Writing a story about Chinese New Year this week gave me an opportunity to revisit my Chinese zodiac.
I was born during the year of the rat. That doesn’t sound great, but allegedly in ancient China rats were seen as signs of wealth and surplus.
Rats like me are believed to be clever, energetic and stubborn (which I think sounds like me). They’re also supposedly traditional, cowardly and poor communicators (which doesn’t).
In addition to being born in the year of the rat, I’m an Aquarius, an INFJ and a Ravenclaw.
My enneagram is seven, and if I were a tea I would be Earl Grey. Buzzfeed figured that out just by asking me to pick a dream vacation destination and my favorite Hollywood Chris. (It’s Evans).
I know, logically, these types of personality types are, at best, a disreputed, barely researched branch of psychology and at worst, completely made up.
They trick you into thinking “OMG! That is so me!” with a combination of descriptions so generic they could apply to anyone — one test told me my greatest desire was to have my need fulfilled — and contradictory statements.
Rats were described as ambitious, but content with a peaceful life; stingy, but occasionally reckless spenders.
This trick works because no one is stingy or wasteful, ambitious or idle, 100 percent of the time. We can all like to think of ourselves as someone who is smart about money, but we can also easily remember a time we blew a lot of money on something we didn’t really need.
And though I always recognize these tricks at play, the next time my friend sends me a link that reads “Decorate a bedroom and we’ll tell you which ‘Friends’ character you are,” I won’t be able to resist the need to confirm that I’m a Monica.
Though I’d never plan my life by them, I think personality quizzes and horoscopes are fun, especially when you share them with your friends and family. And what kind of Aquaius-rat-INFJ-Monica would I be if I didn’t have fun once in a while?