Felice Varini Piano


You guys, I miss Kauai so much. Being back in New York in 20 degree weather is making me realize just how much I hate winter, hate being cooped up in my apartment, hate being cooped up in the office- in that order (just kidding- I hate them all equally). It’s been hard to even write this post because it makes me so sad not to be there. WOE IS ME.

Kauai is absolute paradise. Known as the garden isle, it has a population of 67,000 (sparse, perfect) and is approximately 6 million years old (resulting in the most astonishing cliffs and valleys, beaches and dense tropical vegetation). As our helicopter pilot Trevor told us “It takes a lot of years to build beauty like this.” (<–How obnoxious was starting a sentence with “our helicopter pilot, Trevor”, on a scale of 1 to 10?)

We arrived Tuesday just before sunset and immediately noticed the party was on outside on the terrace. We raced to our room to drop our bags, put on acceptable attire (why, you don’t travel in big white sneakers like your aunt Mary Martha from Tampa?), and head straight out to the hotel’s expansive 180 degree deck overlooking Hanalei Bay for sunset drinks and dinner. We stayed at the St. Regis Princeville and this quickly became a tradition every night- running up to the terrace, grabbing a much desired table with gorgeous views of the bay, and waiting for the most epic sunsets. The St. Regis does a champagne sabering every night as well (a nod to a favorite practice of their founder), and as they do, they tell an ancient island story very animatedly (as we quickly realized- it’s the same story every night);  it was always great fun and got everyone in the mood for the rest of the evening!

A few highlights from our 5 days in Princeville:

^The hotel pool, where M and I practiced headstands and holding our breath under water like little kids. For the record, he would probably urge me to confess that I can’t do either exceptionally well, though like the insecure child I still am I demanded an A for effort. The hot tub was also a favorite. As always.^

^The beach on Hanalei Bay, where we wiled away many hours reading books and looking for crabs. Plenty of coral and fish for the snorkelers in our midst (The guy next to us emerged from the water with his snorkeling mask on one day and proudly proclaimed “YOU GUYS, IT LOOKS LIKE MARS IN THERE”. I think that’s an endorsement)^

^ Hiking the mind-blowingly beautiful Napali coast on our second day. It is an 11 mile path in total and typically takes hikers 2 days to do; but most stick to the first 2 miles to a hidden beach and the 2 miles back, as it’s a rigorous 10/10 in terms of difficulty. Proud to say that all of my stairmaster skilllllz served me well as I felt like I was flying through it. It felt so good to be warm, active, and surrounded by such beauty. The coast is absolutely immaculate and the views from the hike were superb. Pro tip: Next time I would bring a backpack as I had to makeshift a beach bag into one and tie it to my arms with little room for circulation as it was full of water and snacks, haha- but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Plan to arrive at the trail head between 8-9 am to get a spot.^

^More views of the breathtaking Napali coast^

^Our awesome wrangler!! My favorite car ever. We cruised around a ton with the top down, listening to weird Hawaiian radio and discovering new beaches at every turn. Loved it so much, highly recommend renting a car out there, particularly a wrangler so you can drive offroad!^

^The roads are gorgeous. I took a ton of pictures that basically look like this, which we all know are imminently frame-able. 😉 ^

^Friday we took a helicopter tour of the islands with SUnshine Helicoptor and despite the death stares we received when we rolled into the safety demonstrations 10 minutes late (like can we live?! We were on holiday time okay!), we had an EPIC time up there. I am terrified of heights so frankly I was low key scared out of my mind all morning, and clutched M’s arm in a death grip as we floated up, up and away. But minutes into it I had gained my courage and thought it was absolutely amazing. Would totally do it again and thought the views, particularly in the later afternoon with the sun reflecting off of the water, was just exquisite. Such a treat to do something like that^


Not pictured but not forgotten

  1. Tropical Taco – the most incredible, insane fish tacos. They are SO BIG and SO DELUSHUS. 10/10, would eat again (and we did; like every day. Not mad about it)

  2. Kilauea Lighthouse & Wildlife Refuge – A beautiful lighthouse (the Westernmost one in the US!) and bird refuge where you can take binoculars out at your leisure and roam the grounds as really great bird experts tell you what you are looking at. Loved this so much. I was overwhelmed at all the birds. “Look- there’s an albatross!” I gleefully told my husband. “You’re an albatross,” he responded. True love, you guys.

