I’ve been re-watching The Office on Netflix recently.
I don’t watch a ton of TV, but when I do, I tend to lean towards shows that I’m familiar with.
I can probably quote every episode of Seinfeld and Friends without skipping a beat. It’s not a skill that I’m proud of… ok, maybe it is a little bit.
There’s a few reasons why I stick to “the classics”.
One, I’m afraid of getting hooked on new shows.
Yes, I’m sure you’re right… I probably will like Game of Thrones and Ozark and Breaking Bad. (No, I’ve never seen Breaking Bad… Hopefully your head didn’t just explode like every other person I’ve revealed that to.)
I’m just very cautious about starting new shows because I don’t want to be sucked into that void.
I started watching 24 when I was in college. At one point, I literally spent an entire 24 hours watching every episode of Season 3 on DVD without stopping for sleep. And even today, I’m still sucked in when they bring back some fake Jack Bauer wannabe, while Kiefer Sutherland is wasting his time playing some other inferior roll on “Designated Survivor”. (It’s a show where he becomes the acting president but has the gumption of a guppy. Unacceptable after having watched Jack Bauer terrorize terrorists for 9 magical seasons. Hard pass!) But I digress…
Walking Dead is my current favorite show. If the writers and producers decide, they could own a full season of my Sunday nights for literally decades to come. Don’t get me wrong… I love the show, I love the story, I love the characters… I just don’t like being an addict. (I imagine meth would be a much easier habit to break… although I didn’t watch Breaking Bad, so I guess I’m not an expert.)
I literally celebrated when The Strain just concluded. That one wasn’t even that good. But after you watch two seasons… nobody wants to be a quitter, right?
So with something like the Office I feel like I’m safe.
It’s episodes I know I like. And I can quit any time I want, right?
Wrong on both counts!
It turns out, I don’t really like The Office. Not the early episodes anyway.
It’s boring! The characters are mumbling most of the time. And Michael Scott is stupider than any other functioning human alive. It’s painful!
If not for Jim pulling the occasional prank on Dwight, it’s a total snooze fest.
But there is finally a turning point.
On Beach Day, shy-as-a-mouse Pam has a spiritual awakening, walks over hot coals, and transforms from the doormat secretary into the courageous-speaks-her-mind-goes-after-what-she-wants woman.
In front of her entire group of co-workers, she confesses her feelings for Jim… And the rest is history.
Why am I boring you with the history of The Office?
I just think it’s a perfect parallel for going after what you want in life.
The entire Office seems bleak, lifeless, overcast, and muted until Pam lets go of her reservations and starts getting real.
Of course, there are TV shows where “getting real” goes terribly wrong.
But generally speaking, I think most of us waste a lot of energy “being nice” and down playing our own true character at the expense of living our dreams.
Sometimes you gotta get in touch with the real you, walk over the hot coals, and go after what you really want.
In the following episode, Pam is reborn. Her co-workers poke fun at her “embarrassing” confession. But she doesn’t back down. She doesn’t apologize. She flat out owns it. And ultimately, her courage and vulnerability gives Jim permission to go after the thing he really wants… Pam!
The episodes from that point on seem lighter… funnier… breezier… Michael’s still an unbelievable imbecile… but even he begins to grow into his character more.
It’s as if the whole world changes when you face your truths and own who you really are.
Are you waiting on other characters in your life to make that game-changing move?
Why can’t it be you?
Why can’t it be now?
It starts with knowing what you really want. Be willing to ask yourself difficult questions. And be willing to sit in the discomfort until you can answer them without reaching for the remote to distract yourself with an alternate reality.
If you’re experiencing pain, discomfort, stagnation, bleakness in your world right now… you may be long overdue due for a plot twist or some character development.
You can put it off for another season if you decide… but none of us knows when our show is goint to be cancelled.
So live fully today! 😉
CJ’s Book of the Week: “I Am Number 8” by John W Gray III
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