(Photo from Huffington Post)

“It all seems so very arbitrary. I applied for a job at this company because they were hiring. I took a desk at the back because it was empty. But, no matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.” –Creed 

I was a sophomore in college and deeply depressed when I discovered The Office. Those characters helped me get through the rest of a very difficult semester. For a while, the show felt like the only thing I had to look forward to.

When the depression lifted, watching The Office happily became more of a social thing. I have had standing Thursday-night-Office-watching-dates with various people at various points over the past seven years that were sometimes and sometimes not followed by gorging on disgustingly huge meals at Denny’s (Shout-out Rob/Peter/Adam/the Bloomington Denny’s!)

My relationship with Doug even started while watching The Office. We were marathoning Season 3 at his apartment and, each time we started a new episode, I inched a little closer to him so that, by the fifth episode, my shoulder was so smashed up against his that he had no choice but to put his arm around me. True story.

I stopped watching the show at points along the way. I even had this weird mental thing going on in which it would feel like a victory if I stopped caring about the show for a while because it was proof of how far I had come since my depression days.

I thought I had outgrown it altogether by the time I got to grad school. Until halfway through my second year when I got super sick the week before my comprehensive exams and spent four days straight on my couch studying catching up on every single episode I had missed (shout-out Ina’s Netflix account!) And holy shit that was a well-spent week.

Michael’s character left The Office to move to Colorado the same week I graduated and thought I was moving to Colorado. I wept like a baby.

Then, over the past two years, I really did stop watching altogether. Because I was busy staring my career discovered Glee and Catfish.

I didn’t even realize The Office was ending until I heard an announcement on the radio a few weeks ago that the series finale was airing that night.

You bet I watched. You bet I teared up. You bet I engaged in personal reflection that would later become a blog post.

But you know what? I wasn’t torn up about it ending the way I’m almost always torn up about things ending. It felt right. It felt like time.

I won’t miss laughing about the crazy antics of fictional people in an office because now I work in a real office, filled with its own good share of craziness. And I don’t need to pine over Jim Halpert anymore because I have my own Jim Halpert.

But still. The Office was always there for me when I needed it, and for that I will be forever grateful.

So thank you, The Office. For always keeping it realskis, and for being a part of my journey.