“There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?” – Pam Halpert, The Office
Yes, this is absolutely true. But, Pamela Morgan Beesly Halpert, you are anything but ordinary. You are a fierce, loyal, and loving wife, mother, daughter, friend, and coworker.
Audiences everywhere cheered as they watched your character grow, and in exchange (little did you know) you were filling our hearts and minds with the bits of wisdom we needed in order to go after true love, fight for what we believe in, and fight for ourselves.
Not every relationship is meant to last.
As a writer, I’m also quite fittingly a book nerd. Moreover, I’m a sucker for poems. “Holding On and Letting Go” by Erin Hanson is a personal favorite and perfectly illustrates the opinion that, at no fault of their own, some relationships aren’t meant to endure – to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things.
Some relationships are meant to serve a different purpose, and the ending of a relationship does not always need to be painted in a negative light.
“… It taught my heart that some things,
Aren’t meant to last for long,
They arrive to teach you lessons,
And then continue on,
You don’t have to cling to people,
Who no longer make you smile,
Or do something you’ve come to hate,
If it isn’t worth your while,
That sometimes the thing you’re fighting for,
Isn’t worth the cost,
And not everything you ever lose,
Is bound to be a loss.”
Case in point: Pam and Roy. So often, we get wrapped up in comfortability, and we wind up confusing the amount of time we’ve invested in someone with love.
Pam and Roy were engaged for three years and before that were high school sweethearts, totaling eight years together. It didn’t matter that (to the viewers at least) Roy was indisputably a wrong fit for Pam – unsupportive, insensitive, non-communicative, and a tad bit chauvinistic.
It was easy for Pam to ignore these traits as well as her growing feelings for Jim because she was comfortable in this years-long relationship. How does that saying go? Hindsight is 20/20. Amen! I love this bit from Pam during the series finale:
“I didn’t watch the whole documentary. After a few episodes, it was too painful. I kept wanting to scream at Pam. It took me so long to do so many important things.
It’s just hard to accept that I spent so many years being less happy than I could have been.
Jim was five feet away from my desk and it took me four years to get to him. It would be great if people saw this documentary and learned from my mistakes.
Not that I’m a tragic person, I’m really happy now; but it would just make my heart soar if someone out there saw this and she said to herself, ‘Be strong, trust yourself, love yourself, conquer your fears, just go after what you want and act fast because life just isn’t that long.’”
Maybe the role Roy was meant to play in Pam’s life was to show her all the things she needed in a partner – that she needed a person who would listen to her, a person who wouldn’t belittle her, that she needed a Jim.
Or maybe it was to teach her to stand up for herself, like she finally did when she left him. Or maybe it was something else entirely, but the point is he was in her life and then he wasn’t. And that’s OK.
But true love does endure.
Years of bad timing, botched proposal attempts, family strain, long-distance, differing career goals… Pam and Jim’s relationship was far from perfect.
But the difference between Pam and Jim and Pam and Roy is that in Jim, Pam found a true love, a true partner. For her, Jim was the person who “just loves [her] too much” to ever do anything like cheat on her, as suggested by Nellie in season nine.
Together, the two decided it was worth their time to fight through whatever came their way. Pam left art school to come back for Jim, they committed to couples counseling later on, and eventually Jim gave up his dream career to avoid losing Pam.
When you’re with the right person, a sacrifice doesn’t feel as much like a sacrifice. Jim demonstrated that when he put together a montage of various moments of their relationship that were caught on tape, all to show Pam that she is his “everything.”
(It doesn’t hurt that at the end, Pam repays Jim for leaving his dream career by putting their house on the market so he can go get his job back.)
It’s OK to stand up for yourself.
The beach games episode. Wow. Am I the only one who jumped up from the couch and pumped her fists in the air during Pam’s confession scene?
Completely ignored and sidelined for the entire episode, Pam was saddled with the task of taking notes for the day instead of participating. She watches Michael as he tries and fails (to even attempt) to walk across hot coals.
She watches as the whole day passes her by – hot dog eating contests, sumo wrestling contests, egg and spoon races. And worst of all, she watches Jim as he tries to pay as little attention to her as possible. By the end of the day, she’s had it. And this is really the first glimpse we’ve gotten at a Pam who is willing to stand up for herself:
“Hey. I want to say something. I’ve been trying to be more honest lately, and I just need to say a few things. I did the coal walk. Just… I did it. Michael, you couldn’t even do that. Maybe I should be your boss.
Wow, I feel really good right now. Why didn’t any of you come to my art show? I invited all of you. That really sucked. It’s like sometimes some of you act like I don’t even exist.
Jim, I called off my wedding because of you. And now we’re not even friends. And things are just, like, weird between us, and that sucks. And I miss you. You were my best friend before you went to Stanford. And I really miss you.
I shouldn’t have been with Roy. And there were a lot of reasons to call off my wedding. But the truth is, I didn’t care about any of those reasons until I met you.”
Boom! Drop the mic and walk away.