What being a mistress for 149 days will teach you about your career

Once upon a time, in a beautiful night of a beautiful Summer of an odd year, a brown-eyed guy – a married brown-eyed guy – comes your way, uninvited, just to make a big mess out of your whole life, unauthorised.

You’ve never even talked to married men before; you try hard not to, but you end up crashing in love with this one.

Technically, you are not supposed to feel like a mistress because the guy is already in the divorce negotiations and because he goes public with the relationship from day one and also because everybody strictly involved – including his brothers and sisters and the cat – support the two of you.

Then, 149 days later, what everybody but you had predicted at the beginning finally happens; it’s all just too crowded as Lady Diana would suggest, and he ends up breaking your heart in two.

That very moment, your life passes before your eyes under the form of the book Eat Pray Love, when David tells Liz:

What if we just acknowledged that we have a bad relationship, and we stuck it out, anyway? And then we could spend our lives together – in misery, but happy to not be apart.

You break up with him but you cannot even cry your heart out because you don’t feel you have a heart anymore.

Eventually, you get to figure out what the whole Miley-Cyrus-screaming-on-the-wrecking-ball-like-a-psycho thing was all about, and you don’t feel like taking the piss that much from now on.

Meanwhile, all the people not strictly involved who have been blaming you since the beginning for being the mistress, go into blaming you for not being the mistress anymore, dumping him and breaking his heart in two.

It’s funny, in a way. People accuse you of doing something they consider completely wrong and then they blame you for stopping.

You get so miserable and skinny you feel you’re going to die.

You don’t die, but all this shit eventually reminds you of something that has absolutely nothing to do with love and affairs: your dark days at the blue-carpeted office.

And then you think that we’re all good at spotting a dysfunctional relationship when we see one (provided it’s not our relationship, of course), we all set our very limits and we all perfectly know that violence and abusive behaviour should not be tolerated in any form in our personal life… but do we set the same strict limits in our working environments?

We get jobs where we’re surrounded by idiots, we accept crazy shifts and low pays and our company to put the nose in our personal and family life, we call for the Government to determine the extent of the psychological abuse we can accept, what should be considered mobbing and harassment and what shouldn’t. Actually, we accept just anything from our employers on account for jobs we don’t love in companies we don’t believe in. We always have. We’ve needed labour revolts and strikes to try to get our rights… right.

But the man, all the men that smashed your heart into smithereens left yourself broken, not empty. Because when there has been so much love and happiness for someone – the truth is – they will stay in your heart for good.

But what do you have left inside when you finally get rid of a job after it has sucked the whole life out of you? I tell you: nothing. At all. Plus, you’ll most probably have not learned anything about yourself, so there’s not a single thing that will stay in your heart for good.

And you can try and fix something that’s broken, but not something that’s missing.

You know the last sentence in the saddest movie ever, Ghost?
At the end of the film, when Sam is dead and is about to go to Heaven, he tells his fiancé Molly:
It’s amazing, Molly. The love inside, you take it with you.
You see, he says the love.
Not the office.

Broken heart split in two cartoon

© The Shortlisted – 2019

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