• Meghan Hurley

Return to Sender

Sadness- isolation, loneliness, regret

Love- passion, desire, longing

“What inspired you to heal?”


“Did you decide to become who you needed when you were younger?”


I told her I didn’t want strength if I had to die for it, if I had to pay for it with a broken heart and a bruised neck. She passed me a tissue box and I told her I wouldn’t cry.

“What are five things you can see?

Four things you can touch?

Three things you can hear?

Two things you can smell?

One thing you can taste?

You will never have this version of yourself again.

Slow down, and be with her.”

Do you think we do it on purpose? Do we like to run out of breath?

There are two dancers in my brain, rehearsing, they practice over and over, perpetually almost. One of the dancers never skips a beat, she’s confident, she’s soft and she carefully steps. Her counterpart is too, at least she’s trying to be. But she hits a hurdle every time on the same beat, though it’s never really the same song.

It’s a new orchestra with every practice, it’s a new melody. The dances are different each time but they all eventually get to the same bridge and she falls as the tempo picks up. She steps on the other dancer’s toes or lets her fall during the dip and the frustrated protege restarts the tune.

I can’t tell which one of them I am, and I feel out of touch.

It’s like one of the girls is trying to say “We’ve been here, we’ve got this,” but the other echoes back, “it’s a new song.”

Do you know that feeling?

The thing about reinvention is that it never takes the same form but it’s hardly ever brand new. In my dances with metamorphosis there had been an underlying notion that proved difficult to shake,

I am too much of an investment, without any return.


I thought about you today, you were at the top of my to do list. I meant to check in, I really did. I’m sorry I missed your call, I was distracted. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Love you,


How was work today? I’m sorry I forgot to call, I was distracted. I’ll try again tomorrow, in the meantime please tell everyone I said hello!

Talk soon,


Me again! Just wanted to check back in. I couldn’t make it home for her birthday this year, but I know she was grateful that you could. How are you doing? I tried calling this morning but maybe you were distracted. I’ll just leave a voicemail. Did you get a new number? I’ll try again tomorrow.

Miss you,


I wish we still wrote letters.

When the sender is in a hurry, the ink smudges and the words flow together in a layman’s cursive. An accidental dotting of an “e” or the crossing of an “h”, it was rushed. When the sender is present, the handwriting is soft. Sometimes the pen hardly even makes contact with the paper, it’s wispy.

I prefer a pen, they can’t erase. It feels more authentic.

“If asked, would you return?

To Earth or anywhere else?”

I’d return to sender.

We started running fast towards something we thought we’d never reach.

Well, here we are.

You should know that I’m glad to know this version of you too.

There is no such thing as too much.


Anger is a secondary emotion, it’s a form of self validation for whatever you felt prior, i.e.: “try to understand where I’m coming from,” it means to look at the initial emotion rather than the anger itself. More often than not, anger stems from sadness, sometimes fear.

There’s an undeniable pressure of needing to keep ourselves exciting to everyone around us and I was completely drowning in it. Sometimes people overshare because they want other people to feel sorry for them. Most of the time the desire isn't malicious, it's more about wanting to feel understood or connected to someone else. I’ve never overshared to feel pitied, I’ve overshared to feel justified.

Whenever anything happened to me I felt like I needed to tell the whole story. I didn’t want anything to be misconstrued or warped behind my back, and I wanted them to know I wasn’t doing this on purpose. I wasn’t sad just to be sad, I had reason.

That feeling of needing to keep yourself exciting and relevant is such a twisted competition when it latches its teeth into raw emotion like this.

I was so angry, because I was so sad, because I felt like so much. But still, somehow, that crown had to be yours. All I ever wanted was for someone to be proud of me but neither of us ever approved of me, really. We never even liked her.

Do you know what a trauma bond is? It’s when an abused person forms an unhealthy bond with the person who abuses them. The person experiencing abuse may develop sympathy for the abusive person, which becomes reinforced by cycles of abuse followed by remorse.

It’s harsh to think about friendships and relationships we’ve had in this way but it’s necessary to differentiate your responses as learned or innate.

Some people will choose to remember only the version of you that they held the most power over. When you set those boundaries, even though you don't mean to hurt them, they will get mad because they benefitted most from a time when you had none.

Hyper independence is a trauma response.


At this point in my life, I no longer allow myself to be celebrated in places when it’s only convenient. Protect your peace, there is nothing wrong with shielding your heart from someone else’s troubles when you have enough of your own to carry.

Dependability can turn into addiction faster than you can imagine. It’s never a bad thing to be reliable nor is it harmful to show up for someone when they need it, but my rule of thumb is if you don’t have enough energy to do it three times over, don’t do it at all.

You can be a good friend without being a blood bank. Set a standard for the way the people around you will treat you and make sure it’s sustainable.

Once they feel you pulling back they’re going to try to outdo you in the strangest of ways. It is damn weird, but you’ll internalize it regardless. You think your day was hard? Mine was harder. You had a bad day at work? Well my job is worse.

Soon enough you’ll stop talking, you’ll stop telling them what you’re doing, you’ll stop checking in on them the same way they did you because it doesn’t matter what you say when they’re just looking for a record to beat.

It’s not inherently wrong to center your life around yourself, after all it is your life, but you have to be careful with this. Your actions have ripple effects on everyone around you and so do your words. We need to slow down and be cautious with our voices. Even more so, it’s important to know why you’re speaking in the first place. It took me a while to live for me and lately I’ve bitten down so hard I barely have a tongue left.

Everyone just wants to be described and maybe that’s why we ramble. Think about it.

You want to know why you won over everyone else in the room, you want to know what it is about you that makes you stand out. We all crave the same feeling of deserving.

You’re going to get the rotating conveyor belt of pretty, nice, and funny. But there’s another more suffocating big three: We’ve never felt like this’s just different with get me.

You wanted to be one of one, and now you are. But just how different are you, different enough for them to actually notice? Different enough for someone to actually care? Do you really have that spark?

How’s that for a change of tone?


I’m not as vengeful as that sounds, I promise. I’m also pretty, nice and funny! A few times actually, just a couple weeks apart. On top of that, they’ve all made me laugh, had gorgeous eyes, and just been...different.


Truthfully I could not remember who I was at all and I had hoped that someone could remind me. All I ever needed was someone to be happy for me, somebody to tell me that I was okay just the way I was. I was under so much pressure.

At the same time, when you feel that pressure it’s because big things are expected of you. You’re being held accountable for actions you’re capable of and that’s why it hurts so much more when you disappoint everyone, they were counting on you.

It’s even worse to fail at something when you’ve been batting out of your league all along. Just ask my exes.

I was afraid to be anything but necessary, YAWN. I stopped speaking in past tense and guess who showed up at my front door crying tears of green bloody envy.

Confidence is power, girls, own it.

We’re not competing with them for anything,

but between me and you,

we run circles around ‘em all.

Always have, always will.

The truth is, the magic is being chosen without being needed.

Someone had to teach me that, he’s my favorite memory. He listened.

Are you with me? Eyes up, we’re getting to the best part.


“This is for you. I hope beautiful things happen to you and I hope you believe that you are worthy of every single one of them, even if you don’t know why.”

37 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Fear- inferior, insecure, inadequate Surprise- amazed, awe-struck, speechless What is the most honest thing anyone has ever done for you? Pay attention because they won’t beg for acknowledgement if th

There are so many things that I have learned through experience that I have been unable to translate without speaking them as I had felt them in the immediacy of the moment. That’s why I turn to writi