  3. The roosters. Kauai is known for its wild chicken population (brought by the European settlers because of course they brought something as random as chickens to a place where you can get the best fish everywhere you go). The actual story is cooler and involves a hurricane freeing all of the chicken fight chickens at once and allowing them to roam free and populate the island. Whichever you believe, the chickens are a hilarious addition to the island.

  4. Our lovely friends from Sacramento that we met and had a serious friend-affair with the last 2 days of our trip. They were the best and our last night on Kauai was especially fun because of them. Love you guys!

There were so many more memories to share but this was a start. We love you so much, Kauai. Thank you for showing us the barefoot Aloha spirit in its best form. This was truly one of my most favorite trips ever and I will never forget it.

Felice Varini Piano

Hawaii Part I: Maui

I guess everyone kind of knew Hawaii was amazing since it is such a beloved destination for lovahs on honeymoon, but I truly had no idea how mind-blowingly amazeballoons it actually was until we landed in Honolulu. Yes, we knew it was amazing upon emerging from an 11 hour flight from NYC and awaiting our connecting flight to Maui in an outdoor airport garden filled with tropical plants and Hawaiian pigeons (<–note, not an actual species, but basically thinner and prettier than their NYC counterparts, SORRY BECKY); we felt the warm sun on our faces and we were sold. Real talk, I love the airport in Honolulu more than I like some of my favorite places in New York. That’s how much I loved Hawaii.

I’m thankful to say it got exponentially better from there. Below- a snapshot of our first leg- 2 nights and 2 days in Wailea, Maui.



Maui is bananas. It feels like a mix of Miami (minus the bachelorette parties with girls of widely ranging weight wearing matching tank tops and clutching BYO inflatable swans), and Malibu (inclusive of gorgeous beaches and maximally chill vibes) with a dash of just magic. It was sunny and hot and gorgeous every minute. We stayed in Wailea on the West Coast of Maui, at the Andaz Hotel, which was very Zen chic and brand new. Both the location and hotel itself came highly recommended, and we were happy to have adored both.

 ^The Open Air Lobby at the Andaz. That’s totally a life size Japanese rock garden in the middle there. Life goalz for entry into our future mansion in Malibu (right babe?!) ^

^ Our Room. Hard to leave in the morning, perfect for sunset watching at night. Not pictured- team shower that legit could fit a starting lineup. If you are into that sort of thing.^

^ A peak at the infinite infinity pools on the property. ^

^Morimoto – the site of an incredible dinner our second night, where my husband ordered way too much sushi and we practically had to roll ourselves upstairs. Fun note, we were told that people have indeed tried to dive head first into the 3 foot deep pool surrounding the hotel, to injurious endings ^

^ The Wailea Beach walk that extended 2 miles from our hotel to it’s end, through perfectly manicured grass and hovering above silky sand beaches and plunging down lava cliffs.  ^

^ Another look at the Wailea beach walk. We were out there speed walking at 7 am with all of the other 80 year olds on vacation. ^

^ This tree was like the tree of life. So beautiful. One day we walked by and saw an old couple underneath it, just staring out at the horizon together and we both thought, they are doing life right ^

^ Another look at the pools. We spent a lot of time chilling, reading, swimming and the like. I read three whole books this vacation! Another post to come on those. I’M SO LITERARY ^

Not pictured:

1) A brief trip to the Wailea shopping center, a mall comprised of a Prada, Gucci, and approximately 25 local boutiques selling the same Hawaiian print shirt. In case you want a pair of $700 loafers to go with your Tommy Bahama chic (which actually is the ideal Dad outfit so maybe I’m not their core consumer?). Reader, we bought a Hawaiian shirt.

2) The floating bed swing we whiled away an afternoon in, reading as the sun descended and the light got more and more golden. WANT one of these please.

3) The breakfast at the Andaz which was, unequivocally, the most insane hotel breakfast I’ve ever had: every fruit and fresh juice imaginable, every breakfast meat and egg dish and cheese and pastry, and all of them maddeningly delicious. I’d honestly go back to Maui for that breakfast alone since I’m basically Chris Farley (“FEED ME DAMNIT I’M STARVING”)(RIP).

As you can probably tell we didn’t vear too far from the vast property apart from swim in the frothy ocean – nor did we care to. It was a perfect 2 days, after which we were super relaxed and ready to take on Kauai! Stay tuned.

