For my shorter story read About Me.
I was born in 1980, in the Mothering Hospital in Hackney, London. My early memories are hazy, but most of them involve my siblings. I am a middle child of five, with two older sisters and two younger brothers (my youngest (half) brother came along when I was thirteen-years-old, the rest of us were born within five years of each other) – it was a busy household.
My mother and biological father separated before I was three, I cannot recall a specific date, in fact I could have been younger, or much older, (the stories I have been fed vary), but I grew up not knowing him, and without contact up until a couple of brief meetings during adulthood. I still don’t know him, or any other members of my extended family really.
There is much to share about my childhood and teenage years… but I have too many other, more exciting things to share with you on this website, and so little snippets of my life may be included in other relevant blog posts, but for now, let’s just say there were many ups and more downs to my youth, and I shall leave it at that.
We moved away from London, to Essex when I was about nine I think. Again, it could have been earlier… But it was a big move with a new dad, (he was a nice man), and to a seemingly nice life, until one day, my mum picked my brother and I up from school and told us that we were moving again (tomorrow), this time without our stepdad.
During school, (in-between the keen studying, and the thinking about boys,) I was bullied – mostly verbally, and mostly because I was ‘brown’, (still am for the record). I dealt with this by continuing my studying, acting aloof, and retorting with sarcasm and quick wit – inside I crumbled, and I spent many break-times crying in the toilet cubicles.
For some reason my focus at school was always mini money-making projects, (perhaps because we didn’t have much disposable income); I raised money for charity, as well as for my own pocket-money, and I set-up several businesses if you like: selling penny sweets at 100% profit; selling cakes I’d baked; and renting out my videos (yes videos, not DVDs) … I stopped this when one of my movies went missing, ironically titled ‘The Invisible Man’. I was good at sales, but I never wanted a career in it, I would end up giving too much stuff away for free I reckon.
When I was little though, I did dream of being a doctor, because I had a natural pull towards helping others… but knowing myself as I do now, I wouldn’t have made a very good GP: My appointments would overrun with general chitchat; I wouldn’t want to prescribe medication that I couldn’t pronounce the ingredients of; and I wouldn’t want to take the flu jab. The closest I got to this career was at the age of fifteen in my first proper job role, earning £1.10 per hour on a Saturday at the local chemist as a pharmaceutical assistant. I was better at the customer service than counting the pills.
Although maths was the subject I was naturally good at. But, English was the direction I took, even though I would always pretend I had a sore throat when my English teacher asked me to read out loud, and I’m sure I’m mildly dyslexic. I lacked confidence, but I was also somehow a show-off too, mostly in situations I felt self-conscious in.
I left school with good grades, and I went on to college to study A-levels. I left college with average below-average grades. I had a boyfriend, lots of home stuff going on, and a part-time job earning decent money as a market researcher.
It was English Language and Linguistic that I chose to study at university – and I loved it, I gained consistent 2:1 grades in coursework and exams, with the odd 2:2, and odd first class grade, and I graduated at the age of 21 with a 2:1 BA HONS. Subjects included psychology, computer applications, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, child language acquisition, language and sex, psycholinguistics, and grammar.
Of course a princess, singer and goalkeeper were also amongst my dreams… I have brilliant reflexes even now, my voice is okay when I sing in the shower, and I am more maid than princess… But I was in the athletics team at school, and played footy in Soho Square once for a weekly magazine shoot. PLUS, not many people are aware of this, but I was in a girl group – it was a brief encounter with two other members, manufactured by the producers behind The Fast Food Rockers, and previously to them it was the 5,6,7,8… Steps… YES, some cheesy pop was involved, and a couple of songs recorded in the same studio Take That sang in… Why would I omit that gem from my biography on my own website? Tis a useless but lovely piece of information… The group didn’t make the charts, but I made a very close friend for life.
My outlet since childhood has been writing, good at it or not, it has been my lifelong cathartic medicine. And somehow writing has always crept into my working life. From the age of nineteen I worked part-time at Channel 5… (I haven’t mentioned the ironing job, my one shift at Tesco, writing footy reports for the local paper, and those four hours in a banana factory – but again certainly stories to share for another time).
