Man of Mettle

by Amelia Kanan

Bill, even though you're not my Man of Mettle, I'll let you represent him. P.S. Don't get cocky.

Within the past few months, I’ve been slowly arriving within an epiphany. It comes to no surprise to anyone who knows me that I’ve always displayed my heart on my sleeve for anyone to snatch up but for some reason, as of late, it’s taking a lot for me to be interested in men. For a second, I got scared and thought I was turning into an A sexual. Then I met someone. Someone who, if I had met him a year or more ago, I would be all over, Amelia-style. Yet, even though the teasing infatuation is there I don’t even really like being around him. This new peculiar feeling confused me and then it dawned on me. This time, I had immediately sensed insecurity and I was repelled. Side bar-I love how insecurity in some languages translates to words like “hazard”, “danger” and “risk”; people should translate it the same when sizing up a person’s character.

After smelling his weakness, I began to look back and the epiphany blossom. Anyone I’ve ever had feelings for or a relationship with would fall victim to such a characteristic. Once I had someone break up with me because he didn’t like how I made other people (other guys who were his friends) feel special. He told me, “You look at people like they’re the only ones in the room. I thought you only did that to me.” In the moment, I didn’t understand how selfish and how opposite of love that was but instead, I contested and told him how he was the only one in the room that mattered. I was heartbroken. I felt guilty for all the attention I had given away and not to him. The ironic part was that I wanted to give his friends my attention because I wanted them to like me and approve of me for him. Well to say the least, we were both suffering from some serious self-confidence issues. He was scared I didn’t love him and I was scared he was embarrassed of me. Ridiculous. However, it was all good in the end because it obviously taught me a lot.

One of those lessons: I do give a lot of people attention and one of my  quirks is that I make people feel pretty darn special. Part of that is my job though. For documentary film making you have to make people feel at ease, comfortable and safe so they can divulge very personal things in front of a rolling camera. For photography, I need to instill confidence in people in order to capture genuine portraits. And for writing, I need to listen to all different kinds of people to gain insight, perspective, research and experience so I can reference and communicate it when the time comes. Plus, anyone who really knows me understands that just because I’m listening to and engaging someone doesn’t mean I adore them. I digress, my point is that I’m not going to change something about myself that makes me who I am and good at what I do just because someone gets threatened. The only man I will ever actually be able to be with, will have to be someone of great confidence. Not only do I need someone who doesn’t get intimidated by attention I give to others but also someone who is unafraid of being judged because let’s face it, I do a lot of things that can embarrass someone of weak character. I have a feeling this person is far away from me. He won’t be coming anytime soon but when he does, I’ll be so glad I didn’t settle. The good thing is, I think my streak of being attracted to the wrong kind of man is coming to an end. I’m sure you all are just as relieved as I am.