Two great passions live in my heart: writing and hosting. Two passions apparently very distant, but so close actually. I always thought that writing was a static activity, very different from the dynamism of hosting, but then I understood that both of these passions contain the same characteristics. Hosting is a journey into the unknown and writing becomes an adventure off the path.
AIRBNB. It was love at first sight, just like when mom and dad got married. If I write AIRBNB in lower case, “airbnb”, the "b" letters reminded me of two kids with two backpacks on the ground beside their feet, ready to go abroad to see the world outside. That’s just what I needed.
And though I don’t take in boarders any more, I’ll always be grateful to AIRBNB for introducing me to a fancy way of hosting that had the power to fill my life with other people’s stories.
Hosting people, writing words. A good combination for me. Personally I’ve never written a book, with the exception of my graduate thesis, although I like to write. But I think that a host can find many contact points with writing. There are many situations that are similar in those two areas.
Hosting helps you to a better life and run from the old daily grind.
Writing helps you in the same way, it clears your head, your mind travels freely, even for a few minutes of pleasure.
When you host someone, when you write something, you are alone, you start to look in the mirror…and have doubts about yourself.
Hosting, writing make you set up objectives to be achieved. And in both cases you can get great satisfaction as well as great disappointments can come cause something’s gone wrong.
Hosting helps you think: it brings out the best and the worst in people. Your home says a lot about you. In order to be able to host someone, it’s your responsibility to look after the house. The aim must be excellence.
Writing helps you think: you just have to make sure you’re accurate, trying to be precise. The aim must be excellence.
But there is another point of convergence. Hosting helps you be your best, improve yourself because, I do not know how to say this in english, it gives an extra boost to tackle everyday problems. Writing makes people self-aware of their potential, and often helps find the best approach to other people and life.
There is one thread linking hosting to writing: you have to fight the whole time and resolve not to let anything stop you. The results are to be achieved by the sweat of your brow, sacrifice and a commitment to the objective. But sometimes that is not enough.
At check-in or in front of a blank sheet of paper you have to come prepared and on time: the unforessen and the unforesseable can never be ruled out, but being ready allows you to feel relaxed, in the right situation to set your dreams high.
I personally met my first guest long time after I started writing. Hosting is a demanding, temperamental life partner who occupies my every waking minute. It’s an anxiety thing which is always present, visible or hidden.
Sometimes it’s… kind of a “I can’t make it” situation echoing in your head. The problem is that you do not always like the idea of hosting people or writing something. Sometimes you love hosting “during”, but you hate hosting "before" and "after". Hosting is always a rewarding experience, even after days of toil (domestic cleanings, the washing of stinky sheet etc.).
Hosting and writing are exactly the same thing. Hosting is an act of faith, it’s like love. You do not know the instructions for use, so you make your own rules up as you go along to make it happen. Small, repeated, acts of love. Ad, reservation, first meeting. Verb, noun, adjective. Gestures always identical, ritualistic, exacting.
And this evening, between the host and the writer, I choose the latter.
Emily (life hacker)
Thank you @Emily. I always look forward to your sporatic posts- it's lovely to read about hosting in poetic terms. And yes, I think hosting can lead to a lot of introspection- seeing oneself through the eyes of strangers on a regular basis and having to deal with the endless range of human personality and character affords an opportunity to grow and change for the better, if one is open to it.
When hosting in your home, or writing, you are exposed.....
Laying bare, bits of yourself, making it open and vulnerable to be challenged, praised or criticised.
You have to to trust yourself to stay authentic, no matter what word is in the subject matter... no matter who the guest!