Tips For Living Alone As An Extrovert

In the last six years, I’ve discovered a lot about the different personality types. There’s a definite difference between me and my younger sister, Shelby. We are so much alike, but our personality traits couldn’t be more different. Where Shel is content being home, I’m discontent. Where Shel is reserved at large parties, I couldn’t be more comfortable. I used to think of myself as an extrovert, but I’ve recently realized I’m a hybrid of the two.

I love being out in crowds. It fuels me. The hybrid part is being in those crowds with people I know well. I’ve gotten better, but I’m not great at striking up a conversation with a stranger. I have to trick my brain into thinking I’m acting and that this is all normal and fine when my insides are like WTF ARE YOU DOING THEY’RE GOING TO THINK YOU’RE WEIRD. More often than not, if I have the option of going out rather than staying home, I’m going out. In the past, a lot of that was fueled by being terrified of the silence in my apartment. Moving to Dallas meant moving to Dallas to live alone for the first time. Ever. I romanticized it for years but when I actually had to live it out, depression hit pretty hard. It’s easy to tell a depressed person to just get up! go out and do something! But when you’re living alone for the first time, know no one in your city (or the ones you do know you aren’t really close with), and it gets dark at 5:30, it can be crippling. No, it IS crippling. So how did I (literally) survive? How do extroverts and hybrids live alone? Here are the basic ways I’m surviving on a daily basis living alone as an extrovert.



Yep. Living alone means silence. Even if you have the TV on 24/7 there will be moments when silence hits you. Just waking up in the morning, walking in the door from work with no one there to greet you, taking a shower. Never in my life did I anticipate how much silence there’d be living alone. Heavy silence, at that! I grew up in a house with two sisters and a set of parents. We did everything together. No matter what time someone came home, there’d likely be someone or some cat there to greet them. Dad watching the 6:00 news, Formula 1 races on Sundays, mom making dinner, sisters banging out homework at the dining table. Constant noise. Even when I went to my room, I’d be there with my dog watching Netflix and answering the occasional door knock. Living alone? None of that happens. The first two weeks I lived in Dallas I cried every afternoon when I got home from work. I’d call my boyfriend at the time wailing about how lonely I was and how I had no friends. It took five or so months of counseling and the steps below to get comfortable with this. And actually learn to love it!



Yeah, your house is gonna be quiet. And dark. And empty. (Sad, yet?) When I told my counselor how much I missed life being in my house, she recommended I leave the TV on all day so that when I got home, it’d at least feel like someone else was there. And you know what? It worked. I got Hulu because of that. Netflix times out after three episodes, but not Hulu! I left that sucker running For months! I never thought I’d miss commercials, but yo. I missed commercials. Commercials were like a little connection to the outside world. I was controlling Netflix and knew when the next episode was coming up, but I got commercials and infinite scroll with Hulu. This summer, I actually opted in for cable. It’s definitely more expensive, but I know winter is coming and I’m going to get sad again, so being able to leave it on all day is really going to help.


Fish are pets too, kinda. Honestly, if I didn’t have Pepper…well, let’s just say I’m glad I had Pepper in those depressed months. Having her to excitedly greet me every day, even in a quiet apartment, let me know someone loved me. Even if she couldn’t audibly tell me. I could talk out loud to her, tell her about my day (like she cared) and pet her. If your apartment allows, adopt an animal! You’d be surprised how uplifting having another little life in your house is. I liked Pepper so much I went ahead and adopted another one. Oops. On top of them making you feel better, they distract you and take up more of your time. You don’t have time to be depressed or lonely if you’re feeding an animal or picking up the crap they left on your new West Elm rug or picking up cotton they pulled from a pillow. But hey! They turned that depression into anger and frustration. At least you’re not depressed now. My point is, get some life into your house. This includes plants!


