feed, and every single post portraying a lifestyle of travel and luxury.
Perfect face, perfect body shape, perfect romance, perfect lifestyle...
Even though the display of their apparent idyllic life somehow inspires us to thrive for more, it can also become nauseating at times and breeds feelings of loneliness, unworthiness, dissatisfaction and disconnection.
Most of us cannot relate to that kind of lifestyle and probably never will.
So, to all the ordinary women like me, here is my pledge:
Now that I am trying to step into the world of lifestyle blogging and will most likely follow the general trend of filtering my instagram pictures, selfies and 'showing off' all the exciting stuff I am doing and experiencing, I promise myself to not fall into the trap of 'faking it to fit in'!
I will not pretend being someone that I am not, or even trying to become someone that I am not.
I will be and stay my genuine self.
Because Life is not all about leading an extraordinary lifestyle, but about living an ordinary Life in extraordinary ways and to the fullest. It is not always about becoming better at all cost, but about loving ourselves better and feeling good.
The Girl Next Door is a lifestyle blog for all of us 'ordinary' women, who often struggle against our age, our weight, our lack of confidence and our many imperfections, but who are nevertheless very much driven by self-growth and determined to live our best life out loud.
It is a hub for women of all ages and walks of life with an insatiable hunger to live an inspired lifestyle, and for all those who like myself are on a journey to self-love and to become the best version of themselves.
It is also a space where I will share my lifestyle, my love of food and fine dining, my travel stories and experiences, beauty tips and love of timeless style.
Thank you for joining me on this adventure! I could not be more grateful for your support and companionship on this beautifully wild ride that we all call LIFE.
Now, the question is:
Can a single woman, lovely mess in her forties, with a tendency to say whatever comes into her mind, find her place in this world... live her best life and find love?
Grab yourself a glass of wine, make yourself comfortable and come read all about it!
The Girl Next Door