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Dealing with being fragile.
Starting a new job
Welcome to Ideothetic Flow, my newsletter sharing my reflections on finding balance, sufficiency, and security.
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Some life updates. I've officially started a full time role with Wavemaker, a venture capital firm. I'd been working there on a contract basis since February, and they have very kindly offered to convert me to a permanent part of the team.
I also got a promotion at BJJ and am now a 2 stripe white belt. Its nothing spectacular, but it's nice to know I'm slowly making progress.
Why do we keep breakable things around?
Strangely, over the past month I've been dealing with more instances of broken glass than my clumsy self normally does. Cleaning up is a pain, and there's always a nagging fear of missing something out. Almost every time I find a loose shard hidden away 3 days later and thank my luck the kids didn't come across it first.
It's strange that we are so comfortable surrounding ourselves with fragile things.
Is it because we are fragile too? We break easily, but we can't let it hold us back from going about our life.
Our body will break someday
I used to get frustrated with my Dad's stubbornness. He would climb ladders, insist on carrying heavy loads, or some other risky activity. He has 3 adult sons who could help him with these, why put himself in danger.
As I get older and have kids, I've come to understand his mindset. To run a business and raise 3 kids, he's probably put aside worrying about his long term health, in favor of doing what matters to him.
I find myself doing the same, I can't let worries about not resting enough, or things like career growth, distract me from being present. I've been pushing through bad sleep or even minor injuries to try and keep things up.
After all, despite best efforts, the physical body will end. Making it so far without some freak accident is already fortunate enough. The worst thing we can do is to do nothing out of fear that we are fragile.
Being fragile is necessary to grow.
We’re also fragile in that we are often at risk of failure. There's always a possibility of making a mistake, breaking a promise, falling short of expectations.
My enneagram 6 insecurity tempts me into wanting to avoid these. To find a path with the least chance of failure. To avoid being fragile.
I used to be slow to push the difficulty level of the games I play. There's a discomfort in signing up for a more difficult experience. These days I push that boundary further, and learn to enjoy the experience of failing, and getting better.
Relishing challenges comes naturally to some, but I need to actively remind myself to move towards the challenge. I know that it's only when we feel a fear of failure, that I am pushing my limit. It means there's opportunity to grow, and be better. It means whatever I am pursuing has impact. I have to be doing work, training, or even playing at a level that feels hard.
We're breakable but we can't show it
For me, there is also a disconnect between the need to keep a confident front, not showing vulnerability, and internally worrying about how things may go wrong. I guess people don't like to see weakness. They want the assurance of knowing you seem assured. It's more convenient than thinking up contingencies and worst case scenarios.
That disconnect wears me out though. Especially so these days when trying to balance family, hobbies, work, volunteering and leisure. I find it hard to even show a crack in the facade that I'm smoothly gliding between these things. I'm a glass cup at the edge of the table, pretending to be a child safe one.
I take some comfort in knowing that, if I'm worrying ill drop the ball at some point, but haven't yet, maybe I'm still doing it right. I can embrace that feeling of fragility that tells me I am pushing ahead.
At the same time, I try not to be part of the problem. Not to expect false confidence from others, to be understanding of their vulnerability and that they might mess up. Maybe when we're all honest about what scares us, we can all relate better to one another.
I'll be working on a speech for the upcoming Building and Related Works (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill. If you have any thoughts or ideas please feel free to reach out.
This month I'm also looking into policies around minimum annual leave, IVF, and food donation. Thoughts, stories, or support are always welcome.
For tarot based reflections and journal prompts, check out @thecenterline_ on IG
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