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Miley Cyrus Still Has 'Miles to Go'

Read an excerpt from the 16-year-old pop star's autobiography.

ByABC News via logo
April 6, 2009, 6:15 PM

March 7, 2009 — -- She's a 16-year-old pop phenom, seilling millions of albums and creating an acting franchise in her Hannah Montana character -- and now Miley Cyrus has published an autobiography called "Miles to Go," written with Hilary Liftin.

Cyrus says the book is a way to show her fans the real person behind the celebrity. Read the excerpt from "Miles to Go," and find out why Cyrus is obsessed with her own hands.

Read the Introduction Below

Dedicated to my first love! The only man who understands me. The one who will forever own the key to my heart. The one I am lucky enough to call not only my best friend but my hero. This book is in memory of my Pappy. I will always love you! Thank you for answering my prayers. xo Miley P.S. I Miss You!

Okay, this is gonna sound like a weird place to start, but I think a lot about my hands. I was born left-handed. My dad is also a lefty, but he's absolutely convinced that I'm right-handed. I think it's because he has always said lefties have to "learn the worldbackwards," and I know he has had a hard time finding a left-handed guitar every now and then...Whatever the reason, from the time I started to write, he had me use my right hand. It worked. In the rest of my life I'm left-handed, but I do write with my righthand. So if you don't like my handwriting—talk to my dad.

Just to mess with my left-handed self a little more, I came across a book about calligraphy and started teaching myself to write Chinese characters. With my right hand. On a plane. I was flying a chartered jet from Los Angeles to New York. The flight was turbulent, the ink spilled at least twice, and I managed to get it all over myself, the paper, the seats of the plane, and, when I tried to clean up the mess, the bathroom. My mom was yelling at me for getting ink everywhere, but I was really into it.

The word calligraphy is Greek for "beautiful writing." Believe me, people, if the Greeks saw what I was doing they'd make up a new word for it. But I was immediately obsessed. I drew the characters for "love," "luck," "life," and "knowledge" over and over again, first slowly and carefully like a kindergartner learning to write, then faster and better.

It's a good thing the plane wasn't equipped for skywriting, or I probably would have tried to convince the pilot to take a stab at the sign for "Rock on."There's got to be an ancient Chinese character for that, right?

1. calligraphy

2. beading

3. knitting for two seconds

4. scrapbooking

5. reading the life story of Einstein

6. being a marine biologist

7. high fashion

Some people believe that your handwriting tells all your secrets—that the slants and loops and dots of a scribbled to-do list or a note passed in class reveal all there is to know about a person. It's a cool idea, but really I think the only thing anyone can tell about me from my handwriting is that I'm supposed to be writing with my other hand. I do almost everything else—brush my hair, open doors, hold a fork, and carry the reins of my horses—with my left hand. And, you know, my Dad had a point—I do think the world feels a little bit backward sometimes even when I'm trying to keep everything going in the right direction.

Maybe because I've felt so aware of them, I've always been superprotective of my hands. I know, I know: weird.* But I just feel as though my hands are important. My energy comes from them. Everything I do comes from them. My right hand is for art. I use it to play guitar and to write. My left hand is for caring. For combing my or combing my little sister's hair. For holding hands with friends. For comforting Sofie, my puppy, as we fall asleep. (And occasionally for slapping my brother Braison upside the head when he's picking on me. I know— but everybody has their limits!)

I let both my hands wander freely on a piano, searching for the right notes. My hands steer my thoughts when I write in my journal. They riffle through my Bible, finding truths. The beat for a new song emerges as I drum on a tabletop. I feel my way through hard times. I want all I do to be artistic and loving. Who I am and what I say and whatever hope and joy I may spread—it all comes from my own two hands.

Am I right-handed? Am I left-handed? Am I neither? Am I a singer, or an actor? Am I a public person, or am I a private person? Why can't I be all these things? I'm on TV. I'm writing a book. But I also love staying at home with my family. And I feel alone—in a good way—inside my head. Am I the person you know from television, photographs, even this book? Or are we all, each of us, more elusive, and harder to define? Who am I to say?

Most people know me as Hannah Montana, but Hannah is a television character. She's fiction. Sure, I've put a lot of myself into her. I've tried to make her come to life. But that doesn't make her real, and it doesn't make her me. This is my very own book—myfirst chance to tell my own story in my own words. But to tell my story, I have to talk about Hannah. And that's okay. Because I think that's why people relateto both Hannah Montana and Miley Stewart—my alter egos on TV. There are multiple sides to all of us. Who we are—and who we might be if we follow our dreams.

*You might be reading this word a lot in this book. Or at least thinking it.