Not Always Easy Does It

By Natalie Goel
Full story shared on Sakara
Photography by Lianna Tarantin and Jenna Seraco

What do you want to do with your life? We know firsthand, it can be a torturous question. For better or for worse, the quintessential “successful career” narrative often involves a person who knows from the time she is teeny-tiny exactly what she wants to do, and pursues it relentlessly for the rest of her life. But the reality is, it doesn’t always happen that way, no matter how badly we wish (and flail) to find our “thing” and do it.

So instead, here is a different kind of tale — a girl forges an incredible family unit, tinkering and experimenting with various so-called “careers” all the while. She sings, she acts, she dances. She feels happy, she feels sad. She feels incredibly lost. She gets tumbled and tossed. And life goes on. But she finds time to play, and slowly, the pieces start to fit together in a way she never could have planned if she tried. Just like that, she’s doing what she loves, which it turns out is not just one thing at all. And in the end, the beauty-seeker finds beauty — not just in where she ends up, but in every confusing, painful, delicious, regrettable, perfectly imperfect step along the way.

Athena recently shared her winding creative path with healthy living site Sakara. Below are a few of the images and outtakes from the story, plus the recipe for her spring veggie and farro salad. And for a full account of Athena’s journey, in her own words, head on over to The S Life Mag feature for their swoony interview. No bumps or bruises are spared, we promise. There is nothing like a good patina.

Spring Veggie Faro Salad

EyeSwoon Kitchen


Serves 4


  • 1 cup farro
  • 1⁄2 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1/2  pound sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 pound asparagus
  • 1 bunch French radish, halved lengthwise
  • 1⁄2 cup mint leaves, roughly torn
  • 1⁄2 cup basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 1 cup pea tendrils
  • edible flowers


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup tablespoons olive oil, plus a drizzle
  • splash white wine vinegar
  • pinches himalayan salt & pepper

The Prep

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Add farro, cover and simmer for 20–25 minutes, until the grains are tender.
  2. Bring another large pot of salted water to boil for blanching the snap peas and asparagus. Create an ice bath in a large bowl to shock the veggies. Blanch snap peas and asparagus for 1 to 2 minutes, until just tender but still crisp. Remove the beans from the pot with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into the ice bath. Drain and set aside on a paper towel.
  3. Combine the lemon and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the cooked farro with a splash of white wine vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat so that grains are dressed and seasoned.
  5. Cut the asparagus and snap peas on a bias into bite size 1” pieces. Combine the snap peas, asparagus, and radish in a bowl and dress lightly with the lemon dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the pea tendrils and torn herbs and toss gently.
  6. On a platter or in a shallow bowl, mound the farro and top with veggie mixture. Season with salt and fresh pepper. Finish with delicate edible flowers and more herbs to your liking.
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