Felice Varini Piano

Where have I been? Where have YOU been? You don’t call, you don’t write….

Every week feels insane around these parts but this one has been actually insane.

For one: we were slated to depart to Dubai tonight, and had to cancel the trip (and relinquish our plane tickets which were not NOT expensive) at the last minute, because our friend’s daughter contracted an illness that should have died in 1945 where other illnesses for which we have vaccines should have stayed. But unfortunately, some parents are assholes and don’t vaccinate their children. And so we were left with the thought of spending a week in a hotel in Dubai and friends who rightfully had to look after a sick daughter, and pulled the plug Wednesday.

On a positive note, I’d already had a facial, manicure and pedicure in anticipation of a trip to the land of glitz and nothing was going to stop me from putting them to good use.

First, my husband suggested we go skiing. Then we thought perhaps a road trip to Charleston via a number of bed and breakfasts along the way would be fun (sidebar- I still really want to do this trip). Finally, at 1 am on Wednesday night, exasperated by the seemingly endless  options that also required a great deal of planning- the Mr. looked up at me.

“How about Hawaii?!” he said excitedly.

“HOW BOWT DAT,” I replied in my head. (What I really said, trying to shield my excitement lest I give him second thoughts, was “Hawaii could be a good idea!”)

Ten minutes later we had roundtrip direct flights (thank you Delta. We lub you lontime). Then we promptly passed out because 1 am is way past our bedtime.

The next morning at work, I shot a note to our travel alias, a group of techies who love their travel and have been just about everywhere on earth. “Dear Travellers,” I wrote. “Please send recommendations for Hawaii. We have no children and are moderately adventurous (i.e. would love great hiking recommendations, but anything involving deep sea diving or jumping off of tall things is a no go). So a really great hotel with good design is what we’d like, since we will be lounging around reading a good deal. We also love good beaches and good food, because we’re human 🙂 GO”.

Within hours, dear reader, our entire trip was planned. People who have gone to Hawaii, it turns out, are rabidly obsessed with talking about what they did and where they stayed. It was a God send.

A few lessons I learned:

  1. $$ doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy the flexibility to get out of really shitty situations, and that is a blessing.  A blessing that leads to happiness 😉  I’m thankful we were able to turn lemons into Lemonade, just like Beyonce (if we gonna heal, let it be GLORIUOUSSSS)

  2. Spontaneity is kinda the best. I was so excited to see friends in Dubai, but everything that has been happening domestically lately has made me uneasy to leave. Couple that with the fact that what I really need at the end of this long and brutal quarter is to commune with nature wholly, to kick off my shoes and thrown on a swimsuit and just be for a week. Spontaneous planning allows you to do what you want in that very particular moment.

  3. Rely on the wisdom of the masses! Or at the very best, a small group of people who love to travel. It takes the complete hassle out of planning a trip.

So there you have it. The trip portion anyway.


A few other things I have been loving lately:

1) Podcasts – specifically Pod Save America and Ezra Klein’s podcast on Vox. I can’t tell you how much listening to these has revolutionized my walk to work. They make me feel informed, educated, and relatively at peace that there are still smart voices in this world. HIGHLY recommend.

2) Pig Bleecker- A new restaurant that has opened at the corner of Bleecker and Thompson streets that serves an excellent bib lettuce salad, chick lollipops, burgers, fish and other things we crave about all the time. So happy to have a new addition to Greenwich Village. We love you already.

3) These LL Bean shearling moccasins that the husband got for me that i basically live in these days. Happy feet, happy life.

4) Big Little Lies (HBO)– I have to admit the first episode did not endear me to any of these characters but now I am completely hooked. The Celeste story line in particular is intriguing. Watch it and let me know what you think.

5) The snow today – we haven’t had a lot of it this winter and it’s always magical to me to sit and watch it fall. I needed a quiet snowy day today and this was juts the ticket!

That is about it for this much awaited dispatch. I promise not to be a stranger for too long hereafter.


Miss Sheiky



Felice Varini Piano

Happy Friday! Five Things

Happy Friday y’alllll. As we head into this long weekend, I wanted to share five things I have been enjoying lately and a few that I am looking forward to in the coming days.


