Mission Possible (2012)

by Helen Barker

It’s been a funny sort of day. The first day of the year. There’s always something so fresh and promising about new beginnings, and a friend of mine summed it up perfectly when she said, “I’m thankful for the new year”. I’m thankful too – thankful that there is a new year, and that we mark this calendar occasion with our hopes, dreams, wishes and desires. It’s such a comfort to be able to draw a line under anything past that has been niggling away at us, and breathe in a new, clean mouthful of air. Ready for a new adventure. Isn’t it strange how a new number can equip us with such renewed energy?

Yes, it’s been a funny sort of day. I spent half of it in the cinema with my family (a true New Years Day delight) watching Mission Impossible. Not usually a fan, I surprised myself by getting caught in the net of action, drama and sheer fantasy of it all. And I came out feeling strangely inspired. 2012 has been feeling like a Mission Impossible to me these past few weeks. Suddenly finding myself back in Yorkshire, with no clear direction – or income for that matter – and everything up in the air, I wondered how I would ever approach my future. Where would I begin? What would it look like?

2011 has been a difficult year, for some more than others, but there is no doubt that as it reached its close a collective sigh of relief could be heard echoing around my living room (if not further afield). In the darkened dream space of the cinema, I felt a reassuring sense of adventure beckon. The mission ahead may be unknown, dangerous, risky and even the cause of some collateral damage – but unlike the task in which Tom Cruise manages to cheat death on numerous occasions, it is not impossible. Improbable, maybe. But not impossible.

On a personal note – the new year ushers me into an old city. Back in Yorkshire I find myself on the brink of a new part-time job, which for now will provide me with some much-needed structure in the Art Department of a large, bustling state school. I have a small rented studio, in which I intend to rediscover the strengths and values of my art practice. And a few impending articles and blogs nudge me into the promise of life as a writer. I am brimming with hopes, I am in possession of  the furrowed forehead of someone extremely determined, and I am just at the beginning. The best place to be when setting out on an adventure.

And so, on this day, the very first of the year, I make my mark. With nothing inparticular to say (not without launching the ship of resolutions, and that won’t set sail until tomorrow), I wish you all a wonderful 2012. Anything could happen…..