I see you, sister. You, with the sideways glances and stifled smiles and girlish giggles over the boy in the cubicle next to you. I see your air fives and secret playlists of songs you talked to him about. I see your meme exchanges and deep conversations about faith and politics and big life things.
I see him, too. He’s incredibly handsome and funny and kind. And he sits three feet away from you.
But he’s not your Jim Halpert. (You know it, don’t you?)
And you’re not his Pam.
I see you in that long middle, the long string of Tuesdays where the coffee is mediocre and your boss is a total grump and your projects suck, and he’s halfway the reason you show up to work on the 14th Thursday in a row where you seriously consider calling in sick. I hear your playful banter. I see your self-deprecating eye-roll when you turn back around after saying something completely idiotic. I feel your deep sighs.
I see you on Friday night, too, tipsy on cheap wine and begging your friends not to let you text him. I see you looking for an excuse to message him about mundane things, tipsy or not. I see you trying to brainstorm ways to see him outside of work without making it too obvious why.
But he’s not your Jim. He’s not going to kneel down and propose to you in the rain at a gas station. He’s not going to run away with you to get married at a waterfall before the ceremony. And he’s not going to tear up when he tells you he’s in love with you or kiss you in the barely lit office space where you spend 40+ hours each week.
Because you’re not his Pam.
He’s not your Ben Wyatt. He’s not your Nick Miller. He’s not your Ted Mosby. He’s not even your lobster. (Which is actually good, because Ross is kind of the worst. You and he agree on at least that much.)
And you know it’s not about timing. It’s not about waiting for you both to be single. (You both already are.) It’s not about dropping enough references to dating apps or your “type” or how lonely your respective Friday nights are. You know that there’s no scenario in which this ends up looking like the happy ending in any of the romcoms or sitcoms. There will likely be very little “com” in this ending—mostly just in your loud laughter when you’ve delivered a particularly good jab at him today.
There’s simply no version of this story that in any way involves the phrase, “They lived happily ever after.”
Because…he’s just not your Jim. And you’re not his Pam. And the day you come to terms with that, you’ll be far better off.
But that day isn’t today.
Until that day, you’d better damn well treasure those butterflies. Don’t hide that smile; unabashedly beam when you walk into the office and see him for the first time today.
Flirt. Flirt your ponytail off. Be coy and clever and build up an arsenal of inside jokes. Let yourself wear extra makeup and do your hair in the morning, if that’s your thing. Get him coffee once in a while to make him feel noticed and appreciated.
But through all of it… don’t let go of your heart. Hold your head high. Let this make you more confident, not less. Embrace the giddiness, but don’t for a second lose sight of your self-worth… and know that your Jim is out there.
It’s just not him.
Friend, you’re allowed to be in love with the idea of him. You’re even allowed to let yourself be a little in love with him. As long as you’re in love with your own joy first and foremost. As long as you live a good story and don’t let that story stall or stagnate for the months or years you sit three feet away from him.
He’s a splash of brilliant color on the pages of this chapter that might otherwise be dulled just a bit by fluorescent lights and grey cubicle fabric.
But he’s not your co-author. He’s not your Jim. And that’s okay.
You author the hell out of your own story that isn’t defined by a boy or the lack thereof. Be you and enjoy these days. They won’t last forever.
He’s filling in for your Jim just now. Reminding you how to blush and banter and blossom in your own gorgeous skin. You’ll thank him for it someday.
For today? Thank him by teasing him relentlessly about his David Bowie obsession. And by flashing that adorable smile like only you can.
He’s so, so lucky you’re sharing it with him.