Moving Stories

Occasionally I like to pick up a magazine for fun reading, you know, like brain candy. Nothing terrible, and all of them are recycled. I like Psychology Today and Popular Science for the same reasons: a little science, some current research and technology, but not too much to make my head hurt. But the last few times I’ve read PT, I’ve noticed there’s a distinct slant towards what you might consider more of a Cosmo or Glamour reader. Lots of stuff about relationships, sex, and work. Lots of glossy, hairless women who have legs for days standing in front of confused-looking, hot men.

But on page 13 of the April issue, there’s a little blurb called “Insights” that’s about how your personality affects your migration patterns. The second type is the “Worrywart,” and the research shows that people who have more neurotic tendencies move more frequently, but usually “shorter distances … because long-distance moves are so stressful.” I thought this was incredibly fitting.I used to move once a year, every year. As soon as one lease was up, I’d sign another someplace else. I’m surprised we’ve been in the same place for almost 3 years now. But I always attributed that to my military brat upbringing.

In the last personality profile, it says friendly and agreeable people tend to stay more rooted because they make deeper connections. It made me think of my last post and this pointless argument going on in my head with the girl from Facebook. I was like, great, now I’m the neurotic who doesn’t like the suburbs and she’s the “friend for life” who has deep connections with other people?

Then I realized the article was missing a section or two. The “Free Bird” moves lots of places all the time. The “Explorer” is open to new experiences. The “Butterfly” likes to be in hot, new places all the time. Why is it that people who don’t move frequently can only be explained by lasting commitments to others in their life? What about the people who are fearful, xenophobic, and bigots? The ones who don’t leave their home town because they’re afraid of what might be out there in the big, scary world?

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