Take 5: Sierra Climaco
It took me a while to really sit down and make this list and even flesh out the ways I do relax– this just shows how I really don’t know how to take a break. (Look I even made a list of ways I (try) to take a break).
I’ve been writing in a journal since junior year of high school when I came across this trio pack of soft bound journals at Barnes & Nobles. I thought they were cute but, in retrospect, they were tacky with curlicue ‘DREAM’ and ‘HOPE’ splashed across the fronts. I still journal now, everyday. When I say journal, I mean writing until my hand cramps up or the words don’t bleed as much. I also mean planning out my week in bullet journal spreads. I also mean pasting photos and magazine clippings and ripped envelopes onto the paper until the spines of my journals break and rip at the seams. I think my journal is the only thing that keeps me from falling apart which explains their tattered state by the final page. I try to find any slivers of time I can to write what’s on my mind or what I cannot say out loud: in between classes, during class, after hours of studying and in the hours past midnight when I arguably should get some sleep. I’ve written in thirty-five journals and I’m already breaking open my thirty-sixth– a hardbound.
WATCH MUTED CINEMATOGRAPHY VIDEOS
This is something I recently started doing this year when almost nothing could get me to calm the fuck down. Sifting through my recommended videos on YouTube, one caught my eye: The Most Beautiful Film Shots of All Time. It was a compilation video of the best film cinematography. I was mesmerized but the spell was broken some thirty seconds in with the background music ruining it for me. During one late night, I decided to mute the video altogether and try and watch it then– boring. So, I opened up a new tab, played Frank Ocean’s cover of Moon River. Pairing the song– breezy and transportive– with the best camera shots in cinema is one of the only ways where I intentionally try to forget about everything around me and it works every time. Now, when I desire for nothing to exist around me, I look up compilation videos of film shots, iconic cinematic scenes and try and pair it with some easy-listening music– Daniel Caesar, Noname, Raveena, Frank Ocean. It is a way to somehow take a break from everything that has to do with the world but also appreciate all the bits and pieces that you never took the time to look at.
ICED COFFEE AND/OR HOT CHEETOS AND/OR NETFLIX
I stand by the fact I live an unhealthy lifestyle for the most part. During finals season, in between study guides and essays, I pretty much ate hot cheetos and drank iced coffee with hazelnut all the time. I’m sure my body hates everything about my decision-making process. While snacking on the worst possible combination, I tend to watch something on Netflix that will pass the time but keep my mind occupied or on autopilot at the least. New Girl is my go-to show; after watching and re-watching every episode of every season, it’s a guarantee that I can recite almost any line of any scene. This is probably my least unproductive mode of relaxation and also my most unhealthy, but I doubt I can come up with an explanation or some sort of reason.
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN
The day before I started my first internship, I cleaned my dad’s living room, creating a pile for donation while the rest were thrown away. Instead of preparing for actual work, I was an inexplicable force that just needed to clean a clutter that didn’t belong to me. By the time I finished and the place was as spotless as it probably was before, I felt myself calm down. As corny as the “clear desk, clear mind” quote is, it rings loud and true for me. I like to clean in order to get rid of whatever is on my mind or to be able to get through what work I cannot understand at all. This isn’t reduced to rooms and desks but also my phone. I don’t know why but clearing off those blaring red numbered notifications on my home screen– all the emails and messages and unnecessary app alerts– really does something for me, lets me rest easy somehow. Still, you will never, ever catch me making my own bed.
DRIVE AND/OR CRY AND/OR LAUGH
I save the times where I’m driving by myself for losing all composure and releasing any pent up emotions I would not dare to express to another soul. When I’m driving by myself, I have complete control with where I want to go, what music I want to listen to, how low I want to roll down my windows. When I am at home, or I don’t want to be home just yet, I like to drive on side streets or go the opposite direction Google Maps tells me to, and I love to drive and emote. Sometimes I cry, cry more out of frustration and overwhelming stress. And sometimes I laugh to myself about the actual absurdity of the day with all the bullshit thrown my way or spoken near me. To the casual pedestrian, I could look off, noteworthy to any nearby neighborhood watch. Really, I’m just driving and crying and laughing.
Sierra lives in Carlisle, PA and Los Angeles, CA. In either locations, she is passionate about a good iced coffee with hazelnut, her journals, the gym, and watching New Girl with a bag of hot cheetos. She believes she's good at talking with old people because, mentally, she's a 67-year-old man stuck in his twenties.
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