Ending a Journey and Starting a New #WOUGRAD

Rainbow Dance Theatre Program Cover

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The blog prompt is to express and share my goals or my bucket list for summer 2014. Oh, where do I start? Considering this is my first summer in seven years I won’t take summer classes. Considering this is my first summer as a student who has successfully accomplished one of the biggest dreams I’ve ever set forth. Considering that the summer of 2014 is going to be the first summer of my new journey after graduation …

… I am going to have a blast …

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First, I am going to visit my family in the Bay Area, California. I am going to visit my old stompin’ grounds. I am going to find the local farmer’s markets in San Francisco, Oakland, and Vallejo to mingle with the people again. While I’m out there, I will touch base with friends who have started their own non-profits and/or work with youth mentor programs. This project was inspired by my travels to Haiti in December 2013. Those travels reminded me of my roots, and I can’t deny my roots any longer. Anything I do from this point on will be rooted in the Bay Area.

Second, after my travels to the Bay Area, I’ll return home to small-town Monmouth and start working and really exploring the Willamette Valley, finally. I have the freedom to find a job that I don’t have to schedule around my classes. I finally have the chance to get back into the “real world,” and be a part of society as an adult with a degree. I don’t have to worry about writing essays anymore, reading a 40 page article unless I want to, or study for a final I don’t care about. It’s amazing!

Ahead of me is a path of full opportunity, potential, and growth …

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I am already working on starting my own business as a freelance photographer and I’ll start working as a high school mentor assistant coordinator in July. This summer will be filled with photography and building my portfolio. A local photographer has given me permission to job shadow her for the summer, which will expose me to more knowledge of photographing people.

My dream project will start this summer and that’s real exciting …

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The mentor program will be a part time position with the Salem School District and I’m looking forward to stepping foot into the responsible adult, “you just graduated college” conversations. I’ve been in that transition phase where I’m too old for the college students, but I’m still a student when it concerns professors or staff members who are the same age as me. It’s been a difficult run as a non-traditional student, but working in a high school after I graduate college just seems perfect when I think about my life.

You see, graduations have never been a very good experience for me. When I graduated from the community college, my aunt passed away about two weeks before hand. So even with my excitement of graduation, I was haunted by the sadness of her missing me walk the stage for the first time. Yeah, four years ago was the first time I was able to walk the stage after graduation. This is why I find it perfect that I’ll be working at a high school. Just three days before my high school graduation, I was hit by a car, which prevented me from walking the stage with my graduating class.

I had broken my femur, so walking anywhere was impossible for quite some time …

In fact, June 9 is the sixteenth anniversary of my accident

So, you see, the fact that I’m posting this blog today is just another synchronicity of my life, and I love it!

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On a more personal note, I have set goals to extend my exercise regimen. For a year, I’ve been actively challenging myself with core exercises and I’m ready to get active in nature now. So, this summer will be filled with bike rides, backpacking, camping, and plenty of sun bathing. I will go fishing regularly, take a hunting course, volunteer at summer programs, get more tattoos, and probably drink a lot of wine. Oh, and since I’ve worked on my backyard over the years and it’s finally at the stage to where I can comfortably have parties, I’m sure there will be plenty of BBQs, cook outs, and creativity gatherings. There’s even the possibility of having a live backyard concert for my birthday. Now, that’s amazing!

The summer of 2014 will be epic for Jo Bruno!

By Jo Bruno

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