Felice Varini Piano

Felice Varini

St. Francis of Assisi stated that the “happiness of our lives depends upon the quality of our thoughts,” implying that our perspective on the world, and our experience of it, are one in the same.  No one translates this concept more compellingly than artist Felice Varini, the master illusionist whose large-scale projections super-imposed onto architectural spaces similarly force us to question the role of perspective in how we view the world. Viewed from one specific vantage point, his installations are precise, geometric forms that seemingly hover in front of the structure that they are painted onto; viewed from others they take on the appearance of complete randomness- shattered lines or panes of glass. To view a Varini piece in person is, I imagine, to waver between confusion and complete awe.

   L to R (Arche e Corone, Grand Palais, Arche e Corone)

His technique is anamorphosis, which is defined by a distorted projection or drawing that appears normal when viewed from a particular point or lens. But finding that ideal vantage point is not in itself Varini’s objective for the viewer. Notes the artist, “The viewer can be present in the work, but as far as I am concerned he may go through it without noticing the painting at all. If he is aware of the work, he might observe it from the vantage point and see the complete shape. But he might look from other points of views where he will not be able to understand the painting because the shapes will be fragmented and the work too abstract. Whichever way, that is ok with me.”

Eglises des Jesuites

That said, viewers who are willing to work to find that lens develop a greater intimacy with the allocated space than they would have if they were just passing through. And what Varini’s work accomplishes is the feat of forcing the viewer to slow down, question their surroundings, and experience their surroundings. In a city like New York, it is these spaces that take on such a special role in the public sphere.

 

Eglises des Jesuites

This is why Varini is such a compelling artist to channel for an interior space. The duality of his work is what makes it striking: simple shapes against ornate architectural detail; primary colors projected against neutrals; crisp paint relative to crumbling infrastructure; immense scale versus the precise vantage point at which the picture comes together. All of this should be reflected in a space that truly embodies his art.

 

In this, we join the ranks of numerous cities who recognize the wonder of his approach and commission him to rejuvenate public spaces and historic monuments. With washable paint he has wrought an indelible mark on many antiquities, painting the walls of Versailles, 12th century abbeys in western France, 15th century Augustinian monasteries in Monte Carasso, and alleyways in New Haven alike.  Interpreting his references, we will create a space that forces New Yorkers to consider the world around them in a new way.

                       

(L to R: 56, Avenue du President Wilson, New Haven Alleyway, Grand Palais, Trois Triangle Orange.

In a city where old is frequently torn down to make way for new, super imposing the modern on top of the crumbling is a novel and welcome concept indeed.

 

Sept Couronnes Excentriques, Felice Varini, Le Chateua d’Olonne, France, 2006

Felice Varini Piano

Parson’s School of Design- Part I

Yesterday was my first day of class at Parson’s School of Design, and I’m kicking off my coursework with Interior Space Planning. I thought it might be fun to take you all along for the journey from concept to virtual execution, and take you into the approach of a (budding) designer!

As a first assignment, we were asked to research and review the work of a contemporary artist, and choose one to be both the inspiration for and client of our space. We were given the following list of artists to choose from. Talk about an impossible choice! See below for sampling of their work. Can you guess which one I chose before I reveal my first assignment? Which would you choose as your inspiration?

 

Maya LIn

 

Anish Kapoor

 

 

Yayoi Kusama

Jesus Soto

Ann Hamilton

Richard Serra

Michael Heizer

Ai Wei Wei

Kara Walker

Jenny Holzer

James Turrell

Felice varini

Olafur Elliason

Felice Varini Piano

Foooood

I’m fairly certain that if the average person ate what we ate any given week they would balloon outta control, but such is the benefit of walking being your only means of reliable transportation (F– uber, if you haven’t already). We walk to work in heat, rain and snow, lugging laptops and gym clothes; we walk from the grocery store laden down with meat and vegetables, we walk to the park with our papers to relax, we walk to clear our minds and breathe fresh air, we walk when there is nothing else on the agenda.

All of which is justification for the outright gluttony that we practice on a regular basis. The experience of which I have decided to share with you on an ongoing basis- because they are DELUSHUS and God wants you to know about them. Go, go immediately and let me know what you think. Or don’t, so we can keep getting tables. Either way we all win.

