Tag Archives: nostalgia

The Office Finale: Bidding Adieu to One of My Favorite Sitcoms

17 May

So last night The Office aired its final episode.

To be completely honest, the last couple seasons of The Office haven’t been my favorite. To me they were sort of lacking in everything that the earlier seasons excelled in: the humor, the relationships, the plot lines (but mainly the humor, and the fact that Andy got a million times more annoying the second he took on the job of Manager). Because of this, I didn’t think the finale was going to effect me all that much, despite the fact that I loved the three or four episodes leading up to it (and even teared up at the end of each of them). I figured I’d shed a tear or two, be a bit nostalgic, and move on.

But Christ, that finale. It just… I mean, it had everything I wanted to see happen. They hit all the right notes; all the right stops. The episode as a whole was beautiful – the coming together of old friends to celebrate and say farewell – and everyone got their ending. Everyone was where they wanted/needed to be. It was wonderful to see happen to characters who have been with me for so long that I might as well consider them friends. Not to mention the humor was first-rate, and it felt just like the good ol’ days at Scranton once more. Honestly, there was no other way they could have ended it.

I was emotional throughout the entire experience (especially when one Mr. Michael Scott showed up), but I really lost it at the end when the characters were speaking for their last time to the camera and they started showing flashbacks of earlier seasons. It all seems so long ago; not just for the characters on the show, but for me as well. I was a sophomore in high school when I first started watching The Office on a regular basis. I had tuned in the year before, back when I was a freshman, a few times, but I think the awkward-cringe-humor was a bit much for me at first. However, I remember EXACTLY where I was the moment this show finally hooked me and the episode that did it (ie. I was on a cruise ship, it was about one in the morning, Rachael Lowary was asleep three feet away from me, and I was watching “Casino Night” on my iPod). After that, I rewatched the entirety of seasons one and two, and then watched the show devotedly for the rest of its run – even when the episodes took a dip in their later years. I was obsessed with it when I was in high school; it was the quintessential comedy in my life. Hell, I even have fan fiction that I wrote about it back in the day (which is by far the most embarrassing fan fiction I have ever written and I will never speak of the premise ever because of how embarrassed I am about it and you’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hands to ever read it – only Connie Limbrick knows why, and I’ll kill her before she ever gets around to telling anyone about it).

I watched the finale at work last night – thankful that no one came into my own office, as I was heaving with sobs by the end of the episode – and as I walked home after I clocked out I cried the whole way. I couldn’t figure out why the ending of this show was taking such a big toll on my emotions. I didn’t cry this much when 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, or any other show I’ve ever watched ended. The only show I could think to equate my emotions to were what I went going through with LOST‘s end (except LOST was a million times worse and I literally couldn’t get out of bed the morning after its finale because I was so sad it was over). However, I began to think about it, and I realized that my experience with LOST was a lot like my time with The Office. Both shows started back when I was a freshman in high school (2004/2005) and stayed with me until I was in college. Unlike LOST, which ended three years ago, The Office stayed with me until now. That means it lasted from March 2005 (freshman year of high school) until May 2013 (senior year of college). I think a part of me is projecting a lot of my sadness/anxiety about school coming to a close on the Office’s series finale. The Office has been with me for so long, and it’s what I’ve come to know and expect from my Thursday nights – kind of like school (except with, y’know, life in general, not just Thursday nights). And I journeyed with all these Dunder Mifflin characters every step of the way, and now their time at Dunder Mifflin is ending at the exact same time my journey with school is ending. It’s hard not to equate life with television right now, especially when no other television show has been with me for as long as The Office.