I started going to counseling right after Thanksgiving when the light was all but gone from this side of the planet. I mean, seriously. WHY does it have to get dark at 5:30 in the fall and winter?! My sessions started out at 5:00, right after work, but I quickly changed those to lunchtime appointments. Talking about being sad when it’s 40 degrees outside and it’s already dark just made me sadder. At least I’d have 2 seconds of daylight at home by moving my counseling sessions to lunch! She suggested I look into a sun lamp. A sun lamp is a lamp that emits light that mimics the sun. (Target carries them for relatively affordable prices.)  Sitting under fluorescents, or even just regular bulbs, doesn’t tell your brain you’re seeing the sun so you get sad. Brains are so cool! I’m fortunate enough to sit next to some pretty big windows at work, but even so, I brought some faux sunflowers to keep next to my computer. Just in case. Don’t want a sun lamp? Print out a photo of the beach or somewhere sunny. Just looking at it can instantly lift your mood. Swear. As for your house, if you can afford it leave some big overhead lights on. Or just a lamp! Walking into a dark house can be rough.


I know I just said that it’s easier said than done, but look. If you love people, go be with them. In a new city? Don’t know how? I gotchu, boo. I’m working on some posts that will help you do just that! I think part of the reason I dated so much is because I knew no one here. I mean it’s partly my fault for not reaching out to the handful of people I sort of knew here already, but at least I got some really insane stories out of it. Sure, date if you want. But if you’re looking for friends, go hang out in places you like. You’ll find like minded people there guaranteed. Find a home church, get a job with people your age, start following people on social media that live in your area. (It works, trust me.) Or, just stand on a chair in a bar and ask who wants to be your friend. That’s something I’ve always wanted to try.


What do you think? Have you tried these? Do they work for you? What do you do that helps you not feel so alone?



D*EYE*Y Painted Statement Wall


Since painting my entire apartment white, I’ve been craving more statements. I love the consistent white throughout the space. Everything is so much brighter and cleaner! But as hard as I tried to keep everything minimal, I just couldn’t. I needed a punch on a wall somewhere! SPOILER ALERT: I put a lot of punches in a lot of places, but you’ll have to stay tuned for my upcoming dramatic apartment tour reveal!

If you’re looking for a weird statement wall idea, check out what I did!


-black craft paint
-thin paintbrush



Since my ceilings are pretty high and everything else in the surrounding rooms is still solid white, I decided to go with a medium sized eye. You could easily make a stencil for this (check out this post for a much more precise way of doing it!) but I decided to freehand it with a pencil!


Stencil and pencil away! I tried using a wide-tipped black permanent marker, but my walls are much too textured for any lines to be drawn smoothly. I opted for a thin paintbrush and black craft paint. The end result?



Obviously there are three on the top right that could use some extra paint. I at least traced them out in the hopes I’ll make it to the craft store for another bottle of black paint!

What do you think? Would you try something this bold in your house? Eye love the way it turned out. Makes me feel like I’m getting side-eyed every time I come home. 🙂



#YDM Goes Natural: The End of Whole30

After nearly a month since its ending, I’m finally writing about my Whole 30 experience! (This has truly been the longest month of my life.)  Whole 30, if you don’t know, is a 30 day program designed to revert your body to relying solely on a caveman’s diet essentially. You’re not allowed dairy, sugar, alcohol or grains for 30 days. Some people, like my friend Jennifer, are crazy enough to do it for upwards of 60+ days. I am not one of those people. However, Whole 30 has been good for me! So while I sit here at my desk eating macaroni and cheese, let’s talk about Whole 30.

30 days is a long time. When you’re not allowed any sugar, alcohol, grains or dairy it gets old pretty fast. Your creativity also runs out pretty quickly, or gets pushed to the limit. I ran out of ideas within the first week and resorted to 100% internet and Pinterest meal ideas.  I pretty much do everything in my life on the fly and this was no exception. I rarely meal planned, which could have been my downfall if I wasn’t already so committed to finishing the full 30.


This was by far the hardest meal for me. Before I started, I’d eat either Greek yogurt + honey or oatmeal for breakfast. Since I wasn’t allowed either of these things, and I’m not a huge egg fan, I mostly just ate fruit. Whole 30 forced me to like bananas. I discovered I’m kind of a picky eater? I like what I like and don’t vary too often, but for the potassium and as just another food option, I ate bananas. I also made fruit salad with cinnamon sans whipped cream. 10/10 would recommend.

