I have always been someone who is very easily drawn into a story. Be it a book, television show, or movie, it doesn’t take long for me to be in a whole other world. I am a witch alongside Harry on his many adventures; I joined Frodo and Sam on their quest to destroy the Ring; I work a boring 9-5 job right alongside Jim and Pam.
It’s no surprise I get incredibly attached to the characters in these stories, specifically those I feel are my best friends (Pam Halpert and I are tight). It’s always sad when these books/movies/shows end, because now what do I do? Well, actually, this is what I do: I come up with lists of things I learned from these stories. In today’s installment, I will discuss a few nuggets of wisdom my all-time favorite television show, The Office, has taught me.
• Some things are worth the wait. Jim loved Pam from the pilot episode, even though she had been engaged for something like twenty years. I joke. But really, if Jim had given up just because Pam was with someone else or because she told him no at the end of season two (Who can forget the end of season two?!), everything would be different. Now I’m not saying you need to wait around for a guy or girl to realize what a prize you are, because sometimes, things don’t work out. But, with ole PB and J, they were obviously meant to be and, for Jim, I’d say it was worth the wait.
“I thought they’d be good together, like PB and J. Pam Beesly and Jim… What a waste. What. A. Waste.” –Kevin Malone
• You’re stronger than you think. I think my very favorite episode is in season three when they have Beach Day. Michael thinks he’s secured a job at corporate, and he is testing out his potential replacements: Jim, Dwight, Andy, and Stanley. Pam, meanwhile, has to take notes of what everyone is doing and saying in order to help Michael make this tough decision. But when it comes time to do the coal walk, the only person brave enough to do it is Pam (with the exception of Dwight, but…) Anyway. After Pam manages this feat, she goes and says some things she’s been holding inside for as long as several years. She lets her coworkers know that it hurt her feelings that they didn’t come to her art show and she tells Jim that she misses him. It is my favorite moment on the show because I love that we get to see how much she’s changed and grown. I’m so glad they waited for her to be okay being by herself before she and Jim get together. So many women go from relationship to relationship, believing that the man they are with is what defines them. But Pam grew strong while she was single and showed that she would be okay on her own.
“Pam, that was amazing! …But I’m still looking for someone with a sales background.” –Michael Scott
• Don’t let pride get the best of you. It’s totally okay to be proud of who you are and the things you’ve accomplished in life. But sometimes, we let it go to our heads and it comes back to bite us. Angela Martin is a character that I always really liked, even though she is so straight-laced. When Dwight mercy-kills her cat, I lose it every single time (because, yes, I’ve watched every episode a bare minimum of ten times). I love her secret relationship with Dwight, especially when she gets him the Dwight bobble-head doll. I love her engagement to Andy and her tiny pregnant belly in season eight. She just cracks me up. But I hate when she loses everything in the last season. As if she hasn’t been through enough (her husband not only cheating on her but with a man), she has to move into a tiny little apartment with her baby and plethora of cats. It’s so sad when anyone gets dealt a bad hand, but it’s especially hard to watch when it’s someone as prideful as Angela. I love, though, that Oscar reaches out to her in her time of need, letting her stay with him rather than in a tent. No matter how prideful Angela was, she had friends that were there for her, no matter what. One could argue that Oscar did this out of guilt, since he was who the Senator cheated on Angela with, but I have a feeling he did it because they were true friends.
“Andy, you don’t have to leave because you said you would. Don’t let pride ruin your whole life. Okay? It’s not worth it.” –Angela Martin
• Never give up on your dreams. I think we’ve all made a list at some point or another with things we’d like to accomplish or do by a certain age. Maybe you want to go skydiving or get that book published. Maybe, like Dwight, you have your eyes on the prize of being manager of your company. Though it seemed like Dwight would never get what he wanted, he didn’t give up. Sure, he screwed up when he fired that gun in the office while he was acting manager, but everyone makes mistakes, right? He continued to work hard, consistently making the most sales of all the salesmen at Dunder Mifflin, and loved that company more than anything. In season nine, when he finally receives his black belt, he chooses to have the ceremony at Dunder Mifflin because he loves it so much. I’m only slightly surprised he didn’t have it on his beet farm, but hey, it’s good to have options. I just love that Dwight eventually gets what he always wanted—the job as Regional Manager—because he stuck with it and didn’t give up on his dreams. No matter how big or small your dreams may be, Dwight is proof that they can definitely come true.
“Yesterday I was just your average, ordinary paper salesman with a farm and a bunch of pipe dreams about beet fuel. Today, I leave here a regional manager with a black belt. It really is amazing how your life can change in one day.” –Dwight Schrute
• Fairy tales aren’t real. In season nine, viewers get a taste of what it’s like when something that seems absolutely perfect is not. After getting together in season four, Jim and Pam just seemed so happy. They were cute and funny and in love, and, even when Pam had to go to New York for three months, there weren’t really any issues with their relationship. In season nine, when Jim accepts a job in another city without telling Pam, though, the couple go through some really difficult times. The fights they have are so real and I think a lot of couples can relate to them. I’ve only been married for a year and a half, and we rarely fight, but it does happen. And I love that The Office shows that realness in Jim and Pam’s marriage. They fight, yes, but they also get through it. It’s refreshing that we get to see a real relationship played out, no matter how perfect or imperfect it may seem.
“It’s like a long book that you never want to end. And you’re fine with that because you just never, ever want to leave it.” –Pam Halpert
“Like Harry Potter?!” –audience member
This post originally appeared on HelloGiggles.