My role at Channel 5 was so diverse and I learnt a lot, I was a lucky girl working in such a fun department as children’s TV, and alongside people that are still my friends today. I left because I wanted to perform more, and my presenting opportunities were capped; I just didn’t see my career in production, although I have used my skills learnt during my time at FIVE TV so much since. I’m not sure why I felt the need to be in-front of the screen, perhaps it was a way to show people who’d been unkind to me that I could do bigger and better things… And I was young, and I’m fully aware now that this superficial ‘solution’ was not the answer.
I stayed at Channel 5 in a freelance capacity and started a modelling career (I was scouted as a teenager, but never pursued it), I went on to work in commercial, advertising, TV and fashion modelling, working with international brands such as Armani, Vivienne Westwood, Playstation, T-Mobile, Sony, GMTV, to name a few. I also presented and acted a little – and for the record these were the same days as the girl group era.
On a personal note, after I graduated I split with my first boyfriend of five years. We were engaged. I was too young and too inexperienced… the wedding venue had to be cancelled, and I later wore the dress for a Halloween party… It is now with a charity called Angel Gowns, serving a better purpose. This break-up, although my doing, triggered an anxiety attack, not that I knew what it was back then. I was alone when it happened, and I never discussed it with anybody, but it freaked me out.
Whilst I have done some wonderful things… I had lots more opportunities as a young girl that I missed out on through fear of not being good enough, I had this tendency to quit while I was ahead in relationships, in work, with friendships, and with my dreams.
Modelling wasn’t my dream, as I said it was a temporary solution. I never felt settled in the world of modelling and never considered myself as a ‘model’ as such, more as a girl that modelled. This may not make much sense, but in many ways I was lost, and it was this lost girl that enjoyed the dress-up and excitement and the escapism that the industry offered from the criticism I had known growing up; but the core of me was not balanced. In fact, I had been suffering much pain for several years, and whilst I went for test after test, my modelling career, vanity, and fear, were factors in my decision not to turn up to my operation that would leave small scars on my tummy. I am certain I manifested stress and anxiety in the form of this physical pain, and I found yoga in a way I’d not viewed it before: The asana practice helped heal me, without any surgery, but I still didn’t know anything much about the depths of the philosophy, or any of the science behind yoga.
At this point of my life, 25, I married my boyfriend of four years, and launched a modelling magazine. A year on, I separated from my husband (and the volatile relationship), and folded my business due to a disagreement with my business partner and then-best-friend. Anybody having experienced divorce, break-ups or business failure will understand the stress that I endured at this point of my life, not to mention the external pressure from those around me. This wedding dress was worn by a model in a photo-shoot. Now, it too, is with Angel Gowns.
I ended up in two more unhealthy relationships (one after the other), and then at 27-years-old, I finally began to shed the layers of myself that I had built-up over the years of my life: layers added for self preservation purposes; layers added by others; layers that pushed people away, and made me lack so much self-awareness; and layers added as a result of social construction and upbringing. I began to journal some of my experiences, which I later published as a memoir. A memoir that some people report to ‘like’, and others say they ‘hate it’. HARSH! But it is self-published… I didn’t want to go down the published route, because my options meant I had to change the way I wrote it, and I wanted to share it in the way that I did… And as a result I have added to the self-published stigma, (whatever you want to call it), so of course it is imperfect! But I don’t believe in perfection as a concept, instead I choose to embrace the not-so-good comments as much as the good ones; even the judgemental words about me personally, and not about my writing necessarily, mostly from people who do not know me. I have learnt that our judgements say more about ourselves then they do about the people we are judging.
All of this aside, I am grateful for the time others have taken to read any word I write actually, errors and all. So at this point, if you have reached this far reading my biography, I would like to thank you.
Also note at this point, that I wouldn’t have always been so neutral about the barrage of criticism, but I’ve worked on myself a lot over more recent years, from the yoga, to working with the holistic industry, to becoming a Mind Detox Practitioner, reading heaps of positive words, writing more, learning about loving myself and others, and interacting with like-minded people from all walks of life.
Anyway… My performance career came to a halt due to a lack of self-belief from the previous shared series of events. I was a little lost. Again. I think maybe I was just beginning to find Me… maybe?
And it was another event, that changed the direction of my life… I fell for a man, that I’d known when he was a boy, and I was a girl… we had a son.