 

Pig Bleecker

Pig Bleecker opened earlier this year on the corner of Bleecker and Thompson (otherwise known as the very center of the universe), and it is craymazing.

(Not pictured below- the man who sits on the corner all night singing “OH NA NA” as everyone around him slowly loses their minds)

Don’t pay attention to the name (or do, if you indulge in that sort of thing- yours truly has been swine free since ’83). We’ve now been about 5 times, and each time has been glorious.

The bar, despite being small, is big on design, and the bartenders are lovely. It is the perfect place to stop in for an innocent drink and then remain, 2 hours later, having consumed upwards of 11,000 calories. That’s just the type of place this is.

The blackened market fish is delicious and perfectly seasoned. The Bleecker Burger is a heart attack on a plate and my husband dreams about it. But the real pinch hitter here, is the Smoked and Fried Whole Chicken for two, served with waffles, cheesy grits, honey, Alabama white sauce, a variety of hot sauces, and Pappy Van Winkle Maple Syrup. Y’ALLL. Can we discuss the maple syrup for a second? It is literally one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. We were licking the bowl. The chicken is tender and smoky and crispy and defies the laws of physics. The cheesy grits and the perfectly done waffles are there when you think you can’t possible have another bite but then your stomach magically grows another stomach. All of it is euphorically tasty.

Pig Bleecker gets an A+ for the food, A- for the space (beautifully designed if a little tight at times), and probably a B+ for date night because afterwards the only horizontal action available to you will be watching SVU as you revel deliriously in the joy of the memories.

Love to love you Pig Bleecks, welcome to the hood.

Felice Varini Piano

Weekend Recap

Weekends are just the absolute best, especially when you don’t have children (sorry, but also per our experience, true), and we lived it up and laid like logs in due measure.

Friday night we had a great friend and former mutual colleague over for appetizers, followed by the tasting menu at Domo Domo for dinner. Domo Domo is one of my  absolute favorites in the city for sushi, and have just expanded into a massive new space next door on Houston street as well. For the best meal, the experience at the original bar, where each pair is assigned a dedicated chef- is unbeatable. This time, we sat in the new space, which was beautifully done if not grossly understaffed. Nonetheless, the food was exceptional and the company even better. It was a perfect Friday night.

Saturday we woke up to torrential and unceasing downpours that lasted all day, leaving us with a pretty ideal situation: a brand new season of Master of None, and virtually nothing else competing for our time. We somehow managed to watch 6 episodes in a row, and each one is absolutely masterful. I already knew Aziz Ansari was a genius, but the light he sheds on the lives of women, people of color, immigrants, the children of immigrants, friendship, religion, wanderlust, career dissatisfaction, and relationships- is astounding. Needless to say, we barrelled through the remaining episodes on Sunday and don’t regret a single moment. HIGHLY recommend Master of None on Netflix for those who haven’t yet enjoyed it.

Aziz biking through Modena in Episode I – shot in black in white in an homage to old Italian cinema

Francesca (Aziz’s on-show love interest) and Dev (Aziz) in Washington Square Park

Eventually, we had to rise up for some fresh air, and attended a birthday party on the Upper East Side for a dear friend of ours who is extremely talented and all around lovely. With the intent to just pop in for a drink, we ended up staying for 4 hours. I think the running theme here is that my husband and I completely lack self control, lol.

As the Italians say, ALLORA….onto Sunday.

Minetta Tavern

Sunday morning started off as it usually does, with coffee and the paper, and we followed it up with a beautiful and sunny walk through Washington Square and deep into the east village, looping back again to meet our friend Tom for brunch at Minetta Tavern. We have a shared obsession with Minetta’s divine burgers and decided to gorge ourselves this Sunday, if for no other reason than that none of us had plans with our mothers for brunch. As always, it was decadent and amazing.

Washington Square truly showing off after the rain

 

Batman even made an appearance

There was a brief but intense rain storm that followed in the afternoon, followed by the most glorious sunshine, and we decided once again to head to the park. It was the dreamiest Sunday afternoon- the sun was so bright it created rainbows in the fountain, and the bubble man was there making these enormous bubbles that all of the children were going mad for. We sat on a bench and watched the young families with the small children who were losing their minds, the couples on romantic strolls, the beautiful dogs standing majestically in pairs, and all of the characters with boomboxes strapped to bicycles who come to the park to get attention. It was a quintessentially New York day, and the perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Finally, I’d be remiss to comment on Mother’s Day itself being yesterday. Being the excellent children we are, we sent our mother’s flowers to enjoy for the entirety of the weekend, and woke them up with calls yesterday too. We love them both so dearly, and are so lucky to have them in our lives. Mothers make the world go round (literally) and the ones in our midst are the very best, and deserve all of the love and adoration not just yesterday, but everyday. To them all, I wish a million weekends like these, or at the least, a million little kisses and hugs to make up for it.

