Expectations, Love and Airbnb
Ten years ago I bought my house — a 1927 New Englander with a front porch that kisses the sidewalk.
I couldn’t possibly calculate the number of people who have stayed with me- it started with my fiance and his three teenagers, followed by a few short and long-term housemates, my parents who sold their house before closing on a condo, my sister in the midst of a divorce, junior hockey players here for a six-month season, and for the last year and a half I’ve rented out my upstairs through AirBnB.
I love living in community.
It’s probably why I loved summer camp, college, and teaching in prep school. Sharing time and space with others is a gift that I am happy to give and receive. Instead of going out to find a safe, fun, supportive community, I have created it at home.
Here’s a teeny weenie snapshot of my AirBnB guests: first-year PhD students from Yale taking a mountaineering course at Gunstock, leaf peeping university students from Germany, a mother from Ohio meeting her adult daughter who lives in Boston to hike the Belknap mountains, a 30-something man from San Diego saying goodbye to his mother who was taken off life support at LRGHealthcare, a Dutch family excited about Pumpkinfest, a super fit and competitive couple here to race the Tough Mudder, a dad from Martha’s Vineyard picking up his daughter at a Lake Winnipesaukee summer camp, a family from New York City on their way to hike Mount Washington, four limited-English speaking, retired, fun French-Canadian women who used exaggerated hand gestures to describe their trip to the outlet mall, two nurses from Philly here for the wedding of their intern on the Mount Washington boat, an older man driving a VW bus taking a solar energy course at Lakes Region Community College, a local man who moved to northern California 25 years ago who returns to visit his dad, the wife of a rock star who gags at the thought of the tour bus, a sweet couple from Montreal who pit stopped in Laconia for a night to and from their vacation on Cape Cod, and geeky millennials here to play old school video games at Funspot for three straight days! Plus every combination of friends, family and couples here for summer concerts, annual local events, skiing, weddings, races, and reunions.
The best part is the constant reinforcement that people are genuinely amazing. We have far more in common than we realize.
We all want the same thing, right? To love and be loved. We are seeking connection, common ground, interesting conversation, and some level of adventure.
Even if it’s only a quick sound bite, I love to hear people’s stories and perspectives. (In fact, I’ve made a career out of it!) I imagine my home is a microcosm of society, which would make the world a pretty spectacular place, eh?
Some of the best conversations are at my coffee pot, in pajamas, with total strangers.
I imagine I’ve had such a great experience because I expect it. (You know, because the Law of Attraction is always at work!)
Our beliefs and behaviors are motivated by either love or fear. Choose love!
Initiate and develop the relationships you crave.
Give freely what you desire for yourself.
Instead of getting critical, get curious — ask a question to deepen your understanding.
We are part of so many communities during our lifetime.
If you want a happy, healthy fill-in-the blank (relationship, family, neighborhood, office, downtown), then live it — outloud and with intention!
So much love! XO -Emily