“It’s all invented.”
Those words, written on a Post-It note, have been stuck to a computer monitor in some dark office for the past 15 months. A cosmic joke if there ever were one.
At the time I placed that slip of paper into my daily periphery—I needed the reminder. Often overwhelmed by my ambition bumping against the frustrating office politics of any large organization, I wrote the note as a reality check: this computer, this work, these office hours, these expectations were all, at one point, made up—all just part of a construct, designed by someone else, at a different time, under different conditions.
Fast-forward to now. Fifteen months without a physical office, without the daily blow-drying and business-casual costume, without rush hour, without the fluorescent lights. All of it, on pause. Frozen in time with my little Post-It. Collecting dust.
For over a year, we let go of the constructs and nothing broke. We adapted. We changed. I changed. Re-invented.
Today I went to the office. It wasn’t the first time since the pandemic, but this time was different.
More…normal. Like nothing ever happened.
An in-person meeting. A conference room. Fluorescent lights.
I sat and I listened, thinking of the Post-It; thinking about the past 15 months, when the Post-It, and the reminder it held, never even crossed my mind.