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Blaze Your Own Trail: An Interactive Guide to Navigating Life with Confidence, Solidarity and Compassion (Paperback)
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A modern, feminist take on the classic choose-your-own-journey book, inspiring readers to embrace the fact that there is no singular right path--just your own!
So many women enter their adult lives believing that they should know where they are going and how to get there. This can make life decisions feel intimidating and overwhelming. While some choices that lie ahead are fairly predictable, such as those surrounding career, partnership, and motherhood, the effects of these choices can lead to more complicated and unexpected turns that are seldom discussed.
Rather than suggesting a rule book, Rebekah Bastian, vice president at Zillow and recognized thought leader, inspires you to Blaze Your Own Trail. "I have the benefit of being a living example of crooked paths, magnificent screw-ups, and shocking successes," she writes. Through storylines and supportive data that explore workplace sexism, career changes, marriage, child-rearing, existential crises, and everything in between, you will learn to embrace and feel less alone in your own nonlinear journey. Even better, you can turn back decisions and make different ones. Blaze Your Own Trail includes nineteen possible outcomes and many routes to get there. You will find that you have the strength to make it through any of them.
About the Author
Rebekah Bastian is a writer, artist, speaker, mentor, wife, mother, aerial acrobat, and vice president of community and culture at Zillow. Her own path has threaded many of the topics in this book, and her position as a female executive and thought leader in the tech and business communities has given her personal insights into the complex paths of hundreds of women. She is a contributor to Forbes.com and is a frequent speaker on creating social impact through technology and supporting corporate diversity.
"In a world where readers suffer with clichéd and cookie-cutter works that fail to break any new ground or make us see the world in a different light, Bastian has succeeded in presenting a recognizable world in a creative fashion. The fact she accomplishes it without relying on hoary devices or predictable turns makes it even more notable. Rebekah Bastian’s Blaze Your Own Trail speaks to the female experience as I, and many others, see it, but it takes in the world as well and leaves us in turns entertained and enlightened by seeing ourselves in this wonderful book she has written. I cannot recommend this book enough and hope that she writes many more."
—Clay Burton, Independent Music and Arts, Inc.
"Blaze Your Own Trail has a wealth of riches within its pages certain to appeal to a wide gamut of readers. Rebekah Bastian deserves lauded for presenting a work to us that confounds conventionality and helps see life and its variety in a new way. It will prompt reflection from men and women alike, it will speak in an unique way to the latter, and it invites you to return again and again to its pages so you might have the opportunity for exploring it from different angles. This is a singular and unusual achievement worth anyone’s time."
—Garth Thomas, The Hollywood Digest
"Rebekah Bastian’s Blaze Your Own Trail has the sort of jolt experienced readers are looking for. It isn’t a same old, same old text rolling through the predictable turns of fiction and non-fiction alike. It is her first book, but you can’t tell. Instead, she’s written an inspired book brimming with imagination and insight that’s difficult to forget and begs for additional reading thanks to the various approaches that you can take while reading the book."
—Kim Muncie, NeuFutur Magazine
“Blaze Your Own Trail provides valuable insight into the experiences and choices that a woman makes in her life, beyond what many of us might be aware of. As a tech CEO and an investor, as well as a father and husband, I have long recognized the role I need to play in empowering women in their careers. The insight I have gained from this book has helped me feel more empathy around many of the obstacles that I wasn’t even aware of and has inspired me to be a more effective ally.”
—Spencer Rascoff, cofounder of dot.LA, Zillow, and Hotwire
“The intrapersonal journey described in this book gives the reader insight into the world of choice, especially for women who are working to create or find balance in their personal and professional life. The stories shared in this work encompass the challenge we all have as human beings in wondering ‘what if?’ in our daily lives. This book will have an impact on the perspective we hold when evaluating the daily privileges and struggles in our lives. This book brings to life the reality that our journeys are multidimensional and the dimensions are defined by our identities, decisions, and sometimes the actions of other human beings. It is intriguing how the author speaks to readers as if they are directly experiencing the events taking place in the book. The realities felt through the character’s thoughts are relatable; we experience confusion, feeling like an impostor, understanding privilege, and figuring out how our positions in the world are powerful.”
—Cheryl Ingram, founder and CEO, Diverse City LLC
“Every once in a while, an author so delightful and smart breaks through with a winning idea for the world. With interactive, useful, and fun-to-read chapters like ‘Love or Marriage,’ ‘Ladder or Jungle Gym,’ or ‘Snot and Tears,’ Blaze Your Own Trail walks us through career and life choices with poignancy and power. In what is one of the most emotionally fraught topics of today's age—gender equity in the office and home—Rebekah manages to provide a winning framework for anyone giving big life decisions full consideration. A must-read for everyone, male or female, parent or child. I loved it!”
—Jonathan Sposato, Chairman, Geekwire, and author of Better Together
“Rebekah distills the defining moments of life—excitement, choices, hardships—into interactive, fun-to-read chapters that offer a glimpse into every woman’s reality. She intersperses the story with grounding statistics on themes like choosing a career, motherhood, workplace harassment, relationships . . . and the result is a book that feels reassuring, kind, and comforting for any woman who has ever had a decision to make. A wonderful and refreshing reminder that, even when everything feels out of our control, we are the creators of our story.”
—Amy Nelson, founder and CEO, The Riveter
“If you think this is some stranger's story, think again. At every crossroads, I found myself on the path of a woman I know and love—confronting her choices, facing her struggles, and embracing her hope. We grow up thinking that the wrong twists and turns could ruin everything. But we are way too strong for that.”
—Mónica Guzmán, cofounder of The Evergrey