My mom is German and my Dad is Italian. Both sides of my family are very wonderful, and very ethnically "authentic." Which means I am half German, half Italian and entirely confused.
I'm the oldest of four children. We grew up in Colorful Colorado in the ’70’s. A fun era to be a kid, even if it was a horrifying time for fashion.
I started giving talks when I was 23 years old, after a speaker series on the Theology of the Body blew my world apart. I discovered that the Catholic Church’s teaching on human sexuality was actually about finding and living love, and I figured somebody should get out there and let people know. I figured I'd start with teenagers, since I was still pretty close to their age.
It was going to be the “good deed” I did on Wednesday nights for a few years as I climbed the corporate ladder and identified a suitable husband. But instead the demand for the speaking explodes, the corporate career went by the wayside and so, apparently, did the whole finding a husband thing.
At least so far. No doors closed there.
I spent twenty years as a full-time speaker. I travelled all over the world. I spoke in Africa, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Australia — and lots and lots of talks here in the U.S., speaking (repeatedly) in 49 of the 50 states. (Hello, Hawaii? I'm available!)
I even spoke at a couple of events with my hero, St. John Paul II.
I never counted how many people I reached, but judging by the audience sizes and my frequent flier miles, it was a lot. Maybe a million. Maybe more.
I moved from speaking primarily to teenagers to speaking primarily to adults. I started writing a syndicated column. I wrote a couple of books, including the best-selling Real Love, which as of this writing has been translated into ten languages. At least that’s what they tell me. I can't read them.
But they pay me royalties, so I guess it’s legit.
Eventually, the full-time road warrior gig got the best of me. I cut back on the travel, and added “Catholic Single Life” to my repertoire of talk topics.
So now I’m a half-time speaker and writer, a full-time real estate agent . . .
. . . and a full-time "Aunt Bop." Which is my favorite gig of all.