The Window Seat

Not my actual view (mine’s better)

So back in the day when I worked at an investment bank that may or may not have been compared to a squid, seating hierarchy meant that the most senior person on the desk sat closest to the window, and the power dynamics descended from there inward toward the center of the floor. Meaning, of course, that new associates out of business school (e.g. people who contribute even less to the organization than first year analysts) sat somewhere in the neighborhood of the copy machine. Every person walking by could see what you were doing and it was generally the worst.

I remembered that this week because we moved into new offices which are downright beautiful, and I finally got a window seat you guys. It was a major moment a good 33 years in the running, and I love every moment of it. So exsqueeze me while I gloat over here for just a second.

White Jeans

It was between Khloe K and Karlie Kloss, and you all know I don’t identify with a girl who doesn’t have a bootay.

The saddest moment of last summer was finally throwing out my white J Brands that had become so lovingly worn in and soft that they split not once but twice completely through the crotch and finally tore across the ass in a way that even the best tailor couldn’t repair. In celebration of the coming spring which I am convinced is just around the corner, I ordered a few pairs to replace my old faithfuls. This time, Frame and L’Agence won out over J Brand and I am counting the days until I can rock them again, looking 1/10th as faboosh as Khloe up there. A woman can dream.


David Costabile as Mike “Wags” Wagner in “Billions,” airing Sundays on Showtime

Billions is BACK. Which is a good thing because we have literally reached the end of Netflix, I’m not kidding. Even obscure documentaries on Victorian cooking. Phone for help- This 60 degree weather can’t come soon enough.

Anyway, Wags is the best character on Billions by a landslide. He gives zero fucks and I aspire to his no fucks givingness every damn day.

Le Coq Rico

We are celebrating a close friend’s birthday Saturday at Le Coq Rico, which is delicious and just sceney enough to convince me we are still in the game. Very excited to put on a dress for the first time in months and air kiss my loved ones over some $90 chicken.

The Whitney

I’l be rounding out the weekend at the Whitney with a dear friend I haven’t seen in what feels like years since she moved to Greenwich (that would be CT, not Timbuktu). There is a great photography exhibit on and I couldn’t be more excited to revisit the beautiful space.


There will be brunches and lunches and inevitably some work in between but I couldn’t be more excited for 3 days of fun and adventure and wish you very much the same! If you are in NY enjoy the beautiful weather coming our way, and report back! xoxo

Miss Sheiky

Felice Varini Piano

Valentine’s Day

I woke up this morning to a very cheery “HAPPY VALENTINE”S DAY!” and a card which made my entire morning. Then I called my mother, who turns the ripe young age of 63 today, and wished her a great day. Then a close friend made a sizable donation to our favorite charity as just one part of an extremely generous wedding gift. Needless to say, I woke up feeling the love today.

People may decry valentine’s day and the “consumerist love” that it stands for, but it’s not about that at all. It’s about showing your love to the people around you. Giving your +1 an extra kiss or your friend an extra hug. It’s about giving the whole class store-bought valentines at school when you were little, and eating enough chocolate to make your stomach hurt. Now more than ever I feel a need to celebrate the things worth celebrating- and love is the most important thing there is.

So to all of you I wish the utmost love- from your families, your friends, your children, your spouses, your boyfriends or your latest Tinderella. Everyone deserves an extra little smoocher today, and I hope you all get that and more. Happy V Day from Maison Sheik to urrbody. With love


Felice Varini Piano

The last week: Chicago and SF

Hi! Is this thing still on?

I’ve just returned from a little under a week in Chicago and San Francisco, the former for my father’s 70th birthday and the latter for some meetings which went pretty well.

(You don’t care about my meetings, I know this- but I felt the need to share).

And now I am back in the snowy tundra that is New York, thankfully working kicking off this morning working from home while the wind roars outside of my window. Thanks to a unique-to-New-York-problemo, our radiators are operating in overdrive and my apartment is a sauna. But I can’t open the balcony door lest a foot of snow blow into the apartment, so I am working half clothed today, which adds a certain je ne sai quoi to the day.

Some favorite moments from the last week:

  1. Presenting our gift to my Dad, which was 4 tickets to the New York Phil when they play Beethoven’s 9th in the spring. It has been his favorite piece since the dawn of time and we walked down the aisle to it together at my wedding and the stars have never aligned to see it in person. I am so thrilled to have he and my Mom in town for the weekend and to share what i hope will be an incredible night at Lincoln Center!!