As scared as I am about leaving college and entering the real world, I found so much of what the characters were saying at the show’s end encouraging. Plus the fact that many of them were moving on to do bigger and better things… well, I just found it comforting. I could relate to what a lot of the characters said about coming to terms with endings (“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ol’ days before you’ve actually left them…”), but there was one quote that truly stuck out to me. One quote that I truly found encouraging as I make my dreaded approach to graduation:

“I didn’t watch the whole documentary. After a few episodes, it was too painful. I kept wanting to scream at Pam! It took me so long to do so many important things, it’s just hard to accept I spent so many years being less happy than I could have been. Jim was five feet away from my desk and it took me four years to get to him. It’d be great if people saw this documentary and learned from my mistakes. Not that I’m a tragic person, I’m really happy now, but it would just make my heart soar if someone out there saw this and she said to herself, ‘Be strong, trust yourself, love yourself, conquer your fears, just go after what you want and act fast because life just isn’t that long.’

So thank you, Dunder Mifflin. Thanks for the laughter, the tears, the memories, that time the bat got stuck in your office, and the journey.

I’m gonna miss you.

one month to go.

13 May

I’m feeling good today, which has been really nice. I’ve been in a rut for the last week, feeling depressed about life while also feeling excruciatingly lonely, so I’m happy that today has been a good one.

I think there’s a whole combination of reasons for my positive outlook on today. For starters, I got to write some articles for BP this afternoon. It’s been a while since I’ve been asked to write for them, and there is no greater feeling on this planet than getting paid for your words. Then this morning I went for a run and listened to I Am America, which was just an amazing way to kick start the day. I also found out Nick is coming to town this weekend, which just fills my heart with glee. To top it all off, the weather is just beautiful (and not sweltering hot like the last couple days), and good weather always puts me in a good mood.

I realized today that I’ve begun to slowly come to terms with The End. The end of school; the end of my time in Ashland. It’s a rather bittersweet feeling. I’ve wanted out of this town for a while (since my junior year, really), but now that the end is in sight I’m sad to leave it all behind. I’ve been reflecting on my definition of “home” recently and have come to realize that, in almost two months, I’m not going to have a home for an entire year. That both scares and invigorates me. Ashland’s been my home for so long; so much so that Portland doesn’t quite feel like home to me anymore.

Anyway, I’ve got about a month left before I leave Ashland. In that time I’d like to revisit my favorite restaurants/bars/coffee shops, say goodbye to all my friends, walk all of Lithia Park one last time, hang out at Emigrant Lake, perform in the Rogue Valley Poetry Slam for my third (and final) time, and perhaps see My Fair Lady or King Lear at OSF.

It’s funny. When I close my eyes I can see my dorm room back when I was a wee freshman; Amanda sitting on her bed in the corner sketching while I watch CSI over at my desk across the room. Things were so different back then. I was so different back then. I was still a kid. I didn’t know anything about the world. And now… well, okay, I still don’t know much about the world, but I know so much more now than when I was a frosh. A part of me feels like I’m just a giant kid wrapped up inside an adult’s body, and I think I’m always going to feel that way, but I can also recognize how mature I’ve become. Nowadays I love cleaning, budgeting my paychecks, grocery shopping, cooking/baking, running/exercising, drinking, writing poetry, and having a job. I literally despised all of those things I just listed when I was eighteen.

The gap between an eighteen year old and a twenty-two (going on twenty-three) year old doesn’t seem like much, but holy hell, it really is a lot. You just deal with so much in that time frame. You try new things. You learn new things. You learn who you are and how you perceive the world around you. That’s one reason why I’d argue the importance of going to college; not so much for the degree and all the student loans you’re guaranteed to wrack up, but because of the people you meet and the interactions you partake in and the experiences you garner. Would I have turned out differently if my neighbor back in the dorms hadn’t slowly transformed into a transwoman before my eyes? If I didn’t gain friends who outwardly enjoy sex, weed, and alcohol? If I hadn’t dealt with friends coming out, friends expressing suicidal thoughts, and friends who went through pregnancy scares and abortions? Would I be the same sheltered girl that I was when I was eighteen, so wide eyed and naive to the ways of the world?

Probably.

