“I wish there was some way of knowing you were in the good old days before you actually left them.” – Andy Bernard
“There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. I mean, isn’t that kind of the point?” – Pam Beesly Halpert
I join the ranks of many, retrospective as The Office drew to a close last night. And like everyone else, it was Andy’s wish and Pam’s thought – seize the day, value the time-in-life you’re in currently – that struck the most resonant chord for me.
Perhaps I flatter myself, but I like to think that if anything I’m obsessed with the fact that what I’m living now will be the time I miss when I am 40 (and have a 13 year old that hates me once a day). I ruin good times by dwelling on the fact that they will end soon.
At least I know I’m in them. At least I recognize that, more than likely, I won’t be able to have quiet evenings for the rest of my life. I only have so many years of being young. Of being the loudest house on the block. Of having so much undecided in my life, literally anything could still happen to me.
There are so many good old days for me. My high school years, with a small group of good-hearted little nerds whose greatest weekend thrill was getting to state Science Olympiad. The summer after I graduated, with my first real job and one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. Mary Kate and the world she lived in, completely foreign to me but so fascinating. Traveling and being as on-my-own as I had ever been, halfway around the world with people barely older than me.
College, when I spent my first night alone in my room and cried myself to sleep out of homesickness but snapped out of it and had so many adventures. The summer after that, which has yet to be beaten as the best summer of my life. I knew when I was in it that I would probably never have another chance at utter selfishness. And it was fantastic and disgusting.
My first year back, working and living. I read so much because I had nothing else to do. And it was great. A year and a half of working next to Meg. Getting good at my job, and getting better at living my own life. Discovering pockets of great friends. Half-living at Caroline’s house. Dating her brother.
Moving into my first real house, buying things like air filters. Having so much fun last summer, seeing great shows and meeting strange people.
Halloween, New Year’s Eve and my fall/winter parties with John.
This past winter/spring, with Tom and the little yellow house. The hours of doing absolutely nothing because we could. Stir fry.
The terror of a job change, seasoned with the comfort of so many people being so very kind to me. Not the least of which was my father, giving me the opportunity to pursue something I always was interested in but was never really brave enough to try.
I took a walk around my neighborhood last night, right after the finale, and thought about all the things that would have happened if The Office would have been about my life instead of a fictional workplace. There is such beauty in the ordinary, like Pam said. I’m so grateful for all of my many good old days. And I can’t wait for more.