Writing Prompt

If I knew then what I know now

Tammy Peterside
2 min readOct 6, 2021
Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

The writing prompt of the day is quite straightforward — write an entry beginning with the sentence “if I knew then what I know now”.This prompt is not intended to evoke regret but to inspire and encourage reflection.

Our past provides data points for better future predictions.

If I knew then what I know now,
I would take into consideration growth.
That winter and spring are necessary for the harvest.
that hard times will come and we will all need time in the dark soil
to reflect on our becoming
that sometimes this pain is just the birthing
of something larger than me. than us.
that maybe I would look at life through different lenses
Despite the withering leaves and cold tomorrows.
Despite the disappointments and mistakes
Despite the future starring at me in the face of lifelessness
Despite the surprises of the year

If I knew then what I know now
Maybe I would not be so surprised
I would have taken it in stride
I would have you by my side
I would have packed a little love
Covered it in forgiveness and ignored hearsay
Maybe that would have been tiring
This journey needs a lot of forgiving
so how do I pack love for such a journey
When home seems so far away
and hell seems so close
I have been stuck here for a long time
It stopped feeling like home.
It has started to feel like exhaustion
like loose leaves and broken shells
like emptiness woke up but could not get out of bed
Like famine
like never
like colourful life had drained out of maybes
filtered ifs
suspended buts
but I don't call this regret

Nevertheless, I have made progress
Progress looks a little different these days
It looks like eating a decent meal
It looks like taking a shower
It looks like moving on.
Progress
Looks like baring chest in sunlight
let rainbow retract across to strangers

If I knew then what I knOw now
I would have practised deep breathing
and never taken air for granted.

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Tammy Peterside

Data Enthusiast | Creative Storyteller | Mental Health Advocate