Actor and director John Krasinski rose to fame playing Jim Halpert on the NBC sitcom The Office, but he came close to never making it to Hollywood.
Krasinski moved to New York after college to seek out his big break. He had been there two years and was ready to give up on his dream. At a low point, he called his mother to give her the news. Her told her, “So, I’m out, this is terrible, it’s so scary. This is the worst, waiting tables, not as fun as they say.”
Her response, “‘You know, it’s September, just wait it out until the end of the year. Don’t give up just yet.’”
Three weeks later, he was offered the job to The Office and the rest is history.
Believing in happily-ever-after
I love rags-to-riches stories of the little guy overcoming overwhelming obstacles to win the day; David figuring out a way to bring down Goliath; Rocky staying on his feet to beat out Apollo Creed; Romeo and Juliet falling in love and giving the traditional story the boot by running away together to live happily-ever-after. I love the small miracle that brings two people together, the big break that catapults a mom-and-pop firm into the big time.
I love these moments, because we all can relate to them. We may not be a boxer like Rocky, but we can relate to being the little guy. In my own life, we’ve had a few related stories, some big, some small, that I draw on when I’m down.
- My wife and I will celebrate our 29th Anniversary later this fall, but we almost never met. My wife, then unknown to me, reached out to my mother in a letter to check up on her friend, my brother, serving in the Persian Gulf War. We would have have never met had my mother simply wrote back or returned her call. Instead, my mother asked me to make the call. I shared the little bit of news that we had heard and she shared what she knew, and after months of calls and letters, we became good friends. As time wore on, friendship evolved into love that blossomed into marriage. If my now wife had not written, who’s to say if we would have ever met. Yes, thank goodness for small breaks.
We’ve had other moments too. Little ones that still mean the world to me.
- When my youngest son was in middle school, he signed up to play trumpet in the school marching band, but then he looked at the sheet music and the movements and was overwhelmed with fear, How was he ever going to remember everything? He couldn’t stop crying, he couldn’t stop worrying about making a fool of himself? Somehow though we were able to convince to him to keep trying. Of course, he went to the next practice and the next and the next and he discovered that he loved playing in the marching band. All thanks to just taking it step-by-step.
Life is full of the unexpected. There are big and small challenges, but I’m convinced it’s what you make of those obstacles that matters.