With all my love,

Miss Sheiky xxx

Felice Varini Piano

Finding Inspiration Everywhere

I am counting the days until my courses at Parson’s kick off this June, and in preparation have had a blast recommitting to indulging my creative pursuits. Below, a few standouts that I wanted to share with you, so take a pause, grab a cup of coffee (or tea, no judgement) and prepare yourselves for some serious drool worthiness below.

 

The 2017 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

My friend Hilary and I decided to take a trip uptown to the Kips Bay Decorator’s Showhouse. What on earth is that, you say? Well dear reader, I’ll tell you. The showhouse is an annual event where celebrated Interior Designers transform a luxury Manhattan home (understatement of the century) into an absolutely bananas exhibition of fine furnishing, art and technology. The event raises critical funds for after school and enrichment programs for New York City children (getting your kicks in while benefitting society? yes please)- and as grown into “a must see event for thousands of design enthusiasts…renowned for sparking interior design trends throughout the world.” This year’s showhouse is on 65th street between Park and Lex (e.g. heaven), and was such a perfect way to spend an evening with one of my best girlfriends. To add to the visual delight, a number of the designers were on site (we went on opening day) and it was so great to have them answer our questions about materials, thought process, and the nitty gritty details behind the details! Herewith, some of my favorite rooms.

 

1- Susan Ferrier of McAlpine’s moody bedroom & Living Suite :

2- the utterly glamorous bamboo framed backyard :

3- Designer Ken Fulk’s divine with a capital “D” dining room:

4- another look at ken fulk’s room- look at those incredible curtains:

5- Look at that heavenly de gournay wallpaper. i  died and went to heaven, only for that giraffe to bring me back to life:

6- Richard Misshaan’s sultry sitting room:

7- Kirsten Kelli’s incredibly innovative mix of modern and traditional:

I will show more details photos in subsequent posts – as there were too many to share! But the whole place is divine and worth every penny of the $40 admission fee. Plan your visit here.

 

Books

When I’m not roaming the streets of New York seeking out mansions to walk through, I’m doing my share of reading! The below are a few I’ve added to the shelves as of late.

How They Decorated illustrates some of the great rooms of the twentieth century, whose stylish residents influence our tastes today. Translation: how did women with all the moola and style in the world decorate their homes? From Bunny Mellon to Mona von Bismarck to Georgia O’Keefe – this book dives into their aesthetic approaches, categorizing them into “The Fashionably Chic” “the Unconventional Eye, “in the Grand Manner” and “Legacy Style”.

Via Rizzoli: “Known for his meticulously researched, European-inspired style, Marshall Watson creates interiors that are rich in texture, detail, and simple luxuries. In his first book, Watson shares his finest work, demonstrating that while each of these homes is as unique as its owner, they all adhere to principles that transform a mere series of spaces into a genuine, coherent home: warmth; light; peace; comfort; balance; proportion; livability; and last but not least, appropriateness. Whether in an Italianate villa in Los Cabos or a family idyll on a Swedish island, a Gramercy Park apartment that blends shimmer and restraint, or a Newport Beach cottage warmed by walls finished in egg-yolk yellow, Watson explains how he translated each family’s lifestyle and aspirations, the house’s history, and the surrounding environment into a highly original form of elegance—and how anyone can discover his or her own.”

What I particularly enjoy about this book so far is that you can’t pinpoint a replicable “style” of his that is imprinted on every house, which is refreshing in an age when you can look at a house and almost immediately tell who laid their paws on it. In my opinion, you don’t hire a decorator to impose their view of the world, you hire them to impose yours. Nowhere does this come through more clearly than in Watson’s interiors – a beautifully photographed and written book.

