What A Time To Be Alone by Chidera Eggerue
Published by: Quadrille; Hardie Grant Publishing
Release Date: 2018
Genre: Non-Fiction; Self Help
Empowering, intimate and full of heart: this highly anticipated debut book from the online sensation ‘The Slumflower’, aka Chidera Eggerue, the unstoppable force behind the ground-breaking movement #SAGGYBOOBSMATTER, is essential reading for all young women. It’s time to take charge of your life.
In What A Time To Be Alone, The Slumflower will be your life guru, confidante and best friend. She’ll show you that being alone is not just okay: it’s just about the best freaking thing that’s ever happened to you. As she says, ‘You’re bad as hell and you were made with intention.’ It’s about time you realized.
Peppered with insightful Igbo proverbs from Chidera’s Nigerian mother and full of her own original artwork, What A Time To Be Alone will help you navigate the modern world. We can all decide our own fates and Chidera shows us how, using a three-part approach filled with sass, wisdom and charm.
This is what I’d call a “feel good” book. What it lacks in depth, it makes up for in empowering affirmations. I wouldn’t call it a self-help book as it doesn’t take time to tell you how to “do” life. The focus here is on what to demand from life and this is the reason I love it.
“What A Time To Be Alone” covers 3 aspects of human interactions: You, Them and Us.
“You” covers subjects like self-assurance, confidence, privilege, the ability to be honest with yourself and face the harsh truths about yourself. There’s nothing in this section that you haven’t told yourself before (or maybe that’s just me), however, something about reading it in beautiful ink appealed to me.
“Them” focuses on forces outside your being and how you allow these affect your wellbeing. Basically, actions or inactions that are beyond your control.
“There’s always a reason why someone is the way that they are.”
I’ll admit considering situations from other people’s perspective is something I only recently started practising. Introverts are generally pretty self-involved, so the “You” section wasn’t news to me. “Them” however, gave me a lot to think about.
“You are allowed to change your mind about how you feel about other people.”
“Us” is all about your relationships. Despite that I haven’t been in many long-term relationships with people outside my immediate family, I have found that I have many “unique” insights into how healthy human relationships should work. I have high expectations. And this book didn’t disappoint me.
“Forming attachments to expectations will only create disappointment.”
One thing about this book that was totally lost on me was the many Igbo proverbs found through it. Truth is, I wouldn’t have missed it myself but an Igbo speaker who read the book really appreciated it so I’ll take that on as a cultural miss (or something).
Another thing that gnawed at me as I read this book was my worry if all this “self-love” and protecting of my space wasn’t bordering on self-centeredness. However, on further reflection, my conclusion is like everything else in life, finding a balance is the most important thing.
I did notice that Chidera Eggerue is becoming a more vocal advocate for being alone and while I get that she has to sell books, I’m a little concerned about the message she’s passing across. While her book offers a balanced perspective to the art of owning yourself, I just can’t get on board when I listen to her speak. I have no idea what to do with this contradiction.
Despite my mixed feelings, Chidera Eggerue has given us something beautiful in “What A Time To Be Alone”. Literally.
This is the most gorgeous book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. My only complaint would be that in focusing on a pleasurable aesthetic, the publishers thoroughly neglected functionality. This was a difficult book to navigate due to a lack of numbering and chapters which is unfortunate because this is a book that demands the reader make references.
Solid read. Easy to digest.
I’ll recommend for a person who already has some idea who they are. This is simply because I believe it’d be incredibly easy for a more impressionable person to misinterpret some aspects of this book.
In essence, rated PG