Quiet Euphoria Is 8 A.M. Drinking Piping Hot Coffee Alone

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Growing up, I distinctly remember how different my summers were compared to everyone around me. I always considered my quiet personality and limited circle of friends as the reasons for days spent reading, writing, drawing, and doing other isolated activities in which I nurtured my solitude.

This was in contrast to what I knew other children were doing. I knew the same cluster of girls I passed in the hallways were now huddled together in sleeping bags. I pictured them in all their silliness and whispers, with purple toenails. I thought about the pool parties. Everyone inseparable from the same cliques found in the classroom. A part of me was a little jealous of these exciting interactions. This was where the life-long relationships formed, where all the inside jokes lived, where pictures would be taken to later be broadcasted on our senior graduation slideshow.

However, as I’ve grown into myself and become more self-reflective and aware, I’ve relished the thought of these “extroverted” summers. This summer especially, I am learning to lose myself in. I’m going into my junior year of college, and I’ve made new friends — friends who are extroverts who pull me into the energy of people and places and adventures. I am invited for after-work ice cream dates, I’m welcomed with morning Snapchats, and my phone vibrates with daily text messages; I love these people who have become a part of my identity.

The big surprise? As an introvert, I am still very alone. I find myself in my room: a burning candle and a Spotify playlist, alone with my thoughts. I still read books, articles, poems. I write. I record my feelings, attempt poetry, make lists. I watch YouTube videos and Netflix. I cook and bake; I have an entire list of recipes which expands like my reading list. I ponder my life. I have imaginary conversations where I spit intellectual and emotional responses to prove myself and surprise someone.

I relive memories I want to feel forever, with people I want to preserve, or memories I wish I could change. I think of the guy who might not think of me, and my heart still aches, but I must move forward. I recall my past, I worry about my future, but I’m teaching myself to immerse in the now. I am plagued with occasional bursts of loneliness, and I fear that my days are wasted, that nothing will ever be the same, and that I can never hold onto anything for sure. I am paralyzed with the unanswered and the unknown and my anxiety.

Sometimes I feel stuck, or as if I’m missing out, and I will desperately crave human interaction or an event to look forward to. I see everyone going, living, becoming; they are falling in love and building careers, and I wonder about myself.

Moments of Quiet Euphoria Are Bliss

There are times I call Quiet Euphoria. In these moments, I’m blissful. I wouldn’t consider myself delighted, not a happiness that infects all — not the uncontrolled kind of happiness you experience on your birthday. Rather, it comes gently. I find myself at peace, unattached to anyone or anything. It’s mindless, it’s appreciation for the ordinary and recognition for the beauty of now — which we must remember will never come again.

Quiet Euphoria is when I find myself driving alone on a gorgeous June day when the sun is melting into the sky, a last burst of light, at seven o’clock.

Or driving at night: the road seems private, untouched, and the day’s traffic is forgotten. Have you ever driven alone at one in the morning? It’s a secret. It almost feels as if you shouldn’t be out there. Everything is hushed, and there’s a rush of excitement, of recklessness.

Quiet Euphoria is eight in the morning drinking piping hot coffee, sitting on porch steps, feet in dewy lawn, listening to birds’ chatter. You don’t Instagram this moment. In fact, you don’t Instagram or Snapchat any of your moments of Quiet Euphoria, because these are experiences just for yourself.

My favorite moment of Quiet Euphoria was when I went on vacation to Myrtle Beach, and on the last night, I went to the resort’s pool. The air was thick and sticky from the day’s heat. I don’t go in pools much anymore, but there was no one around. Perhaps it was the light illuminating the water — beckoning — or the crickets’ encouraging. I cannon-balled in. It was the most blissful solitude. Floating on my back, I memorized the starry sky looking back at me, and drank in the strange sensation of being alone in a foreign place. I realized I was vulnerable and free.

Quiet Euphoria happened again when I was walking past rows and rows of literature in a used bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina. I was visiting my sister and she gave me the car — or better, an opportunity for independence and exploration.

Summer Is When I Re-Balance Myself

Maybe this is all the result of two semesters of constant interaction and stress, when I am always having to be somewhere, and I am almost always with someone. Summer is when I re-balance myself; I am just me, without having to perform for anyone.

Maybe it’s healing after all the hurt of other people — irritated, impatient customers, careless remarks of friends and family, people who demand and expect, people who don’t understand me. I’m an INFJ personality type; I’m obsessed with Myers-Briggs, and it lightens me to know there’s a community of introverts who empathize. I know I am not alone, even though sometimes I hurt and I don’t share.

There are highs and lows in being by yourself. I do love my extroverted friends and my family, and sometimes I need them to pull me out of myself. But, I also need all of it — all the overanalyzing, the Quiet Euphoria, the worry, the heartache, and the numb moments to appreciate every other aspect of life. I need these stretches to fully live, to know I am a human who can feel and experience every wonder, every mundane moment. I’m a human who sometimes cries too easily, sometimes not enough, who belly laughs at puns, who forgets, and who dreams.