 

From designer and blogger Erin Gates, a fully illustrated book packed with advice, ideas, inspiration, and anecdotes about designing a home that reflects your personality and style. Written in a fluid and conversational tone and divided by room, it is such an enjoyable read and really well done and accessible, despite her very obvious talents. I adored this book and basically gobbled it up in 2 days.

From the man himself: “This is a book about dreams coming true; the curiosities in the rooms I have decorated; and the people, artists, and places that have inspired me. When all is said and done and I am long forgotten, maybe someone will find this book in a dusty library—if such a thing still exists—and glimpse a bit of the pleasure my life has given me. I want them to have the sensation of dancing across an MGM soundstage, silhouetted in a klieg light, because that was my intention with this book, a very personal blend of work and fantasy.”

—Miles Redd

Needless to say, I can’t wait to crack this one open. Leaving it for last (notably because it’s also the heftiest of the bunch!)

 

Apart from these, sometimes the best inspiration truly comes from walking the streets of New York, and I’m grateful to be doing more of that now that the weather has turned (all the way up to 60 degrees! Come on Summer). Yesterday, I took 21st street East from 10th avenue, admiring the Chelsea brownstones and gorgeous flowers in bloom; sometimes the free entertainment is truly the best there is.

Until next time,

Miss Sheiky xx

Felice Varini Piano

Sacre Bleu! I’ve been out of commish since 4/20?! Did I blink only for 20 days to pass?!

We had my parents in town this past weekend and it was absolutely incredible! They very rarely come to New York (for reasons unbeknownst to me because they are TRUE New Yorkers at heart when they are here) and we had an absolute ball with them. Friday’s weather brought forth a full fledged deluge that had their flight rerouted through ALBANY, but they finally made it (although- we had to relinquish our 4 tickets to the New York Philharmonic, which was the entire point of their visit). Not to fret however as my husband pulled out his phone and promptly bought 4 tickets for Saturday night’s performance via Stubhub. Yet another instance of our luck being hit considerably and our ability to respond in stride! We are getting pretty good at this!

Given that, we found ourselves with a free evening and some “post-show” dinner reservations uptown at Boulud Sud- so we had my parents over for a cheese spread that was fit for the Gods. They had a great time, and above all LOVED our apartment which made me the happiest person in the world. My mother was ready to move right in! And for the first time ever ever, not for nothing- she said she was proud of me. #daymade #yearmade What have you. Dinner at Boulud Sud was INCREDIBLE- I started with the asparagus soup which was bursting with flavor – followed by Sea Bass and then the most DELUSHUS spread of baklava and lemon verbena tea you ever did see.

Highlights of Saturday included dog watching in Washington Square, shopping in Soho, a long and luxurious nap with all the windows open while my husband and mom chatted on the balcony (hello alternate universe I love you never leave) followed by Beethoven’s 9th at David Geffen Hall at LIncoln Center, which was the most moving and MAGNIFICENT concert I have ever seen in my entire life. I cried like a baby you guys. It was insanely beautiful. Afterward, we were all on a high and floated over to PJ Clarkes for Oysters and Burgers. Both nights we stayed out well past midnight, something my husband and I don’t even do in our normal lives. Party animals those parents of mine!

Finally, Sunday we met them for breakfast at the Soho Grand, where they were staying, and saw them off to the airport. It was an incredible reminder of the beauty of New York in spring, how wonderful it was to spend time with my parents when 10 nieces and nephews aren’t vying for their attention, and just how lucky I feel in every single way. A soul restoring weekend, as it were.

There you have it! I SHALL be back tomorrow with all types of culture vulture and design updates- but I will leave you with that little jaunt through the weekend until then. Just so you know I am alive and well. Hoping you are too! BAH!

 

Felice Varini Piano

Life Lately

Happy 4/20 my friends. Where oh where has this April gone? Am I seriously on a July 4th diet already? curses.

We’ve had a lot going on, quel surprise; this last week alone found us in Chicago and Boston (LA too for my husband); we’ve been redecorating and working and exploring and catching up with friends who have emerged from hibernation. It’s been a whirlwind, but it looks like things might be calming down slightly for both of us and we couldn’t be more thrilled. As such, I wanted to collect myself and share some excellent places we’ve been to and things we’ve done as of late.

