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As a part of our maudern people series, we asked Boston-based photographer Brayan Mesa for insights on modern intimacy. A social media strategist, he currently works at the city's Columbus Hospitality Group.

What is your relationship status?


With social distancing and quarantine, how has human contact changed for you?
As an extrovert, the first two weeks of social distancing were very difficult. Going from socializing in-person with multiple people a day to none at all was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Fortunately, thanks to technology, it has been easier than ever to connect with those I love. From text messages to calls and virtual cocktail hours and dinners on FaceTime and Zoom, I’ve never felt more connected to those I love. 

From text messages to calls and virtual cocktail hours and dinners on FaceTime and Zoom, I’ve never felt more connected to those I love. 

How do you make time for intimacy? 
Being home all the time has allowed me to experience a lot more self-intimacy. Most of the “me time” I had given myself prior to the quarantine was to sleep or to sit on the couch binge-watching tv shows. Being in quarantine has really shifted my focus to making sure that I was ok. I have done so by taking time every day to listen to myself and understanding what I am really feeling, eating healthy, going out for walks, taking baths, and paying attention to the way my body and my mind react to certain changes. 

How has your perspective on your home/space changed?
Pre-quarantine I did not spend much time at home, but I always made an effort to make it a space where I enjoyed being. I painted the walls a soft grey to make the space feel calm and airy, purchased the comfiest yet modern sectional I could find, made sure all my sheets and comforters were white to feel as if I was sleeping on a cloud, and added smart lightbulbs to set the lighting to whatever vibe I want. Now that I’m spending all my time at home, I am grateful for the little oasis I’ve created for myself.

How do you keep busy? Do you separate the weekend and the weekdays?
To keep myself busy and sane during the quarantine, I decided to keep my weekends and weekdays separate. To do so, I created a weekly schedule around my work and my meals. This pandemic has brought a considerable amount of stress onto all of us and as a stress eater, I had to make sure I created some sort of plan to keep myself healthy. Scheduling my meals has not only allowed me to avoid overeating, but it gives me something to look forward to, especially when I get my calendar reminder that my next meal is in 10 minutes! In addition to my work and eating schedule, I allocate an hour a day to go for a walk around the neighborhood to get some fresh air while also getting my steps in. Going out for daily walks has been therapeutic and an instant mood booster. 

What is a new activity you are planning to try?
Cooking! I’ve never been much of a cook, but I have been taking advantage of this time to get comfortable in the kitchen and experimenting with different recipes. It’s also been fun to document my cooking process and improving my video editing skills when putting it all together to share with my family, friends, and followers. 

Do you have a book or a movie on your list while at home?
I’ve been trying to watch as many feel-good movies to get my mind off the current situation for a bit. One that I absolutely love is Bridesmaids. It is one of the very few movies that I re-watch and enjoy just as much as the last time. It is truly hilarious and a nice reminder that not everyone has their life together, even if it seems like they do.