I will miss the designing that I got to do there, even though it was just a little bit of what I did. Even when I was getting to work on custom pieces, it was a struggle; I am burned out. 8 1/2 years on the bench, where 96% of what I do is sizing, setting stones, and other menial repairs just got old. When I told my co-workers and superiors that I was leaving, they all said the same thing: "but you're so good at what you do." Yeah, I know that, but I don't want to be know for being a great repair jeweler. I want to be know as a great designer, which I am, but I just don't get to do enough, nor do I really want to, right now. What I'm hoping will happen is after I've settled into my new job, I'll actually want to start designing again. I can carve wax in my apartment without making too big of a mess, and eventually get them cast into gold. I've already noticed that I want to doodle more, which is promising. I want to get back to where I was when I first started on the bench; I would rush home and sketch and work out designs for several hours several days a week. I'll get there, and with an abundance of stones to select from at my new job, I'm sure I'll have plenty of inspiration.
As I prepare to shut the door on the first stage of my career, I am excitedly running toward the next door. The possibilities are endless, and I am eager to see where my life is headed.