Lately I've been working my way through all of the episodes of the office, from the very first episode. I just finished watching Season 7 Episode 22, which is the episode where Michael Scott says goodbye, on his way to move to Colorado to marry Holly and live there happily ever after. Steve Carell shows his true prowess in the episode, bringing to life every single quality about the character that made The Office such a success. Many fans say that the show in fact was Steve, and that without him, The Office simply wasn't The Office.
I've caught a few episodes here and there in season 8, but I have to say, Steve Carell brought that character to a place where no other actor could. As I sit here and watch all these episodes I can't help but think that no one else could be a Michael Scott. No one else could keep you laughing through the "that's what she said" jokes and the corny lines and inappropriate office behavior, to the funny faces and pranks, to the bottomless pits of despair he falls into after each relationship.
The whole episode is about saying goodbye to people. Michael Scott even carries a list around with him, making sure he says goodbye to each and every one of his employees. I actually did something similar on my way out of Clemson -- made every effort to see people one final time. To say goodbye. It was actually really hard to hug someone, and say to them that I wished them the best -- not sure when, if ever, I would be back in Clemson, or if I would even ever see them again. It's truly mind boggling to me, that some people that you grew so incredibly close with might exit your life forever. It's weird to spend so much time with them, make such good friends and then try to conquer that. I've never moved (save for moving to college and back) and I think I totally understand why kids hate that now. It's like leaving an entire life behind.
It never occurred to me what it might be like to be a boss, or really any employee in a company somewhere, and have it be your last day of work there. Or even harder, imagine the day you retire? Having to say goodbye to a company, and to people you may have worked with for decades? Pretty wild. There's something simultaneously sad and refreshing about those goodbyes. The chapter ends, but a new one begins. And as long as they chapters keep coming, hope is always on the horizon.