My What If Year

My What If Year

Alisha Fernandez Miranda

Published February 07, 2023



An exuberant, hilarious memoir about a woman who pauses her successful career for a year and explores the “What If” jobs of her dreams.


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On the cusp of turning forty, Alisha Fernandez Miranda has climbed to the peak of personal and professional success, but at a price; she’s overworked and exhausted.


Bravely, Miranda decides to give herself a break, temporarily pausing her stressful career as the CEO of her own consulting firm. With the tentative blessing of her husband and eight-year-old twins, she leaves her home in London to spend one year exploring the dream jobs of her youth, seeking answers to the question, “What If?”


What follows is a spirited and hilarious journey for Alisha - and the reader. Alisha’s “What If” year reveals that she can achieve success on her own terms by embodying the spirit of the intern: never stop learning, be flexible, and understand that failure is a prerequisite for growth.


For anyone who’s ever felt stuck in a rut, My What If Year proves that it’s never too late to say yes to second chances and explore the roads untraveled throughout your life.

Featured Press

Alisha Fernandez Miranda share more about her new book on Good Morning America
CEO takes a year off to work for free as unpaid intern in 'My What If Year'
Living Your What If Year, Alisha speaks with Alison Stewart on WNYC’s All of It
The Moment I Realized Something Was Missing From My “Dream Life”
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What people are saying...

“Miranda’s case of missing identity, even as a successful CEO, is an ultimate triumph story in reclaiming oneself. In this funny, heartwarming ‘what if’ journey, Miranda teaches us that sometimes uprooting our lives backward is what leads us and our families forward.”

Eve Rodsky

New York Times bestselling author of Fair Play and Find Your Unicorn Space

“This hilarious, witty memoir had me saying ‘YAY YAY’ from the very beginning! An inspiring read that will make every reader want to supercharge their own careers.”

Meaghan B Murph

Editor in Chief, Woman’s Day, and author of Your Fully Charged Life

“It is always a gift when you find a book that speaks to the questions that echo inside us all. What if? Miranda’s bold decision to answer that question is delivered to us with such refreshing audacity and wild charm. For anyone looking for a breath of inspiration or that big gasping sign that it’s time to reclaim yourself and find your own answers, Miranda’s book is here just in time.”

Marisa Renee Lee

author of Grief Is Love

“With her winning combination of chutzpah, self-deprecating humor, and determination, Miranda turns midlife (or mid-career) malaise into a hilarious memoir that is both engrossing and inspiring. My What If Year should come with a trigger alert—Warning: this book will change your life.”

Annabelle Gurwitch

New York Times bestselling author of I See You Made An Effort and You’re Leaving When?

“This book is like a balm for the soul of every overachiever who has ever wondered what is on the other side of ‘having it all.’ With irreverence, unflinching honesty, and irresistible warmth, Miranda gives us permission to get curious, hold tight to the wisp of a new idea, and honor the voice that whispers, ‘What if there is more?”

Alicia Menendez

host of American Voices on MSNBC, and author of The Likeability Trap

“I loved following Miranda as she chased her wildest—in every sense of the word—dreams. This is a book for every woman who imagines a different life and tells herself, ‘You just can’t.’ You can, Miranda shows us, and in the process of trying on the lives in your fantasies, you just might find the one you want for real.”

Pamela Redmond

New York Times bestselling author of Younger

“Miranda writes with humor, grace, and a joyful curiosity that’s a delight to read. My What If Year is a thought-provoking exploration of what we’re made of and what we could make of ourselves still.”

Bianca Bosker

New York Times bestselling author of Cork Dork

“What if there’s a bigger adventure waiting on the other side of ‘having it all?’ In this brave and beautiful memoir, Miranda takes you on the wild ride of leaving a stable career to pursue grown-up internships at every job she’s ever dreamed of. Miranda has the perfect plan, and it all goes right before it all goes hilariously wrong, with incredible growth and learnings woven all the way through. This book is winsome and wise; a cozy conversation with a new best friend that will leave you wondering, ‘what if?’”

Allison Trowbridge

author of Twenty-Two: Letters to a Young Woman Searching for Meaning

Why Zibby Loves It…

Alisha Fernandez Miranda is an absolute dynamo. I first read Alisha’s work when she published an essay in our Medium publication Moms Don’t Have Time to Write (now relaunched as Zibby Mag). Her essay made me laugh out loud while I reveled at her brilliance. It was so good, in fact, that I reached out to her out of the blue and said, “So I’m starting a publishing company. Do you have a book in you?!” Turns out, she did! Alisha took a risk signing on with Zibby Books when it was just an idea and has been an integral part of our growth. It’s only fitting that this wonderful, heartfelt book is the one we’re launching with. And after reading the book, I’m not at all surprised she dove right in.

MY WHAT IF YEAR has many parallels to my own life and to many others' — that feeling of “I should be fine with everything,” yet feeling unfulfilled. As an anxious person, “what if?” swirls around my head constantly. What if I’d tried that? What if I were a fantastic architect? What if I was a gifted calligrapher? The fact that Alisha not only wondered the same but took the bull by the horns and just did it is inspiring. I ended up changing my own life, too, after staying home with my kids for 11 years and then diving headfirst into the literary world.

Women, in particular, need to hear stories like Alisha’s (and even mine!). Our lives are never fully set. There is always an opportunity to learn, explore, try things out, and expand who we are and who we can connect with. Alisha’s experience is motivating in so many ways; that she had an idea and pursued it; that she did so without the burden of endless mom guilt; that she was willing to start from the bottom to pursue what she loved; that she handled all the obstacles and setbacks with a sense of humor and indefatigable wit; and that she wrote about it.Alisha’s memoir takes all of us along for the ride of her lifetime. We get a behind-the-scenes look at some glamorous (and some, less so) industries.

It’s hard not to fall in love with Alisha after reading this. My hope is that after reading, you’ll bravely ask yourself the same questions and decide to try something. Tag #mywhatifyear anytime you do something you wouldn’t normally done because you’re inspired by this tale. Scuba diving. Learning to speak Japanese. A soufflé making class. Volunteering at a local shelter. Tasting a hot sauce.

New experiences make us who we are... and it’s never too late to figure out just who that might be. Enjoy the memoir. And get ready for your own What If Year!

Alisha's Book Tour

Alisha Fernandez Miranda’s My What If Year launches on February 7th, 2023. To celebrate, we will gather at New York City’s largest bookstore, The Strand, for an enchanting evening of great conversation, laughs, and wine and cheese of course!