The Things We Leave Behind

The things we leave behind disappear from our lives — but not the world. This week, make one of them your centerpiece.

View from the top of Bulgaria's Buzluhdza monument, from In Search of Balance.

A few weeks ago on Discover, Ben published a post highlighting a group of bloggers who seek out and photograph “modern ruins” — disused twentieth-century structures that are gradually falling into decay. Physical manifestations of a time we’ve only just left behind, their dilapidation has a strange, otherworldly beauty.

The things we leave behind — buildings, people, experiences — rarely disappear altogether. When we look back, we find ruins. Remnants. Echoes. A run-down building; a mannerism you’ve inherited from a person no longer in your life.

This week, create a post about something you’ve left behind. What is your existence like without it? What is its existence like without you? What does revisiting it make you feel? What does the future hold for it? Will you ever look back at it again?

This doesn’t have to be a negative post, or one focused on a painful loss — the photographers in the Discover post look back with curiosity, wonder, and nostalgia, not regret. It can be, if you’d like, but you can just as easily take your inspiration from a bad habit you’re thrilled you’ve left behind, the home you once lived in and remember fondly, or the third-grade teacher who had a huge impact on you but is no longer in your life.

Take a moment to pause and look back, and share what you find.

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  1. I love what you wrote. “The things we leave behind — buildings, people, experiences — rarely disappear altogether. When we look back, we find ruins. Remnants. Echoes.” And I love this prompt. (I’m hoping to write, or draw, and basically Feel for this one. Somewhere private if I don’t find the courage to blog, but hopefully…well, anything. Thank you.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. All things we love or hate will disappear one day and the only thing we will take with us is the feeling of love or hate. These are co-passengers in our present life and this is and will be our choice whether to live in love or hate.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Very interesting topic. There is so many ways to interpret this topic. I have so many ideas floating about in my mind right now. Hope at least one of them comes live through my post this week.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. The Past, a beautiful reminder of the thing that they were. It might be good, might be bad, but is in oblivion. We try to infer some good things from it and try to learn few lessons which helps us make living much better. Really loved this topic

    Liked by 4 people

  5. This post is a perfect example for me –

    but I’m a girl so feel free to switch it up in your head and I’m happy I left it behind, or in this case him behind because my life has honestly never seemed more important than it is now

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Travel: Things You Lose. Things You Find. Things You Pack. Things You Leave Behind.
    “Travel is a worthwhile adventure — an invaluable expedition. Things experienced can leave one speechless, yet transform them into a Walt Disney-like storyteller once they return home….” Visit my post to keep reading;

    Much Love, Uncustomary Housewife (

    Liked by 5 people

  7. This is a really cool idea! For a start, photographing anything that has fallen into a state of disrepair (and doing it well), seems to produce some of the most visually arresting images, which always seem to force me to linger. Doing that with modern/contemporary structures makes it more fascinating, because it’s only recently that building or item has ceased to be of value to whoever was using it. Really cool idea!

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  8. Great post with an interesting viewpoint. I always look back at all the things I’ve done and places I come from and how it affects me today now you’ve gave me something really think about.

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  9. “….a mannerism you’ve inherited from a person no longer in your life.” I constantly notice these things about myself, and think about who I picked ‘that’ up from. So true!

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  10. Really like this prompt! So many potential ideas are running through my head. Love how we can go in various directions.

    Also, I guess if the item or abstract subject we choose still exists in our memory, it wasn’t completely left behind. We’re still preserving a certain piece of it, which is so beautiful and important in its own way.

    Can’t wait to start writing!


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