Olea Corcoran

The world has many edges, and it's easy to fall off.

January: New Beginnings

I ran through the house, appraising the merits and drawbacks of each room with a glance - window size and outlook, wardrobe space, proximity to the bathroom - and rushed back to claim the best option as mine, before any of my siblings finished their tour. A brand new bedroom, bare and empty of furnishings, before the boxes start to arrive: a place full of possibilities and promise. That time was the sixth, and it was just as exciting as the first.

I love fresh starts, new beginnings - usually in the form of physical events, like moving house, starting a new school or spring cleaning. Even if it's a mental reset, as with a new year, I go through a process of purging everything. If in doubt, throw it out. It's easier to start over again.

If I regret throwing something out, I can buy a new one. If I miss friends, I can meet new people. There's something incredibly alluring about the simplicity and finality of burning your bridges, but it assumes that everything (and everyone) is replaceable.

Because of my penchant for beginning again, I'm good at making friends, but not keeping them. I'm good at finding clothes that suit the short-term, but my wardrobe is not cohesive. My skills at restoring a room to something resembling order, after a certain point, don't go far beyond "buy several large garbage bags".

This year, I have the promise of another fresh start - I'm moving to Europe for a year - and it's been hard to fight the reaction to throw away (or donate or recycle, of course) every item I can't physically take with me. I don't want this year's fresh start to be a disconnect from everything that came before it. This year, I want to build on from where I currently am, instead of starting over. This time, I want to leave my bridges intact.

I have started written correspondence - the old fashioned way, and email, and Facebook - with some dear friends from home, and they'll be involved in my life still. I'm documenting my trip as part of my ongoing interest in art journaling. I've asked mum for recipes and cooked them that night. I think that this time, my bridges are safe.