In week 2.5 when I discovered Lara bars, I ate those. “They” (the powers that be over Whole 30) say that your brain doesn’t know the difference between a Snickers bar or a Lara bar. To that I say, poppycock. My stomach sure knew the difference and that counts. Most of the Lara bars are Whole 30 approved, just be sure to check the ingredients list before chowing down. My favorites are the lemon pie, apple pie and key lime pie. I like pie.

On weekend mornings when I had a little more time for breakfast, I’d saute apples, ghee, and cinnamon. It. Was. Delicious. The great thing about Whole 30 is that I never felt guilt for eating anything. Since I could have ghee, it felt like I was eating like a normal person, only more conscious about what she was putting into her body.


Lunch was usually leftovers from dinner the night before. Occasionally I’d choke down a spinach salad, but it wasn’t my favorite. Probably because I didn’t meal plan and add any chicken or meat to it, but that’s neither here nor there.

There were a couple of times I was forced to go out for lunch. Once, it was a Tex-Mex place and I was starving. I should win an award for passing on the chips and salsa. That is some serious will-power. I ended up ordering tacos and only eating the insides. Guacamole salad? I’ll eat the lettuce underneath. Taco guts? Yummy.
Two or three other times I checked out Mod Market, a local place serving up farm to table “fast” food. Now there’s a salad I can get behind.
Other times I just had to pass on going out. Which really wasn’t that hard! I knew I was doing this challenge for a reason and blowing it on Chick Fila for a quick lunch fix just didn’t seem fair to me or my body.


Dinner was where I really shone. When I actually did cook, I made some pretty creative stuff! Like hot wings, chicken parm without the parm, ranch dressing and chicken and vegetables (my favorite!). Honestly, if you have a craving for something, figure out a way to make it Whole 30! Fried chicken? Use almond or coconut flour and egg wash. Fried rice? Use cauliflower as a rice substitute. Chocolate? Just drink some apple juice or hot tea. This was my biggest hack! At night when I’d want something sweet, I’d just drink a few ounces of apple or cranberry juice while I made dinner. It was an easy fix and kept me out of my secret freezer chocolate stash. Over time, the juice actually tasted sweeter to me! It was weird.


Honestly? I didn’t. I mean, I was more active that month than most other months, but I didn’t drastically change anything. I did a few workouts here and there and walked the dogs, but I didn’t join a gym or finish a workout DVD. I just ate better and thought more about working out.


This was difficult. Mildly, compared to some of the other things I’ve done in my life, but changing something you’ve been doing for years is hard. But I did it! And I lost twelve pounds! (I’ve gained about five of it back, but that’s to be expected.) More than anything, I’m just proud of myself. I did something on my own without needing to held accountable to anyone but myself. I needed that little boost, I think.

I’d always heard people brag about how differently their bodies felt when they ate clean. I knew there had to be some truth in it because why would so many people claim that to be true if it weren’t? It truly was amazing to watch my body gradually change over the course of thirty days. My guts felt better, my heart palpitations nearly ceased, and I looked better. Towards the end I could really tell I’d lost some weight and I felt more confident and proud that it wasn’t my working out that did it, but what I put in my body. I was incredibly conscious of that. It trained my brain to look at ingredients, only shop the outside walls of the markets, and stop filling up on carbs because it’s easier. (she says as she eats macaroni)

The craziest thing that happened was the size of my abdomen! Sure, I lost weight, but because I was eating clean I was virtually never bloated. All I drank was water and it showed. The day I was finished I ate wings and fried pickles and my stomach has never been the same. 🙁


