Life Lessons from an Airbnb Host

After a work training in New York, a colleague and I stayed for a quick 24 hours in NYC. I thought it would be fun, and potentially cheaper, to stay in an Airbnb so I chose one in Tribeca. The cost was fairly expensive for 1 night, but the description made it sound promising and the location was on-point. When we arrived, the host was eclectic and a little over the top, but nice enough. We weren’t at the place very long, but neither my colleague nor I were particularly impressed and stuck mostly to ourselves when we were in the loft. I don’t remember acting rude or grumpy, but apparently I’d made that impression on our funky little host:

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When I received this feedback, I was taken aback. Yes, I can be short/curt and not super open to new people, especially when the time investment is so short. I was exhausted from a week of intense full-on training. But was I rude? Was I grumpy? Was I brusque (according to Merriam-Webster: blunt in manner or speech often to the point of ungracious harshness)? I honestly don’t think so, but I came across that way to Reno.

Shortly after receiving this email, a friend randomly walked into the cafe where I was sitting. I was happy to see her, of course, but Reno’s feedback flashed bright lights in my brain: BE EXTRA SMILEY NOW. ACT HAPPY. DON’T BE GRUMPY…AT ALL.

This isn’t the first time I’ve received feedback about my lack of enthusiasm, bitchiness, or grumpiness. My mom’s been telling me to perk up & be more positive for as long as I can remember. I left college without a single friend (there are a few girls I like and get along with, but we aren’t close), and distinctly remember setting myself apart as soon as friendships fell apart. A date to a high school dance told me once that I was a bitch, but “he liked that about me.”

I can’t make myself happier, more smiley, or more approachable all the time. This introverted-in-social-situations, standoffish, overtly honest, somewhat sullen nature is who I am. I know that I will continuously and for the rest of my life have to work on my own happiness. I’ve written multiple blog posts about finding happiness and, I promise you, I do want to be happier, but it’s hard when this is who I am and who I have been. I can’t just say BE HAPPY and actually be happy.

So where do I go from here?

Step 1: Ignore Reno’s comments. She doesn’t know me. I will never see her again. Let it slide off my back.

Step 2: Own it. This is me. I can’t change who I am at my core. You don’t have to like me, but if you want to be around me, you do have to accept me for who I am.

Step 3: Revel in the days where I wake up naturally happy. It’s funny because a week after the last guy I was dating and I broke up, I woke up inexplicably happy. Maybe it was the prospect of being single (yet again) or the sunny day or hormones, but I was just smiling all day. I wish, more than anything right now in my life, that that feeling is how I always felt, but it isn’t. I don’t wake up grumpy, typically, but I do wake up neutral 99% of the time and stay that way most of the day.

Step 4: Continue to do the activities and see the people that make me happy. With summer peeking it’s sunny little head out, there is a plethora of fun stuff going on. Have I told you yet to download the My Chi Parks app?? It’s my favoritest app in the whole word. You will find me sitting (or dancing!) at the parks most of this summer, so hit me up if you want to hang out on a blanket or don your salsa shoes.

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