Lately, after years spent sleeping with a light on, I’ve been enjoying the sensation of lying in natural darkness—it feels smooth and cave-like. Some light seeps in through my thin bedroom curtains, and I wonder how much of it is man-made, and how it compares to millions of years ago, when some distant ancestor of mine slept outside. No houses, no bricks or tarmac. Imagine that. Imagine living by the natural cycles of the moon and sun and stars.

Everything seems quite grey at this point, and so artificial. The constant mechanical groan of cars makes me feel sick. I am tired of urban life. It is dull. Cars and roads and buses all look the same. The weather is cold and dry. The ground stays frozen beneath me. I keep longing for a torrent of rain, and that swimming sensation I adore: limbs stretching through atoms, rippling blue, while I use my muscles to glide through. Something to crack open the stillness of February.

But it’s time to accept that while school is grey and boring, there is no other way. I can embrace hard work—it is finite, and after months of seeing no end in sight, it finally feels that way. I don’t want to rebel against it. I am itching for forward motion, but I also like listening to Björk sing, “I don’t know my future after this weekend / And I don’t want to.” I keep reminding myself about what I wrote at the start of the new year—that you can’t make many plans in life, and the not-knowing is OK. ♦