Hello and welcome, today we’ll be talking about an awesome book, “What a Time to Be Alone” which was written by Chidera Eggerue, popular known as The Slumflower.
One of my goals this year is to read one book a week and share the lessons I learn so they’ll be easier to apply. It’s very easy to just read and read and gather information that does nothing to change your life. I saw a quote online that reading is the way people install new software into their brains. It’s funny, but it’s actually true. That being said, let’s talk about the book.
What a time to be alone was a must read for me because of its core message, that’s self-love. When you’re a single Nigerian woman in your 30s, everywhere you turn there’s someone trying to make you feel inadequate. That’s the reason why a lot of women are rushing into marriages and either rushing out or enduring horrific situations.
I like my life. I love being joyful and at peace because I’ve lived many years with feelings of unrest and self-hatred. I’ve tried to use men to fill the hole in my heart and I know it is a futile effort so I’m not doing that anymore. This book affirmed my beliefs about self-love and taught me some very valuable lessons. Here they are:
This one slapped me in the face. It’s so easy to play the victim, so easy to sit and wallow in self-pity. But guess what? Pity will only make you eligible for leftovers. If you want to dazzle in this life, you need to realize that you’re awesome and begin to treat yourself like it. If you value yourself, others will value you, or at least they’ll respect you, and that’s good enough.
In a world where your value can be calculated by how many followers you have on Instagram and how many likes your photos get, it’s super easy to become an approval addict. Waiting for people’s permission to be who you are is a sure step towards disappointment and low self-esteem. Stop locking yourself up in the prison of other people’s expectations. Your voice and your heart are what matter most, and sometimes the only person who’ll believe in you is you. So go for it.
She says “Everything you’re going through is pushing you closer to the person you need to be.” The problems are working for your good. The trials are preparing you for your blessings. It might not feel good now, but it’s necessary, so trust the process.
Some mistakes are essential to your journey as a person. The key is to learn from them and grow above them. As Ralph Nader said, “your best teacher is your last mistake.” I also love what Oprah Winfrey said during an interview at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She said:
“There are no mistakes. There really aren’t any, because you have a supreme destiny. There’s no such thing as failure really, because failure is just that thing, trying to move you in another direction.”
“So you get as much from your losses, as you do from your victories because the losses are there to wake you up. You know you’re not defined by what somebody says is a failure for you because failure is just there to point you in a different direction.” That’s so deep. I love Oprah!
It’s better to be relevant offline than to have 1 million followers on Instagram. It’s nice to be admired and to leverage on social media but what’s more important is how you make people feel when they’re around you. She finishes the thought by saying something epic: “When you die your tombstone won’t say how many followers you had on Instagram, your tombstone will commemorate the energy you left behind.” This goes back to what I said in Episode 4 of this podcast. How will you be remembered? Make sure people feel better about themselves when they’re around you. Make sure you carry light and hope and not darkness.
Well that’s it folks. I hope these lessons help you as much they’ve helped me. In coming episodes, I’ll be sharing lessons I’ve learned from Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming,” and Rachel Hollis’ “Girl wash your face” among others so make sure you stay tuned.