During my pregnancy I taught English in a secondary school; it is a tough job, and there were elements I really enjoyed, but I didn’t want to return after my son was born. My pregnancy was emotional, for various reasons, including the death of my step father (the second one). I suffered a delayed anxiety attack the evening of his death, and for the first time I became consciously aware of the importance of breath… although, I wasn’t aware enough to call upon breathing techniques during childbirth (I know I sound like a broken record now… but those labour stories will no doubt be shared in the future, it’s every mother’s right to share the pain).
With my son on my hip or at my feet, I tutored from home, and mentored and trained a few models and actresses… We needed the money, so I did my bit the best I could… And then one day I thought ‘what are my skills?’… And I dreamt of a logo that night, I woke up and the name of my business had just come to me (cue eerie, mystical sound effect). I set-up Portal Public Relations (Portal PR), offering other individuals and small-to-medium businesses public relation and communication services. I am pleased to say that 98% of my clients have been based on recommendation. I have helped so many people access their success and yuo can find out more on JordanMartin.biz (previously PortalPR.net).
So where were we…? Okay, lots of other random nice experiences occurred after this, wrapped up with a lot of challenges too. The birth of my child triggered some emotional difficulties, flashbacks and low points… Just because I’m not writing any more here, doesn’t mean that it was all smooth sailing… And it was the silence in my life that was most petrifying at this time, and so I talked, probably a lot of nonsense, and I wore a smile.
My husband, my son and I moved from the small town in Essex (where I had my teenage years) to a small village in Cheshire, England. After living there for over a year, we headed to Australia; how? and why? are stories for another space and time…. But it was isolating, and at the same time liberating living in what felt like another world altogether, like a parallel dimension.
Anyway, just before we followed the yellow brick road, I qualified as a studio fitness instructor. I needed to balance out my days of looking after my son and promoting brands.
I further studied in Australia, and taught in many gyms, and at the same time I operated Portal PR from afar… it all worked out pretty well for the two and half years we were there. I trained as a yoga instructor and really started to connect with myself; the self I’d been trying to release for several years. When this happens you say to yourself, “Oh there you are! I missed you!” and you breathe a sigh of relief, as if you always knew somewhere within that you were still okay.
I began to settle into my self. And my self and my husband decided to try for another baby… I was petrified of doing it all again. The pregnancy. The labour. The physical aftermath. The emotional aftermath. The mental aftermath. I got through it the first time, but I nearly wasn’t strong enough, and I didn’t really communicate the things I was going through very well.
My second pregnancy also had its challenges – I was away from family. I had morning sickness all day, for over half of the full term pregnancy. I had a scare at around twelve weeks, but fortunately my healthy daughter was born on time and at a good weight. Yoga was instrumental in my physical fitness during my pregnancy, as well as my emotional wellbeing… and it made my second labour very different to giving birth the first time around.
Two months later, at the start of a fresh new year, 2015, (a year ago exactly at the time of writing this), I received awful news from England, and living in Australia still, I felt even more isolated, and inadequate not being able to support my family…
Walking in the open air, and talking with a close friend was amazing emotional medicine at this time for me. I suffered more panic attacks over a period of ten months and called upon the help of more yoga, particularly the pranayama (breath-work and energy), and further study.
We, that is my husband, son, baby and I, travelled back to England… So there you have it, my life in a nutshell from 1980-2016.
Each day I give gratitude for my children, my husband, and for the people I’ve met along my own personal path.
Have I ever had therapy? No! Why? Because at points in my life when I have most needed it, I was too ashamed to admit it and to share my experiences, I was in a state of blissful ignorance, or immaturity and arrogance. My therapy has been self taught through life experiences and through studying subjects that have led me to recovery and discovery… to a healed and happy place.
And now I am so pleased I can help others from a place of experience, love, wisdom and non-judgement.
Thank you for reading this, and hopefully you will realise that just like YOU, I have had to journey to a more balanced me, to an aligned ME, to the best model of myself possible… And I’m still journeying, and I offer you the chance to make positive shifts so you can Be the Best Model of Yourself Possible, AND Become Who YOU Are NOW!
You can Be the Best Model of Yourself Possible...
by aligning all layers of your being; Body, Breath, Emotions, Intellect, and Spirituality.
Super Model Hero is a holistic life shifting approach to fitness and wellbeing developed by Jordan Martin.
The method is a way of showing which layers are out of alignment, and then alignment strategies are used, these combine yoga, physical training, affirmations, pranayama, mindfulness, life coaching and unique Super Model Hero techniques, so YOU can Become Who You Are NOW!