  2. My nieces and nephews, always and forever. We have 8 (soon to be 9) and they are all an absolute dream. My God baby decided to wage war on my husband this weekend which was kind of hilarious, so there was alot of animated back and forth between them. Case in point: Her: “You not a good person. You not good”, Him: “I’m watching you” (as he pointed to his eyes and then to her, which was hysterical).

  3. After dinner at my brother’s house Friday night, the kids turned off the lights in the living room and turned up the dance music and had a full on disco. Of course, one by one we all joined in and danced, my Mom and Dad, my siblings and me. It was the perfect Friday night.

  4. My Mom’s food, as per usual. I swear it tastes better every time we go home. I must have eaten 25 kibbehs over the course of the weekend- NOT mad about it.

  5. Being home sitting in front of the fireplace- it was the perfect reset I needed after this crazy January that was so full of stress about our political situation. I was reminded that so long as I have my family, I have everything,

San Francisco was lovely too, albeit completely drowned in rain. I don’t see the outside of offices or restaurants anyhow when I’m there so I was kind of feeling the moody, dark vibe. We had a particularly awesome dinner at Hakkassan with a group of clients I have truly never loved more, so that was pretty clutch. Sometimes life gives you lemonade straight out.

On that note, I have to get back to it. All of my love and promise to come back with more pictures later (and a new layout soon because this one is horrific. Thanks for nothing WordPress.)




Felice Varini Piano


In retrospect, it was probably a fool’s errand to start a blog given I’ve been in New York what feels like only a handful of days this month, but I’ve just returned from London and it was a wonderful trip. I have some notes and memories to share!

I stayed at the Stafford in Mayfair, and it was one of my favorite hotels ever, which is saying a lot – a perfect mix of Victorian grandeur (prints and chintz and chinoiserie galore) and modern comfort (all marble everything in the bathrooms, pristine and updated facilities). The hotel also has an incredible history- originally conceived as a private residence in the 17th century and owned by Lord and Lady Lyttelton (daughter of the then Earl Spencer). Most notably, the hotel served as a club for American and Canadian officers stationed overseas during World War II, and its famous wine cellars were used as air raid shelters. Below, a few no good, very bad iPhone photos to punctuate some highlights:

^^ Beautifully wallpapered hallways and whisper quiet carpet abound @ the Stafford ^^

^^ A sneak peak at my room – please note those glorious corniced curtains and those velvety teal chairs. Off to the left there was a stunning powder area to do makeup. #Goals for our next bedroom ^^

^^ One of many seating areas with fireplaces downstairs, where I had breakfast with my dearest friend and beloved bridesmaid  from boarding school ^^

^^ I still have no idea what muesli actually is but this one was delicious and probably one of my favorite room service breakfasts ^^

^^ The American Bar- where every available surface is crammed with artifacts, knickknacks and signed photos donated by patrons over the years. The ceiling was lined with baseball caps from every American school or club imaginable!^^

^^The beautiful Fortnum and Mason, where my friend and I stopped in for chocolates after a long Italian lunch in Mayfair^^

^^ One of the many awesome shopping “arcades” filled with beautiful boutiques. I may have gone a little nuts with the shopping given the favorable exchange rate – especially with the menswear for the Mr. which I couldn’t resist! ^^

^^ Tea for one at the classic Ritz Hotel ^^

^^ That one night we went to Peyote with college friends and ordered tacos. For purposes of scale, these were each the size of my pinky finger. London – get it together on the Mexican front por favor!  ^^

^^ Birds on thin ice (1) and in softer waters (2) in the beautiful St. James Park- one of my favorites in London ^^

Other memories (not pictured) : Two days in my clients offices trying to force reason  (an uphill battle if there ever was one, followed by many private tears), conversations with a handful of ignorant pro-Brexit black taxi drivers (thankfully there is a silencing button in the back seat!), drinks at Soho house, a late dinner at Nobu, a 75th birthday dinner for my lovely friend B’s even lovelier father- which was probably the highlight of my trip, a late night in South Ken for after dinner cocktails and countless moments in between. Thank you London for a wonderful couple of days!  I love you I love you I love you – but I’m happy to be home.


Felice Varini Piano

Shallow Hal Tuesdays

Tuesdays are hands down the most dreadful day of the week and Tuesdays in January before a business trip to Europe are downright horrendito. I feel like chewing a mouthful of Nicorette gum and walking circles around the floor having a Jerry Maguire moment.

