Today I have Jodi Meadows, author of INCARNATE and soon to be released ASUNDER. Jodi shares her story of her childhood and how she managed to stay strong through it all. So many times we let others get the best of us. It's important to know deep inside that what others think about you aren't important.
Growing up, I had my share of bullies. I was often a target for name-calling and mocking because I was a shy girl with glasses, who preferred reading to almost anything else. Oh, and I wore braces. In third, fourth, and fifth grade, I might as well have had a sign over me saying “easy target.” But overall, I was lucky. No one ever hurt me. No one ever convinced me I was worthless.
For a long time, I thought the only thing I could do was endure it, but one year, my mom enrolled me in karate class. It turned out I sucked at karate. A lot. I kept pointing my toes (thanks to ballet class the night before karate class) and I could never bring myself to hit or kick anyone. But the class gave me a peculiar sense of confidence. I knew a little about self-defense. I knew what I was capable of (not much, but it was more than before). And I guess something about the way I carried myself changed. I stopped trying to make myself small. I stopped looking like a target, in spite of how I was still shy and wore glasses and braces and all that.
The other important thing that happened was this: I made friends. In sixth grade, I joined the school band where I made friends with other delightfully weird kids who liked to read. For me, it was much easier to endure the occasional bullying when I had people I could trust with me.