Since living on my own I’ve been solely responsible for what I eat and drink. While I don’t binge eat or necessarily eat terribly, I don’t eat a lot and when I do eat it’s things that aren’t that great for me. Grocery shopping with my friend Cait this month I made the passing comment that, “Cool! These groceries will last me all month!” She looked down at my basket and said, “How much are you eating? Are you eating enough?” “Oh…probably not.” And that’s true! I don’t really eat a lot. I get distracted very easily and don’t eat big meals. This last week I’ve been adding a snack at work in the afternoon just to give myself more energy. #LARABAR
I’ve made the promise to myself to meal plan before I grocery shop and stop buying pasta as a filler. It’s cheap and filling, but it isn’t good for me. Instead, I should replace that with quinoa or rice or greens. The last twenty-something days of eating like I used to have made me feel like I used to: bloated, tired, and unhappy. It’s insane how much food is tied to my mental well being. Two therapists have told me that so far and I just brushed it off, but believe me. Eat better, feel better.


I’ve virtually stopped eating fast food. It’s costly and never makes me feel good. It’s a nice splurge every now and then but isn’t a way to live my life. Sorry, Whataburger. 🙁 I’ve been drinking more water, cutting down caffeine (Bonus! It helps with my anxiety!), and cooking more at home. I haven’t drastically changed my lifestyle, but I’m working towards a more holistic way of living. This is just one piece of a very large puzzle.


-Have you/will you do the Whole 30 Challenge?
-How do you stay healthy?
-What are your favorite meals to make?



Why 26 Will Be the Best Year Yet

For the last couple of months, I’ve been dreading this day. Turning twenty-six symbolized to me all of the dreams and goals I hadn’t yet accomplished, and diminished those things that I had. Twenty-five held a lot of personal, mental and emotional growth for me. I stretched and ached in ways I never had before, cut out things that held me back and stood up for myself more times than I can count; something I’d not previously known how to do. But all of this growth, this maturity, was all inside. There was nothing truly tangible I could pick up and show you that I’d done this last year.

One of my larger goals in life is to be a full-time musician. Actually, a part-time or part-part-time musician will do. Since age 11 I’ve known this is just what I have to do if I ever want to be fully satisfied and happy. It’s not a compromise for me. It’s not a pipe dream. It’s something I have to do to be really me. (CHEESE BALL) Anyway, part of me naively thought that magically when I exchanged my Gladewater address for a Dallas one that all of these tiny little dreams would manifest themselves. I’d finally get to be who I thought I was supposed to be all those years ago. When none, and I mean none, of that happened I shouldn’t have been surprised when I fell. Hard. Coupled with a rough breakup and being alone in a new city, it was almost all over for me. The amount of times I wanted to pack it all up and move back home is embarrassing. But I stuck it out, probably for no other reason than my incredible stubbornness. I reached out for professional help, and while those months were still incredibly dark, they could’ve been a lot darker. I came out of that season more knowledgeable about my anxiety and depression and how to avoid feeling like that. I decided to stop dating and end those weird little flirty “relationships” with guys I knew would never date me. I ended friendships that, to me, weren’t healthy anymore. I adopted another dog and made hard goals for myself. I let myself dream bigger and stepped out of my comfort zone and met new people. I said ‘yes’ more to the good and ‘no’ to the not good.

So, no. Twenty-five was not a failure. Over the last week I’ve realized that while I still have lofty goals and dreams that haven’t yet been reached, I can reward myself for building a solid soul foundation and surrounding myself with people that lift me up and encourage me. So when I do reach those goals, I can do so in a healthy and strong way. My adult life has been slow going. Sometimes I feel like I’m starting at square one, but the ever looming shadow of twenty-six has reminded me that I’m still here for a reason. I’ve been and done all of this junk for a reason. I moved here for a reason. I still have goals and I still have a life to live and I should stop mourning things that haven’t happened yet. Because that’s just it. They haven’t happened yet.

I’m so grateful to my friends and family for carrying me through this last year. I honestly don’t think I’d be here if it weren’t for all of them. So, thank you. I love you more than you can possibly know.

I’m living all my days in the sun. Cheers to twenty-six!




My DIY Mid Century Coffee Table for Under $60

DIY Mid Century Coffee Table

I am SO EXCITED about this post! I haven’t posted a DIY in probably years so I decided to make it a big one!