As such, I thought it would be apropos to share some of the more aesthetic and light concerns on my mind these days. What I’m loving and lusting after. Today’s obsession – tableware.

First- Herend Rothschild Bird with Blue Fishnet Dinnerware. Be still and look at these beauties. I will take a full set for a full party, and I don’t mean 12 place settings. As I reminisced with my old friend M this weekend- if you don’t have dinnerware for 24 (or 50?) like our moms do, you’re not ready to throw a real party. Never mind that it nets out to be the same price as a car; I only walk or take uber – surely that counts for something?!!. Classified: Dreamy AF.

Second, can we discuss this monogrammed Sasha Nicholas dinnerware? Southern girls tend to go overboard on the monogram which ends up looking a little insane, but I do love these as a salad dish to layer on top of your birds (see above). I’d get mine with our wedding monogram because I too have a little bit of the psycho in me. Don’t hate!

Finally, I’d layer all of these on these Matouk Placemats I’ve been eyeing. They exist just on the right side of this century to add a little modern touch.

If you are a member of the male species and have read this far, congratulations. As you suspected – we have dreamt up multiple ways to spend your money and ours, and the above is just the tip of the iceberg. And if you are a lady, I hope you enjoyed a trip through the dinner party of my dreams. Happy Tuesday you lovely things. Onward and upward.


Ms. Sheiky

Felice Varini Piano


I didn’t want to turn this into a political blog, but I also didn’t anticipate the utterly vile actions being taken by our elected and appointed officials in so rapidly a fashion as they are today. If you don’t agree with my point of view, gird yourself and read on. If you do, also gird yourself, and act.

This weekend, like millions of others globally, we took to the streets to express that we do not accept the incoming administration’s disregard for facts, for science, for education, for health, and for equal rights. It was a moving experience, one in which the sea of humanity felt so vast that it took us 7 hours to walk the march’s path. There were elderly men and women, middle aged men and women, teenagers and children alike. It was an astonishing showing ; estimates are putting the global numbers at roughly 4 MM marchers. But now, we are duty bound to follow through our discontent with action.

First, we must remain educated on what is happening, regardless of our leanings. Act Up, one of the most successful activism movements in history, was able to get its AIDS platform heard by Reagan’s administration because they considered it their duty to know the facts better than their officials did.

READ. LEARN. ASK QUESTIONS. Do not accept for truth what even the elected officials of your party tell you, and certainly not those who surface “alternative facts.” Fight for a Better America has an excellent list of resources that we should all read. Meet the Cabinet that is currently being put up to run our trusted agencies, and understand their points of view. Understand what resonates with you- you may be perfectly happy with one cabinet pick, and disgusted with another. Develop and hone your point of view and find what resonates with you.

Then get to work:

  • FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE in the house (upper right hand corner). Note their email and save their phone number in your phone. CALL THEM.

  • FIND YOUR SENATOR in the senate (upper right hand corner). Not their email and save their phone number in your phone. CALL AND WRITE THEM.

  • Or make it stupid easy on yourself and do this all through Fight for a Better America

  • Sign up at SwingLeft.org – Full stop, our government works best when no one party has a full majority- we need checks and balances and that requires tipping the balances of the house and senate. Sign up to find your nearest swing districts – we will be directed to phone bank or volunteer in person to get democrats elected in these districts.

  • Commit to doing your civic duty 3x per week. That might be 3 emails, or 3 calls, or attending a rally, or watching your friend’s children so she can go to a rally. It could be making a recurring donation to Planned Parenthood or the ACLU. It could be committing to defend a stranger who is being bullied or disrespected.

Finally, the normalization of the abnormal starts in our homes and with our friends. If a friend is vocally supporting the perpetuation of racism, sexism corruption and lies in my presence, I will not remain silent. And I will not tolerate those who remain silent in my presence- those who do become complicit in the denigration of our democracy, and we should expect more of our friends and family than to let this happen.

Let your voice be heard, but lead with your action. This is the harder part but one we should apply ourselves to wholeheartedly. I believe so strongly in the promise of this country. It is a place of justice and of promise, and imminently deserving of our efforts to ensure that it is protected.


While the world burns.

