5 Things "The Office" Has Taught Me About Life
and how it will change my life after quarantine.
If you're anything like me, you don't need to be in quarantine to be on your 100th run-through of the great family classic The Office (US). I have to admit, though, it wasn’t until about three years ago that I watched this series for the very first time, so I was a bit late to the party. But you know something? I am eternally grateful that I didn’t see this show when I was growing up, because I know I would never have appreciated it the way I do now.
The Office is so much more than your typical television comedy. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, and boy does it ever make me cringe (“Scott’s Tots,” anyone?) But more than anything, this show is a lesson in love and in friendship. It’s a lesson in life. Especially now, while we’re living in such a strange, uncertain world, this show has helped me to cope with my fear of the unknown. So, without further ado, here are five things that watching The Office has taught me about life:
1. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Life is too short to hold yourself back from your dreams.
Pam says it all so perfectly in the final episode. Don’t spend your entire life wishing you had done something sooner, or that you had done that thing at all. Trust yourself, and know that you can do whatever it is that you set your mind to. You just need to take the leap and go after it, and even if it doesn’t work out, you can at least say you tried.
2. Live every day to its fullest so you can look back on your life with fondness and fulfillment, not with regrets.
This hits home for me every time. I think we’ve all spent time looking back on our younger selves, our formative years, reminiscing and remembering what once was – our “glory days” so to speak. We spend so much time thinking about the past, the future, and the “what-ifs,” that we forget to live in the present. We don’t realize that we are IN those good times right now – we can spend every day longing for what was or what could be, and all the while we’re missing out on making new memories.
3. It’s okay to be ordinary.
In a world full of “likes” and social influencers, it’s easy to feel inferior to those who have these glamorous lifestyles. We all wish we could travel the world, or have that mansion, or that car, or that body, but we should never underestimate the true beauty of our ordinary lives. We all have something to offer, even if we don’t know it. There’s something beautiful in every mundane day, if we only look for it. Now is the time to start appreciating those small, ordinary victories.
4. Never let fear control you or the choices you do or don’t make.
As someone who struggles with anxiety, I’ve spent a huge portion of my life worrying about all the bad things that could happen if, “X.” And now, more than ever, I’m wondering why we let fear control our lives. Why do we make choices based on “what might happen?” If nothing else, this pandemic and social isolation has shown me that I’ve been living life all wrong. I know we won’t be “normal” again for a long time, but when we get there, I think it’s time we all face our fears and do the things that frighten us. Take that new job. Travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, even though you hate flying. Publish your writing for the world to see. Just go for it!
5. Don’t be an idiot.
We’re all guilty of making stupid decisions, selfish choices, dumb mistakes. And that’s okay as long as we learn from them. Now, more than ever, we need to all be on the same team. We need to look out for each other and have one another’s best interests at heart. Be safe, be smart, stay healthy, and help each other out.
So, there it is: proof that The Office is so much more than just your average TV show. If you haven’t seen it, now’s the time to give a go. I promise, you won’t regret it. If you have seen it, I know you’re already in the middle of watching it through for your 60th time. Good for you.
This show has helped me navigate a lot of life's most stressful times, a pandemic being no exception. But watching it now holds a new meaning for me, and these quotes hit home a lot harder. We all need to do a little soul-searching and reflection, decide what we really want in life and finally go after it. Life is so unexpected and frankly, too short. So let's take a page out of Michael Scott's book and take that shot.