Goodbye Toby… It’s been nice ~ An open letter to The Office fandom

Dear The Office Fandom,

I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that you changed my life.

I know that statement is hard for anyone who is not in a fandom to understand, but it’s very true. The people that I met through you have been the most incredible friends and confidants anyone could ever hope to have. Though so many of those friendships ceased talk of the show long ago, they have since blossomed and grown, and without that spark that brought us together, I would never know them. The people that I’ve met have helped change the course of my life in ways I could never have imagined possible. They are kindred spirits, without whom I do not know where I’d be.

And I owe all of this to one little television show.

The Office put a smile on my face during a period in my life when nothing else could. It lifted my spirits and brought me together with so many people that I cherish beyond words.

In case anyone reading this hasn’t heard, it was announced earlier today that the television show The Office will be ending this coming season. This is not unexpected news, but still incredibly sad. Though I must admit that I’m not as affected by the series as I once was, I still adore it, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

I was introduced to the show in 2007 (I was a late-comer, in fandom terms) by my mom. I had moved home from University after suffering through a year of crippling depression and at that point felt completely devoid of any emotion whatsoever. I’d never seen the show before, but my mom picked up the season 1 and 2 DVDs one random day in June, saying she thought I would really enjoy the show. I popped the first disc in, and, well, my obsession started. I watched season 1 and 2 in a few days, and immediately started again. And for the first time in over a year I felt something weird and wonderful: Happiness.

Over the next couple of months I started going online, frantically attempting to find a way to watch season 3, and discovering all that The Office online fandom had to offer. By the end of summer I was posting frantically on a fantastic site called MTT, wearing Dunder Mifflin paraphernalia, and lining up at 7am to buy the season 3 DVD.

It is sad to think that this thing that has been with me for 1/4 of my life will soon be gone. But it’s had a phenomenal run, and brought me so much joy, that I don’t want to dwell.

We may not be seeing our favourite characters on the small screen every week, but the show will live forever. And not just in DVDs, reruns, merchandise, etc, but in the profound and meaningful ways that it changed the lives of so many fans, like myself. Shows and fandoms as wonderful as this bring people together, and that changes lives. And I so hope that everyone who makes The Office knows that too. What they’ve put out is so much more than a show. And I can not express how grateful I am for it.

So it’s with a tearful smile, and full heart, that I prepare to say goodbye to Toby, Pam, Jim, Dwight, Angela, Kevin, Oscar, Meredith, Creed, Stanley, Phyllis, Andy, Darryl, Kelly, Ryan, and every other character on this incredible show. But our final goodbye is still a long time off, and I am excited to see what is in for us in the lead up. I put my trust in Greg Daniels and the powers that be, and know that they will leave us satisfied and smiling.

That’s what she said.

With love and thanks,

This was dedicated to all of those wonderful people that this show has brought me:
Orla, Sally, Jessica S, Gen, Raisa, Carly, Nancy, Annie, Aideen, Vi, Sara C Courtney, Karen, Sara G, Beth, Danielle, Ellen, Moxie, Jenn C, Jenn Q, Jessica EK, Heidi, Marita, Katie, Kathryn, Michelle, Alla, Gloria, Jessica W, Krissy, Michelle G, Sara E, Sarah, Taylor, Vanessa, Krissy, Klutzy, Claire, Lizzy, Jennifer M, Ali, Jean, Maureen, and anyone else I may have missed!

Here’s a little slideshow of The Office fandom get togethers, including parties, meet-ups, concerts, theatre trips, comedy shows, and much more. Places pictured include New York, Toronto, Lansing, Washington DC, London, Dublin, Helsinki, Niagara Falls.

The Office Fandom Yearbook!