Thursday, January 05, 2012

Find Your Spot: Redux

I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and I'm proud of it. However...every time I go back there, I feel more and more disconnected from the local culture. It's kind of hard to explain, but I don't feel like I fit in there anymore. And the more time that passes, the more I'll feel that way, and the more I'll feel like an urban North Carolinian (which is totally different than a rural North Carolinian) rather than a Floridian.

So...several years ago, I took an online quiz called Find Your Spot, a quiz that tells you where you would most like to live in the country. But that was a while ago, after only a few months in North Carolina. Going back to the first paragraph, the longer you live in a place, the more you kind of meld into the local culture. So what would happen if I retook the quiz today? How much has 5½ years in North Carolina changed me? (Disclaimer: you have to jump through quite a few hoops at the end in order to get your answers. Opt out!)

The original top 12 from December 2006: #1 Cincinnati, #2 Lynchburg VA, #3 Bloomington IN, #4 Springfield MO, #5 Asheville NC, #6 Carlisle PA, #7 Roanoke VA, #8 Norfolk, #9 Charleston WV, #10 Rochester MN, #11 Topeka KS, #12 Charlotte.

And, now the top 12 from today: #1 Charleston WV, #2 Baltimore, #3 Little Rock, #4 Frederick MD, #5 Norfolk, #6 Hartford CT, #7 Roanoke VA, #8 Lynchburg VA, #9 Salem OR, #10 Medford OR, #11 Albuquerque, #12 Eugene OR. Sure, it's a little different, but given that quite a few cities made the top 12 both times, I think I can conclude that my preferences haven't changed all that much.

Given that North Carolina didn't come up near the top, can we conclude that living in North Carolina for a few years doesn't make you a "North Carolinian" at heart, then? Well, maybe. Here's my takeaway from this. Regardless of where you live, you will - with time - adjust to the local way of life. Move, and you'll re-adjust. Sure, you might be wearing more long pants and fewer shorts, and might have a slightly different taste in food, music, or sports teams. But that's all a matter of convenience, and it's only because it's what you're "used to". What you're "used to" and what you "prefer" are two totally different things, and only one of the two is dependent upon where you live.

Yeah, I suppose my "ideal" location is another degree or two of latitude farther north, where it snows a little more (but not too much), the politics are a little more progressive (but not too progressive), the terrain is a little more rugged, and red maple trees are more plentiful. But North Carolina is close enough, and we're certainly used to it by now, so we're not going anywhere.

1 comment:

Spartangoogle said...

I've spent about 2/3 of my life in Florida, but still think of myself as a Northerner. After exposure to many years of teaching teens I, like, find myself saying "like" in the middle of sentences. UGH!!