I don’t remember who my hero was at 5, but considering I wanted to be a Ninja Turtle with all my heart…I’ll go with Leonardo. I sincerely believed at the time that I could do it, I just needed to learn how to fight. The issue that arose very quickly with the physical aspects of that commitment is that fighting usually included striking someone and in turn, getting hit.
One evening in the back yard with my neighbor who was a year older but still eager to please me; the stranger who lived in the apartment next door that rarely came outside – i had confided my aspirations earlier on our walk home from the Maxi Taxi Drop point in the central part of our small neighborhood in Trinidad – he told me that he would help me learn how to fight.
What a 6 year old was going to teach a 5 year old that would allow her to become a Ninja Turtle…I would never know because after trying to hit him once I realized that hitting would also hurt me and that almost instantly broke my heart. I decided that their super power was that they could do damage without feeling pain, and my dreams of becoming a Ninja Turtle started ebbing away slowly.
Captain Planet quickly became my new obsession and then, when my grandmother gave me a ring with a heart on it, I thought I was destined to be a Planeteer, but that’s a story for another time.