I’m trying to give purpose to all my pain and worries, and to cultivate self-love and self-reliance. I’m trying to be content apart from any other person. I have this hope that life will only get better, and someday, I will reflect upon these summers where I was allowed complete nothing, and I will be calmed.

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    • njguy54 says:

      These days, early mornings and late nights are the only times I truly have to myself. Early mornings are the best, especially in fall and winter before the sun comes up. The world is still slumbering, so I can truly enjoy my “me” time.

      • Hailee says:

        These moments are pure joy. I find beauty in every season, but especially in the fall when school begins again and I can pop my headphones in and walk to class admiring the trees changing and the sunshine filtering through.

    • Emily Smith says:

      Beautiful article! I know just how you feel.

      • Hailee says:

        I’m glad you liked it! It’s great to know I am not alone!! Thank you for letting me know I was able to connect with you personally, it means the world that someone can be reading this article and feel the same way.

    • D. says:

      As an intj I can identify with everything. Especially the quietness with coffee, bliss. Beautifully written.

      • Hailee says:

        Thank you, this is exactly why I felt I needed to write this article–to reach out to people, to connect. It’s really the little things in life. I’m touched that you could relate to me, I feel like this is a feeling all introverts are aware of and reflect upon.

    • Racoondog says:

      Finally someone found a name to that feeling!! I love it.
      Quiet Euphoria.
      I’m hearing you loud and clear.

      • Hailee says:

        It just came to me! I’m trying to find more of the “Quiet Euphoria” moments in my life. I find it absolutely wonderful you were able to take something out of this article. I love that I am able to give you something to identify with.

    • Clara says:

      Hailee, from one English-major introvert to another, (INTJ) your post resonates. Thanks for the Quiet Euphoria phrase. It’s apt and evocative of my favorite mornings: Sundays with a cup of coffee and the Sunday paper (not the online version!) sitting on my small back deck. P.S. I live in Asheville and I can guess the used bookstore you visited.

      • Hailee says:

        Yay! Another English-major introvert! May I ask what you do? I also appreciate hard-copies as opposed to digital/nooks/screens. That is so cool that you live in Asheville! I’m definitely coming back. I’ve been thinking about moving down there after graduation, and I’ve been looking for internships/jobs! I’m over-the-moon thrilled that you were able to resonate with this article.

    • Melissa James says:

      Thank you for this beautiful article. You have put words to feelings I have had for years (also INFJ).

      • Hailee says:

        Well thank you for your kind words! It’s amazing to find another INFJ–even on this website! I’m touched that I was able to give you a term/express in writing what you’ve been feeling, because that’s exactly what I was hoping for. Thank you for letting me know.

    • Hailee says:

      Thank you so much! It’s a pleasure to find another INFJ, and I’m happy we can relate.

    • Hailee says:

      Thank you! It’s wonderful to hear that you also use this season for many of the same opportunities I refer to as “Quiet Euphoria.” This is one of my favorite websites/blogs, I’m glad you found it!

    • Оля Илтубаева says:

      Really enjoyed reading it! Until now I did not know how I would call these wonderful morning moments when I sit quietly, contemplate about things that matter to me and drink coffee before taking off to work and be drown into the world that never stop blabbing. Now I know its name. It seems i read about myself in this article. So well-written, thank you for sharing it, Hailee! P.s. I don’t major in English, but have a great passion for learning it:)

      • Hailee says:

        That’s fantastic to hear (see/read? Lol)! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and of course I’m so glad to know you enjoyed it. It brings me the greatest joy to know you relate. English is pretty awesome 😉

    • africana says:

      I haven’t read anything this accurate and captivating in recent time. As an INFJ I relate. I find myself reading it over and over again, it was like reading myself to myself and indeed relieving, thank you… And also like you know, the relieve and delight a cup of coffee offers at early AM hours.

      • Hailee says:

        Woohoo fellow INFJ! I’m estatic to know you liked the article and also find a bit of yourself in it. I work at Starbucks, so coffee is a huge part of my life, and as you can tell I thoroughly enjoy it too. Thanks for commenting!

    • Daniel Hua says:

      This is so beautifully, elegantly written. The way you write, it’s like music. I know I’ll come back to this article again and again because it’s so relatable – but not even in just a nod my head kind of way, but in a way where reading it filled me with the kind of bliss you wrote about. Thanks Hailee 🙂

      • Hailee says:

        Thank you so much! I’m touched that you felt this way. It gives me such joy to know you were inspired or you related to my personal story. Thank you for commenting and letting me know, it means so much to me!!

    • Penny Wilson says:

      This is beautifully written and expressed! You nailed it Hailee! Thanks for such a wonderful article!

      • Hailee says:

        Thank you, Penny! I wrote this in hopes I could relate to someone, and I’m so happy to know I have. Thank you for taking a moment to share such a kind comment!

    • Adom Takyi-Mensah says:

      Hailee thanks for the word “Quiet euphoria”. It is beautiful and it really captures those moments. I am an INFJ and I just found this website..I feel like I’m in a “website heaven”. hehe