With the holidays over and the madness of family gatherings behind me, I finally had a chance to think clearly for a hot second.

Drew and I were set to buy a house, and the process was very trying and annoying. In the end we did not buy the townhouse in the urban part of the suburban city we live in. It was a huge relief in the end. We lost our faith in many the system when it comes to buying a house, but still dream of having our own space to just be.

Coinciding to the holidays and house drama my health was starting to change. I spent some time at Mayo for a chest rash and pains. This was not normal and we decided to take a 3 pronged approach. Right now 2 of the 3 are not relieving my symptoms. My next PET scan was moved up to next week to get more imaging and detailed info what the disease is up to in my chest.

Something is happening that is not normal. Just getting use to my normal: getting stuff done!

All these events led Drew and I to finally take a weekend away in what I like to call the mini-moon.  We ventured up to my old college town of Duluth, MN. This city is majestic. A perfect blend of beautiful scenery, old town charm, wealth, poor, and everything in-between. Typical to my nature, I wanted to meet up with old friends and contacts, visit all the places I hadn’t been to, and eat delicious foods.

After one night I felt the weight of the world lift off my shoulders. Moments of clarity. Moments of reflection. Moments of stillness.

Sunrise over Lake Superior 1/7/12

One person really influenced this process for me. A college professor that I TA’ed and studied with while I was a student at UMD. We met at one of my favorite spaces, Sara’s Table, for the first time in years. She came ready for me with guiding questions, readings, documentaries, and, most helpful, wisdom. Per our conversation I have uncovered a few needs that I haven’t taped into in a while and where to focus my energies.

My post mini-moon approach to killing time and trying to navigate this cancerous life is as follows:

1. Find a living space where I can return to city living: walking to the Co-op, hunkering down in a library for hours on end, eating at locally owned restaurants, and being built up by the natural energy of city life. *On our way home we stopped at a converted warehouse to fill out the rental app. Still waiting to see if I am legit to rent a space… again no faith in the institutions.

Our 'maybe' new home near the U of MN

2. Figure out how to take ownership and action regarding to finances. An intense and painful process for one that so badly wants to work for internal worthiness and economic gain, but sadly cannot work due to the cancer mass thing.

3. Delve into an internal spiritual journey. I have dabbled in and have studied extensively various religions for many years. Over the last 12 months I have really reflected on what doesn’t work for me and where I do not fit into. Now it is time to find out what does work and where I find clarity.

A book that was recommended to me by a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer has lifted me to a better understanding of my thoughts. Whenever I read a book I always take bits and pieces and then contribute those parts to my greater understanding. Just as if I were writing a research paper.

The Suicidal Optimist: Critical Philosophy by J. Brian made me smile and nod.