On a whim several weeks ago I sold my coffee table on Craigslist. It sold in less than 36 hours so I knew my brain was cooking up a scheme. I scoured the internet for a deal on a replacement coffee table and while I found a couple, I really just wanted a project. Everything I saw I liked, but I knew I’d be more satisfied if I made it myself. Besides, who doesn’t want something custom built for their space? After coming up with words for what I was picturing in my head (mid century, modern, DIY, surfboart), I found dozens of mid century DIY tables! I read several but kept coming back to this one. (It’s so cool to see women on the internet build stuff. Makes me proud to be a girl.)

This project cannot be simpler. Really the hardest part is drawing out your shape! See how we made my mid century coffee table below!


-piece of wood big enough to cut your desired shape out of (mine was MDF, 48″ x 24″ x 1″. Feel free to use plywood, but be prepared to sand away more splintered edges.) $12.98
-four 16″ wooden tapered legs $4.89/leg
-stain for legs (I used Minwax in Jacobean$4.78
-four angled leg plates $1.98/plate
-cheap brush or old rag for stain $1-2
-jigsaw (I borrowed my dad’s)
-coarse and fine sandpaper with or without a belt sander, dealer’s choice
-paint for table top (I used two cans of high gloss white spray paint$5.88/can
-gloss clear coat (optional)
-an extra set of hands (Target sometimes has these on sale, but I’d recommend using a real person) $FREE 
*the price of $60 does not include the sandpaper, jigsaw, or the optional gloss clear coat.

DIY Mid Century Coffee Table DIY Mid Century Coffee Table


I wanted a long, surfboard type shape to keep with the mid century design. The tutorial I linked to has this awesome jelly bean shape, but I don’t have enough space for a really wide table in my space. This was the best option for me. My tip? Measure, measure measure. Try to imagine as clearly as possible what shape would look best in your space. I chose the rounded ends to balance all of the rectangular shapes and tables in my place, but you could just as easily keep the wood like this, paint/stain it and slap some legs on and be done! (PRO TIP: make sure whatever wood you buy will fit in your Honda Civic to avoid parking lot meltdowns about “not knowing anyone in Dallas still after a year” and “having no friends with SUVs or trucks.” Save yourself the embarrassment.)
To get this surfboard shape, my mom and I made a grid on the ‘bottom’ of the wood. Since my piece was 48″ x 24″, we made squares 6″ x 6″ with a pencil and a yard stick. We ended up with 4×8 squares.
Grid marks


Now that the grids are drawn, this makes it easier to trace out the surfboard shape. This part is best to do with chalk. It’s easier to wipe away when you make a mistake. And you will make a mistake. Trust me. Unless you are infallible, in that case, congratulations! What’s that like?

I started by freehanding one half of the table by choosing sections of the grid to place dots that mapped out my shape. When I liked the overall look, I connected the dots. To mirror the other side, you could either cut that side out and use the cutout to lay on the opposite side and just trace, or, like I did, use the yardstick and put one end on the dot already traced and mirror that dot on the other end of the yardstick. See below:
If you are really particular, you could use a protractor to curve the lines. I’m not really particular.
Tracing out the shape Complete shape!Ginger baby


Cut out your shape! Or watch your dad do it for you.
We cut on the outside of the chalk line to keep it as smooth and uniform as possible. This just depends on which side of your line is the most even. I bolded out the outside of the line to make it easier on the person using the saw. i.e.; not me.
Also, it helps to have a partner holding a fan to blow away the sawdust. Or so I hear. *cutest couple award*



The final (rough) shape! MDF cuts pretty smoothly, but there were some small protrusions that needed to be sanded down. Now is the opportunity to round out the edges as well. I HIGHLY recommend using a belt sander. It’s much, much faster and you won’t start a fire in your hands what with all the friction. We started out with coarse sandpaper and finished it off with the fine. This worked really well for us.
PS. Here’s the part where you need that extra set of hands to hold the board for you.

