Once upon a time last week, the new season of The Office began. And while I do think it's only a matter of time before the whole thing flops without Michael Scott, I very eagerly participated in this joyous occasion, not only watching the new episode but my favorite old clips as well. And in this roundabout way, after I watched the one with Dwight's purple belt, I began to think about advice.
What I think is this. I have a lot of problems that I have no idea how to solve, and a lot of things about myself that I don't know how to fix. And the funny part is that I have all the right answers in theory. But I am beginning to realize through a painful process that most things in life are much easier said than done. Infinitely easier said than done. Thus, a lot of problems with half-solutions, because really, some of the solutions are problems too.
Like the whole problem with making friends in college. I have never had a hard time making friends, and I have never felt super left out. What I have realized, though, is that I was always really intensely involved in a group setting when I was the happiest. But here in college, everything is so dang individualized. I can't find a group where I can do some good work. I can trace all the best times of my life through the groups I have belonged to. Magnet program, Academic Team, Journalism, Graces, Spotlights, Production staff, Madrigals, Brighton staffers, the M*A*S*H club at work, you get the drift. I need to produce in collaboration for the sake of my own sanity and I just can't find it here.
So because I have this problem, I also have a really hard time making friends. Which is a problem, because all my close friends throughout the years now live in different cities, states, and countries. There is a lot of good stuff going on in my life. I am functional and productive, and goal-reaching, and also the loneliest I've ever been. The logical answer to this would be: find a group, get involved, go meet people, be outgoing, organize outings, etc.
This is another one of those bits of advice I give myself every day. I have the advice. I have the answer. But the execution is a little elusive. I want to dominate the office so bad, but Jim Halpert keeps getting in my way, and Michael won't recommend me for his replacement. I feel like somebody stole my purple belt. I am knocked out of my element and straight into some limbo called college. Really, it's not so bad. I am comfortable here. I have a favorite chair on the fourth floor of the library, and people I pass every day on my way up the hill. I habitually trip on the stairs outside Ray B. West, and I know all the spots to avoid because the sprinklers make the grass soggy. But I do all that stuff by myself most of the time, and that is not what I am used to. I don't want to be Dwight anymore. I need a place, and I need my purple belt back.