Hold on, I need to wipe a tear from eyes; a tear not from allergies. No it’s a tear left behind from watching the finale of The Office.
I’m not going to write a review of the episode. Read Alan Sepinwall’s. It’s worth it. I am however going to share a few thoughts I had after finishing what was a great finale to a great show.
First off, my three favorite revelations from the finale:
Mose Shrute has always slept at the foot of Dwight’s bed.
Meredith was drunk all those years because she was in college.
Creed doesn’t have a bed, but does still have his medal from the Office Olympics.
And my favorite line from last night’s show, which was full of them:
“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”
That line stuck with me because of how much it resonates with something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Without getting into it, I was always a person who spent far too much time looking back fondly or regretfully on the past and looking ahead to an idealistic future. I never had my feet in the present- one was always behind me and one was always in front of me. The present never seemed to fully hold my attention and as a result, the past ended up holding a greater importance to me and the future, more promise. It’s okay to dabble in memories and hope, but I think it becomes problematic when dabbling becomes more than that and overshadows what’s going on in the present.
A few months ago, I realized that I no longer think that way. It was kind of a shock to me because I had been viewing life differently for a while before actually realizing it. I had become more present, much more comfortable with the present and not as reliant on comforting myself with memories or dreams. This is largely attributed to Kim. Finding her and getting married to her has changed everything for me. Now looking back on the past is a hobby, not a clutch, and looking ahead at the future has more realism to it than idealism.
So when Andy said the line about knowing you’re in the good old days when they’re happening, it really hit me. I’m in the good old days right now and more importantly, I know it.
And I think that right there is what was always so beautiful about The Office, the way it spoke to me. Yes it was funny and sweet. But it did things like portray a relationship I wanted to strive for (Jim and Pam) and allowed me to have fun while kicking around in the weeds of the mundane. It gave me a show I could call my own, that I was on board with from the jump. It was a show I grew old with, and as proven this season, had developed a stubborn and defiant relationship with. I’m sad that it’s over. I really am. In the moments following the ending credits, I thought to myself- now what the hell am I going to watch. But that was fleeting. Because life isn’t about lamenting the past or focusing on what you don’t have.
Life is about moving forward.
Experiences, memories, loss and hardship are all tools that you acquire along the way as you move forward. So I take The Office, take what it meant to me and take what it taught me and take what jokes I’ll likely overuse from it and focus on today, tomorrow and whatever comes after that.
The show was about people living in the present, but it ended with the characters all fondly looking back, but also now focused on the future.
That’s what I’ll take away from The Office and that’s what I’ll appreciate about The Office.