Yesterday was Blue Monday, otherwise known as the most depressing day of the year. The day is a calculation of a number of factors, including the weather, days since the holidays, aggregate debt levels, time since Christmas and time since we failed our resolutions.  It is also the day where people feel the loneliest. It also marks the beginning of Obama’s last week as president, the week our hope came to die, the beginning of the rise of our very own Reich. It is the week before major meetings I am running in London and a week after returning from another long haul to SF. Needless to say, yesterday was the culmination of a very intense week. All of this to say I apologize for my absence.

I wanted to write today about something that has been on my mind this weekend, and that is the concept of feeling known.

Two years ago, I was going through a catastrophic time at work – a massive initiative I had built with my own hands was unapologetically torn out of my hands and handed to a colleague with an uncomfortably close relationship with our CEO.  I had to stand on stage before the entire company and peacefully transition it to her; needless to say I had never felt more humiliated, distraught or betrayed in my entire life. Everyone around me tried and failed at their sympathy; they would never know what it felt like to have something torn from your because you were seen as too defiant, too vocal, too much of an individual working in what amounted to a dictatorship. I did the only thing I could do and booked tickets to spend a week in Dubai with my dearest friends. And over dinner there as I was recounting what had happened and my utter despair, my friend J turned to me, surprised. “Your intelligence and your career are the least defining things about you,” he said, which was a revelation to me. “The people in your life love you because you are full of life- always easy to laugh and eager to explore and eager to dance and enjoy. And that energy is electric and addictive  to those around you. That is what you need to remember.” And I remember the tears rolling down my cheeks through the smiles- the thank yous- because I always reduce myself to the most common denominator. I don’t see who I am or how my friends or family view me, and it is more often than not the cause of my despair. I don’t have to be the smartest all the time, and no one cares if I am anyway. That was incredibly freeing for me.

Another moment that I will never forget in my entire life was my best friend’s speech at our Rehearsal Dinner this August. She spoke of my contradictions- my old soul and young heart, my love for classical music and Kanye, celebrated literature and celebrity gossip alike, my love for travel and home, my adoration to my nieces and nephews and my cutting words and enveloping hugs. I was blown away by her ability to describe me; she made me feel more known than I ever have in my life. To a child who grows up as a “Third Culture Kid”- always straddling two countries, two value systems, two cultures and sets of expectations and never fitting into one or the other, having someone understand and appreciate your contradictions and embrace them is the ultimate validation.

I am reflecting on these instances because this weekend the opposite happened. I was having dinner with someone very close to me, and we were talking about regrets. And I told him one of my largest regrets- an instance I think about all the time despite its seeming insignificance- involving my Father and an umbrella. My father was visiting me in New York, and it was raining out, and he was trying to open one of the cheap bodega umbrellas I had available. And after what seemed to me an interminable amount of time struggling with it (realistically perhaps only a few moments) I yanked it out of his hand, just in time for its sharp edge to slice his finger. I beat myself up about this instance all the time – how could I disrespect my father like this and have caused him pain? I recounted this story to this person with tears in my eyes, so deep was my self disgust. And he replied “Well, you’re always like that.” And something inside of me died a little. Because for all of my good moments, for the innumerable times I showed my parents and friends and colleagues deference and respect, it was this instance that defined me. My impatience, my brutality, my disregard for others. That’s all he could see; maybe all he ever would ever see. And I felt deeply lost and out to sea in that moment, and I couldn’t recover. I am a terrible person after all, I thought. A cruel person, entitled, a failure. If this person who is so close to me feels that way, it is unequivocally true.

And that’s the state I went into yesterday in. I took myself uptown to the D. Porthault sale, and surrounded by Upper East Side wives fighting over 1200 sets of hand-wash-only sheets, I cried. I dumped my haul and ran, took myself to lunch at Bloomingdales, surrounded by old women- all alone, all eating their salads in silence. That will be me, I thought. That is me, today. A sea of unknowns. Of souls yearning to be held and understood, of ones whose time had passed. Maybe in the next life, I thought.

Today is a new day, and though I never though that work would provide a welcome respite from anything, lately it has been the case, whether I am escaping politics or anything, and I am supremely grateful for it. It is something I can dive into that is mine, that has of late been such a wonderful thing full of opportunity and kind recognition, and I’m happy to have this thing to lean on. Maybe I can allow it to define me when I am tired of being defined wrongly.