People ask me where I’m from and while I will mention the town in which I now reside, I always quickly add that I’m “from” New York City. Truthfully I was born in New Jersey and lived mostly there for the first twelve years of my life, but New York City is where my heart and identity reside. I am a New Yorker. An East Villager. From before it was cool – when it was just seedy and scary. When there was “no life above 14th Street” and the men’s shelter was around the corner on one side and the Hells Angels’ world headquarters around the corner on the other.
I now live in Wayne, PA with my husband of nearly twenty years and my two (if I do say so myself) beautiful children, whenever they’re around. My friends here tease me because, city kid that I am, I’m afraid of the boogeyman when I walk down the street in the dark – even if it’s only 7pm on a winter evening. Even though the Hells Angels never really scared me!
I own a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm and spend much of my time speaking, writing, teaching, and presenting my ideas and approaches to life and to business. Ideas that are a compilation of what I’ve learned along the journey through my bizarre and “way out” childhood, and leadership best practices learned in my many years in business and my MBA.
People still have different reactions when they hear all that happened to and around me. A few years ago new neighbors moved in two doors down. I quickly became fast friends with the mom. One night we were out to dinner and facts about my past came out. She looked at me, from across the table, and exclaimed, “But you seem so normal!” I guess I am, whatever normal means. My childhood was anything but. It was quite a path from there to here and a long journey to move beyond all the things that held me captive for many years. It’s a weird story. But it’s true.