A lot of people i’ve met through various excursions in my life are out traveling the far corners of the world at the moment.
Their constant social media posts have been a breath of fresh air and have brought light into everything that is going on in the world right now and I want to contribute with this blog post.
On Thursday I had my weekly half day on my NCTJ course and the entire morning was spent as a mock assessment centre.
For the first part of the task myself and the 23 others in my class had to talk about ourselves for sixty seconds, someone had to go first, and that someone was me.
Mine was the worst by a country mile. I had no idea what to say, how to stand and public speaking is one of those things that makes me unbelievably uncomfortable.
I froze to the point where I thought I didn’t even know enough about myself to tell the story. It was absolutely horrendous.
After some feedback the process was repeated for everyone else in the class and I grasped an idea of how it should be done.
In the past I would have sat there and sulked about how poor mine went in comparison to everyone else and gone as far as labelling myself a failure.
Instead, after the last person spoke and feedback was given I asked if I could go again.
It went a lot better the second time, there was more structure to what I was saying and the overall feedback was that it was like two different people which is exactly what I wanted to hear after my first attempt.
But it could have been better, which is why i’m going to write it down in the rest of this blog post.
The Life of Jordan
I was born on May 31 1994 in Chelmsford, Essex. I am the middle child to Audrey and David with my older brother Tom, 28 and younger brother Jack, 21.
I was raised in Feering which is a small village between the birthplace of radio, Chelmsford and Britain’s oldest recorded town, Colchester.
Although that may sound really interesting, I can assure you that it wasn’t and I spent a lot of my days watching films, with Top Gun going down as one of my favourites.
The 1986 Tom Cruise classic had a huge impact on my life and gave me an interest in joining the RAF as a pilot as soon as I was done with my A Levels.
School and sixth form wasn’t a fun time for me. The best thing that came out of it was the friends I made who I am still blessed to call my closest.
Failure was a term that appeared frequently in my life.
Whether that be through trying to break into the Sunday League team or taking two attempts to pass my driving test or resitting exams for not getting the desired grade.
The wonderful thing about failure is that you usually have another go at it until you land exactly where you want to be – it’s not permanent.
However, when I tried to join the RAF aged 19 I was hit with a different kind of failure.
I passed all the fitness tests but failed due to poor eye sight, all of a sudden something I wanted and was working towards was taken from me and there was nothing I could do.
Laser eye surgery was the only option so I started doing admin for my Dad’s engineering company to save up enough money for the operation and redo the RAF training.
Then something happened in my life that changed everything. My life was consumed with depression and anxiety as I entered a mental downward spiral which all came into the public eye on the eve of my 20th birthday in May 2014.
I wasn’t myself after that and to be honest i’ll probably never be how I was before that time ever again.
Therapy was required for nine months to try and figure out how I come back from this and during that time I came to the realisation that I don’t have the mental capacity and strength to make it as a pilot in the RAF.
That period of age 18-20 was by far the toughest of my life so far and there are still aspects of it I am trying to move forward from with peace.
With the money i’d saved for laser eye surgery I went on a three month backpacking trip around Australia, New Zealand and the big cities and national parks of USA.
I had so much fun in each and every one of those places and eight months later I was back in New Zealand for an entire month as I saw and did everything I was unable to the first time.
Eighteen months later I was reunited with my backpack one last time as I took a birthday trip to South America to visit Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina before spending six weeks in North America.
Before I set foot on that flight to Peru I knew it was my final backpacking trip, I didn’t want too much of a good thing and to devalue my earlier trips that seem like so long ago now.
During my mental struggles there was one big escape – sport.
Through sport I could switch off from everything that was causing me distress and apply my focus to one thing.
Whether that be 90 minutes at a West Ham game or going on a 20 mile cycle over the weekend, it all contributed to helping me move forward through the pitfalls of life.
My decision to be more open about past struggles with my mental health coincided with my charity cycle from London to Paris and since then the mental health writing hasn’t really stopped.
Through merging my writing and sports I have ventured into my latest career move – a sports journalist.
With 11 weeks left on my course which by the end of I should be NCTJ Gold Standard qualified journalist I bring you fully up to date with the story of my life so far.