Hello! My name is Sara (I feel like I have a sticker on), and I’d like to tell you about Baubles and Trinkets.
As part of my design major in college, I had to take a 3D class. Trying to remember back through the college haze, I think the choices were print making, sculpture, woodworking or jewelry making. I chose jewelry making. I’d like to say that I made the choice based on careful consideration of my talents and future employability, but to be honest, I picked it because I thought I wasn’t going to get dirty. After all, it was jewelry – gemstones and shiny gold – how dirty could it possibly be? Yeah, well, I was wrong. I didn’t work with gold or fancy gemstones. It was all copper, brass, and, for those times when I had a little extra money, some silver. Silver, I discovered, was tough to work with. It oxidized VERY quickly which made it hard to solder, and it melted quicker than brass and copper. Quite the unwise investment for an inexperienced and poor college student like myself – but one that helped me get to where I am today.
My experience with this class led me to work for a local jeweler where I learned how to make beautiful engagement rings, necklaces, bracelets in 14k, sterling silver. I learned how to knot a genuine pearl necklace. I learned that emerald marquise stones were not my friends. I even learned how to break down and clean old watches, and then put them back together again. It was also my first time working the retail holiday season. Yikes. I will say, I learned how to wrap gifts like a boss.
I then spent some time at a company that manufactured body jewelry. Any ring or barbell that is used in body piercing, I am sure I made. Here I worked with implant-grade Surgical Steel, Titanium, Niobium, 14k, and 18k. I was lucky enough to create some of my very own designs (which, of course, aren’t really mine), but I still remember their creation and seeing them in their first magazine advertisement. That was pretty exciting!
And so, after twelve years of buffing compound smeared up my nose, burn holes in every t-shirt I owned, pathetic fingernails, and an absence of fingerprints, I had fallen in love.
But my aspiring career requested that I move on.
I was ready to be more professional, I needed to be clean, I wanted to wear heels. I had landed a great job in the field of web design, user experience design, e-commerce, and marketing. After all, that’s what I really went to college for. For a long time, I loved it. I learned so much and worked with some incredibly talented people. Plus, as an added bonus, I finally had amazing nails.
Unfortunately, as the years rolled by, I knew I needed more than to be part of a marketing machine. Corporate America stopped working for me. Who in their right mind actually wants to wear heels while slowly liquidating their soul for the all mighty dollar? I got tired of the game. I think I might have checked out the first time I was “spoken to” for using an ampersand. Seriously. An ampersand. &. I was colossally unfulfilled. I’d lost the fire in my soul and I was simply surviving.
Surviving = bottle of wine when I got home.
Surviving = not being able to sleep because I was panicked about a meeting I had.
Surviving = not being able to sleep because I was panicked about a meeting coming up. Surviving = skipping vacation to not fall further behind.
Surviving = smiling even when I was miserable.
If I wrote a book about this part of my life… I might title it Liquidating My Soul.
I wish it had been that easy. It wasn’t. Each time I thought about it, I came up with an excuse as to why I needed to stay. It took me over two years to leave and was one of the most terrifying decisions I have ever had to make. Who leaves a well paying job with nothing lined up? What single mom with a mortgage does that? What about insurance? What about heat? What about food – I can’t even eat Ramen – shit, do they even make gluten-free Ramen??!!
And boy, after the dead panic quieted down, I have to tell you, it feels AMAZING.
And everyone lived Happily Ever After 🙂