This wasn’t meant to be a rant. This was supposed to be a quick update on how I’ve been having a good day, but then I got… nostalgic? I guess I’m just grateful. Despite wishing I had chosen a different college many times throughout my education, if I had to go back I wouldn’t have chosen differently. I’m sure I would’ve had a great time at other schools as well – and probably gotten more for my money – but I wouldn’t trade in the friendships, experiences, and memories I made at SOU for anything in the world.

One more month to go.

Let’s try to make the most out of it.

September, 2008

 

May, 2013

When I Grow Up…

22 Aug

Today I discovered Matilda: the Musical. I had heard word a while back that this was going to be a thing, but I had no idea that it had already hit the west end and Broadway. Upon hearing about it, I was feeling pretty indifferent. It’s not that I didn’t like Matilda as a kid, and it’s not that I don’t think it’s good musical material. On the contrary, I’m very particular about what film/book material does or does not make a good musical. Shrek? Not musical material. Billy Elliot? Definite musical material. Once? Hella musical material. Legally Blonde? Hell no.

I knew right away Matilda would make for a good musical, I just wasn’t feeling up to tracking the soundtrack down. Then my friend Jon went and posted the song When I Grow Up on tumblr, and, well… here are the lyrics, and you might see why I’ve changed my mind:

When I grow up,
I will be tall enough to reach the branches
That I need to reach to climb the trees
You get to climb when you’re grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will be smart enough to answer all
The questions that you need to know
The answers to before you’re grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will eat sweets every day,
On the way to work, and I will
Go to bed late every night.
And I will wake up
When the sun comes up, and I
Will watch cartoons until my eyes go square,
And I won’t care ’cause I’ll be all grown up.
When I grow up…

When I grow up
I will be strong enough to carry all
The heavy things you have to haul
Around with you when you’re a grown up.

And when I grow up…
I will be brave enough to fight the creatures
That you have to fight beneath the bed
Each night to be a grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will have treats every day,
And I’ll play with things that mum pretends
That mums don’t think are fun.

And I will wake up
When the sun comes up and I
Will spend all day just lying in the sun.
And I won’t burn ’cause I’ll be all grown up.
When I grow up…

When I grow up,
I will be brave enough to fight the creatures
That you have to fight beneath the bed
Each night to be a grown up.

When I grow up…

Just because you find that life’s not fair, it
Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change.
Just because I find myself in this story,
It doesn’t mean that everything is written for me.
If I think the ending is fixed already,
I might as well be saying I think that it’s okay,
And that’s not right.

Looking at the lyrics typed out, I can now easily see how the lyrics/music are written by Tim Minchin, which I didn’t know until only a while ago. And, dear me, I fucking love Tim Minchin.

I’ve felt so nostalgic as I’ve replayed this song on constant repeat all day. This song achieves it’s purpose: to make us remember what it’s like to be a kid and to have such fantastic aspirations. I remember going around as a kid swearing, when I was adult, that I’d eat candy all the time, lie around in the sun, climb trees, and essentially still be a child. This makes me sad, because I feel like I’ve lost so much of what made me such a wonderful child. Of course I couldn’t hold onto some of the things, but there’s so much of my childhood I wish I had held onto. My immense imagination. My optimism. My hyper-ness. My energy.

And yet, most of the time I feel like I’ve managed to hold onto more of my childlike wonder than the majority of people I know my age. Everyone takes everything so fucking seriously. People don’t take joy in the little things anymore. I feel like I’m much better at rolling with the punches than everyone. Maybe it’s because of everything I’ve gone through in my life, but I’ve learned to differentiate the little things and the important things. Speaking of which, I’ve always tried to enjoy the little things. Always.

I went and watched Matilda, the movie, today, which was a lovely experience. I think the quintessential difference in being an adult vs. being a child is that when I was a kid I fantasized about being Matilda. Now that I’m an adult I fantasize about being Ms. Honey.

I find the last stanza to be incredibly inspirational, especially the beginning part that goes: “Just because you find that life’s not fair, it doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it. If you always take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change.” It’s just something nice I’m going to have to remember when things get me down.

I’m tremendously excited to listen to the rest of this musical. I know it’ll be a great one.