 

1- The Whitney Biennial

This year’s Biennial was politically charged and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course we saw Dana Schutz’s “Open Casket”, a work that has come under a boatload of controversy for co-opting black suffering (Dana is a white woman). I however found it powerful and beautiful, and thoughtfully done. Dana has promised not to sell or profit from the painting, and I think that should be a good enough compromise for shedding light on a gruesome event in history.

The Whitney’s new space is also incredible, not only due to the fact that it’s a stone’s throw from my current office. The space is expansive and filled with light, and much easier to navigate than the Whitney’s old space on Madison. I particularly loved the works of New York photographer Deana Lawson and LA painter Henry Taylor, both of whom made intimate portraits of black men, women and children. Samar Golden’s The Meat Grinder’s Iron Clothes was a magnificent feat of illusion, and Raul de Nieves’ Installation was a revelation. It is a particularly wonderful way to kick off a weekend as the Whitney stays open late on Friday evenings – go and let me know what you think!

Works by Henry Taylor

Dana Schutz’ “Open Casket”

Raul de Nieves

Another view of Raul de Nieves

One of my favorite rooms – when we went at 6pm it was full of purple light (not captured here)

 Podcasts

I know, I’m always raving about podcasts, like a typical early 30’s NPR listening yuppy, but hear me out. On the way down from Boston we listened to “Missing Richard Simmons”, a podcast by obsessed filmmaker Dan Tiburski. An apt description from the podcasts’ own site:

“On February 15, 2014, fitness guru Richard Simmons disappeared. He stopped teaching his regular exercise class at Slimmons, cut off his closest friends, and removed himself from the public eye after decades as one of the most accessible celebrities in the world. Nobody has heard from him – and no one knows why he left. Filmmaker Dan Taberski was a Slimmons regular and a friend of Richard’s. Missing Richard Simmons is Dan’s search for Richard – and the deeper he digs, the stranger it gets.”

It’s so good, y’all.

The second and much more bizarre one I am listening to currently (if that is at all possible) is actually a work of fiction called “Alice Isn’t Dead”. From their site:

“Alice Isn’t Dead – a new serial fiction podcast from the team behind Welcome to Night Vale. A truck driver searches across America for the wife she had long assumed was dead. In the course of her search, she will encounter not-quite-human serial murderers, towns literally lost in time, and a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.”

After listening to a bunch of depressing non-fiction podcasts (S Town, Missing Richard Simmons), it’s refreshing to get my dose of depression from a work of fiction. At least then I can pretend it isn’t real ;).

 

Parsons the New School

Finally, and perhaps most exciting of all, I’ve enrolled in night courses at the Parson’s School of Design so that I can begin working toward my certificate in Interior Design. This has been a long time passion of mine and I am over the moon to be taking this step to credentialize  myself in that regard. Who knows where this will take me, though I have big plans for that too – I can’t wait for classes to begin and am so utterly thrilled to be taking this step. So I am knee deep in research on all things interiors and loving every minute of it.

 

That’s just a touch of what is going on around my parts, but all good things and I am feeling grateful for many things right now. Love to all of you and wishing you all a good and rapidly dwindling week! Enjoy your greens today!

xoxo

Ms. Sheiky

Felice Varini Piano

10 Things

Oh Happy Day

Time for a Friday roundup – but first, how fucking fabulous is the wallpaper above? Yes- that is actual wallpaper from House of Hackney’s “Art Deco Menagerie” series, and I am lusting after it so badly for our entry way. (I can feel my husband’s nether regions receding into his body from here. Hear me out babe, I plead.)

But real talk, I’ve had it up on my desktop all day. It’s mesmerizing. AND ONE DAY SOON IT WILL BE MINE.

Other things I am loving so so much right now:

2) Chance the Rapper performing Blessings on Jimmy Fallon. Breathtaking. Must watch. This whole album is so gold.

3) Bonus: This drawing of “Chance the Raptor” that our bestie Tom sent me. Thanks brother.

4) Our new built in bookshelves and yuge ass OLED TV which are the two best things that ever happened to our apartment minus the humans in it, but just barely if we’re being honest. Here is a stock picture of the TV, for your pleasure.

5) Ava Duvernay’s The 13th on Netflix, which is the most astounding and enraging documentary I have seen in a long while. The NYTimes calls it “electrifying” and that’s honestly an understatement. Watch it.

6 & 7) On the opposite end of the spectrum, the new Dave Chappelle and Louis CK Netflix specials are so smart, so witty, and so utterly hilarious, they expose the true genius of these two gentlemen. Netflix is slaying it as per usual. SLAYING.

