Seeing Through The Eyes Of Someone With Synesthesia
Don’t worry – I don’t have some horrible disease. In fact, I only recently found out that I see the world in a different way from others just two years ago. I had a conversation with my younger brother when he first started Calculus.
ME: “Isn’t Calculus hard? I kept staring off into space because everything was just too colorful!”
BROTHER: “Um… what are you talking about?”
ME: “You know … since Calculus is more conceptual, when the teacher asked to think about how the equation looks on the graph, the colorful numbers and letters would get distracting.”
BROTHER: “Evelina… what are you on?”
ME: “I’M NOT ON ANYTHING! Isn’t 5 pink and 8 purple and 2 yellow in your mind?”
BROTHER: “MOM! EVELINA IS SCARING ME!”
I found out that day that most people don’t see the world as some giant Color Run. I didn’t even know of the word “synesthesia” before but I immediately Googled “I see numbers and letters as colors” and there was a ton of writing about it. Synesthesia is a condition in which objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people’s names are connected with a sensory perception such as smell, color, or flavor.
Originally, I thought everyone saw numbers and letters in color because everyone typically grows up in a color-coordinated elementary school education. I mean, learning the multiplication tables was done entirely in color! I have no idea why I see six as green or seven as red and if that means anything. Synesthesia doesn’t help me in math – I studied public relations to stay away from math. Synesthesia does help me, though, with memorizing. I have all of my close friends’ and family members’ phone numbers memorized. I scored highly in remembering dates for AP United States History. I didn’t write down the time and date of a haircut appointment and remembered it exactly months later.
People’s names also have specific fonts and colors to me. The longer I know someone, the more vivid their name design. When I first meet someone, they have a pretty basic design, but as I get to know them, more colors and fancy fonts start appearing.
I’ve only met one other person with synesthesia and she saw numbers and letters with different colors. I would love to meet someone who associates them with a sound, smell, or flavor. Another one of my friends even assigns a gender to the numbers!
Hopefully, there will be more writing on synesthesia in the future but for now I don’t mind envisioning my world in color!
Posted on August 27, 2013, in Design and tagged Alphabet, Art, Calculus, Color, Color Run, Creative, Design, Fonts, Letters, Memorize, Numbers, Senses, Synesthesia. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.