THE FINAL SHAPE!Sandpaper Beltsander


Stain your legs and paint your top! Do the staining outside or over a large dropcloth covered area. Luckily, my headboard had just been delivered so I used the giant box it came in to sit and stain. I only needed one coat of stain, but depending on your depth of stain it could take two or three. If you’re not impatient like me, leave this outside to dry overnight. Spoiler alert! I did not.
My MDF board needed several coats of paint because the edges were soaking it up like crazy. I don’t imagine plywood would be as difficult since it’s actual wood, but be mindful of how much paint you’ll need. I used two full cans of white gloss paint and used fine sandpaper to smooth it out between coats. This step is small, but very important!
OPTIONAL: Coat with a clear gloss coat. I chose to do this just to add an extra layer of protection because I use my coffee table a lot for eating and drinking and needed that extra layer! #foreveralone
Staining Stained legs


Attach your leg plates. Make sure that the screws included with the leg plates are short enough as to not bust through the top of your table when attached. If they’re too long, just add a thin piece of wood between the tabletop and the plate.
Since I got four legs, I used the grids we’d drawn out before to map out where to place the legs evenly. Pay attention to the direction the angled plates are facing! You don’t want those legs turned inward. Be sure to screw the plates in tight, otherwise the table will be wobbly. Pro Tip: Maybe let your drill actually charge for more than ten minutes before you try just doing this with a screwdriver.

DIY Mid Century Coffee Table DIY Mid Century Coffee Table


Attach the legs. These Waddell legs come with a screw in the top that easily attaches to the plate. Screw ’em in tight!

DIY Mid Century Coffee Table


Flip your baby over and marvel at your handiwork. #dogs #dogtoys

DIY Mid Century Coffee Table DIY Mid Century Coffee Table DIY Mid Century Coffee Table DIY Mid Century Coffee Table DIY Mid Century Coffee Table

Congratulations! You made a mid century coffee table! If you want something taller or shorter or a different size, all you need to do is get a different sized piece of wood, and shorter or taller legs. It’s the easiest DIY man has ever invented. Let me know if you decide to make one! This was a really fun project and I’m in LOVE with the final outcome!




The Gal Nextdoor

Dating at any age isn’t easy. You’re looking for that one person out of billions that compliments your personality, your quirks, your morals and beliefs. You want that one person that makes you a better one just by being with them. Some people, like four of my friends, are lucky enough to have found that person in high school and are happily married now. But what happens after you date for three years only to find the ones that leave you worse off than before you began? What happens when you find out that some people think you owe them your love?

For example, one of my favorite websites I’ve discovered since moving to Dallas is called Nextdoor, a website designed to connect you only to people in your neighborhood and/or the surrounding ones. A few days ago I posted my West Elm rug for sale on this site and not too long after I got a private message from a guy just about my age. “Cool rug Melody. Not interested in it but thought it was pretty cool.” After I thanked him, he immediately took that as an opportunity to ask why and how I moved to Dallas, about my life, what I do, where I hang out. In the eighteen hours we messaged, he asked me out three times. The third time I turned him down because I already had plans, he snapped at me. “I’ll just quit trying then,” he said. “What?” I asked. Four hours later, he asked me if I was even interested in meeting him. “I have no interest in dating you. I’ve been busy every time you’ve asked me out.” He claimed he had no interest in dating, either, and that he was probably being annoying but wasn’t trying to be. Right here was the first time he tried evoking sympathy from me. After I called him on snapping at me, he told me that once I meet him and “hear his story, things like that will make more sense.” I ignored that and reluctantly agreed to meet.

So I said yes. And then the next morning, no. (HOORAY! BACKBONE!) Specifically, “Hey! I know this is rude because I’ve already agreed to hang out, but I’m very uncomfortable meeting. I don’t think your intentions when you messaged me on Nextdoor were just friendly. We don’t even know each other and you snapped at me for not being available enough to you. I don’t owe anyone my time or conversation. Good luck in school! I wish you the best.” The second time he tried evoking sympathy was when he told me that this was nothing new to him because every woman leaves him. When I again told him no one owes him a date, he claimed all he ever wanted was friendship and that I obviously don’t want anything to do with him. That’s the third attempt to elicit sympathy from me, if you’re keeping score at home.

