A good friend of mine, Rebekah Bastian, has written an amazing book that has just gone on pre-sale! It’s a choose-your-own-adventure style narrative about a young woman starting her adult life. I thought that sounded intriguing when she first told me about it but had no idea it would be so great on the page. It allows you to reflect on paths you didn’t take and ponder the nature of what a happy ending is.
I liked it so much that I wrote a preface! I did a quick Q&A with Rebekah in hopes of getting you to go pre-order a copy NOW!!!
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve had a lot of conversations over the years with women who are feeling worried, thinking that they are supposed to know where they are going in life and how they are going to get there. I really wanted to help women embrace the fact that there is no one right path, and that even though we can’t always predict the outcomes of our choices, we are strong enough to make it through any of them.
What do you think is the biggest crossroads that you faced—that determined your trajectory the most?
It’s kind of hard to say, because I think so much of our trajectory is determined by smaller coincidences and circumstances…kind of like the butterfly effect. Definitely becoming a mother changed me the most, in such profound ways… it’s really opened up a sense of compassion, strength and vulnerability in me that has spilled over into my work, my friendships and my way of seeing the world.
Is there a path you didn’t take you always wonder about?
I’ve lived my life in a way that has been pretty balanced between haphazard and responsible (at least after I made it through my teenage years), so I don’t feel like I missed out on too much on either end of that spectrum. I do wonder about people that have played roles in my life that I no longer know, and I feel a sense of wonder over all the coincidences and luck that resulted in the path I have been on.
I love how every crossroads and choice still leads to a “happily ever after” ending in the book. What do those words mean to you in actuality but also in the context of fairy tales and the expectations of women’s lives?
None of the outcomes in the book are blissful like the ending to a fairytale, so in a way the titles are kind of tongue-in-cheek. But at the same time, I wanted to highlight the fact that no matter what unexpected turns our lives might take and how far the outcome might be from what we might have hoped for, we can be ok and we can find happiness. It’s kind of like the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy exercise of imagining the worst case scenario, thinking it through, and realizing that you’ll survive it. There is power in feeling peace over any outcome.
What do you hope women get out of this book?
I hope that women will feel more calm and confident in embracing that there is no one right path. I hope they will feel solidarity in knowing that they are not alone in experiencing the hard things—even the less talked about ones—as so many other women are going through them too. And I hope they will feel more compassion for the myriad decisions and unexpected turns that other women might be facing.
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- How do you cope w/ the patriarchy some days?!
- What did everyone think of this and the response? I think being self aware should be something we all strive for as we become successful.