Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve seen most things in colors. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered almost nobody else shared the same experiences with me. My sister does; we’ve had a few interesting discussions on what we see and how they differ – for whatever reason, I feel almost nauseous when I try to picture what she describes. It’s just… wrong!
This condition is called “synaesthesia”, or “synesthesia”; you can read more about it here if you like. It wasn’t until tonight that I realized it extended beyond colors: I have distinct waveforms in my mind when I listen to music, almost like a visualizer. Years are a heavily spacial concept (for example, 1980 is much farther away than 1990, or 2015, in my mind) that appear in almost a calendar format, except with years instead of days.
The picture I posted at the beginning of this blog is a quick approximation of what I see; not all the hues are just right, but the urge to scrub my brain with sleep is too much to resist right now. Words generally take the color of the first letter – although if I picture a word for more than a moment, the individual letter colors appear like a pattern. I’ve always been good at spelling – this might be why. Two digit numbers are two distinct colors usually, but higher digit numbers take saturated overtones of the first numeral, and progressively desaturate in their respective colors as I follow the numerals to the right. For example, 342 is mostly green, but if I picture it for more than a second, it becomes green -> pinkish/skin tone, and then green -> desaturated pinkish/skin tone -> desaturated blue. Make sense? Didn’t think so.
I’m interested to read more about this and see what else I experience that isn’t normal. Leave a comment if you experience this too!