You see, the problem with this is, well, a lot of things. First, no matter how pure he perceived his initial intentions when he messaged me, they were not. Six years ago, or even probably one year ago, I’d have fallen for it. I’d have said yes, met the guy at Chipotle because he doesn’t drink, and hated myself for all of it. The problem with Gary* is that he expects anyone (girl) to say yes. That because he took the time out of his day to send me an unsolicited message, I owe him some sort of token. A date, my body, my conversation, my sympathy, my love. Second, the problem isn’t just Gary’s. It’s generational. There are countless stories just like mine. I’m limited to the scope of my generation, but I’d be willing to bet this is just a people problem. Third, Gary was disrespectful. So much so in fact, that he didn’t want me staying committed to the plans I’d already made before he ever messaged me. He didn’t respect my time enough to let it be just that. Mine. He had already claimed my time as his own before meeting me.

2016 Melody won’t stand for this. I’ll let 2014, 2015 and early 2016 Melodys speak for themselves.


2014 Melody was unstable. And by unstable I mean I dated a guy that flat out told me in a Papacita’s that he wasn’t done cheating on any of his girlfriends just yet. I squirmed in my seat and my brain literally blocked those words out and didn’t let them process. I intentionally ignored everything he was saying because I wanted to believe he was good. You know what? I STUCK AROUND. He made wild promises about the future, mentioning marriage and a house and even named one of our future kids Thomas. He’d have red hair like me and long eyelashes like him. (I’m serious, you guys. This was my life.) A month later when he broke the shocking news to me that I was not the only broad in his life, I couldn’t believe it. When he looked me in the eye in White Rock Coffee smelling of cologne and dressed for a date with another girl and told me he’d been seeing her for two years, my body literally turned rigid. How could he? I loved him! Didn’t he love me?

The next day, I’d set up an appointment at the Apple store where he used to work and talked about all.the.time. because my iPhone’s lock button was broken. Coincidentally (NOT), this other girl worked there, too! (No wonder he talked about it all the time!) You know what ol’ boy did? Told her I was coming so she could handle my appointment. He set up his two girls so they could meet. Isn’t that sweet?

2014 me was dependent. My formative years were spent dating someone else. A serial monogamist, some would say. So when I met my ex-husband, I thought it was the natural next step. Get married! Have kids! Be happy! I desperately wanted those things to come true, I just didn’t know you had to work at them. When everything finally fell apart, I was able to see just what I was: a co-dependent child that hadn’t done anything for herself. That might be a little harsh, I mean, I did finish school on my own, bought my own cars, took care of a dog. But emotionally, I was stunted. For whatever reason, a relationship was the only way I knew how to be whole. Course I wouldn’t come to fully realize this until a little while later. And not really until I’d dated all these other yahoos.


2015 me was alright. I’d dated a very professional lawyer that doted on me, saved and bought a new car and was finally saving to move to Dallas. After Lawyer, I was in my first serious relationship after the divorce in ’13 and was learning a lot, even though he was dealing with his own divorce. I loved him, he loved me and we did the best we could. I learned how not to be passive aggressive. I learned how to better communicate, how to express to someone I loved that what they were doing was hurting me. I got to experience what it was like to date someone not living in my parents’ house (!!!). I had someone to rely on, someone to call when things got hard and someone to complain to about how lonely it was moving to a new city. When we broke up, I learned again how to deal with heartache, this time on my own. I learned how to reach out and ask for professional help when talking it out with friends and family just wasn’t cutting it. I learned how to let go and forgive. I learned even more about what I need in a partner. I learned that breakups can be healthy and they can be really good for you. A really shocking revelation to me at the time as a co-dependent person.

Honestly, I still attribute a lot of my growth to this dude. Even though he’s long gone and we’re not even in the same city, I’m afraid I’d still be just like 2014 Melody if it weren’t for him. So thanks, Jon.

