As one who has moved and changed jobs often, I used to receive a considerable amount of unsought commentary : “When will you settle down?” “Are you running away from something?” “Get real!”
Since I was financially sound and there were no outstanding warrants for my arrest, my response was, “None of your [insert cuss word of choice] business.”
However, I often hear the question: How much is too much? Am I doing something wrong?
First, I firmly believe some people are born restless. Author Richard Ford wrote about his own “Urge for Going” (Harpers 1992, pp. 284-260). He claims that moving has given him a variety of experiences and sense of self that most people achieve through stability.
Over fifty years ago, a Benedictine monk named Hubert von Zeller wrote a wonderful essay called “Restlessness” (We Sing While There’s Voice Left, Sheed and Ward 1951). He believed that some people were born with souls that demand motion and change. Left too long in one place, those people will become smug and complacent.
Can you have too much of a good thing?
Clearly some people may keep running to avoid recurring conflict. Alcoholics Anonymous warns members against the “geographic cure.”
Yet often the underlying conflict has to do with a career choice that creates a conflict between work and self.
If the best jobs in your field are in small towns and you have a big city soul, you may need a career change before you make another move. If you thrive on change, you may need a career that gives you a base for lifelong exploration.
People no longer comment on my lifestyle.
The critics know I won’t return their calls. And after I bought a house, I was pronounced “stable,” even when I took a temporary job and and rented the house to tenants who were considered “settled” because they’ve lived in the same city all their lives — even when they can’t pay the rent.