Ever since I can remember holding a pen, I remember writing. Words are my constant companion, my solace, my connection to humanity. I write because I must, but I also write to share a common experience. If one of my sentences makes you feel like you are not alone in this wide world, then I have done my job. We have so much to share as human beings, don’t we? Thank you for letting me share my words.
February 25, 2014 | 04:36 PM
The autobiography I penned at age eight begins with this:
"How it all started… When I was young I had some troubles. I had started to grow up to be a very spastic child. Every time I got mad I held my breath until I passed out. My mom was scared."
It is a handwritten document, 14 pages long, held together with Scotch tape and a fraying ribbon. There was once a flower sticker on the front construction paper cover, but it has long since been lost, leaving a greasy stain in its absence.
My kids think it's the funniest thing they've ever seen.
They especially love the dedication:
"To all those I love and all the Rangers in the Ranger Rick club. May you enjoy this book."
They also enjoy the back cover blurb:
"The life story of Katrina Hodge her troubles, her fears, her ups and her downs how she manages her life how sometimes she fails how her love for someone just passes her by. Read this story and maybe it could change your life just as it changed Katrina's because she put it down on paper and let her feelings show."
I had yet to learn the fine art of avoiding the run-on sentence.
But at eight, I had mastered some of life's most important lessons...
1. It's best to surround yourself with people you love, even if -- especially if -- they aren't just like you:
"I have a lot of friends in third grade but my best ones are as follows, KS she is in the Ranger Rick club. AT she also is in Ranger Rick and HR who does not get Ranger Rick."
2. Maybe he's just not that into you:
"Another trouble in my life was a boy named TA he lived in Eldarado, Ohio. I always wrote to him but he never wrote back I don't think he liked me."
3. But when you find The One, you'll know:
"Then I started to like a boy named MF but I am kind of shy with boys so I asked my friend KS to ask him if he liked me he said he didn't so now I like a boy named DM. I begged my friends, HR and AT to ask him if he likes me and he said yes so I think this love is going to last a long time."
4. The importance of safety:
"One of my uncles name is KA he is the baby of the family even though he is about 5 foot 5 6 foot 2 my mom says he looks like Elcapone because of all the scars on his body. One time his was trying to saw a limb off of the tree and sawed the limb off that he was sitting on."
5. Skating backwards to Andy Gibb's "Shadow Dancing" is the best Friday night fun:
"Every fourth Friday of the month we have a skating party for St. Michaels school KS, AT, HR and I play pass the nickel, quarter, dime or penny you see we skate around the rink and when we see someone who is playing we skate around them and hand them the coin we are playing with."
6. There's a delicate balance when it comes to shameless self-promotion:
"KS is my very best friend out of 'our group.' I've known her for about 7 yrs. She is pretty and she is very intelligent. I don't like to brag but to say so myself I think I am kind of cute but I know I am smart I am an A+ student."
7. Human beings change each other every day:
"Now I am 8 going on 9 and I feel better now that I've told you about my life and maybe it even changed you a bit."