Joyous 2012 Winter Solstice 12.21.12

2012 was a year of tranformation for many as it was for me. Some  think the Mayan people saw 2012 as the end of the world,  but I’m one of many who see this time as the beginning of a 1000-year evolutionary human transformation. We will collectively start to feel each others joy and sorrows; war and jealousy cannot exist if we no longer see ourselves as separate from each other and nature. This is where I would personally like to be headed.

This year I finally let go of what my wedding photo career “should” be. It looked like letting go of a 500 pound lead weight that sinks to the bottom of a pool. I can see it sitting at the bottom and there’s some sadness letting it go,  but I won’t be pulling around that old baggage anymore. I’m free to swim in a new direction now.

Visited the Mayan ruins on a romantic vacation with my love and dreaming of our collective future together. With no stable foundation or real friendship, I watched our own relationship crumble and collapse into ruins. I learned why foundations put down too hastily never sustain with time.

I was let go from a job after almost 2 years but knew it was way below my capabilities.

Felt pain in letting go, but now have the wisdom to know it’s opened many new doors.

Embraced a new way of thinking of being in intimate relationships as well as being with myself.

Learned how to say ‘no’ and set boundaries with people. Not second-guessing myself anymore, listing to my intuition.

Taught (and will be teaching) a lighting and photo workshop at the Harvey Milk Photo Center. Went back to college to learn film, video production and create personal documentaries. Feeling like I am reconnecting with my original purpose of being a photo journalist and story teller. Documentaries have always felt like a natural extension of photojournalism.

Looking ahead in 2013, I’m partnering with a friend to create events for personal project fundraising combined with a live silent auction, the highest bidder would win a date with the recipient at the event. We want combine Kickstarter and Match to create a real-life (not virtual) experience, people connecting for fun and funding. Even if it’s not a relationship leading to long-term partnership or marriage, it’s a Love Story of real-life matching to help fund people fund their dreams.

In the same light, my mission is to help people communicate and connect with others (in real life, not hiding behind their laptops.)

I want to launch a company to help people write their on-line personal profile for dating (yourpersonalprofile.com, coming soon.). Beyond taking head shots, I want to help single people know their mission statement to craft their message, coach them in their approach to dating and following up after their meeting. I think there’s a huge market of young single men in Silicon Valley who need help and have no one to turn to. (I’ve seen the carnage firsthand. I’m shocked that their resume passed muster and accepted at Google if they can’t  spellcheck, proofread or they say things in their profile like, “I’m to (sic) busy to write now so feel free to ask me any questions you want to know about me!!!”). I also want to write a book on my personal dating and relationship experiences to share my wisdom (or lack of it) and let other women know that they’re not alone. Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself and the situations you get yourself in- the worse the situation, the better fodder to put in a story later, I say.

Lastly, I wanted to acknowledge that seven years ago on Christmas Day I moved to to the Bay Area from Boston. My relationship with my ex-fiancee and business partner had crumbled after four years, and it was in many ways a a relief when I finally had the courage to leave.  It was always a dream to move to San Francisco and was one of  my top ‘bucket list’ things I would regret on my death bed. I knew my ex really didn’t want to go as he was close to his family in Boston and I didn’t like him moving away just to be with me. So with nothing more to lose, I tossed my hat over the 3000 mile fence, packed up my cat, suitcase, laptop and flew to the great unknown. I’ve always been spiritually drawn to San Francisco and the Bay since I visited cousins here when I was in college, so I  made up a reason to finally go west. I still see both Boston and San Francisco as my homes (maybe like two lovers that are very different with similar sexy smart traits, but I just can’t pick one and leave the other for good.) I just spend more time on the left coast, especially in the winter when the right coast can get abusive , grey and depressed.

I hope the next seven years brings even greater transformations beyond my imagination. Bring it!


Melissa Mermin