Late 2015 Melody, though, that’s a different story. As a classic serial monogamist/co-dependent gal since age 14, (I know) I started dating someone “seriously” three weeks after my nearly nine month long, very serious relationship. Totally healthy. He was kind, affectionate and generous, but constantly left me places alone if his mother called. We were waiting for a table once at a nice restaurant in the middle of a conversation when his phone rang and he excused himself for ten minutes while I stood inside alone. This happened at least twice every.time.we.went.out. Two months in, I caught him texting another girl all the time. He claimed she was a friend (a good Facebook stalking revealed they had seriously dated for over a year) and vowed to stop talking to her if it made me uncomfortable. A month later, when I caught him again, he got very quiet when I asked if she knew he was dating someone. When I broke up with him the next day, he told me not to think that it was my fault. Great! I feel so much better that you texting another girl isn’t my fault. Whew!

He taught me that I was not a top priority. Leaving me alone places to answer a phone call or letting his phone light up with another girl’s name taught me that I was not enough for him. By this time, at least, I’d learned enough to know that I am worth something and had the guts to break it off.


Early 2016 Melody isn’t much better. There was the time I met someone and three days later they moved four boxes and three duffel bags into my house behind my back, the time someone abandoned me at a concert at midnight without my keys in what used to be a bad part of the city, the time someone else wanted to marry me after knowing me for four days, that time the same person told me I was the biggest girl he’d ever dated but he “didn’t date ugly girls” then showed me a full body nude of his ex, the countless times I was emotionally manipulated and called worthless, in so many terms, and the time a guy told me I shouldn’t be on a dating site if I wasn’t ready to get married. (Those sound really traumatic when you string them all together like that. Woof.)

Now, look. I’m not blameless here. Yeah, a lot, and I do mean a lot, of the guys I have dated are not good for me, but I chose to be with them. I chose to put myself in those situations. There were red flags in the very beginning of ALL of these “relationships” that I willingly chose to ignore because I thought that’s what I deserved. That’s what my divorce taught me; it shamed me into thinking I deserved someone that didn’t really love me, someone that wouldn’t show up for me and someone that wouldn’t fight for me. I let that become my reality and my idea of self-worth. I played into the manipulation and games with men nearly ten years older than me in some cases and counted that as love and commitment.

No one in these stories is blameless, but these guys deserve an emotionally healthy life just like I do. I want the person that doesn’t believe anyone will love him to realize that he’s already loved. I want the person that treats women like objects to realize what a treasure people are. I want that person that abandons their girlfriend in a restaurant to realize that some things can wait. I believe that everyone is worthy. Maybe that’s just me being sappy to a fault, but I think that’s true. No one on this planet is inherently worthless.

So, how, if you aren’t inherently bold like me, do you break the cycle?

First step, realize you’re worth. Realize you’re worth something more than whatever person said you were worth. If someone called you dirt, realize you’re the flowers coming out of that dirt.

Second step, let that permeate every part of your being. It’ll bleed out into everything you say and do, and when someone steps to you like Gary here, you’ll have the courage to step right back to them. No one, listen to me, no one gets to tell you what you’re worth. Do you hear me? No one.

The last step? Surround yourself with people that lift you up. People that’ll fight with you and for you against those that call you something other than worthy. Real friends that encourage you, believe in you, love you. The ones that’ll drive three hours in Temple, TX traffic to see you for one day. The ones that’ll still love you after everything you used to be, especially when you were 2006 Melody. (Yikes.) Surround yourself with people like that.


Current 2016 Melody is good. Really good. I deleted my profiles off of both of the dating apps I had, blocked numbers I shouldn’t be texting, spoke into the universe that I was fully single, and asked God to make my heart stone for a little while. Just until I was ready, really ready, to date again. It’s been about six months since then and despite missing that emotional connection, I’m okay. I’ve realized that I can want to love someone and know that I’m just not ready. I’ve realized that I can pour myself into my friendships instead. I can have year long crushes on someone without acting on it. Most importantly, I can be happy sitting alone on my couch at night.

In the end, know that you are loved. Even if only by me, someone on the internet whose writing you’re reading. But most, most, most importantly? Love yourself.


Love you.




*name changed to maintain anonymity. still a dumb name, though.