How I lost it in a sea of lanyards.

Last Friday, I found myself standing in the middle of a Seattle sidewalk, swimming in a sea of lanyards and I started to cry.

Hundreds of employees from the surrounding tech companies were breaking for lunch and bombarding the streets to hit their favorite eats. I watched these employees buzz by me with their prepared salads and curry bowls. At every bistro and coffee bar, there were long lines out the doors. I overheard a bit of shoptalk around the future of customer experience. I smiled. When we moved to Gig Harbor, I knew there would be times I would miss this energy yet our dream to create an intentional career shift and more simple life carried far greater benefits. What I didn’t expect was how incredibly out of sorts I felt in that very moment.

Literally, two streets over, was SCCA house, a temporary living stop for those going through cancer treatment. Jeff and I decided to stay there after chemotherapy that night. The place is filled with paperbacks, puzzles, a quiet room, and plenty of cancer literature. Instead of lanyards, this is the place of head scarves, ports and slow moving patients who seek a place of quiet rest. While a comfortable and well-designed space, one can’t escape the visions of illness throughout.

It’s hard to imagine a juxtaposition capturing so vividly the profound nature of what was and what is. Only 2 streets away, life looks – and is – drastically different.

In that very moment, the experience of walking between those two spaces, from the past to the present, was overwhelming.

I placed one foot in front of the other, walked intentionally through the sea of smartphones and stopped at a quiet corner. I stood there, took a deep breath, grabbed our bag of ‘chemo snacks’ and walked into SCCA house.