8) Have you checked out the new Vogue Arabia? I love how they are interpreting the Middle Eastern aesthetic. And aren’t we all tired of reading about former coked-out white girls marrying English lords and moving to the countryside? (Much more glamorous to marry a fat Emirati sheikh and dress in couture!)

Feast your eyes on this insane cover photo of Gigi Hadid. She is everything.

9) These shoes are the ultimate man repeller and for that reason I love them. Mules are back in y’all!

Rococo inspired mules. You know you like them.

10) And finally, the following organizations that have tirelessly provided support throughout the brutal, senseless, and endless onslaught on the Syrian people. Please click on the links below to donate to these exceptional causes, and start the weekend off knowing that regardless of your side in this latest argument (and for what it’s worth, this Syrian liberal sides with Trump), you will be supporting a people that so desperately need medical relief.

 

Doctor’s Without Borders

Syrian American Medical Society

With hopes that you all have a wonderful weekend full of lively adventures with great friends, long mornings spent poring over newspapers, good coffee and delicious meals, long walks and plenty of laughs. Thank you so much for your kindness after my last post. I truly love you all.

 

Felice Varini Piano

Thoughts

Last Friday, I went in for oral surgery.

By way of background, these past few years my stress levels have been especially high; I have felt heightened pressure, like many folks in their early 30s do, to pour myself into my work as much as possible and make something of myself before the invisible “the window closes”. this window an insidious creation of both a culture that praises at the altar of 30 under 30, and an industry in which I don’t see a single face over the age of 45.  I have dug deep down and to process my own hypocrisy – on the one hand chiding Trump voters who don’t understand that it was automation, not immigrants, that took their jobs, and on the other hand knowing that I am single handedly playing a massive role in this automation and am myself putting structures in place that will allow for fewer people to do more and more.

There was a scene on this Sunday’s Billions where Mick Danzig has a session with Wendy Rhoades. In it, he relays his nightmares about Russian hackers destroying his portfolio. Wendy weighs this crisis of conscience and suggests his nightmares are reflective of the very real fears he has about the negative impact of his work on the people of Sandicott, who are about to be unceremoniously bled dry by a bad investment.

Thoughts similar to these and the stress it creates manifests itself in something very real, and that is grinding the ever loving shit out of my jaw. Despite wearing a mouth guard, I have spent what is now tens of thousands of dollars to correct issues arising from the crushing weight of my grinding, until last weekend I woke up with a partially swollen face and knew something terrible had happened. And I was right; I had, as a matter of fact, fractured a bone in my jaw, which had created a pathway for infection that caused half my face to swell. I saw two specialists first thing Monday morning.

Multiple scans later, I was given the news.

“I’m so sorry to tell you this, but we aren’t going to be able to save your tooth,” she told me, as I broke down into tears. “And we’ll have to do a bone graft to replace the one you have so that your gums don’t collapse.”

33 years old and already losing teeth, I thought. At this rate, I won’t have any if I’m so lucky as to live into old age. For me, this was devastating.

Friday afternoon, I went in for corrective surgery. I wish to God I hadn’t been awake for it- it was grizzly and painful and I wouldn’t wish it on an enemy. And two thoughts kept going through my head- 1) I am so Goddamn lucky I have dental insurance and 2) I am even more lucky that I can pay for what isn’t covered without a second thought. Because in addition to being painful and awful, this surgery would have bankrupted anyone, and that is a horrifying thought. And a proof point that health care is a fundamental human right.

I spent the weekend at home recovering, and was kind enough to have so many friends and family check in on me constantly. But I had a lot of time to think; and I realized that I need to get fucking serious about my stress levels and my health and what I want out of this short life. I have proven to myself that I can “do it all”, that I can start a new team at work and plan a wedding at the same time, that I can do right by my clients and do right by the example that my tireless parents set for us every day. But I also understand now that it is okay to set limits on what can and cannot be achieved, and that using fear to motivate myself to work harder, better, faster, stronger- is landing me in dire straits. When I look at what I want out of life – to have a happy marriage, children, to be nearer to my family and have more access to the outdoors and to read and write, and pursue joy, I realize what is not at the top of that list, and never will be.

That’s okay. And okay will have to do for now.